The Third International Conference of Absolutes, held at the Hilton Garden Inn at The Woodlands, Texas from 16 through 18 July, is now history. Twenty-three attendees heard seven speakers. A good time was had by all. At the end, we were all sorry that the conference was over and resolved to do it again. Additionally, the hotel staff went out of their way to help in whatever way they could.
Most of the Conference attendees are pictured here. Back row, from left to right: Russell Arndts, Dr. Frank Wolff, Prof. James Hanson, Martin Selbrede, Gordon Bane, David Mitchel, Steve Gaupp, and Rhonda Mitchel. Front row: Dr. Thomas Strouse, J. Timothy Unruh, Dr. E. Christian Kopff, Allan Daves, Michael Berzins, Pastor Joey Faust, Shaughn Larkin, David Mitchel, Judith Larkin, Dorothy Bane, and Dr. Bouw.
The meeting was opened on Monday with a welcome by Martin Selbrede who lives in The Woodlands.
By the luck of the draw, Dr. Bouw spoke first. He presented the case for geocentricity to introduce the topic to those in the audience who were marginally familiar with it. Dr. Bouw spoke two more times during the conference. The second time, on Tuesday, he spoke on Scripture’s view of time and related it to the sheets of modern cosmology’s Topological Geometrodynamics model. A complete exposition starts in the current issue and will conclude in the next issue. The paper presented in the next issue is the one read at the Conference. The third time was on Wednesday when Dr. Bouw used the Norwalt Orrery to present geocentric explanations for phenomena commonly claimed to be proofs of heliocentrism.
Dr. Bouw was followed by Russ Arndts who spoke on the problems introduced by the theories of relativity’s gedanken experimental approach, which he called “Procedural Definitions.” He examined the Hafele-Keating experiment in which atomic clocks were flown around the world in opposite directions and the results were claimed to support the theory of relativity. Mr. Arndts pointed to the inaccuracies in the original experiment and noted that it could be done much more accurately today.
Timothy Unruh followed with a presentation on tektites, pieces of glass that were once molten and show signs of ballistic motion through the atmosphere. Mr. Unruh believes tektites are of lunar origin, a theory in which he is not alone. He has a large collection of tektites and brought some of them to pass around at the Conference. On Wednesday, Mr. Unruh spoke again, this time on his theory for the origin of the asteroids.
After Monday’s lunch break, Dr. Frank Wolff presented “Will the Real Number of Epicycles Please Stand Up? or What Are They Really Teaching in Astronomy Courses these Days?” Starting with an analysis that requires 18 epicycles for Copernicus’ heliocentric model compared to 15 for Ptolemy’s geocentric model, Dr. Wolff showed how Copernican apologists have systematically inflated the number of epicycles in Ptolemy‘s model. Over the years, the number of epicycles needed for the geocentric model has increased from 15 (or 34) to 40, 80, even 240 epicycles.
Dr. Wolff gave two more papers on subsequent days. The second was entitled “Copernicus’ Proof of the Earth’s Motions” and the third was on Galileo’s “proofs” of the Copernican model. All of Dr. Wolff’s presentations were well received, particularly his first one. We hope soon to post his slides on the Conference web site.
Martin Selbrede spoke second Monday afternoon. He spoke on the polemics of the Tychonic model and focused on the astronomical technical language encountered in the Greek of James 1:17. His second presentation, on Tuesday, introduced a model of the firmament that could be developed into a geocentric model on which strict geocentric and modified Tychonic advocates could agree.
Monday’s last speaker was Dr. Thomas Strouse, whose articles have graced past issues of The Biblical Astronomer. His first article, entitled “Absolutes in Scripture and Geocentricity,” looked at the key scriptures upon which geocentricity is based. To reinforce his geocentric points, Dr. Stouse took an in-depth look at the Doctrine of Absolutes as presented in Scripture.
Professor James Hanson spoke first thing Tuesday morning. He spoke twice, covering three topics. Each topic was illustrated by a 12-panel page of cartoons. The first topic was on parallax-aberration. It was published last year in two issues of The Biblical Astronomer.
His second 12-panel topic covered Geocentric Mechanics. In it Prof. Hanson generalized the definition of force to include the so-called fictitious forces due to inertia. The last topic was Geocentric Gravity in which he spoke on the Newton-LeSage explanation of gravity. In that model, the particles in the firmament, in constant random motion, are shielded by material objects, shadowing the area between two objects, thus pressing bodies together in a force which we call gravity.
Tuesday evening there was a group dinner in a private room for those who desired to partake of it. The food and fellowship were delightful and afforded participants yet another chance to meet others for conversation.
Many of the participants departed Wednesday afternoon, but ten of us boarded a rental van and traveled to NASA Houston where we were met by Phillip Burley. Mr. Burley took six of the participants on a special tour while the rest took the regular tram tour of the NASA site. During the special tour we saw the next shuttle crew’s practice maneuvers in the shuttle simulator. We visited the control room where the simulation was being controlled. We also saw the control room where the International Space Station was being monitored, live.
After the tour, most of the tour participants stopped for supper at a Denny’s near the hotels.
Many of the participants who flew into the Conference encountered weather delays in their return flights. Some sat on the tarmac for roughly an hour while others were delayed at the terminal. All arrived safely home.
 Motz, L., and A. Duveen, 1966. Essentials of Astronomy, (Wadsworth Publ. Co.: Belmont, CA), p. 135.