What calculations would an FE scientist do to predict the position of Mars?

https://wiki.tfes.org/Astronomical_Prediction_Based_on_Patterns

**Ancient Babylonians**

Astronomy for Physical Science - Cal State Long Beach

“ The Babylonians accumulated records of astronomical observations for many centuries. The records enabled them to see repeated patterns in the motions of the celestial objects. They used the patterns to predict the positions of the Moon and planets. ”

From Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times: Volume One by Professor Morris Kline (bio) we see:

“ Babylonians calculated the first and second differences of successive data, observed the consistency of the first or second differences, and extrapolated or interpolated data. Their procedure was equivalent to using the fact that the data can be fit by polynomial functions and enabled them to predict the daily positions of the planets. They knew the periods of the planets with some accuracy, and also used eclipses as a basis for calculation. There was, however, no geometrical scheme of planetary or lunar motion in Babylonian astronomy. ”

I agree with the point that if there is repeating then it’s state can be accurately predicted without understanding mechanics that drive it.

The Ancient Babylonians did not understand why planets were moving but they observed the motion and understood it to be repeating. From there, they were able to make their prediction.

However, the problem is that their “model” is just memorizing a pattern and is too simplistic. Since then science has developed a lot and we have a greater predictability with our model where we don’t necessarily have to observe something before we can predict it. In other words, we are able to understand the mechanics of how things work.

The best example I can give you is the story of discovery of Neptune. Some scientists figured that the motion of Uranus was observed to be quite different than what our models would suggest and he predicted there to be a planet beyond Uranus.

Understand here that the Ancient Babylonians could not have done this because their model was purely observation with no mechanics. They would have seen Uranus’ quirk and overtime, due to its repetition, become able to predict it. But they couldn’t give a reason as to why this happens.

So I guess I should ask, has Flat Earth developed since the time on Ancient Babylon’s? If so how will a FE scientist calculate the position of Mars? Would they rely on patterns or will they introduce some mechanics?

The Round Earth has introduced a lot of mechanics which is one of the reasons why Neptune was found.