I was just today reading The Missing Spanish Creoles by John McWhorter, and found a chapter heading or subchapter heading entitled "creationist at the cocktail party", which I did not read, and then this passage:
We do not imagine scientists supporting Ptolemaic astronomy while courteously "not denying" that Copernicus' ideas might have "some validity." The earth cannot "kind of" revolve around the sun--heliocentrism cannot be "considered as a possible aspect of" geocentrism. The evidence simply does not allow this.
Very good rhetoric ... but ... let us take it piece by piece, once again:
We do not imagine scientists supporting Ptolemaic astronomy while courteously "not denying" that Copernicus' ideas might have "some validity."
Guess what Tycho Brahe did? Oh, for introductions, he was an astronomer in Scania and Hven, back then belonging to Denmark. My compatriot, so to speak. He was also teacher of John Kepler. One more thing, though his system is referred to as Tychonian, his surname is Brahe, a noble family. Tycho or Tychon is a Greek given name meaning chancy.
The earth cannot "kind of" revolve around the sun ...
True enough, good logic says it either does or does not.
...heliocentrism cannot be "considered as a possible aspect of" geocentrism.
Now, that depends on what aspect is considered. Sphere of fixed stars, sun, moon, earth may well form a geocentric system, whereas in the meantime sun, mercury, venus - not earth but - mars, jupiter and saturn form a heliocentric one. Which is precisely what Tycho thought and taught.
The evidence simply does not allow this.
By evidence I suppose is meant logic. Earth either does or does not revolve around sun. But when we consider that Tychonian and Modern Astronomy as far as logic is concerned are both valid, the question of evidence becomes interesting.
There is the evidence of accuracy. Aristotle thought Mars somehow revolved directly around earth. Ptolemy that it revolved around and eccentric that revolved around earth. Tycho that it revolved around the sun that revolved around earth. That is in itself a series of growing precision. Next logical step would be for a geocentric to add that revolutions are elliptic rather than circular. But this step was done by a heliocentric, who hankered back to another heliocentric coming between Ptolemy and Tycho Brahe. So the series of growing accuracy reads Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, John Kepler. Copernicus was as heliocentric surrounded by a less and a more accurate geocentric, by Ptolemy and Tycho. Tycho Brahe as a geocentric was surrounded by a less and a more accurate heliocentric, by Copernicus and his disciple John Kepler. Would seem as if chosing geocentrism or heliocentrism had nothing to do with accuracy.
Except that, after Newton giving heliocentrics a physics, refined by Laplace, Titus-Bodes came more accurate still. And after Einstein gave heliocentrism another physics, he came still more accurate. Well, if it had just been one physics, and if there had been no alternative physics even thinkable or ever thunk, that might have settled it. We are talking about the physics of "earth is always drawn inwards towards the sun by gravity and always missing it by previous movement's inertia." AND the physics of "gravity is a geodesic in space" and of "light bends to gravity of great masses, so optics are just nearly optics now".
Now, before we do any problematising of these physics, were there other physics before them? Yes, indeed: "Mind rules bodies: in human mind's case it is only through own human body that it rules other bodies, in case of angels and demons and of God, there is no 'proper body' involved as condition for ruling bodies other than self" - a physics that was inherited from antiquity and not radically altered - at least not as radically as the "Scientific Revolution" - by Christianity. Meaning, stars as fiery matter and planets as reflecting matter are movable by some kind of spirit or other. Meaning the masses and gravities would not be the decisive factors or only decisive factors for observed orbits. Meaning daily motion of universe attributable to God.*
Now, there is no real parallel observable on earth itself proving the physics of millions of revolutions by continually readjusted equilibrium of earth's velocity and earth's pull inwards, sunwards, a possibility. If two forces are to balance in resulting in several revolutions, earth's gravitational pull on things down here is not one of these forces. Any movement where it is involved will be stopped by that gravitational pull (if such be the physics of falling) long before getting anywhere close to even an arc degree or two of a revolution about earth. Stones on strings are not obvious illustrations of an equal inward pulling force, since the string obviously is an object with a superior in-holding stability than the centrifugal force. Motor bicycles or cars rolling around weels to inside of a wall also illustrate that the wall as such is not an equal inward pulling or inward pushing force, but a superior inward holding stability. If the string is of rubber, we at least have the option whether at any point the ball is held back it is a case of equal inholding stability or equal inpulling force. Because in the rubber string there is a kind of sense in which inholding and inpulling is the same thing - but which of them is determinating in the case of the stone on an ordinary string? Modern physics says "the inpulling". Can we know it? Also, the onward motion - which keeps the object from getting in to centre - is not really upheld for many revolutions without added propulsion, whether it be string and stone, rubber string and ball or motor vehicle inside walls of a big tub. Even if a balance between a clearly inpulling force like gravity and an on- and outpushing force like inertia is possible, can the balance be maintained over revolution after revolution for centuries without any personal will and wisdom to guide it?**
But even so, I would like to see an experiment where the one force is clearly inpulling and not an inholding stability and where the other is inertia. Maintained for more than one revolution. If a strong magnet can do the centripetal thing and skating can reduce friction to maximise effect of inertia as centrifugal thing, that might illustrate what I am looking after. So, we have satellites, supposedly also illustrating this - but are they there because of gravity or because angels are kind to well meaning technicians?
So, then there is the optical evidence. Before we go on, we realise first that we are talking about space, and about space we have not seen from anywhere else than our own position or pretty close ones. What could there be as a kind of end to it? Stars clustering near outer edge, forming a sphere? Or just the end of stars clustering all over the inside? Or no end at all, even that involves stars clustering all through the inisde, if you can bring yourself to hold that as a possibility. Now, if stars form a sphere, are they all fixed in relation to each other or do they move? Obviously, one thing is settled by optical evidence, long before this controversy, long before the telescope: that moon, venus, mercury, sun, mars, jupiter and saturn do not belong to an outer sphere of stars, since they cover stars and move along the zodiak. We are now only considering stars in the zodiak and similar ones north of it to Ursa Maior and south of it to Southern Cross. As far as could be seen before telescope, the stars in that seeming sphere (real or true) do not move in relation to each other. When Galileo and St Robert Bellarmine argued - a bit unequal arguing, since between suspect and judge - about heliocentrism and geocentrism, St Robert who was out there to find out whether Galileo had proof or not, concluded he had none, and even counterproof: the Virgo and the Pisces, opposing each other - I am taking this example to clarify what I personally guess they were talking about - look the same whether earth is closest to it or whether sun is closest to it, meaning earth stays same distance to them. Meaning earth is proven immobile as the sphere of fixed stars, except that one moves on a daily basis, though Galileo would have it it was only earth that moved. Or that the annual movement in relation to the zodiak is done by the sun rather than by the earth. Galileo answered that the reason was that the change was too small because the stars are too distant for this phenomenon to be seen. A perfectly reasonable explanation, but a lack of proof in his own time, none the less.
Now, has heliocentrism been vindicated by optic proof after better telescopes or not? With a sphere of stars equidistant or an elliptoid of stars with a continuity of change of distance to the centre of cosmos, and none of the stars moving in relation to the others, we could very well have seen whether centre of cosmos was earth or not. If it was earth, Pisces and Virgo would stay exactly same angular sizes on opposite seasons and between, but if it was sun that was centre and earth that moved, Pisces would have exactly as much greater angles in September as Virgo in March. Now, modern cosmology is not this kind of heliocentrism any more than this kind of geocentrism. Both of them were, as far as optical evidence is concerned, refuted by the phenomenon of 1838. Actually I think both were extinct among astronomers long before that date. Except among Catholic ones, as a theoretic possibility of proving St Robert right or wrong.
What was discovered in 1838 can be explained two ways, as far as optics are concerned: if the stars form a sphere, some of them move in relation to others. In time with the sun. Now, with angelic explanation, there is no problem with that interpretation. Atheism favours and basic Christian tenets (leaving out the specific questions about Joshua that landed Galileo before trial) allows the other interpretation, the current paradigm in cosmology. Earth moves annually, and the reason why not all stars move annually, why Pisces is no bigger in September in same way as Virgo in March (dates when earth is between sun and zodiakal sign, opposite of when sun is between earth and them, obviously), is the difference of the distances to the stars. Not all stars in same constellation are even equidistant to us, to our solar system and to earth and sun. Possible. But not finally proven.
As said, there is no problem with the angelic explanation.
Even as a complement to masses and gravitations explanation, angels are not to be ruled out.**
Now, if there had been a telescope close to Saturn on board Cassini watching proxima Centauri, there might have been proof for or against modern cosmology, at least if not in its excludion of God and angels, insofar as it says the cluster of stars is spread all through cosmos and sun a star with earth as annually revolving satellite.
Hypothesis 1: Proxima Centauri seems to move annually because it moves in time with sun. Corrollary: should be seen as moving annually from Saturn too.
Hypothesis 2: Proxima Centauri seems to move annually because, angelic or not, earth moves annually and star stands still. Corrollary, since Saturn revolves non-annually and very much slower around sun, a very different parallax, larger than the 0.76 arc seconds we see from here, and some 90 times slower would be the expected outcome. If this is true, using parallax - stars' visible movements in other direction from moving earth - as measure of distance is feasible, since inversely proportional to distance. Not so in Hyp. 1.
Problem: the Cassini sond, which is on Saturn, or rather one of its moons, is not equipped with big telescopes.
So, there is no optic proof for modern cosmology either. Not where it differs from Tycho Brahe's cosmology, such as it would be if correcting circles to ellipses. Because one hypothesis has simple been ignored over centuries by "serious "scholarship". Same centuries as have seen "serious scholarship" grow and grow in funding and societal importance. Last of these, centuries in which Geocentrism becomes a metaphor - to be used freely in every other science, including linguistics and discussions of whether Atlantic English Creoles share a grammar because the black slaves made a grammar from scratch when hearing words and commands but little real speech with English, or whether they share the grammar they learnt at St Kitts, influenced by Castle of Cormantin, by the language of
Bibl. Audoux, Paris
16-IV-2011, St Lazarus Saturday
* Contra Gentiles, lib. 1 cap. 13 n. 27 Nec est contra hanc rationem quod motores inferiorum orbium movent motum sempiternum, et tamen dicuntur moveri per accidens. Quia dicuntur moveri per accidens non ratione sui ipsorum, sed ratione suorum mobilium, quae sequuntur motum superioris orbis.
** Contra Gentiles, lib. 1 cap. 13 n. 35 Ad hoc etiam inducitur a Damasceno alia ratio sumpta ex rerum gubernatione: quam etiam innuit Commentator in II physicorum. Et est talis. Impossibile est aliqua contraria et dissonantia in unum ordinem concordare semper vel pluries nisi alicuius gubernatione, ex qua omnibus et singulis tribuitur ut ad certum finem tendant. Sed in mundo videmus res diversarum naturarum in unum ordinem concordare, non ut raro et a casu, sed ut semper vel in maiori parte. Oportet ergo esse aliquem cuius providentia mundus gubernetur. Et hunc dicimus Deum.
***The Linguistic Question is of course the main thing about McWhorter's book, I deal with it here:
Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Atlantic English based Creoles - born in Cormantin