|Flyer for the Geocentrism conference|
The site might have
The reason that I'm even remotely interested in this is that there's a whole heap-load of myths about what the inhabitants of the middle ages believed, Geocentrism being prime among them. I mean, they all thought that the Earth was the center of the universe and that the world was flat, right? It wasn't until Christopher Columbus came along in 1492 and proved them wrong. Oh, yeah, and that Galileo guy got punished for believing that the sun was the center of the solar system, right? Fortunately, no.
Just a couple of things about this whole thing. First, the Greeks back in the long-ago's BC knew the world was round. How? They'd done experiments with wells in Alexandria and Syene showed that the sun didn't create the shadow the same way it would were the world flat. In fact, those shadows proved it had to be a sphere. (By the way, it was really Eratosthenes in the second century BC.) Plus, they'd seen eclipses and the shadow of the Earth on the moon is round (although you could likely argue that's because the moon is round). Regardless, Eratosthenes had calculated the circumference of the spherical Earth quite accurately (for the day). It was relatively well-known (by the semi-educated, at least) that the Earth was not flat. For the average medieval peasant, though, eking out an existence on a small plot of land for a feudal system that destroyed any potential for advancement, whether the world was flat, spherical, or a Mobius strip was just not something they cared about. So, Columbus was wrong. Not about the world being a sphere (because he and most everyone else knew that), but apparently he couldn't do basic math and thought the world was much smaller than it was. And on his way west he hit that big landmass between him and India. Oops - his bad.
|Tractatus de Sphaera - |
with Ptolemaic System
For the Geocentrists out there (and thankfully there are far fewer than the number who believe that Obama is a muslim), the math just doesn't really work out for an Earth-as-the-center-of-the-universe model. One thing Phil raises is that Pluto would need to travel faster than the speed of light to race around the world and rise on the next day. And that doesn't even include the other much-further-away objects out there. It may seem like they're going that fast, but we all know that the 186,282 miles per second limit isn't just a good idea, it's the law. Of course, most of the bases for these theories comes not from scientific observation (because that would pretty much destroy any potential for the theory to be correct), but rather it's because in the poetic parts of the bible there are statements like "the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved" (Psalms 93:1). Okay - so maybe Archimedes is wrong (the whole lever and world thing?), but the Psalms wax poetic, not scientific. Not eating pork? Good idea when you couldn't cook your meat thoroughly. The world being fixed and stationary? Yeah, not so much.
In the interests of full disclosure, I will point out that one of my relatives is a staunch Geocentrist. He wrote an entire paper about why Copernicus and Kepler were wrong. My cousin Jack included it in the book on the deVaux family history. Admittedly, I got lost in the mathematics and couldn't finish it. Then again, I also staunchly believed in geocentrism, not Geocentrism, so it made it more difficult to find the gumption to read it with an open mind. Wait - that's what we need more of in the world. Oh, snap. Guess I need to find that book and get to reading...
N.B.: the two manuscript pics are from Wiki, so if you happen to see them, you'd be right in asserting that I
N.B. 2: N.B. means nota bene, which means "note well". I will use that rather than footnotes for most things I post. I know that some people have never seen this (having been told so by some people).