Amanda Botfeld and Kelsey Eiland

Editor-in-Chief and Outreach Coordinator

Illustrated by Rose Teplitz

A Saudi cleric made headlines last month for claiming that, contrary to scientific fact, the sun rotates around the Earth. He explained his conclusion in a video in which students asked him questions online.

The cleric, Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari, demonstrated how previous scientific claims are not true. “This is Earth, if you say it rotates, if we leave Sharjah airport on [an] international flight to China, the Earth is rotating right? So if the plane stands still in the air, wouldn’t China be coming towards it?”

Backing this up further, al-Khaibari elaborated: “If the Earth rotates the other direction, the plane will not be able to reach China. Because China is also rotating as the plane rotates.”

When a skeptical student asked him simply whether the Earth was stationary or moving, he answered: “stationary and [it] does not move”.

The video was released February 15th, 2015, the birthday of Galileo Galilei, who is famous for insisting that the Earth revolves around the sun.

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