Talk:Geocentric theory

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I have added a paragraph about the scientific and biblical evidence for the Geocentric theory. I think there's a lot more that could be said here but I don't have time write it now. I'll probably add some more next week. - Mmeelliissssaa

Your entry was kooky -- was it intended as a joke? RSchlafly 01:25, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

No it wasn't. I appreciate that views like mine are not popular or wide spread, but aleast the bible verses and scientific evidence should be stated so that people can think about it. A admit that what I wrote wasn't brilliantly written, I'll rewrite it now that I have a bit more time. Please do some reasurch on the Michelson-Morley experiment rather than just deleting my stuff. Basicly scientists tried for ages to measure the motion of the earth through space, but the couldn't do it. The Michelson-Morley experiment was the first time they admited that they couldn't do it. Relatativity is illogical, people believe it because they are confused by it and they take scientists at their word. Why do people have so much faith in scientists instead of having faith in God when he says that the earth is "Fixed fast"? -Mmeelliissssaa Mmeelliissssaa 11:51, 20 April 2007 (EDT)

Relativity is true, you're just gonna have to get used to it, and once you have, please remove the pseudo science from this article.

Here's the proof:

Hafele-Keating experiment

GPS and relativity

Middle Man

Relativity is not illogical. Please don't put this junk in, unless you can show the logical error in relativity. RSchlafly 21:30, 20 April 2007 (EDT)

Did you read the Link I included? What do you say to that? I'm not interested in what Scientists say about Cesium clocks abd GPS, and you second link was broken. Heres my link again, this guy seems to know what he's talking about: I'll post a load more links when I have more time. I'm just asking for my beliefs to mentioned so that people will be aware of them, thats all. Its fair that the article should mentioned evidence for AND against the Geocentric model. At least put the bible verses back in. Mmeelliissssaa 05:42, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

The link is nonsense. Please do not put it back in. RSchlafly 12:43, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

"The link is nonsense" thats not much of an argument is it? The guy is a genious and is currently making thousands / millions because he points out where science is going wrong and none of the experts can give an answer to him. Can't you even answer one of his points? Arn't you even going to try? I think that proves my point. The first chapter of his book is avalible online for free here. He points out that the current theortical framework is full of contradictions and paradoxes, for instance on Page 17 of the book (page 23 of the PDF file) he explains that Newtons law of gravity is incompatable with the law of conservation of energy, on page 20 (26 of pdf) he shows that the work function is a flawed concept. On page 30 / 36 he start to put forward his alturnative theorys which include a purley geometric explanation of gravity. The Science flaws section of his website highligts even more flaws in modern science here and he was links to articles in which scienctists admit that the don't have a clue how the world works here. Expalin that if you can Mmeelliissssaa 12:19, 25 April 2007 (EDT) Geocentric theory may be a minority view but I am not the only one. There are others who think the same way as me, there is evidence to support our beliefs and so our views should be mentioned here. Here are a list of websites suppoerting geocentric theory: 1) 2) 3) Three 4) Four Mmeelliissssaa 12:38, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

The guy is a kook. No one should take the book seriously. RSchlafly 13:03, 25 April 2007 (EDT)
Could you please explain why you think he is "a kook". His ideas seem very logical to me. Thanks Mmeelliissssaa 13:10, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

I've made some extensive changes. The article now gives some neutral information on geocentric theory with out promoting it or agreeing with it. I apologise if my previous posts here have annoyed you, I just want my beliefs to be mentioned and I become somewhat defensive when my beliefs are so casually dismissed and ridiculed, that happens to me rather a lot. I hope you will agree that the article is now neutral and informative. I would welcome any constructive criticism or constructive edits to my work but please don't just delete it again, I have put work into it. Thank you. Mmeelliissssaa 13:08, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

No, your edits were not neutral or factual. They misstate Michelson-Morley, relativity, and geocentrism. Your beliefs are ridiculous, if you really believe that nonsense. RSchlafly 14:25, 27 April 2007 (EDT)
That is a dangerous precedent to claim. It might be applied to other articles. --Mtur 14:32, 27 April 2007 (EDT)
I hope so. Nonsense like this should be removed from all the articles. RSchlafly 15:04, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

You still haven't explained why you think the final theory book is "kooky", you don't discuss or argue your views at all, all you do here is insult me, insult my views, work and beliefs and vandalise the page. How did I misstate the Michelsom-Morley experiment? I accurately stated that most people took it as evidence of relativity rather than Geocentric theory, but minority views should be mentioned too, there is a huge a article on evolution for instance. How did I "misstate" relativity? I barely even mentioned it, except to say that most scientists believed in it, largely due to the M-M experiment. Stop vandalising the article. If you want to contribute to the article feel free, I think a section on evidence against Geocentric Theory could be beneficial to the article to give both sides of the argument. But if you do want to contribute you should stop vandalising the article and start discussing changes on the talk page instead of insulting me. Mmeelliissssaa 09:00, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

I've added a section for evidence against Geocentric Theory, I don't have time to put much in it at the mo, I'll do that another day, unless someone else would like to contribute for a change instead of deleting stuff.Mmeelliissssaa 09:25, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

You said the MM experiment was an "attempt to detect the absolute motion of the Earth through space". No, it was an attempt to measure motion of Earth relative to the aether. You said relativity postulates that space and time are distorted to make the Earth appear stationary. No, that's not right either. If you think that you have a valid view, then show me an example of one person who understands freshman physics and agrees with you. RSchlafly 11:40, 2 May 2007 (EDT)
The aether was believed to be an absolution frame of reference therefor "Motion relative to aether" = "absolute motion through space". The two statments mean exactly the same thing. We can use your phrasing if you like, the meaning of the paragraph will remain unchanged.Mmeelliissssaa 12:14, 4 May 2007 (EDT)
Many people have tried to create a Theory of everything. It's not for a trustworthy encyclopedia like ours to present cutting-edge research like that. Paradigm shifts in science can take decades. Let's just write up what we already know. Then later, if there's time, we can describe recent (possible) breakthroughs. Fair enough? --Ed Poor 11:43, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

I agree that an encylopedia shouldn't endorse such cutting edge research yes, though I think it would be worth mentioning it. String theory has an entire article dedicated to it. Alturnative (To relativity) science is quite inportant to the Geocentric earth movement. Mmeelliissssaa 12:14, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

I've been advised to make smaller edits at a time, and to discuss them here before making them as well as afterwards so here goes. There are a number of Bible verses that describe the position and motion of the earth in space, and since that is what this article discusses I propose that they be added here. I propose that they be put in their own section at the end of the article. If known one has any objections I plan to make this change tomorrow. If anyone knows of some relevant verses please add / suggest them, I only know for off the top of my head but I know there are several others. Thank you Mmeelliissssaa 12:14, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

Yes, I object. You position has no significant support from either science or theology. You cannot meet the most minimal standards for a good edit. RSchlafly 12:29, 4 May 2007 (EDT)
I do not object. I don't have any problem with stating what some people believe, or claim that the Bible says. --CPAdmin1 12:32, 4 May 2007 (EDT)


I have reverted edits* made by RSchlafly, as I consider them to be tantamount to vandalism. The material was well-sourced, relevant to the article as it stood, and fitted in well. There was no reason given for its removal. If this behavour persists, I shall report the user to a Sysop and request that he or she be banned from conservapedia.

  • (*) Actually, it's not quite true that I have simply reverted the edits. I have actually incorporated the amterial into the article. OfficerDibble.

I have now reverted two uncommented upon edits by RSchlafly. I shall report this behaviour to a Sysop.
Let me know if any sysops express the opinion that my version is vandalism.
Your stuff is junk. Your sources are just obscure and incoherent opinions pieces. Do you have some disagreement with the text that you removed? If so, what? RSchlafly 04:38, 6 May 2007 (EDT)

Exactly in what way is my stuff junk? I have used Galieleo's OWN WORDS and I have used a reference to a interpreation of the Galileo repudiation of Heliocentrism by by a Catholic Scholar. EXACTLY WHY IS THAT JUNK?? You offend me by saying that. I have cited my sources which is more than the rest of the article is doing. Would it not have been best to engage in dialogue before you remove stuff? On what grounds are you the arbiter of what, or should not be in this article? AFIK, I did not remove any of your material. If I did, I apologise. What I did was to rearrange the article to include the stuff you had removed.OfficerDibble

In any case, Modern Geocentricism is alive and kicking. See You may not agree with it, but that does not mean that you are entield to remove amterial concerning it without discussion.
You say "this view is apparently based ...". Is it or isn't it? Does anyone know? You quote someone saying, "One could probably derive it nowadays". Probably? Can it be done or not? Is it an unknown question? Then he says "Maybe physicists would be forced", so I guess he doesn't know. Why not quote someone who does know? This is an old subject, and it is not that complicated. You text continue in this confusing and contradictory manner. Later you go on to Galileo and other topics that are better dealt with elsewhere.
To answer your Galileo question, your quote is not really his own words. He was forced to say that.
If you wanted to engage in dialog, then you'd explain why you removed the text that you removed. RSchlafly 04:53, 6 May 2007 (EDT)

I asked you to tell me what text I removed. You say that Galileo was forced to say it, but say it he did, and The quote I used origianlly from Deutsch clearly demonstrates that this is a philosophical position, not a scientific one. If you want me to find a clearer referecne I will, as it is absolutley true that the universal vieew could be reformulated as a Geocentric one, Galitleo's own theory of relativity states that all frames are rquivalent. It's just that it provides a convoluted motion of the planets, and by Occam#]s Razor we normmally go with Heliocentriscm. There is a debate here, and you should NOT just remove good material without discussion. I am LIVID.OfficerDibble
Calm down. Go ahead and express your views here. What is the point of quoting Galileo? Galileo also expressed opposing views. Why not quote them? Why even bother with Galileo? His dispute with the Pope is well-known, but he wasn't otherwise so important in the history of geocentric theory. What point are you trying to make? RSchlafly 05:18, 6 May 2007 (EDT)

This section, with its false accusation of vandalism, should be archived (or simply removed). --Ed Poor Talk 13:38, 3 November 2008 (EST)

Conservapedia Protocol

I am under the impression that edits should not be summarily removed unless they are clearly vandalism or worthless. Flocci­nauci­nihili­pili­fication should not be undertaken lightly, as the author has probably gone to a lot of trouble wrting it and finding sources. Even if you disagree with the views, and thisnk tha arguments are nonsense, someone doesn't and (especially as in this case), there are people who hold these views as part of their religious beliefs. Conservapedia was set up to giv voices to those who felt they were being persecuted and diesnfranchised by Wikipedia. The edits to this article are tantamount to the same thing. I think this issue needs to be debated much more widely. OfficerDibble

So you think that my edits are vandalism and I think that your edits are worthless. We have a difference of opinion. Go ahead debate CP policies elsewhere if you wish. I would rather discuss the subject matter of this article. RSchlafly 05:41, 6 May 2007 (EDT)

Suggested Changes

I think we should mention Genisis in the Scripture section. Genisis says that the Earth was made on day one, and the sun, moon and stars were made on day four. By the end of day three there was an Earth, complete with plants, but no sun or moon. I think that cleary indicates that the earth is central and the other celestial objects periferal. Clearly the Heleocentric theory cannot explain how the earth and its plants could exist four 24hours with out a sun.Mmeelliissssaa 13:14, 6 May 2007 (EDT)

I also think we should add some links to Pro-Geocentric sites, Here are a few that I know of:1) 2) 3) Three 4) Four 5) I've heard somebody suggest that may be a parody site, I think its real, it isn't really funny or trying to be funny like a parrody would. Sure in a few places the author presents his views in a slightly light hearted way but I don't see anything wrong with that.Mmeelliissssaa 14:01, 6 May 2007 (EDT)

So how do you explain plants living without sunlight? Maybe the answer could go in an article on Genesis.
Do any of those sites say that mainstream physics is wrong is some testable way? Has anyone done the tests? RSchlafly 14:19, 6 May 2007 (EDT)

There is no direct way to test wether or not the earth is moving, it all comes down to interpreting indirect evidence. There is more than one valid interpretation of that evidence. I have tried to discuss the scientific evidence here before (Above) and given links my views. My varguments and links were dismissed as rubbish without any counter arguments being put forward. I don't plan repeat the whole dissussion but I would appreciated it if the links could be included 1) to give people the opportunity to read further and assess the evidence for themselves 2) To make people aware of the views of people like myself. Thankyou Mmeelliissssaa 08:49, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

It says in Gensis that god created the earth, the light and the plants before he created the sun. The plants therefor had all the light they needed, despite the fact that there was no sun at that point, and the earht cannot have been moving / orbiting. The sun was created in day four.Mmeelliissssaa 08:52, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

You say "There is no direct way to test whether or not the earth is moving", and the article says something similar. You cite the Bible, and the article has Bible quotes. What's the problem? The problem with your links is that they have too much crackpot stuff in them, and are not good sources on the subject. RSchlafly 13:16, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

If, as evolution supports claim, the most brain-dead views on astronomy are held by Biblical literalists, then it should be easy to provide some documentation on their views. Please add to the Biblical literalism article some background on people and/or churches who accept the 6-day account in Genesis literally; and show how this informs their modern views on astronomy. --Ed Poor Talk 13:41, 3 November 2008 (EST)

Important elements to include in the Article

I am trying to make five points in this article, which are NOT currently sufficiently clear as it stands:

  1. The use of a Geocentric or Heliocentric frame of reference is a matter of choice, and not a matter of scientific proof. Both Galileo and Einstein have relativistic principles which allow celestial mechanics to be viewed from virtually whatever location you like. Bartosz Milewski (2006) states in reference to the Geocentric Theory: "Looking at the predictions it made of planetary movements, it is pretty good. One could probably derive it nowadays from the heliocentric theory by changing the system of coordinates (since the system attached to the Earth is not inertial, one would have to use Einstein's general relativity to do that correctly). Maybe physicists would be forced to introduce more cycles upon cycles to account for all the anomalies—maybe infinitely many. So even though the two theories differ in complexity, they are presumably equivalent in their predictive power." [1] This is not a unique view: "If one treats the motions in the heavens as relative motions (whether Galilean relativity, Einstein's General Relativity, or other types), one can create a model of the cosmos which is consistent with observations from many (if not any) reference points.[2] I can supply a hundred other sources which say the same thing. This is not in doubt, it is a fact and needs to be made clear.
  2. Secondly, I am pointing out that the preferred view by most scientists, is on the basis of a philosphical, rather than a scientific position. For example, in 'The Fabric of Reality', by David Deutsch (1997), Deutsch states the following criterion for reality: we should "... regard as real those complex entities which, if we did not regard them as real, would complicate explanations". This appears to be no more than a simple restatement of Occam's Razor. Deutsch's argument is that we choose to accept as real the Heliocentric argument simply because it 'makes more sense' and offers more readily understood explanations. In fact Deutsch spends a good deal of the book discussing the two positions. His view is that if we accept the Heliocentric reasoning through parsimony and explanatory power, we should also accept the view that the Universe is in fact a quantum multiverse by the same reasoning. All of this makes it clear that Heliocentrism is a philosophical position, not a scientific one, as we have no clear scientific basis of choosing between these explanations.
  3. Thirdly, it is clear that there are valid scientific arguments as to why the Geocentric Theory might be correct. For example : Gamma ray burst observations reported in "The Biggest Bangs: The Mystery of Gamma-Ray Bursts" (ISBN 0-19-514570-4), by Jonathan I. Katz, professor of physics at Washington University: "The uniform distribution of burst arrival directions tells us that the distribution of gamma-ray-burst sources in space is a sphere or spherical shell, with us at the center (some other extremely contrived and implausible distributions are also possible)." Another line of evidence referred to by modern geocentrists is related to quantized redshift. If the universe violates predictions from the FRW metric derived from General Relativity, it is not expanding but has a redshift-distance relation, and the redshifts of particular types of astronomical objects only take on certain values, that would suggest that the objects are located on shells concentric around the Earth, that is, that the location of the Earth is special.
  4. Fourthly as it is established that the acceptance of Heliocentrism is philosphical, and that there are scientific objections, it is therefore a matter of what we choose to believe, rather than what is an established fact, despite the fact that Heliocentricism is the established orthodoxy. Biblical arguments can be seen to be valid in this context, and therefore should be shown prominently (in fact they are, but they need to be explored further).
  5. Finally, since this debate is based on belief, we should foreground the matter of the Inquisition, and the debates which were prevalent at the time, as following the time of Galileo, science underwent a paradigm shift in belief away from Geocentricism towards Heliocentricism. What Galileo said or did not say during this debate then becomes crucial to understanding why Geocentricsm was subsequently sidelined, why it refused to go away, and why there has been a recent resurgence of interest in it.

What Mmeelliissssaa and I are saying is therefore absolutely crucial to the article, and I totally object to the removal of it on specious grounds, and without discussion --OfficerDibble 03:51, 7 May 2007 (EDT)

  2. "
Points 1, 2, and 4 are contained in the 3rd paragraph in the article. Yes, the frame is a matter of choice, and the article says so.
Point 3 contradicts those points. If geocentrism is somehow more correct, then it is not just a philosophical choice. If Katz says that new cosmological evidence shows that the frame is not a matter of choice, then that would be worth considering. He does not.
As for Point 5, there is another article on Galileo addressing the matter, and I suggest checking that out. RSchlafly
There are now no links to Galileo. Should we add "Copernicus and Galileo were the main proponents of the Heliocentric view." or somethink short like that containing links to these important men in history of this theory. --Aulis Eskola 18:50, 7 May 2007 (EDT)
No. The article is on the Geocentric theory. There is a separate article on the Heliocentric view. RSchlafly 19:20, 7 May 2007 (EDT)
Robert, so there is a double standard? TOE article for example is full of opposing views, most are creationist views. So why allow that on the TOE page and not on this page?--TimS 13:55, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
By the way, I do not think you (Robert) are wrong in this view, personaly I believe that the POVs should not be in the articles, when the articles are discriptions of ideas.--TimS 13:56, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
I don't think that there is any significant dispute about what the Geocentric theory is. RSchlafly 14:19, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
I would agree as there is little dispute of what TOE is either. The dispute is not the point, the injecting the views are.--TimS 14:27, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
If I were editing Theory of evolution, it would be a lot different. RSchlafly 14:39, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
Lol, perhaps you should... The consistancy of a lot of the articles seem to be in question when you look at the TOE article and compare it to others on the site. Perhaps some form or standard should be provided. I mentioned to Andy about the Astronomy article containing 22% information on Astronomy, 64% YEC views and 14% counters to YEC views. Seems to not provide a clear definition of what the topic is.--TimS 14:44, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
You are right, the Astronomy article is garbage. It doesn't even describe the views of the YEC folks very well, and instead has silly cheap shots. RSchlafly 15:43, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
Do you have any comments on the direction the articles are headed along with suggestions on how to get them on the 'right track'? --Mtur 15:45, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

Rubbish. Abject rubbish. The real issue in *centrism is the overall geometrical form of the solar system, not this trash about "reference points". The overall form of the solar system, regardless of your reference point, is that of a series of quasi-concentric ellipsoids, with the sun occupying one of the foci. This entirely dispels any validity to geocentric pseudoscientific theory, under which Earth would occupy one of the foci. --ExecutableMandlebrot 22:32, 30 May 2007 (EDT)

Another attempt

I have put a copy of the first paragraph here, with some comments, problems and some additions. I would like to collaborate with anyone who can work towards an improved version, which addresses the concerns I have raised about this article previously.--OfficerDibble 10:20, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

Why don't you discuss your concerns here. Your proposal says that it is not true that heliocentrism was preferred in the 1800s. Why do you say that? Who in the 1800s did prefer heliocentrism? RSchlafly 11:48, 28 May 2007 (EDT)

What happend to Copernicus and Keppler?

Article jumps from Ptolemy to Maxwell. Huh? The heliocentric model was established in the 1500s and 1600s, not the 1800s. Relativity, etc. do not shed much light on the geocentric/heliocentric debate. (unsigned)

The article is on geocentrism, not heliocentrism. RSchlafly 13:52, 29 May 2007 (EDT)
Obviously, but the article's second paragaph is still pretty bizarre from a history-of-science perspective. At least in Protestant countries, the geocentic view was replaced long before the 1800s. Maxwell may have convinced a few stragglers, but I never heard that. I would love to see a reference if it's true. Ga ohoyt 21:53, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
Yes, the geocentric view replaced the heliocentric before the 1800s. But the 1800s brought the most compelling arguments that geocentrism was scientifically wrong. RSchlafly 01:57, 6 June 2007 (EDT)

Both Theories Correct?

There is a major error in this article in the third paragraph. The fact that calculations are done from the perspective that the Earth is not moving around the Sun does not mean that physicists are applying a geocentric theory. It merely means that, when convenient, they can perform calculations from the point of view of a static Earth. By the same token, you can perform calculations based on the world as seen from a moving train, and assume that the train is not moving. That does not mean you have a theory that the train is not moving (a train-centric theory?). NitramNos 12:15, 7 June 2007 (EDT)

I agree. Maybe the proper thing to say is that modern theories suggest that there is no "center" to the universe per se. At the same time, modern physical models and mathematical tools allow us to call any point the center for purposes of convenience. That was the real problem with geocentrism: It took the observed motions of the planets and forced them into a messy spheres-within-spheres model which not only was complicated but also shed no light on the real (Kepplerian) physical principles involved. Ga ohoyt 12:39, 7 June 2007 (EDT)
No, that is not error. If you do calculations in Earth-centered coordinates then you are using geocentric theory, whether you think of the Earth as static or not. RSchlafly 12:49, 7 June 2007 (EDT)
That is patently false. You are dishonestly conflating the term Geocentric Theory, which historically refers to the theory stating that the Earth is the center of the universe, with a mathematical convenience. Performing calculations based on a geocentric coordinate system does not equal belief in the geocentric theory. It is just a convenient use of a reference frame as was already pointed out. I can perform calculations using a reference frame centered on myself, but it does not mean I think I am the center of the universe. QNA 12:56, 7 June 2007 (EDT)
If you are so sure of yourself, can you provide a reference to back up what you say? RSchlafly 13:32, 7 June 2007 (EDT)
I have to agree with QNA. You are pulling the same trick that the evolutionists pull when they capitalize "Theory and Evolution" and then claim that the word theory has been promoted from a hypotesis to a field of study, like Number Theory. But geocentrism was never such a field. It was a viewpoint that fell to a superior (for most purposes) viewpoint. Happens all the time in science. Ga ohoyt 20:37, 7 June 2007 (EDT)
Yes, it happens all the time that some viewpoints are superior over others for some purposes. RSchlafly 23:04, 7 June 2007 (EDT)

I'm afraid RShafly's opinion above is based on a profound misunderstanding of the meaning of the term 'scientific theory.' As QNA points out above, performing a calculation based on an assumption that the Earth is not revolving because it is convenient when calculating a rocket's trajectory, is not based on a theory that the Earth is not revolving. By the same token, if I perform a calculation involving the movements of objects outside a moving train from the point of view that the train is not moving, it does not imply that I have a theory that the train is not actually moving. You will find a good definition of 'scientific theory' here [1]. NitramNos 09:33, 8 June 2007 (EDT)

Strictly speaking, Ga ohoyt is correct. The Sun is certainly not the center of the universe. Current scientific theory, however, does assume that the Earth revolves around the Sun, not the reverse. NitramNos 09:50, 8 June 2007 (EDT)

So what are you saying, that geocentric theory does not qualify as a scientific theory under someone's definition of scientific theory? That calculations of a rocket trajectory are not based on theory? If there is some misunderstanding, then please explain it. RSchlafly 11:37, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
Now you're just being willfully obtuse and can't seem to admit when you are wrong. Of course geocentric theory is a scientific theory. It is also a thoroughly disproven scientific theory. It is not the theory behind calculating rocket trajectories or anything else. The theory is not used for anything. Assuming an alternate frame of reference from a mathematical point of view does not equate to subscribing to the geocentric theory. Why you choose to ignore the difference is mind boggling. I don't know what reference I could give you that would satisfy your verbal gymnastics... Perhaps just looking up the phrase "Geocentric Theory" in any credible encyclopedia? And perhaps opening your mind enough to accept that there is a difference between "Geocentric Theory" and the word geocentric itself. One can make geocentric assumptions, calculations, and coordinate reference frames without believing in Geocentric Theory. QNA 12:19, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
RSchafly, you asked for a citation and I gave you a citation. I would suggest that the burden of proof is now on you to demonstrate that your idiosyncratic definition of 'scientific theory' is accepted by the scientific community. NitramNos
The only citation is for some definitions of "scientific theory". They do not contradict the article. There is already a CP entry on Scientific theory, and you might want to read that for comparison.
QNA, I guess that you are arguing that there is a difference between Geocentric and geocentric. Can you supply a reference that draws the distinction? I say that it does not exit. RSchlafly 12:48, 8 June 2007 (EDT)

Hey, why is the article locked, anyway? Afraid someone might fix it? Ga ohoyt 13:09, 8 June 2007 (EDT)

People kept putting kooky stuff in. RSchlafly 15:08, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
Can't take the truth, can you? I suggested you remove an erroneous assumption that two opposing scientific theories can be held to be true by the same scientific community at the same time. You asked for a citation proving that this is fundamental to the meaning of 'scientific theory'. I gave you several. You locked the article just in case the truth crept in, even though this discussion had been confined to the talk page. Don't you feel kind of "kooky" yourself right about now? NitramNos 15:20, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
No, I did not ask for a definition of scientific theory. Your comments are abusive and irrelevant. If you have some source that contradicts something in the article, then say so. RSchlafly 15:46, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
OK, I took a quick look at the histroy and I see what you mean about kooky. But it's a little kooky right now, and it's never going to get un-kooky unless someone takes a chance and unlocks it. This place is going to start to look like Wikipedia, where some admin waits until his own viewpoint is represented by the article and then locks it. Ga ohoyt 18:18, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
There is nothing kooky in the article. Everything there has been conventional wisdom for almost a century. Are you claiming that something there is wrong? If so, what? RSchlafly 20:28, 8 June 2007 (EDT)

Not just the earth and sun

Geocentric theory is the theory that the sun goes around the earth, but it also means the moon and all the other planets go around the earth also. The Bible only refer to the sun and earth, so can decide nothing about this other aspect of geocentric theory. Because of what is said above about how you can set coordinate systems having sun going around earth or vice-versa, but you can't do that to change what everything else orbits around, we have to conclude The Bible is neutral on which is the correct theory.--TruthOfChrist 13:21, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

Jupiter moons

I don't agree with the latest edits by Samd. Why do the moons of Jupiter necessarily cause a problem for geocentric theory? Why is it better to say, "the assumption that Earth lies at its center"? Maybe it was an assumption, or maybe not. Either way it could be geocentric theory. I am not sure it is even known why Ptolemy put the Earth at the center. What flaws were found in the 1500s? RSchlafly 02:19, 2 November 2008 (EST)

I don't know specifically how the moons affected it, but my understanding is not that the geocentric theory couldn't explain thing like them, but that in order to keep explaining all the new observations they had to keep making ad hoc variations to the theory. A bit like the Big Bang today needs the fudge factors of dark matter and dark energy to keep the Big Bang as an explanation. In the end, it just got to the point where there were so many fudge factors that the load on the theory became unrealistic. Probably the key word is "adequately"; geocentric theory could explain it, but only at a stretch, not "adequately". Philip J. Rayment 07:14, 2 November 2008 (EST)

Your reversion of SamD's edits didn't improve the text:

  • Ptolemy build his theories on the groundwork of Plato and Aristotle. That's why he put the earth in the center.
  • The geocentric theory is a system for describing the universe with Earth-centered coordinates.: That doesn't mean very much. Earth-centered coordinates are used all the time. This is something different from saying that the earth lies in the center of the universe, or - to use the original platonic/Aristotelian/Ptolemaic idea that the earth is the center of the mot[1]ions of the universe.
  • A very minor point is that the adherents of the historic geocentric world view didn't know the concept of coordinates at all.
  • The idea that the universe has just one center of motions, i.e., earth, was a main idea of the geocentric world view. It's a beautiful, simple, striking thought, a thought which seemed to suit the One God of the monotheistic religion, but it was utterly wrong. And that it was wrong was shown by Galileo, who found another center of motion.

So, I'd like to change the article again, along the concepts I've outlined above...--BRichtigen 08:19, 3 November 2008 (EST)

P.S.: I'm not allowed to use the word vandalise in the text, due to the spam filter....

You only got into trouble with that word because you edited the whole page. If you'd edited just this section, it wouldn't have caused any problems. (I think that's the case). Philip J. Rayment 09:12, 3 November 2008 (EST)
Of course, you're right - but I'm still surprised that this single word isn't allowed, while, e.g., vandalism is. --BRichtigen 09:19, 3 November 2008 (EST)
Even stranger is that it's only the non-American spelling. "Vandalize" is allowed! Philip J. Rayment 09:30, 3 November 2008 (EST)
BRichigen, I question all 4 of your points. Can you cite any sources? Where does Ptolemy explain why he put the earth in the center? In the Almagest or elsewhere? Where does Ptolemy make the distinction in point 2? Why do you say that they didn't know the concept of coordinates? Do you mean that Ptolemy didn't understand coordinates? I don't see why an earth-centered view is more suitable to monotheism than an sun-centered view. Do you have any evidence that ancient astronomers had such an opinion? RSchlafly 10:23, 3 November 2008 (EST)
  1. Ptolemy hadn't to explain why he put an unmovable earth in the center - he followed the tradition of Plato and Aristotle. Putting the earth not into the center needed explanation. If you read Ptolemy's introduction to the Tetrabiblos, you'll find that he doesn't remark at this point at all, it was just the natural thing to do.
  2. A coordinate system can be attached to a moving point. The idea of an unmovable earth as a center of the universe is much more stronger. That should be obvious.
  3. The term coordinates was introduced by Leibniz, following the ideas of Descartes. Ptolemy was an excellent mathematician, and we'd say that he described his universe with somewhat like spherical coordinates. So, using the word concept was to accurate, but that's just me, struggling with the English language.
  4. Yours is a modern view - untainted by numerology and astrology. Half of Ptolemy's text consider astrological, not astronomical aspects. And it's not about which object is the center, but about how many centers there are. If there are two centers, why not three, four, infinite - and the same is true for two Gods :-) --BRichtigen 12:45, 3 November 2008 (EST)
I am not an expert on Ptolemy, so please tell me how I can confirm what you say. Does Ptolemy actually say that the Earth is unmovable? Where? In the Almagest? Is it an essential part of his theory?
It may have been natural to rely on Plato and Aristotle, but there were other Greeks who subscribed to a Sun-centered view. Is there some proof that Ptolemy was persuaded by Aristotle's arguments?
I realize that Ptolemy wrote a treatise on astrology. But where did he ever say that he thought that it was important that just one object at the center?
All we know about Ptolemy is what is in his books. I don't want to attribute some view to him unless it is actually stated in one of his books. RSchlafly 13:30, 3 November 2008 (EST)
Are you using Geocentric world view and Ptolemaic world view synonymously? --BRichtigen 13:55, 3 November 2008 (EST)
Yes, from AD 150 to 1700 or so. Ptolemy's book was the chief explanation of the geocentric view. When you wrote, "However, during the 1500s and 1600s, it became clear that the theory had some serious flaws in it.", I figured that you were referring to Ptolemy's theory. RSchlafly 14:06, 3 November 2008 (EST)
  1. I'm not SamD
  2. The historic geocentric world view - introduced by Plato and Aristotle - put the earth in the center of the universe, unmovable as Plato stated in his Republic. All other celestial bodies circled around the earth, and the earth is the only center of motions.
  3. Ptolemy made it calculable: his model fitted the observations quite well, and allowed the astronomers/astrologers to predict the motion of the stars, very important for their business.
  4. The geocentric world view was prevalent in the Western world for 2000 years. It was used by generations of astrologers, and countless superstitions got woven into it...
  5. Tycho Brahe performed the best measurements possible in the 16th century. His data contributed to Kepler's - who earned his living as an astrologer - ideas.
So, the problems geocentrism run into were twofold:
  1. A measurable one: Ptolemy's model wasn't good enough for the data acquired since the 16th century - though Copernicus's model didn't fit better...
  2. A philosophical one: Aristotle had stated that the earth is unique - and he proved it by arguing that it was the only center of motion. Who could doubt Aristotle? Galileo's moon did...

--BRichtigen 14:56, 3 November 2008 (EST)

Sorry to confuse you with SamD, but you did seem to be agreeing with him. What do you suggest? Saying that Ptolemy's model was not good enough for 16C data? RSchlafly 17:03, 3 November 2008 (EST)
My outline for the article:
  1. Start before Ptolemy. The geocentric system predated him in the ideas of Plato and Aristotle as a mainly philosophical construct (single center of motion, etc.)
  2. Giving Ptolemy his right credit: He was the genius who made the system work. Great mathematics, best model for centuries to come...
  3. Time-line of the problems: Tycho Brahe's meticulous observations - in the 16th century - lead to Kepler's new model
  4. The post-bear-eye era: Galileos observations of the Jupiter moons posed a problem for the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, the observation of the phases of Venus a problem for the Ptolemaic system.
--BRichtigen 17:50, 3 November 2008 (EST)
It sounds to me like you want to venture into philosophy, history of astronomy, and other peripheral topics. RSchlafly 18:57, 3 November 2008 (EST)
Yes, of course I want to mention this topics, they are hardly peripheral! An article on the Geocentric 'theory' should mention all of them. If you want to omit them (as the name of Galileo in this present version), you should write an article on Geocentric 'coordinates'.

BTW, at the moment, half of the article are Bible quotes - I can't imagine something more peripheral. --BRichtigen 08:11, 4 November 2008 (EST)

I'm a little confused about what this discussion is about. Modern astronomy clearly takes an earth-centered view when describing familiar phenomena such as sunrise and sunset (which we know are caused by the earth's rotation - not by a sun god ascending and descending the sky in a fiery chariot; and the "motion" of the sun against the background of the "fixed stars" is explained by the earth's annual revolution around the (relatively) immobile sun.

Astronomy magazines tell us where to find the planets in our nightly sky, because so many of us employ a geocentric attitude - after all, we are all Earthlings: we live here! But everyone knows the retrograde motion of Mars is due to earth orbiting the sun faster.

Is this about ancient conflicts between science and religion, or what? --Ed Poor Talk 14:12, 3 November 2008 (EST)

Please, reread the arguments. No one here is doubting modern science. It's a question about an historic perspective, i.e., we're talking about historic geocentrism (a science), and not modern geocentrism (something very kooky). --BRichtigen 15:00, 3 November 2008 (EST)
Ed, your example of sunrise and sunset is not good, because that's a case of humans generally (not astronomy per se) using the language of appearance (i.e. how it appears to us). The rest of your post gets to the point more, but geocentricism is not giving bodies co-ordinates relative to Earth (as we still do when appropriate), but the belief that they all actually revolve around the Earth. This belief is not really a philosophical one in the sense that science can't say whether it's true or false, but that doesn't rule out philosophy being the basis of the belief in the first place. Philip J. Rayment 19:49, 3 November 2008 (EST)
Astronomers also use words like sunset and sunrise. Are you proposing to write something about the philosophical beliefs of people in history? How are you going to figure out the basis for their beliefs? Maybe a couple of people said so, but not many. RSchlafly 20:25, 3 November 2008 (EST)
Astronomers are included in the category of "humans generally". I'm not proposing to write anything. But I will ask why you think the wording should stay the way it was. You've asked Samd to justify his edits, but I see no better case for leaving the wording the way it was. Philip J. Rayment 21:15, 3 November 2008 (EST)
I don't agree with Samd's edits. Geocentrism certainly IS giving bodies co-ordinates relative to Earth. That is the way it has always been done. Whether people like Ptolemy had a philosophical belief about the center of the universe would require some additional research. That should be documented before putting it into the article, because I don't think that it is true. RSchlafly 22:00, 3 November 2008 (EST)
It was already clear that you didn't agree with his edits; that wasn't the question. You say that Geocentricism is not giving bodies co-ordinates relative to Earth, but that is what the article said it is before Samd changed it. Philip J. Rayment 23:44, 3 November 2008 (EST)
My typo. I meant to say, Geocentrism certainly IS giving bodies co-ordinates relative to Earth. I changed my comment above. Sorry about the confusion. RSchlafly 00:52, 4 November 2008 (EST)
Ah, that makes more sense now. But I'd go back to asking you to justify that. You've asked Samd to justify his changes (and that's okay), but what's your justification for claiming that geocentricism is giving bodies co-ordinates relative to Earth. Certainly I agree that it would do that, but don't agree that it is that, as though that defines it. Philip J. Rayment 03:30, 4 November 2008 (EST)
What else would it be? Samd's definition was slightly different, but also less precise, and it is unclear whether he was trying to say something different. RSchlafly 13:17, 4 November 2008 (EST)
A coordinate system has nothing to do with inertial or non inertial movements. We all use geocentric coordinates all the time. The issue of geocentrism is completely different. --Jonsen 13:20, 4 November 2008 (EST)
Geocentrism literally means that the Earth is at the center. It does not necessarily say anything about inertial movement. RSchlafly 13:45, 4 November 2008 (EST)
So, we do agree? The Geocentric theory is different from Geocentric coordinates... --BRichtigen 13:54, 4 November 2008 (EST)
No. What is the difference? Can you point to some advocate of geocentric theory who relied on that difference? RSchlafly 14:28, 4 November 2008 (EST)
You didn't say what the Earth is supposed to be at the centre of, but let's say that one thing that it's supposed to be at the centre of is the solar system. Yet most people do not agree with the idea that the Earth is at the centre of the solar system. But that doesn't stop those same people using co-ordinates based on the Earth (geocentric co-ordinates) when appropriate. That's the difference (well, one way of explaining it). Philip J. Rayment 21:15, 4 November 2008 (EST)

Ptolemy's view of a stationary earth

RSchlafly asked me:
Where does Ptolemy explain why he put the earth in the center? In the Almagest or elsewhere? Where does Ptolemy make the distinction in point 2? [i.e., the earth is the single center of motion]
Does Ptolemy actually say that the Earth is unmovable? Where? In the Almagest? Is it an essential part of his theory? It may have been natural to rely on Plato and Aristotle, but there were other Greeks who subscribed to a Sun-centered view. Is there some proof that Ptolemy was persuaded by Aristotle's arguments?

I'd some time to elaborate my answers, so I looked into the Almagest. As my Greek isn't good enough, and the Latin translations are often described as unsatisfactory, I took the translation of Karl Manitius (1902). I'm told that Toomer's translation into English is excellent (I'll check it out tomorrow), so you'll prefer to go with it.

  • Where does Ptolemy explain why he put the earth in the center?

Almagest, First Book, Chapter V: The earth is placed in the middle of the celestial sphere

Here, Ptolemy explains that the only position of the earth in the universe which is consistent with all observations is in the center of this universe, as in the center of a sphere.

  • Does Ptolemy actually say that the Earth is unmovable?

Almagest, First Book, Chapter VII: The earth has no movement in space

Here, Ptolemy not only shows that the earth has a fixed place in space, but he proves that it cannot rotate.... Though Ptolemy doesn't mention Plato or Aristotle, he uses some of their arguments.

Please, do not misunderstand me: Ptolemy was a great scientist. His arguments in these special cases may sound ridiculous to us, but only because other great scientists have refuted them. Often, we're only presented a caricature of those outdated theories, drawn by their victorious enemies. Ptolemy did first-rate mathematics, his models were accurate enough for over a thousand years, and his reasoning compelling enough to convince the greatest thinkers of centuries. But he was very wrong.

--BRichtigen 11:05, 5 November 2008 (EST)

Thanks. I do not have access to an Almagest in English. Does Ptolemy give any more explanation? Did he know that other Greeks suggested that the Earth goes around the Sun? Does he give arguments as to why they were wrong? Does he think that it matters? Ptolemy also said some wrong stuff about astrology, so I am trying to get this in context. RSchlafly 14:13, 5 November 2008 (EST)
I'll post some excerpts the next days - I couldn't get Toomer's translation, so I'll get the one from the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Karl Manitius is German.)
Ptolemy is very explicit in his reasoning - and in his rejection of concurring theories. Fortunately, the Almagest doesn't include astrological mumbo-jumbo, but only observations, calculations and (sometimes the wrong) conclusions. His reasoning about the spherical shape of the earth is excellent when he excludes other possible shapes.
OTOH, he's well aware that "some astronomers propose a system in which the earth rotates roughly once a day from west to east, while the firmament stands still" (Aristarch's idea,BTW, whom he doesn't mention). Ptolemy goes to some length to show how ridiculous such an idea is. Similarly, he excludes an linearly moving earth.
--BRichtigen 14:34, 5 November 2008 (EST)

But now, in the translation of R. Catesby Raliaferro, the begin of Ch. 7 of the Book I of the Almagest:

7. That the Earth Does Not In Any Way Move Locally

By the same arguments as the preceding [Ch. 5:That the Earth is in the Middle of Heavens] it can be shown that the earth can neither move in any one of the aforesaid oblique directions, nor ever change at all from its place at the centre. For the same things would result as if it had another position than at the centre. And so it also seems to me superfluous to look for the causes of the motion to the centre when it is once for all clear from the very appearances that the earth is in the middle of the world and all weights move towards it. And the easiest and only way to understand this is to see that, once the earth has been proved spherical considered as a whole and in the middle of the universe as we have said, then the tendencies and movements of heavy bodies (I mean their proper movements) are everywhere and always at right angles to the tangent plane drawn through the falling body's point of contact with the earth's surface. For because of this it is clear that, if they were not stopped by the earth's surface, they too would go all the way to the centre itself, since the straight line drawn to the centre of a sphere is always perpendicular to the plane tangent to the sphere's surface at the intersection on that line. All those who think it paradoxical that so great a weight as the earth should not waver or move anywhere seem to me to go astray by making the judgment with an eye to their own effects and not to the property of the whole. For it would not still appear so extraordinary to them, I believe, if they stopped to think that the earth's magnitude compared to the whole body surrounding it is in the ration of a point to it. For thus it seems possible for that which is relatively least to be supported and pressed against from all side equally and at the same angle by that which is absolutely greatest and homogeneous. For there is no "above" and "below" in the universe with respect to the earth, just as none could be conceived of in a sphere. And of the compound bodies in the universe, to the extent of their proper and natural motion, the light and subtle ones are scattered in flames to the outside and to the circumference, and they seem to rush in the upward direction relative to each one because we too call "up" from above our heads to the enveloping surface of the universe; but the heavy and coarse bodies move to the middle and centre and they seem to fall downwards because again we all call "down" the direction from our feet to the earth's centre. And they properly subside about the middle under the everywhere-equal and like resistance and impact against each other. Therefore the solid body of the earth is reasonably consider as being the largest relative tho those moving against it and as remaining unmoved in any direction by the force of the very small weights, and as it were absorbing their fall. And if it had some one common movement, the same as that of the other weights, it would clearly leave them all behind because of its much greater magnitude. And the animals and other weights would be left hanging in the air, and the earth would very quickly fall out of the heavens. Merely to conceive such things make them appear ridiculous. Now some people, although they have nothing to oppose to these arguments, agree on something, as they think, more plausible. And it seems to them there is nothing against their supposing, for instance, the heavens immobile and the earth as turning on the same axis from west to east very nearly one revolution a day; or that they both should move to some extent, but only on the same axis as we said, and conformably to the overtaking of the one by the other. But it has escaped their notice that, indeed, as far as the appearances of the stars are concerned, nothing would perhaps keep things from being in accordance with this simpler conjecture, but that in the light of what happens around us in the air such a notion would seem altogether absurd. For in order for us to grant them what is unnatural in itself, that the lightest and subtlest bodies either do not move at all or no differently from those of contrary nature, while those less light and less subtle bodies in the air are clearly more rapid than all the more terrestrial ones; and to grant that the heaviest and most compact bodies have their proper swift and regular motion, while again these terrestrial bodies are certainly at times not easily moved by anything else - for us to grant these things, they would have to admit that the earth's turning is the swiftest of absolutely all the movements about it because of its making so great a revolution in a short time, so that all those things that were not at rest on the earth would seem to have a movement contrary to it, and never would a cloud be seen to move toward the east nor anything else that flew or was thrown into the air. For the earth would always outstrip them in its eastward motion, so that all other bodies would seem to be left behind and to move towards the west.

For if they should say that the air is also carried around with the earth in the same direction and at the same speed, none the less the bodies contained in it would always seem to be outstripped by the movement of both. Or if they should be carried around as if one with the air, neither the one nor the other would appear as outstripping, or being outstripped, by the other. But these bodies would always remain in the same relative position and there would b no movement or change either in the case of flying bodies or projectiles. And yet we shall clearly see all such things taking place as if their slowness or swiftness did not follow at all from the earth's movement.

(Ptolemy, Almagest, I, Ch. 7, translated by R. Catesby Taliaferro, "Great Books of the Western World", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1952) This should provide ample context... One can see the axioms of Ptolemy's physical understanding, like

  • the heavier a body, the faster it falls
  • the heaviest bodies are at the center of the universe, the lightest ones at its brim etc.

Dear R. Schlafly, while researching for this, I came across the blog Dark Buzz. There, I got the impression that you have read the Almagest - and nothing of the above would be new for you. But then, I couldn't explain your statement: Assuming that this translation is accurate, it is possible that Ptolemy never even expressed an opinion about whether the Earth really goes around the Sun, or the Sun really goes around the Earth. He may have taken the completely correct position that he was modeling relative motion. Or did you just look at his Tetrabiblos? --BRichtigen 12:53, 6 November 2008 (EST)

For now, I changed the article back to the version of SamD, which seems to be more accurate. I'll add more information to it in a little while. --BRichtigen 13:20, 6 November 2008 (EST)

The quote I found in the Tetrabiblos was at the beginning where he distinguishes astronomy from astrology by describing astronomy as where "we apprehend the aspects of the movements of sun, moon, and stars in relation to each other and to the earth, as they occur from time to time". (The word "stars" includes the fixed stars and the planets.)
You are right, Ptolemy does say in the Almagest that the Earth is stationary and at the center of the universe. But he bases it mostly on terrestial arguments and acknowledges that others hold a different view.
I just don't see how this supports Samd's edits. Ptolemy did not assume that Earth lies at the center of the universe. He expressed an opinion about it. It is not clear whether the opinion is essential to his theory. RSchlafly 15:42, 6 November 2008 (EST)

I won't quote the whole of book I, chapter 5 That the Earth Is in the Middle of the Heavens, but here's the very beginning:

Now with this done, if one should next take up the question of the earth's position, the observed appearances with respect to it could only be understood if we put it in the middle of the heavens as the centre of the sphere [...]

This, he elaborates at length. Heavens is here what we would see as Universe. His arguments aren't that much terrestrial. His basic idea is that the heavy bodies tend to the middle of the heavens, so, earth as the heaviest body is in this center. The lighter ones tend to the brim of the heavens, so stars have to be lighter. There is no relativistic aspect in this concept, the earth and the other bodies are not exchangeable.

Well, he acknowledges the opinions of others only to make fun of those ideas.

  • Ptolemy did not assume that Earth lies at the center of the universe. - yes, he did.
  • He expressed an opinion about it. - Ptolemy thought that he had proved it. So, it's more than an opinion.
  • It is not clear whether the opinion is essential to his theory. - This opinion isn't just essential to his theory, it is one of the cornerstones of his theory. It's one of the beginning and foundations he rests his arguments on, we'd call it one of his axioms.

He outlines these in Book I, Ch. 2, by the way:

And so, in general, we have to state that the heavens are spherical and move spherically; that the earth, in figure, is sensibly spherical also when take as a whole; in position, lies right in the middle of the heavens, like a geometrical centre; in magnitude, has the ratio of a point with respect to the sphere of the fixed stars, having itself no local motion at all.

So, for the record:

  • Ptolemy knew the ideas of Plato and Aristotle. He refers to these as the observations of the ancients
  • Ptolemy belittled the idea of a rotating ore moving earth
  • his model is truly geocentric: the earth lies unmovable in the middle of the heavens, all movements take place around it

That's much more than just using geocentric coordinates: It's obvious that you can use geocentric coordinates to show the movement of the sun relatively to the earth. It's absolutely possible to describe the movement of Venus in geocentric coordinates - it's just a little bit clumsy.

But you can't integrate both of them in a geocentric theory the way Ptolemy did it - there spheres would smash...

So, we should not talk just about coordinates, and therefore, Samd's entry is the better one.

--BRichtigen 16:29, 6 November 2008 (EST)

So how would Ptolemy's theory be any different if he had not made the assumption? What flaws were found in the 1500s? How is it a flaw for Jupiter to have moons or Venus to have phases? Why can't elliptical orbits be explained in a geocentric universe? Ptolemy himself used eccentric orbits. Can you provide some substantiation for any of Samd's edits? RSchlafly 19:18, 6 November 2008 (EST)

Starting a article on Geocentric Theory with a dictionary's definition of geocentric makes as much sense as defining relative - or even special - at the beginning of an article on the Special Theory of Relativity, i.e., none.

And you're asking:

  • So how would Ptolemy's theory be any different if he had not made the assumption? Well, he made it. So, what do you want to achieve by such speculations?
  • What flaws were found in the 1500s? As stated above, Tycho Brahe made the most accurate observations possible before the invention of the telescope. As he couldn't explain these observations within Ptolemy's theory, he invented the Tychonic system (in 1583) where the earth is the fixed center of the universe, which the sun and moon revolved, while all other planets revolve around the sun. Historically, this is not seen as a geocentric system. (Heracleides Ponticus had similar ideas in the 4th century BC.)
  • How is it a flaw for Jupiter to have moons or Venus to have phases?
  1. Jupiter moons: In Ptolemy's theory, every movement happens on spheres around the earth. You may argue that the idea of having just one center of movement wasn't central to Ptolemy's theory, but at least his medieval interpreters thought otherwise. Therefore, showing that another center of motions existed was a flaw to them. But more important - in my opinion - are the
  2. Phases of Venus: Ptolemy's theory put Venus always between sun and earth, i.e., the center of the epicycle of Venus's movement is thought to be in sync with the movement of the sun, the epicycle itself being placed between sun and earth. So, a full phase of Venus would not be feasible, as this implies Venus standing behind the earth - seen from the sun. The invention of the telescope allowed for observing the full set of phases of Venus, as predicted by Kepler, btw. A massive blow to Ptolemy's theories.
  • Why can't elliptical orbits be explained in a geocentric universe? Ptolemy himself used eccentric orbits FWIW, you could describe rectangular orbits in a geocentric universe.
  • Can you provide some substantiation for any of Samd's edits? - Yes, and I have done so.

I'd like to stress the point that mine is the conventional view of Geocentric Theory - or Geocentric System, as to be found in any printed encyclopaedia around the world. Nevertheless, I got to the sources and presented Ptolemy's views to you. Now you should bring up some quotes for your point of view, i.e., that Geocentric theory only includes to use Geocentric coordinates - the dictionary reference which you put in the text isn't a valid point, I'm afraid (and yes, it's just a dictionary entry, you'll find a quite similar entry in the dictionary part of the current online edition of the Britannica.)

So I rewrote the introduction. I'm glad if you improve the style, but I'd like you to explain any change of its content on this talk page, first.

--BRichtigen 07:54, 7 November 2008 (EST)

Relative Velocities

I'm generally happy with this except for the last paragraph. I find it difficult to follow so if someone could add a diagram, that would be excellent.

From what I understand, it suggests that at full moon, an observer on earth sees it travel at 2,288 mph and one on the sun would see it travel at 69,288 mph. This figure is calculated by adding the relative speeds of the earth and moon. This is ok.

The problem is that the when the moon moves round in its orbit, an observer on earth still sees it moving at 2,288 mph, not 69,288 mph. At the earth's surface, escape velocity is about 25,000 mph so if it really was going 69,288 mph, it would very quickly escape. Also if this was the case then energy is not conserved, the kinetic energy of the moon increases by at least 10 more the loss in potential.

I think this is a simple mistake when moving between different frames of reference. PeterIceHockey (talk) 12:01, 22 November 2016 (EST)

It would be nice if the editor who originally inserted that info would defend his position, but the article is better without it, at least in its present form. I removed it. --1990'sguy (talk) 23:20, 5 December 2016 (EST)

If a reader looks at the sources he/she will find an animated video of the sun, earth and moon better than any diagram. "From what I understand, it suggests that at full moon, an observer on earth sees it travel at 2,288 mph and one on the sun would see it travel at 69,288 mph. This figure is calculated by adding the relative speeds of the earth and moon. This is ok." All observations are from Earth in the proof, because there are no observers near the sun, however, an observer near the sun would have the same frame of reference as an announcer in a racetrack infield tower. He would see objects travel at their relative velocity to the tower, as well as to each other. We can calculate the relative speed of the moon to the sun using that equation at full moon. The calculated velocity is constant and does not change based on the location of the moon in its orbit (at least I have never heard that claim from any source) Relative motion theory is totally dependent upon frame of reference, there is no way to reconcile relative motion theory with the moon phases due to the constantly varying changes of direction (frame of reference) the moon must make orbiting around a planet that is also in an orbit. (Unsigned by JasonZ)

I'm confused with your explanation. Perhaps you could bullet point it as I generally find a large block of text hard to follow.
The speed of the moon is more or less constant in the earths frame of reference (the orbit is slightly elliptical but we can assume it is circular for the purposes of this discussion). As velocity is a vector the moon's velocity does change, but I'm guessing your using velocity to mean speed?
I'm going to have another look at your argument. I'll reply again shortly. PeterIceHockey (talk) 14:20, 16 December 2016 (EST)
Ok, I've had another look. The moon's speed is constant in the earth's frame of reference. Notice in your reference it does not specify where the moon is when it is travelling at the quoted speed because the speed is (more or less) constant. I think the problem with your argument is that you are taking the speed of the moon as constant in the sun's frame of reference when it is not so.
Also, if you consider the energy the moon would have, then then it would have have sufficient speed to escape the earth. However, this clearly hasn't happened. PeterIceHockey (talk) 14:30, 16 December 2016 (EST)

Then I guess the Heliocentric model is wrong, huh Pete? LOL. Seriously, don't introduce Heliocentric theories as facts which do not rebut the inconsistency I have shown with the model.

The moon's speed is constant, period. 2 cars are traveling on a highway the same direction. One at 60 MPH one at 65 MPH. They have a different relative velocity to each other and to the pedestrian watching them go by, but they still have a constant velocity. If you know of some source claiming the speed of the moon varies to maintain a relative velocity to the Earth of 2,288 MPH throughout its orbit, you need to post that source. The moon would have to come to a stop and travel backwards (the opposite direction it was traveling during full moon phase) at 64,712 MPH during the new moon phase to maintain a relative velocity with the Earth of 2,288 MPH. Remember Earth (our frame of reference) is flying in a linear direction at 67,000 MPH. It would then have to stop and change direction and velocity again to maintain its relative velocity to Earth. (Unsigned by JasonZ)

The moon's speed is constant in the earth's frame of reference. I.e. in the earth's frame of reference its speed is measured to be constant. In the sun's frame of reference it's apparent speed varies. In the sun's reference frame:

At full moon:

At first quarter

At new moon

At last quarter

In the earth's frame of reference, the speed is always 2288 MPH. It's velocity does change as its direction changes. Yes in the sun's frame of reference, at new moon the moon does change direction and travel in the opposite direction to that at full moon. This can be seen in the video your reference.

For the earth, the moons position at time may be parameterised (assuming it is circular as seen from the earth) as:

where is the moon's orbital distance and is the moon's angular frequency as seen from earth. This is just the parameterisation of a circle. From this the velocity of the moon is:

Hence the speed which is , which is constant.

From the sun, the earth appear to follow a circular path, so its position is:

For being the sun earth distance and being the angular velocity of the earth around the sun. Adding these give the path the moon follows as seen in the sun's reference frame:

From this, it is clear that the velocity and speed of the moon in the sun's reference frame do change. Remember the moon is accelerating as it is undergoing circular motion so it's velocity does change. Though there is no need for the moon to stop in either reference frame. Also why do you take the 2288 MPH figure to be that at full moon and not say, at quarter moon or new moon.

Just as a side question what is your background in physics? I just don't want introduce concepts too advanced or to simplify my replies if you already have that sort of understanding. PeterIceHockey (talk) 16:03, 16 December 2016 (EST)

I should ask you the same thing. Why would you apply the same (wrong) equation to calculate the moon's velocity relative to the sun regardless of its direction of travel? I already provided that equation, show where it is incorrect. Also, you cannot just make up and misapply equations to explain away an inconsistency. I.E. you cannot apply the same equation to calculate a relative velocity for objects traveling in parallel directions as objects traveling in perpendicular / other directions to each other. This is completely inconsistent with relative motion theory, which I'm sure you will agree, needs to be applied consistently and at all times. Not selectively when it suits our theories.

If you are stating the moon varies its speed to maintain its relative velocity to the Earth, that is a new Heliocentric revelation I look forward to hearing about including how and why its speed varies. I'm not going to explain frame of reference anymore. Re-read my contribution as nothing has changed.

For the moon to maintain the same relative velocity to the Earth's frame of reference while orbiting it, the moon's speed must vary wildly because the Earth is in motion. This consistently applies to ANY object orbiting another object in motion.

I'll explain this here the way I do to my kids. Imagine the sun is an announcer tower in the center of a circular racetrack infield. There is a 1 mile wide track around it. You are in a Ford Earth in the center of that track driving around that track at 60 MPH. A Chevy moon is traveling 62.05 MPH, in the same direction, along side you on your right. That car would overtake you at a RELATIVE velocity of 2.05 MPH, or VERY slowly. It finally gets several hundred feet in front of you, and begins to turn left in a path that takes it in front of you. It travels across your path like a car crossing in front of you at an intersection. Taking on a path perpendicular to ours, it doesn't appear to travel at a slow relative velocity of 2.05 MPH anymore, instead the relative velocity we witness is 62.05 MPH - the same speed it was traveling relative to the tower when along side us. This is strictly because our frame of reference has changed. Both cars are still traveling the exact same respective speeds. As we continue on our same path, that car turns left again and heads toward us in the opposite direction of our travel. Now we are 2 cars passing each other head on. Our frame of reference has changed again. We observe a relative velocity of 122.05 MPH (Vac=Vbc+Vab.) It appears to travel 60X FASTER than when it passed us traveling in the same direction as ours. The car then turns left again after passing us and travels perpendicular to our direction of travel behind us. Again we see the 62.05 MPH velocity due to the perpendicular frame of reference. Finally it returns to its starting point, traveling the same direction as our car, once again creeping up beside us and passing us very slowly. Both cars maintain the same exact respective speeds, but due to our frame of reference, the relative velocity between our 2 car changes tremendously! Summary: The sun is an announcer stand in the middle of a racetrack infield. A Ford Earth is driving around the track and, simultaneously, a Chevy moon is driving circles around the Ford Earth. Both cars maintain their same respective speeds. The explanation above is what all passengers in the Ford Earth witness. This is as simply as I can explain this. (Unsigned by JasonZ)

I've noticed a mistake in my previous comment regarding the speed of the full moon, I think that is what you're talking about when you are saying I'm not being consistent. I shall correct that now.

OK, since this discussion is probably going to go on for a while, can we please agree to use speed and velocity correctly as it otherwise gets confusing and ensure we state explicitly what frame of reference we are talking about in each sentence.

The reason we are disagreeing is that you are saying the moon's speed is constant in the sun's frame of reference whereas I am saying is is constant in the earth's frame of reference. If the transverse component was not constant in earth's frame of reference (as you suggest), then it's transverse acceleration would be non-zero. It would not therefore follow a circular orbit as seen from earth as circular motion requires acceleration to be entirely radial. Hence its speed in earth's frame of reference must be constant.

The formulae don't really mean a lot at the moment, I wrote them down and then forgot where I was going. Doing physics on Friday evening after a long day can be hard.

So I'll explain the formulae, plug in some numbers and see what happens.

describes the position of the moon as seen in the earth's frame of reference. This is simply the parameterisation of a circle as we are assuming the orbit of the moon as seen from the earth is circular. Differentiating gives us the velocity, . As you can see the velocity of the moon varies in the earth's frame of reference, but its speed (the magnitude of velocity) is constant.

describes the position of the earth as seen in the sun's frame of reference. Again this is just the parameterisation of a circle as we are assuming the orbit of the earth as seen from the sun is circular.

is the position of the moon as seen as the sun's frame of reference. It is simply the addition of the two previous vectors,

Let's plug in some numbers:

Angular speed of earth is:

where is the time period of the earth (1 year)

Angular speed of the moon is:

where is the time period of the earth (27.3217 days)[2]. Also note it states the moon's speed relative to earth varies between 2407 MPH and 2156 MPH, nowhere near the range that you are calculating.

Earth-moon distance is Earth-sun distance is

We can change the sign of the sin and cos components of and swapping them to change where the moon is as seen from earth at time = 0, i.e. make it full moon, new moon etc. at t=0. This means we just need to put in t=0 into to get the moon's speed in the sun's frame of reference. This gives us:

For new moon at t = 0:

For first quarter at t = 0:

For full moon at t = 0:

For last quarter at t = 0:

This gives us the velocity of the moon as observed in the sun;s reference frame as:

For new moon at t = 0:

. This gives a speed of 64140 MPH.

For first quarter at t = 0:


This gives a speed of 66666 MPH.

For full moon at t = 0:


This gives a speed of 68916 MPH.

For last quarter at t = 0:


This gives a speed of 66666 MPH.

As you can see, these more or less agree with what I'm saying in that the speed of the moon as observed in the sun's reference frame doesn't change anywhere near as much as you are suggesting.

In short, we disagree because you think the speed of the moon is constant in the sun's frame of reference, and I believe it is constant in the earth's frame of reference.


  1. Why do you believe the moons speed to be constant in the sun's frame of reference and calculate it at full moon, and not say new moon. Can you reference somewhere that states the speed of the moon as measured in the sun's reference frame is constant?
  2. You talk about one of my equations being wrong, which one is it? (it might be that mistake with speed at full moon that I made and should have corrected)
  3. Also could you say why my energy argument is wrong, you haven't responded to that. PeterIceHockey (talk) 08:07, 17 December 2016 (EST)

Let me reply to these now.

1) "In short, we disagree because you think the speed of the moon is constant in the sun's frame of reference, and I believe it is constant in the earth's frame of reference." Exactly. Please read my simple explanation with the cars traveling around a racetrack. This dynamic is nothing unique to the Earth and moon, but to any object which must orbit another object already in motion (in the same model as the moon orbits the Earth in which the orbiting object must orbit in the direction of travel of the orbited object)

2) Because at first and last quarter moon phases the observers on Earth have the same frame of reference as the sun would during the full moon phase. Those frames of reference reveal the constant SPEED of the moon (see simplified explanation again)

3) The Kepler equations and theory are not relevant or necessary to explain or understand this inconsistency. I really think we're muddying the water here. We aren't looking for small speed changes due to gravitational pull, etc. This goes to your last question as well, about why Vac=Vab+Vbc must be applied when the moon is in the full moon phase. That is the position where directions of travel allow the equation to work. It is also the point which reveals the slowest speed the orbiting object may travel and still overtake the orbited object. If the relative velocity of the moon were taken to be 2,288 MPH (or anything even close to that) at any of the other 3 major moon phase positions, it would not have enough speed to overtake the Earth. Frame of reference - see simplified explanation.

4) Just like Heliocentrism which has been engineered so it cannot be tested or proven, the escape velocity theory is the same thing. There is no proof of it, there can never be any experiment or proof of it, so we are left with equations as evidence which got us into this mess in the first place. It also discounts the possibility the Earth is motionless and the sun and moon are in motion. Maybe it is true, but I'm talking about superior empirical evidence which can be seen with our eyes and measured with math. The energy theory is just that, a theory based on estimates, based on calculations, based on other theories, based on guesses. It is the same as saying the Geocentric model cannot be correct because a rabid Heliocentrist invented a special relativity theory to explain away the failure of an actual experiment to detect Earth's motion. Another similar argument is everything is so far away from Earth, the speeds, if it all had to rotate around the Earth, would be impossible to achieve. However this supposes the speed of light is limited, and calls for knowing how far away "everything" is. I don't accept either premise, and I certainly place more weight on experiments over equations. Anyone can create a model then work out equations to show speeds, velocities and distances. That doesn't make it true.

Lastly, I'm not reposting this. If someone else here wants to at some point, that's fine. I don't believe no one else understand this glaring inconsistency. (Unsigned by JasonZ)

A few thing to start with:

Please don't use velocity and speed interchangeably It was fine earlier but as our comments get longer and arguments more complex it is necessary to distinguish between the two. If talking about velocity, let's agree to specify components.

For (2), observers on earth are always in the same frame of reference. It has nothing to do with the moon

I have re-read what your race track analogy and I believe the problems lie in the velocities you are putting in. I.E. your converting them correctly from one frame to another but it is those velocities that is wrong. I believe we agree this now. I shall bullet point my argument as to why it must be constant in the earth frame. I suggest as your response (if you do respond, you said you may not) you pick which bullet points you have a problem with and we go from there (as you have done):

  1. The earth follows a circular path around the earth, as seen in the earth's frame of reference.
  2. It moves with a (roughly) constant angular speed
  3. Hence it undergoes circular motion
  4. Hence a constant force acts radially towards the earth on the moon
  5. The force is always perpendicular to the moon's direction of travel, so it's speed must remain constant in the earth's frame of reference.

The reference I provided says that the speed of the moon as measured on earth is more or less constant. Why do you disagree with this?

With your analogy, there is a transverse acceleration when it goes from a relative speed of 2.05 MPH to 62.05 MPH. For an object undergoing circular motion, the acceleration is completely radial. This is why we are disagreeing about which frame of reference the speed of the moon is constant in. It is very subtle.

We can use rockets to measure the escape velocity of earth. It's about 11 km/s. This is the basis of physics, you come up with a theory (equations) to describe some phenomena (motion of the planets) and if it doesn't agree with experiment, then it is discarded. Can you actually tell me what is wrong with my equations rather than saying "maths can prove anything" At least that is how you come across, but you probably don't mean that.

If "I should ask you the same thing." from your previous comment is in regard to me asking you what your background in physics is, I am studying physics at university and in my second year. So what's your background in physics?

By the way, you can use four tilde characters to sign your comments. PeterIceHockey (talk) 15:36, 21 December 2016 (EST)

"observers on earth are always in the same frame of reference. It has nothing to do with the moon"

This statement is kind of scaring me. Let me ask you this, do passengers in the Ford Earth always have the same frame of reference to the Chevy moon?

Because at first and last quarter moon phases the observers on Earth have the same frame of reference as the sun would during the full moon phase. Those frames of reference reveal the constant SPEED of the moon (see simplified explanation again)

There is no problem with the velocities, there is no problem with "acceleration", the only problem is your desperate attempt to throw everything but the kitchen sink at a simple proof to try and prove a flawed model is accurate. This proof is about reconciling relative motion (which you never address and consistently ignore or deny with your latest frame of reference statement) with the moon phases. You continually ask about my physics education, understanding, and I'm sure you want to know about any letters after my name. That's because, like your equations, you weight veracity on its source. This is also wrong. If Einstein's theories are wrong, they are wrong. If Einstein writes an equation, that doesn't make it correct, or proof of something. If you, on the other hand, are correct, you're correct. Truth and accuracy are not dependent upon their source, but their merit. From here on out my reply is (see simplified explanation) because you're wasting my time with particle acceleration nonsense and every ridiculous premise as if a mode of acceleration negated relative motion theory. (Unsigned by jasonZ)

"do passengers in the Ford Earth always have the same frame of reference to the Chevy moon?"

Yes, they do. A frame of reference is a set of coordinates that allows us to describe the position of particles. The frame of reference does not change. This is why I am curious as to your background I'm physics in case you havent seen the maths before. I would also like to hear your thoughts on my maths. After all, physics is a highly mathematical subject.

As we have agreed before, our difference is which frame of reference (the earth's or the sun's) the speed of the moon is constant in. The reference I provided earlier suggests it is the earth's frame of reference it's speed is constant in.

I agree with what you say about if a clever person says something, it doesn't mean it is true.

You say "This proof is about reconciling relative motion (which you never address and consistently ignore or deny" can you expand on this please. I've worked out how the moon moves in earth's frame of reference, done the maths to get it into the sun's frame of reference. Can you say what is wrong with my maths. If I am wrong, then my maths must also be wrong

My point with the acceleration is that in your analogy you have included an angular acceleration (not transverse my mistake) whereas in the earth-moon system there is none (assuming as before the moon follows a circular orbit in the earth's frame of reference.)

Also I am not so much saying heliocentric theory is correct, rather that your objection is wrong. PeterIceHockey (talk) 14:41, 22 December 2016 (EST)

Please stop the nonsense. You two know better

Hey guys, please stop bickering over these trivialities. I've been watching this discussion unfold. (I watch CP a lot; I rarely have time or inclination to post.) You are both smart and educated people, which many CP contributors are not. Why two smart people would argue over details of the Moon's motion around the Earth and the Earth's motion around the Sun is beyond me. With all the details about acceleration, speed vs. velocity, circular motion, addition of speeds, relative motion with respect to this or that frame of reference, how the Moon's phases affect the equations, how the not-exactly-circular nature of the orbits might confound things, and so on and on and on. Everyone who has graduated from elementary school knows how this stuff works in general. Everyone who has taken high school physics knows how this stuff works in a good deal of detail.

I've seen a lot of really stupid arguments here at Conservapedia about the fact that you can take the Earth as the origin of the Universe. You two are too smart to get drawn into that nonsense. Yes, you can set your coordinate system / frame of reference any way you like. You could set the origin of the Universe to be the 5th car of the Tilt-a-Whirl at Six Flags New Jersey. One could work out the motions of the Sun and all the planets in that system, and one could easily see that it wouldn't be satisfactory in its handling of centrifugal force / Coriolis force / etc. You two know all about this. You can easily work out that, at some level of precision (fastening your seatbelt) a coordinate system fixed on you car is satisfactory. At some higher level of precision (driving your car) a coordinate system fixed on the Earth is satisfactory. At some higher level of precision (guiding a spacecraft to the Moon) a coordinate system fixed on the Earth's position, but not rotating with it, is satisfactory. At some higher level of precision (guiding a spacecraft to another planet) a coordinate system fixed on the Sun's position is satisfactory. You two know all about this. You don't need to get bogged down in arguments about the details.

Every even slightly informed and scientifically literate person knows how all this (specifically, it's Galilean / Newtonian mechanics) works. Now there are interesting things for an article on Heliocentrism / Geocentrism to say. That's the history of the various theories. The ancients did not know how what is now junior high school physics worked. So they made theories that are ridiculous by today's standards. To them, it must have seemed obvious that the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars rotated around the Earth; they had no conception of how relative motion worked. That history is what the article should be about.

There is way too much seriously defective writing here at Conservapedia—more that I can deal with, which is why I despair of fixing things and have been rather inactive the last few months. Your time would be better spent looking at serious things, like all of User:JimJast's writing, and all of User:Amorrow's writing. In the former case, I have for years been trying to insert some sense into the articles about relativity and gravity, and he came along and wrote incredibly nonsensical stuff. (By the way, I looked around on the web. He's a true crackpot.) In the latter case, User:Amorrow/Calculus_I is utter sonsense, though it is admittedly in his user space. We have some articles about calculus, and people should work on those, rather than writing nonsense. His Systematic English article is in mainspace and is utter garbage.

SamHB (talk) 01:11, 23 December 2016 (EST)