The center of the universe

puddleglum

Active member
For thousands of years everyone regarded the earth as the center of creation and believed that the sun, moon, and stars revolved around it. Early in the 16th century Nicolaus Copernicus proved that this belief was wrong and that the earth revolved around the sun.

The Bible tells us that this earth will someday be destroyed by fire and replaced by a new one.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.(Revelation 21:1)

This new earth will become God’s dwelling place.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (Revelation 21:3)

We know that the world we live in now is not the center of the universe but I think it is possible that the new earth might be. After all it will be God’s dwelling place. Perhaps the erroneous belief that many held in the past will become the truth.
 

Komodo

Well-known member
For thousands of years everyone regarded the earth as the center of creation and believed that the sun, moon, and stars revolved around it. Early in the 16th century Nicolaus Copernicus proved that this belief was wrong and that the earth revolved around the sun.
I don't think one can say that Copernicus proved that geocentrism was wrong; he basically just offered an alternative cosmology which might be preferable on the grounds of simplicity. Copernicus' system actually had lots of problems of its own, because he posited circular orbits for the planets, whereas their orbits are actually elliptical, as Kepler later showed. It was really Newton who proved that those elliptical orbits of the earth and other planets only made sense if they were all revolving around the much larger mass of the sun.

The Bible tells us that this earth will someday be destroyed by fire and replaced by a new one.

This new earth will become God’s dwelling place.

We know that the world we live in now is not the center of the universe but I think it is possible that the new earth might be. After all it will be God’s dwelling place. Perhaps the erroneous belief that many held in the past will become the truth.
But what would it mean to say that one body was "the center of the universe," either in common-sense terms or in light of Relativity?
 

Komodo

Well-known member
It would mean just what it says.
That there is an equal distance from the earth to each edge of the universe? Because that's what "X is at the center of Y" generally means.

How does relativity affect the meaning of the phrase?
In the relativistic perspective, if I understand it correctly, there is no absolute answer to the question "which object revolves around which?" and so one could give a geocentric account of the motion of the planets and stars even now. It would be immensely unwieldy, but it would work. But one could also give an account of those motions with the Sun, or Mars, or some star on the rim of our galaxy as the center of things.
 

inertia

Super Member
From a Biblical perspective:

"
It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
"
(Jeremiah 10:12, ESV)

"
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
"
(Isaiah 44:24)

A distinguishing feature of the universe that is frequently specified within the Bible is that it is being “stretched out.” We only discovered its expansion relatively recently and continue to measure it.

The Earth, its solar system, and the Milky Way move in the stretching of spacetime along with everything physical in the universe.


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puddleglum

Active member
In the relativistic perspective, if I understand it correctly, there is no absolute answer to the question "which object revolves around which?" and so one could give a geocentric account of the motion of the planets and stars even now. It would be immensely unwieldy, but it would work. But one could also give an account of those motions with the Sun, or Mars, or some star on the rim of our galaxy as the center of things.

Relativity is about the way things appear to us. We can only observe things when the light from them reaches us. God is not limited in this way but sees everything as it actually is.
 

TeabagSalad

Well-known member
Relativity is about the way things appear to us. We can only observe things when the light from them reaches us. .

There are other things we can use to measure the universe apart from light.

God is not limited in this way but sees everything as it actually is.

Sorry, but physics says no. If there is a being that can see the universe as it is, then information must be being transferred faster than light, which would affect the way the universe operates, making relativity pointless.
 

puddleglum

Active member
Sorry, but physics says no. If there is a being that can see the universe as it is, then information must be being transferred faster than light, which would affect the way the universe operates, making relativity pointless.

If this is true, then relativity is pointless. As long as we are in this flesh and don't have direct access to God's knowledge it can be a helpful tool but a time is coming when it will no longer be needed.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
For thousands of years everyone regarded the earth as the center of creation and believed that the sun, moon, and stars revolved around it. Early in the 16th century Nicolaus Copernicus proved that this belief was wrong and that the earth revolved around the sun.

The Bible tells us that this earth will someday be destroyed by fire and replaced by a new one.



This new earth will become God’s dwelling place.



We know that the world we live in now is not the center of the universe but I think it is possible that the new earth might be. After all it will be God’s dwelling place.
Take an old car sitting at the southern tip of Florida.

Destroy it, and replace it with a newer, better car.

That newer better car is still sitting at the southern tip of Florida.

---

If the Earth gets replaced, the replacement must still be in the same place as the old one - because otherwise, it's not a replacement. It's just the creation of a new planet and calling it Earth.
 

inertia

Super Member
If this is true, then relativity is pointless.

Not at all actually. Here is why:

Sure, light propagates through spacetime at c according to special and general relativity. Further, this is the highest velocity that information can transmit.

However, unlike light passing through spacetime, spacetime itself has no relativistic boundary conditions during its initial inflationary epoch (~10^-34 sec. ) before it changed from an exceedingly high energy state to a lower energy state. The potential energy that existed between the higher and lower energy states provided the means for the slower expansion that we measure today.

Other phase transitions include a radiation-dominated universe to our matter-dominated universe and a matter-dominated universe to a dark energy-dominated universe. What's real is that none of these transitions require a change in the laws of physics.

Relativity is not pointless. Its relevance is guided by the boundary conditions provided within the confines of spacetime.

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inertia

As long as we are in this flesh and don't have direct access to God's knowledge it can be a helpful tool but a time is coming when it will no longer be needed.

Maybe, but I wonder what will become of exploration. God has perfect plans - even for people that want to explore. - 🤓

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puddleglum

Active member
Take an old car sitting at the southern tip of Florida.

Destroy it, and replace it with a newer, better car.

That newer better car is still sitting at the southern tip of Florida.

But what if Florida is replaced too? Revelation 21:1 says, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more." God is going to create a new universe as well as a new earth.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
But what if Florida is replaced too?
The replacement for Florida will be in the exact same spot as the replaced Florida. If the new Florida is in a different location (on Earth, in the universe, etc), then calling it "Florida" is simply false.

New England is NOT a replacement for - or improvement of - England. The name implies they're related, but they're not. The same would be true of a new Earth if it was at the center of the universe; you can claim it "replaces" the old fallen Earth, but that would only be true in the same sense that new Earth replaces Mars, or Pluto, et al.

I don't think you've made a convincing case that the new Earth will suddenly be at the center of everything. It's much more parsimonious to assume biblical authors were simply wrong (about this planet being at the center of the universe).
 

Tiburon

Well-known member
From a Biblical perspective:

"
It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
"
(Jeremiah 10:12, ESV)

"
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
"
(Isaiah 44:24)

A distinguishing feature of the universe that is frequently specified within the Bible is that it is being “stretched out.” We only discovered its expansion relatively recently and continue to measure it.

The Earth, its solar system, and the Milky Way move in the stretching of spacetime along with everything physical in the universe.


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Being “stretched out" is just poetic imagery. To believe that it is scientific insight is ridiculous.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
Being “stretched out" is just poetic imagery. To believe that it is scientific insight is ridiculous.
I disagree about it being just poetic imagery.

I would say it is referring to the solid dome of the firmament. God stretched it out to cover the earth, forming a barrier between us and the waters above. The etymology of the Hebrew word for the firmament, raqia, is something spread out or beaten out. Think about how a piece of bronze sheet might be hammered to make it thinner and more spread out.

I do agree that to believe that it is scientific insight is ridiculous.
 

inertia

Super Member
Being “stretched out" is just poetic imagery. To believe that it is scientific insight is ridiculous.

Your argument is with Arno Penzias, Robert Wilson, George Gamow, Edwin Hubble, Alexander Friedmann, Georges Lemaitre (a Catholic Priest), and Albert Einstein. As you know, H0 the so-called Hubble "constant"; represents the rate of cosmic expansion coming from the stretching of space-time itself.

"The Bible’s prophets and apostles stated explicitly and repeatedly the two most fundamental properties of the big bang, a transcendent cosmic beginning a finite time period ago and a universe undergoing a general, continual expansion. In Isaiah 42:5 both properties were declared, “This is what the Lord says—He who created the heavens and stretched them out.”

Although the Bible is not scientific, it makes specific claims about the creation event that were not understood by ancient cultures at the time these passages were written. That is amazing.
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J regia

Well-known member
Your argument is with Arno Penzias, Robert Wilson, George Gamow, Edwin Hubble, Alexander Friedmann, Georges Lemaitre (a Catholic Priest), and Albert Einstein. As you know, H0 the so-called Hubble "constant"; represents the rate of cosmic expansion coming from the stretching of space-time itself.

"The Bible’s prophets and apostles stated explicitly and repeatedly the two most fundamental properties of the big bang, a transcendent cosmic beginning a finite time period ago and a universe undergoing a general, continual expansion. In Isaiah 42:5 both properties were declared, “This is what the Lord says—He who created the heavens and stretched them out.”

Although the Bible is not scientific, it makes specific claims about the creation event that were not understood by ancient cultures at the time these passages were written. That is amazing.
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And Isaiah 40:22 says heaven is a dome shaped tent which was stretched out and attached to the circle of the horizon, and just like a snow dome with pretty lights which move from east to west.
 

inertia

Super Member
And Isaiah 40:22 says heaven is a dome shaped tent which was stretched out and attached to the circle of the horizon, and just like a snow dome with pretty lights which move from east to west.

Seriously? That is a terrible translation. The NET provides a better rendering.

"He is the one who sits on the earth's horizon; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him. He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain, and spreads it out like a pitched tent."

Here חוּג is translated as "horizon" and its use is consistent with Earth's spheroid geometry. Notably, even when translating the word as "circle" a sphere always appears to be a circle when looking at it from a sufficient distance.


The Eretz.JPG

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J regia

Well-known member
Seriously? That is a terrible translation. The NET provides a better rendering.

"He is the one who sits on the earth's horizon; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him. He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain, and spreads it out like a pitched tent."

Here חוּג is translated as "horizon" and its use is consistent with Earth's spheroid geometry. Notably, even when translating the word as "circle" a sphere always appears to be a circle when looking at it from a sufficient distance.


View attachment 2269

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I'
Seriously? That is a terrible translation. The NET provides a better rendering.

"He is the one who sits on the earth's horizon; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him. He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain, and spreads it out like a pitched tent."

Here חוּג is translated as "horizon" and its use is consistent with Earth's spheroid geometry. Notably, even when translating the word as "circle" a sphere always appears to be a circle when looking at it from a sufficient distance.


View attachment 2269

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I have no reason not to believe that the writers of Isaiah 40:22 were describing the universe as a dome-shaped tent attached to the horizon.
And Earth never appears as a sphere to a person sitting on Earth's surface. Nor does the bible describe Earth as a rotating sphere orbiting the sun, but as an immovable two dimensional object as described by a circle.
 

AV1611VET

Well-known member
We know that the world we live in now is not the center of the universe but I think it is possible that the new earth might be. After all it will be God’s dwelling place. Perhaps the erroneous belief that many held in the past will become the truth.

That's a good point, puddleglum.

Especially in view of:

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
 
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