Sunday, August 21, 2011

Does the earth actually rotate?

Perhaps not.  Listen to these curious and entertaining broadcasts, particularly these two sessions, about the 'nine assumptions' of Copernican science. The argument is broadly this: if you start with the first assumption that the earth rotates (as opposed to what your senses tell you, namely that the earth is fixed, and that the sun and moon revolve around it), then you need eight further assumptions in order to make the first one consistent with what we observe.  This, as the broadcasters say, is not science.  And they have a point, no?  We tend to reject any theory whose basic assumption we have to save by a series of further assumptions. Isn't the simplest theory of the solar system the Aristotelian and biblical one, which is evidently supported by our senses?

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8 Comments:

Blogger Belette said...

If you believe GR, the question is meaningless.

http://blog.creativethink.com/2009/07/good-old-wittgenstein.html

8:14 pm  
Blogger Belette said...

OK, I listened to your first link - http://www.fixedearth.com/audio/Copernicanism_is_false_science_session_1.mp3 - or at least, as much as I could tolerate. Why are you pushing the mumblings of a couple of ignorant hicks who clearly have no idea what they are talking about?

9:19 am  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

>>Why are you pushing the mumblings of a couple of ignorant hicks who clearly have no idea what they are talking about?
<<

What do you say I am ‘pushing’ their views? I find their argument interesting, and this blog is primarily about argumentation. Their argument (excluding the arguments from biblical authority of the first section) appeals a key principle of scientific reasoning: that any theory which depends on a series of apparently ad hoc assumptions to justify the initial assumption of the theory is weak. That is a good argument.

So, what is wrong, if anything, with their application of the argument? To argue, as you do that ‘they clearly have no idea what they are talking about” is to beg the question (a logical fallacy).

11:33 am  
Blogger Belette said...

I listened for about 6 minutes and heard nothing at all worthwhile, and much that was muddled and naive.

How about you suggest the first thing they said that you considered valuable?

7:59 pm  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

See what I just said above. They gave an argument that seems superficially valid. Clearly it isn't, so what is wrong with it?

Generally logicians find all muddled reasoning interesting. Some of it is also entertaining, as this is (perhaps we disagree on what we find entertaining).

8:39 pm  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

>>the mumblings of a couple of ignorant hicks

That is a terribly un-PC remark.

8:42 pm  
Blogger Belette said...

> They gave an argument that seems superficially valid. Clearly it isn't, so what is wrong with it?

I can't recall anything that seemed even superficially valid. I still don't know what you're thinking of. Text is so much easier than speech, though.

> un-PC

Deliberately.

9:07 pm  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

>>I can't recall anything that seemed even superficially valid. I still don't know what you're thinking of.

I actually gave the argument in my first comment above. I said their argument was that “any theory which depends on a series of apparently ad hoc assumptions to justify the initial assumption of the theory is weak”. That is a valid argument.

7:05 am  

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