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Author Topic: Geocentrism  (Read 1146 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

Geocentrism
« on: March 28, 2007, 12:18:13 AM »
There are a lot of sites like this one out there.

Here's a question.

Using the tools you have available to you (or could feasibly aquire), how can you prove that the Earth rotates and orbits the Sun?

Three sets of methods come to mind, I'm mostly just curious what people will come up with.

Offline Brittlby

Re: Geocentrism
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2007, 12:28:05 AM »
You can't use science to disprove religion to the (fundamental) religious. No evidence will sway the faithful. They take PRIDE in believing the unbelievable.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Geocentrism
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2007, 05:04:22 AM »
I've dealt with plenty of fundamentalist types.  I'd have put it in religion if that was my intent. :-p

It's very easy to take the simplest things we know for granted.

Offline Ajoxer

Re: Geocentrism
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 10:03:44 AM »
Embarassing as it is, I don't think I can think of any methods right off the bat.

Thankfully, much like I can't remove my CD drive right off the bat- I can look it up in the manual!

Have I mentioned how grateful I am to science for troubleshooting the universe? :-P

Offline Brittlby

Re: Geocentrism
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 10:33:02 AM »
Well, your cited example begins with a quote from Timothy and relies on the Bible as the evidence for it's geocentric ideas. The most readily available method I know of for "proving" the orbit of the earth around the sun is via astronomical observation. If the earth were in fact static, the heavenly bodies would remain largely unchanged. Any hobby astronomer can tell you this is not the case. But that's hardly definitive proof, so much as documented observation which supports a theory. It can be misconstrued, MUCH as this webpage does, claiming that is somehow proof of the CONTRARY theory despite the GEOMETRIC impossibility of it, which is made evident by mapping the theoretical "rotation" of the stars around the earth.

Science is based on observation, via the constantly improving process of the scientific method. As such, scientists are loathe to provide "proof", because so many things that WERE taken for granted have been disproven. So while the argument can be made that ONCE we took for granted the geocentric theory, it was and ALWAYS IS based on religious dogma, which is at BEST couched poorly in the worst kind of "scientific double talk". Our current model has withstood the test of time and scientific observation.

Your claim that you wish to distance this from religion is impossible LARGELY because the opposing evidence is based exclusively on religion. I'd RATHER hear the evidence that the Sun rotates around the earth, beyond "well, it says so in teh Bible". Let the burden of proof rest with the zealots. By arguing subjects like this or creationism, you give power to both sides. It establishes BOTH camps as legitimate arguments... which they are not.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2007, 01:57:57 PM by Brittlby »

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Geocentrism
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2007, 09:44:36 AM »
Quote
Using the tools you have available to you (or could feasibly aquire), how can you prove that the Earth rotates and orbits the Sun?

Using a web browser I can demonstrate how the geocentrism theory appears on websites that also profess beliefs in completely absurd conspiracy theories and are ran by people who's political beliefs are bordering on dangerous.

I would also point out how the majority of sciencests that managed to achieve something worthy, were *not* believers in geocentrism.

Then i'd ask a geocentrist about their opinion on witchcraft. The answer I'd get would likely make people in the audience disagree with anything else they'd say, just because no one likes to agree with a nut.

Offline Lilac

Re: Geocentrism
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2007, 10:38:38 AM »
Your claim that you wish to distance this from religion is impossible LARGELY because the opposing evidence is based exclusively on religion.

Scientific measurements are, by definition, empirical, and thus have nothing to do with religion in the first place.  If it were true that the Earth was the center (for whatever reason), then the same measurements would show us otherwise.  Regardless, the geocentric model is not so much a Christian model but rather a Hellenistic one (Aristarchus excepted), based off of Aristotle's views which, save for his 'first mover' bit, are largely areligious.

To answer Vekseid, I can just bring up Aristarchus again and measure the respective angle at the quarter-moons.  Going from there, we can measure most of the rest of the Solar System and putting Earth at the center then becomes absurd.  Nothing else comes to mind, though ;_;

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Geocentrism
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2007, 10:43:33 PM »
Hmm, it seems this bores people :-/  Might as well finish it...

There are really two parts to this.  Proving the Earth rotates is simple:

Marking a stick and leaving it to rest in a water bowl, or putting a pendulum in a bell jar (a la a Foucault Pendulum) will suffice for a personal observation of the Earth's rotation if you're at a sufficiently high lattitude.  You can actually measure your current lattitude with a significantly accurate device - at 45 degrees here it's about ~10.5 degrees per hour.  If you are at or near the equator, or don't want to mess with such equations, you will need to use a gyroscope (or any wheel, really) and orient it properly.

I actually used to write testing applications for ringlaser gyros.  A few degrees per hour is a fairly significant change when flying a plane across a continent, and inertial measurement units need to be able to track and account for such motion.  An exact enough measurement will give you the sidereal day (the 'rotation' of the celestial sphere), which is a bit shorter than the normal (solar) day.  This difference amounts to about 3 minutes and 56 seconds - ie one rotation per year.

Anyway, the argument against heliocentrism was not a religious one, but a logical one.  The Greeks had found, that if it were true, they could find [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax parallax] in stellar motion, while, in fact, the stars were fixed (to them).  It's hard to fault them for this when they can't even see the closest star year round and it's still some odd 40 trillion kilometers away.  People don't comprehend such distances easily, if at all.

But, this parallax exists, and shows, fairly clearly, that Earth is undergoing greater acceleration around the sun, than the sun is going around Earth.  Other methods (like Lilac's) tend to merely make putting Earth at the center look absurd by comparison.