The ancient church believed that the earth was the center of the universe. What if they were right?
Oh, I don’t mean that the earth is physically located in the center of the universe, or even the solar system. Of course, it is not. From what I understand, scientists think the earth is located near the outermost part of one of the many spokes of the the Milky Way galaxy. Earth is not located anywhere near the center of anything celestially speaking. Scientists tell us the universe is expanding out and doesn’t revolve around anything. Galaxies are coalesced around super massive black holes, whose gravity fields are so enormous, they can encapsulate thousands of star systems. These individual systems are also ruled by gravity, where all this material (planets, asteroids, comets, etc.) orbits around the central star. Our own solar system works this way. Planet earth is merely the third rock from the sun in a celestial sense.
But there is another, more important meaning by which I wonder if the earth might be the center of the universe.
Origin stories and understandings have always been beyond us. I think that is why they are there. They show us that one needs more than observable phenomena to explain the origins of the universe and that is the inherent flaw of scientific theory concerning the origins of the universe or the species. Scientific explanations are bound to observable phenomena. In science, the process of a thing should help to explain its original genesis. That is all fine and good as long as you are able to observe ALL of the phenomena, but of course, we cannot do that. More specifically, we cannot be sure that we are doing that. Consider the vastness of space or the smallness of the sub-atomic particle. We have yet to crack the surface of knowledge concerning either one, though we have made great strides. While we can certainly entertain theories regarding what we know of the universe, scientists are inherently limited in their genesis explanations by their own rules.
In his book, Who Made the Moon?: A Father Explores How Faith and Science Agree, Sigmund Brouwer gives a pretty compelling argument for the centrality of the earth in the vastness of the cosmos. He reasons that man is the crowning achievement of the universe. Mankind’s uniqueness in the universe and his conscious capacity mark him as such. He argues that scientifically, man should not be and yet is. I’ve read other scientists who would take umbrage with his methodology, but his argument is sound, not because it is scientifically plausible (I can’t really speak to that,) but because it is philosophically correct.
Life itself points the way to the answers science fails to give us, a real life full of sorrow and joy, of pain and pleasure, of hope and despair. The fact that we exist as such beings and that we know what such things are gives us a clue to the reality of the universe. The fact that we are here speaks volumes louder than any mere tutorial on how we might have gotten here. We are more than this crude matter and we know it! Therefore, the answers to the origins of the universe must go beyond any rudimentary examination, (and due to our limitations, our observations cannot be anything but rudimentary.) If science cannot adequately answer this question, then why should we live our lives in the expectation that it must?
I would argue that maybe the earth is the center of the universe, because we are here and because we know it.