Earth at the center of the Universe?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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skakos
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Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by skakos » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:58 am

Is the Sun at the center of the solar system?
Most people would argue "Yes".
And they would laugh at anyone saying otherwise.

But as Einstein said, "The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS [Coordinate System] could be used with equal justification. The two sentences, ‘the sun is at rest and the earth moves’ or ‘the sun moves and the earth is at rest,’would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS".

Why then do we still insist that "The Sun is at the center of the solar system"? (especially when there are modern theories from modern cosmologists with Earth at the center of the universe solving many problems of modern cosmology, including the problem of dark matter - see George Ellis)

And no, it is not because the heliocentric system is more simple than the geocentric one. Actually the heliocentric system uses MORE epicycles than the geocentric! (the true breakthrough in that came with the elliptical orbits of Kepler, not with the transition to the heliocentric system)

The truth is that behind our belief that the Earth IS NOT at the center of ANYTHING, lies a deep dogmatism: We believe that we ARE NOT unique. So deep is that dogmatism rooted into our thought, that we have formulated a respective astronomy PRINCIPLE (aka "axiom", i.e. something NOT PROVEN) called "the Copernican Principle".

Based on that principle, Hubble himself postulated that Earth is NOT at the center of the UNIVERSE EVEN THOUGH HIS DATA PROVED OTHERWISE!
One can see http://harmoniaphilosophica.wordpress.c ... azj6wq-39/ for a brief analysis of arguments concerning the subject, including an analysis of the paper issued by Hubble and how he changed his initial finding based on his dogmatic beliefs.

Thoughts?
Last edited by skakos on Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:32 am

skakos wrote:Is the Sun at the center of the solar system?
Most people would argue "Yes".
And they would laugh at anyone saying otherwise.

But as Einstein said, "The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS [Coordinate System] could be used with equal justification. The two sentences, ‘the sun is at rest and the earth moves’ or ‘the sun moves and the earth is at rest,’would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS".

Why then do we still insist that "The Sun is at the center of the solar system"? (especially when there are modern theories from modern cosmologists with Earth at the center of the universe solving many problems of modern cosmology, including the problem of dark matter - see George Ellis)

And no, it is not because the heliocentric system is more simple than the geocentric one. Actually the heliocentric system uses MORE epicycles than the geocentric! (the true breakthrough in that came with the elliptical orbits of Kepler, not with the transition to the heliocentric system)

The truth is that because our belief that the Earth IS NOT at the center of ANYTHING, lies a deep dogmatism: We believe that we ARE NOT unique. So deep is that dogmatism rooted into our thought, that we have formulated a respective astronomy PRINCIPLE (aka "axiom", i.e. something NOT PROVEN) called "the Copernican Principle".

Based on that principle, Hubble himself postulated that Earth is NOT at the center of the UNIVERSE EVEN THOUGH HIS DATA PROVED OTHERWISE!
One can see http://harmoniaphilosophica.wordpress.c ... azj6wq-39/ for a brief analysis of arguments concerning the subject, including an analysis of the paper issued by Hubble and how he changed his initial finding based on his dogmatic beliefs.

Thoughts?
For me this is simple, Stars are the energy, the engines that create all else, planets are born of accretion discs made of elements created when a star goes supernova, so stars are the centers of solar systems. As far as the universe is concerned, man can't even be 'sure' of what percentage of it he can sense, let alone it's center.

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by uwot » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:14 am

I think the key point in your blog, skakos is this:
George Ellis, Mathematics Department, University of Cape Town wrote:"People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations,” [...] “For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations.” [...] “You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds. In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”
It is a point I have made several times: there are any number of stories that can account for the phenomena. It is prudent not to invest 'belief' in any of them, because:
Richard Feynman wrote:"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."
The only thing we can trust to be true are the rigorously verified, peer reviewed phenomena; even they are subject to the problem of induction. The causal explanation is, as George Ellis makes clear, metaphysics.

This is the same point:
skakos wrote:But as Einstein said, "The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS [Coordinate System] could be used with equal justification. The two sentences, ‘the sun is at rest and the earth moves’ or ‘the sun moves and the earth is at rest,’would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS".
Fundamentally, physics is about creating models that work, it is neither here nor there whether they are actually true.
skakos wrote:Why then do we still insist that "The Sun is at the center of the solar system"? ...The truth is that because our belief that the Earth IS NOT at the center of ANYTHING, lies a deep dogmatism: We believe that we ARE NOT unique. So deep is that dogmatism rooted into our thought, that we have formulated a respective astronomy PRINCIPLE (aka "axiom", i.e. something NOT PROVEN) called "the Copernican Principle".

Based on that principle, Hubble himself postulated that Earth is NOT at the center of the UNIVERSE EVEN THOUGH HIS DATA PROVED OTHERWISE!
No it didn't. It proved that all galaxies (except a few local examples, notably Andromeda as Blaggard points out) are red shifted, which is consistent with an expanding universe.

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by Blaggard » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:07 am

The fact that the Earth and Sun are as a matter of perspective both orbiting each other is a trivial observation. Everything is orbiting everything likewise follows.

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by skakos » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:15 pm

What is at the "center" of anything does not matter at all.
But that is exactly the point: If it does not matter, why are many so eager to exclude Earth from the center?
Behind that lies the atheistic dogmatism that humans are just another "nothing" in a vast sea of "nothingness".
This is what I am trying to say here.
Our own personal philosophical beliefs should not matter at all when it comes to scientific models!
And yet, the notion that the Earth is at the center seems so absurd today by so many believing in the "Copernical Principle"...

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by Ginkgo » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:31 pm

skakos wrote:What is at the "center" of anything does not matter at all.
But that is exactly the point: If it does not matter, why are many so eager to exclude Earth from the center?
Behind that lies the atheistic dogmatism that humans are just another "nothing" in a vast sea of "nothingness".
This is what I am trying to say here.
Our own personal philosophical beliefs should not matter at all when it comes to scientific models!
And yet, the notion that the Earth is at the center seems so absurd today by so many believing in the "Copernical Principle"...
In modern astronomy everyone is at the center, regardless of the planet or galaxy you happen to be on.



edit

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by uwot » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:24 pm

skakos wrote:What is at the "center" of anything does not matter at all.
But that is exactly the point: If it does not matter, why are many so eager to exclude Earth from the center?
Behind that lies the atheistic dogmatism that humans are just another "nothing" in a vast sea of "nothingness".
Who actually preaches this as dogma? Can you cite an example of what they say?
skakos wrote:This is what I am trying to say here.
Our own personal philosophical beliefs should not matter at all when it comes to scientific models!
They don't, that's what makes them scientific, but even practising scientists have philosophical beliefs they frame their theories with.
skakos wrote:And yet, the notion that the Earth is at the center seems so absurd today by so many believing in the "Copernical Principle"...
It seems unlikely on the balance of probability, it's a really big universe, but who knows?

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:15 pm

Actually everything in the universe is at the centre of the universe. So when you say someone 'thinks they are the centre of the universe', that someone would be right.

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by Blaggard » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:11 pm

Ginkgo wrote:
skakos wrote:What is at the "center" of anything does not matter at all.
But that is exactly the point: If it does not matter, why are many so eager to exclude Earth from the center?
Behind that lies the atheistic dogmatism that humans are just another "nothing" in a vast sea of "nothingness".
This is what I am trying to say here.
Our own personal philosophical beliefs should not matter at all when it comes to scientific models!
And yet, the notion that the Earth is at the center seems so absurd today by so many believing in the "Copernical Principle"...
In modern astronomy everyone is at the center, regardless of the planet or galaxy you happen to be on.



edit

Actually technically it is impossible to determine the centre of the universe as everything is co moving, so a stationary point around which everything revolves is impossible to establish. It's better to say the centre of the universe if it has any meaning is impossible to determine in a co-ordinate/time frame of reference. There is no centre to the universe that can be established, although probably one exists, the point at which the singularity expanded most likely being it, but due to quantum uncertainty even that is an uncertain posit at best.

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by Ginkgo » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:07 am

Blaggard wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:
skakos wrote:What is at the "center" of anything does not matter at all.
But that is exactly the point: If it does not matter, why are many so eager to exclude Earth from the center?
Behind that lies the atheistic dogmatism that humans are just another "nothing" in a vast sea of "nothingness".
This is what I am trying to say here.
Our own personal philosophical beliefs should not matter at all when it comes to scientific models!
And yet, the notion that the Earth is at the center seems so absurd today by so many believing in the "Copernical Principle"...
In modern astronomy everyone is at the center, regardless of the planet or galaxy you happen to be on.



edit

Actually technically it is impossible to determine the centre of the universe as everything is co moving, so a stationary point around which everything revolves is impossible to establish. It's better to say the centre of the universe if it has any meaning is impossible to determine in a co-ordinate/time frame of reference. There is no centre to the universe that can be established, although probably one exists, the point at which the singularity expanded most likely being it, but due to quantum uncertainty even that is an uncertain posit at best.

I was hoping you or uwot would come along and explain it. I didn't do a very good job. By saying everyone is at the center I was implying there is no center. Thanks for the clear explanation.

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by Skip » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:16 am

Why should it matter whether the center of the universe is Earth, Sol, Reisa II or Gallifrey? Who says the universe needs a center? And if we could identify such a things, what would it affect? What would change?

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by Ginkgo » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:37 am

Skip wrote:Why should it matter whether the center of the universe is Earth, Sol, Reisa II or Gallifrey? Who says the universe needs a center? And if we could identify such a things, what would it affect? What would change?
If there was a center then space probably wouldn't be able to do all of that expanding. Our universe as we know it probably wouldn't exist. The more space between galaxies the greater the expansion. It allows for such things as zero-energy, dark matter and a flat universe.

"A universe from Nothing" by Lawrence Krauss explains all of this very nicely.

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by uwot » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:21 am

Ginkgo wrote:
Blaggard wrote:
Ginkgo wrote:In modern astronomy everyone is at the center, regardless of the planet or galaxy you happen to be on.



edit

Actually technically it is impossible to determine the centre of the universe as everything is co moving, so a stationary point around which everything revolves is impossible to establish. It's better to say the centre of the universe if it has any meaning is impossible to determine in a co-ordinate/time frame of reference. There is no centre to the universe that can be established, although probably one exists, the point at which the singularity expanded most likely being it, but due to quantum uncertainty even that is an uncertain posit at best.

I was hoping you or uwot would come along and explain it. I didn't do a very good job. By saying everyone is at the center I was implying there is no center. Thanks for the clear explanation.
A very rough and ready way to look at it is to imagine the universe shortly after the singularity Blaggard* mentions began to expand (and before inflation); when it was the size of a full stop, a football, a planet or whatever takes your fancy. Then consider that every point within it has been expanding for the best part of 14 billion years. Wherever the part of the universe that corresponds to where we are now started out, it is in the middle of a visible bubble that for simplicity we can imagine is 14 billion light years in radius (actually much bigger, because spacetime expands 'faster' than the speed of light.) That is true of every point in the early universe and it is in that sense that every point is in the middle.

*I've got this new tablet that keeps turning Blaggard into Braggart. Apologies in advance for when I inevitably forget to correct it.

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by Ginkgo » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:34 am

uwot wrote:
*I've got this new tablet that keeps turning Blaggard into Braggart. Apologies in advance for when I inevitably forget to correct it.
You probably thinking about Humphrey Braggart the actor.

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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by uwot » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:40 am

Ginkgo wrote:
uwot wrote:
*I've got this new tablet that keeps turning Blaggard into Braggart. Apologies in advance for when I inevitably forget to correct it.
You probably thinking about Humphrey Braggart the actor.
Maybe. Anyone know how to disable the telekinesis app?

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