Saturday, February 12, 2011

Philosophy Wire: The Russians, Earth, Copernicus and the dogmas of Science

Philosophy Wire by Spiros Kakos [2011-02-12]: A research in Russia shows that 30% of Russians believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth [source: web news 1, web news 2]. As frustrating as this may seem, it is even more disappointing that 70% of Russians believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun! The truth is that both models are equally valid because a model is simply what it is: "a model"! All scientific models have nothing to do with what "is", they have nothing to do with "reality." As Einstein himself explained, "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". And as we learned in elementary school, a change in the coordinate system does not imply anything about the validity of a scientific model that attempts to explain the behavior of a physical system! "Is our train moving mom, or is it the other?" a child might ask. What would you answer?

PS. You can read a detailed analysis of the philosophy and the hidden doctrines behind the geocentric and the heliocentric system at the "Earth at the Center of the Universe?" article.

Related articles for further reading : The Limits of Science

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