Information icon.svg Our policy on articles on living people is under review. Your comments and inputs are welcome on the relevant project talkpage.


From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This is an archive page, last updated 2 March 2018. Please do not make edits to this page.
Archives for this talk page:   , (new)(back)

Really Funny[edit]

Funny stuff, mostly because it's true..... We really need to keep this one going SirChuckB 05:57, 22 July 2007 (CDT)

Tychonic system[edit]

While I doubt we'd want an article on this separately, this might be worth looking at. Certainly an interesting link in the development of modern models of the solar system. Scarlet A.pngpostate 23:02, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Planets in the Bible[edit]

Regarding this sentence from the page: "There is no interest shown by the Bible in the motions of the planets (and the stars)..." Were people living in Biblical times actually aware that there are other planets in The Solar System? --Stickie (talk) 02:55, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Actually, yes, as early as the Babylonians. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:17, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Sherlock Holmes[edit]

... did not care whether the Earth went round the Sun or vice versa: and for most of us 'it does not really matter' for most of what we do (unless having to act across time zones).

How to snarly-up a computer - the epicyclical model of a retrograde moon of Uranus' Titania (or a moon of a long-period comet).— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Ah! But did Doctor Watson or Professor Moriarty care?--Weirdstuff (talk) 16:34, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
The quote is from 'A Study in Scarlet' - see the proverbial WP.
How much computing power would the backward moon epicycle/lunicentric (in more senses than one) set up involve? (Where would it feature on the 'boredom scale'? - whatever one is doing is so boring that doing topic X is more interesting/useful).— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
What exactly is your point? Arthur Conan Doyle was also a devout Spiritualist, and Sherlock Holmes, being a cokehead and more than a bit of an aspie, had a lot of gaps in his knowledge. EVDebs (talk) 00:49, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I think his status as a fictional character could reduce the weight we should give to his opinions as well.--Weirdstuff (talk) 09:31, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Sherlock Holmes' point was that, since he considered his mind and memory limited resources, not to burden them with details outside of his interest in fighting crime solving mysteries. See Talk:Sun - I had to dig up the quote on another occasion.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:38, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Moriarty, as I recall, wrote an important paper on the dynamics of asteroids. As far as Holmes, later works show him to have a grasp of a wide range of subjects. He was able to quote quite a bit from literature, for example. I think that the single-mindedness exhibited in "A Study In Scarlet" was considerably toned down. TomS TDotO (talk) 17:09, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I'd be more interested in Mycroft's opinion.--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:25, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

(reset) But - 'for most people for most purposes (allowing for 'acting across time zones' and GPS)' does it actually matter whether 'the Earth is the centre of everything or a moonlet of Titania is used as the zero-point for making calculations? (talk) 15:00, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Conventional navigation methods, by which I mean celestial navigation, shooting the stars with a sextant, is presented as taking place on a fixed, spherical Earth with the heavens in motion. "Acting across time zones" does not present any difficulty. The major practical result, as far as I can think of, of the rotation of the Earth is in the Coriolis effect which determines the rotation of cyclones and the trajectories of long-range guns and rockets. Offhand, I can't think of any everyday practical result of the orbital motion of the Earth. TomS TDotO (talk) 10:53, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I just read the main article, as well as the article Modern geoncentrism, and noticed that there are no arguments presented for the heliocentric model of the Solar System. This may be a good idea, for my experience has been that there are a lot of bad arguments for heliocentrism. Perhaps the worst of the contemporary arguments is that space probes have sent back pictures of the Earth in motion. Certainly the worst of Galileo's arguments was that the tides proved the motion of the Earth. TomS TDotO (talk) 11:06, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Anyone willing to create a 'Titania-satellite-centric orrery computer program equivalent'? The program is probably also useful for 'dealing with' computer-information-extractor-devices (especially if using the iterative method). (talk) 15:49, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Humans have moved the earth[edit]

That looks surprising but it's true. Scientists and engineers at NASA and other space explorers use the Earth's gravitational field to alter the trajectories of spacecraft. See Gravity assist. The Galileo spacecraft used the earth's gravity twice. See Galileo – a change of plan. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, therefore if the earth's gravity changes the speed and direction of a spacecraft the earth's speed and direction of movement change to a miniscule extent. This is far too small to measure but it's real and can be calculated if anyone who understands the maths bothers. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:35, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Cool story, but what's that got to do with geocentrism? WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel
[ec] Ha! PC just reminded me of the time I saw a physics professor jump about a foot in the air, to illustrate the equal reaction of the planet under his feet. I wonder if any of the other kids in the room (this was a while ago) recognized that he was quoting Galileo when he said, "and still, it moved." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:57, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Ray Comfort tries argue the Bible saying the earth is immovable means we can't move it. [2] Still we can move the earth, sorry I forgot to add the link on this page. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:00, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Occam's razor[edit]

I simplified the language in the Occam's razor section. Perhaps you could sort out complex language that's horrible to read in the rest of the article. Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:27, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps after 6+ years of cleaning your prose, I'm less inclined to do so. The writing is still painful. It didn't need to be "simplified," it needed to be written with a basic grasp of what is relevant, what is painfully obvious, what is conjecture, and how things like flow and rhythm work to make readable prose. PowderSmokeAndLeather (talk) 15:34, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

If you follow the links and read the quotes from Christians below you'll see what should be painfully obvious isn't obvious to believers. This is the type of stuff we need to debunk. [1] [2]

  1. Does the Bible teach that the earth is 'fixed' and 'immovable'?
  2. The Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions Ray Comfort wrote Bible texts saying the earth is immovable mean we cannot move it. The Earth's Gravity was used to alter the paths of spacecraft, see Gravity assist. The Galileo spacecraft used the earth's gravity twice, see Galileo – a change of plan. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If the earth's gravity changes the speed and direction of a spacecraft the earth's speed and direction of movement change very slightly. This is real and can be calculated, humans have literally moved the earth.
Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:43, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't doubt that it needs to be debunked. By someone who can write reasonably well. PowderSmokeAndLeather (talk) 15:46, 16 February 2014 (UTC)


Occam's razor favors the simplest answer. The Old Testament authors simply believed the earth is fixed and wrote what they believed. The simple explanation is plausible because people living in that region at that time didn't know the earth moves. [1]

The Bible[edit]

1 Chronicles 16:30: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable." [3]

Psalm 93:1: "Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ..." [4]

Psalm 96:10: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable ..." [5]

Psalm 104:5: "Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken." [6] [2]

1 Chronicles 16:30: Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.[7]

More here

The Bible and science[edit]

  1. The Bible doesn't say the earth orbits and rotates in ways impossible for humans to change.
  2. The Bible says the earth has firm foundations and isn't moving.

Believers try to reconcile the immovable earth in the Bible with the moving earth that modern Science shows is real. This involves complex unprovable assumptions. Remember Occam's razor tells us we should prefer simple explanations with few assumptions rather than complex explanations with many assumptions.

Complex assumptions[edit]

  1. Believers must assume the Bible is divinely inspired while other supposed sacred texts from other religions that contradict the Bible are false Superstition. There is no reason to treat the Bible differently from other supposed sacred texts.
  2. Believers must assume the inspiring Deity chose ambiguous language open to misinterpretation. Especially before Heliocentrism came to be widely known the Bible seemed to show a fixed earth. Why should a deity go to the trouble of inspiring a sacred text and leave the language unclear?

Unsurprisingly believers end up with complex explanations for references to a fixed earth [3] These explanations are less plausible.

  1. As shown above the Bronze Age and Iron Age people who wrote the Old Testament didn't know the earth moves and the simplest explanation is that they wrote what they mistakenly believed.
  2. The simple explanation is plausible because people living in that region at that time didn't know the earth moves.
  3. The simplest explanation is that the Bible is mythology similar to other Mythology of the time and that the Bible is untrue. [4]
There are passages in the Bible that are clearly figurative and everyone accepts that. Biblical inerrants-literalists-inerrants made exceptions for texts which are clearly figurative. One could, I suppose that the places where the Bible says that the Earth is flat is one those exceptions because there is long history of Bible-readers who accepted the Earth being spherical. But that excuse is not possible for geocentrism because nobody, until the rise of modern science, noticed that the geocentric texts were figurative. It impossible to claim that Biblical geocentrism is "clearly" figurative if so many people missed that. The most one can say is that authors misunderstood their audience - everyone for 2000 years! TomS TDotO (talk) 19:36, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. Ancient Greek astronomer, Aristarchus of Samos proposed a Heliocentric theory but he lived in a different area and well after most of the Old Testament was written. Historians know of no earlier heliocentric theories than the theory of Aristarchus. In any case Aristarchus didn't have much of a following and heliocentrism didn't become popular till Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler made their discoveries millennia later.
  2. Geocentrism
  3. [1]
  4. One thing that's really hard to explain is why in the 21st century so many people still take seriously texts written by Bronze Age and Iron Age people who didn't even understand the dynamics of the Solar system.

Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:52, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Edit war[edit]

Human reverted to a version which includes, "Geocentric models claim the earth has does not move at all, which means that the entire universe revolves around the earth daily." (emphasis mine) If Human disagrees with my attempts to improve the article at least he should take care to avoid restoring bad grammar. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:53, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

To be fair, your edits introduced about as much - and perhaps more - incorrect grammar and faulty sentence structure as they removed. While I don't think there's anything wrong with the meat of your edits (which I did skim over), many of your grammatical "corrections" are not corrections at all. In some cases, they reduce the reading level of the article significantly. I don't think Human was unjustified in reverting the edits. - Grant (Talk) 18:06, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I was trying to make the text simpler and easier for ordinary readers to understand. Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:00, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Understandable, but some of the changes created run-on sentences, and in some places created grammatically awkward constructions. - Grant (Talk) 19:22, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
It's not an edit war, it's a war against incompetent writing. Sadly. PC, you kind of specialize in writing badly. It's a bit funny that above you complain about my revert when you can't write your way out of a wet paper bag on a sunny afternoon. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:54, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Geocentrism Debunked[edit]

I added a link to "Geocentrism Debunked", which I just came upon, which seemed like a good idea. But on second look, I reluctantly must say IMHO that it is disappointing. I would like to hear some other opinions. I feel like deleting the link. TomS TDotO (talk) 14:11, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Because of lack of interest, I have taken this as consent to my opinion that this does not deserve citation. So I am deleting the link. TomS TDotO (talk)