Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Has Science Proven That The Earth Is Stationary?
Maybe the most startling (and amusing) claim of the believers in a geocentric cosmos (geocentrics? geo-eccentrics?) is that “mainstream” science itself has already proven that the Earth doesn’t move. (For instance, at GEOCENTRICITY AND CREATION.)
They mean the Michelson-Morley experiment!
This experiment is so well-known that there is a Michelson-Morley Experiment Wiki Page, so I’m not going to review the details of the experiment here. But I do want to discuss some of that experiment’s assumptions because looking at the experiment backwards—the way geocentrics do!—is an example of the intriguing logic and creativity kooks employ to further their beliefs.
It’s not crazy, it’s just weird!
The designers of the Michelson-Morley experiment wanted to test for the existence of the “aether.”
In the 19th century scientists believed that throughout space and even permeating our atmosphere was a mysterious, ephemeral fluid-like substance called the “aether.”
Because this belief was built on a “common sense” metaphor, it has never really gone out of fashion with people who rebel from Establishment beliefs.
In a nutshell, the thinking goes like this: Ocean waves manifest in a medium called water. Sound waves manifest in a medium called air. Light waves, therefore, must manifest in a medium of their own since we know light waves travel through outer space and there is no air or water in outer space. Scientists called this proposed medium for light the “aether.”
The designers of the Michelson-Morley experiment accepted axiomatically the belief that the Earth moved around the Sun and attempted to use the Earth’s motion to prove or disprove the existence of the aether. They designed equipment to measure the compression and attenuation of the aether which would occur ahead of the Earth and behind the Earth as the Earth moved around the Sun.
The Michelson-Morley experiment didn’t find any compression or attenuation of the aether and that was pretty much the beginning of the end for belief in the aether. The motion of the Earth was the key factor in disproving the existence of the aether. Of course, disproving the aether has created the need for all manner of modern theories to explain how light propagates without a medium. Instead of common sense metaphors we now have relativity and the whole quantum mess and beyond...
Geocentrics reverse the logic of mainstream science and say, well, if you accept axiomatically (based on the buttoned-down logic of the metaphors of known wave propagation) the existence of the aether then since the Michelson-Morley experiment didn’t find any compression or attenuation of the aether, that proves the Earth is not moving! It also spares physicists from having to create convoluted and counter-intuitive mechanisms for the propagation of light since the aether is still accepted.