tellytubby

Solar day v sidereal day
« on: May 29, 2019, 04:33:12 PM »
The length of a solar day is exactly 24 hours give or take a few seconds.  However the sidereal day is 3m 56secs less than 24 hrs.  How does FE theory account for that?  If this is covered somewhere in the FE Wiki, I have yet to find it.

The difference is fully explained in RE by the time difference between two successive transits of the meridian by the Sun (24hr) and any chosen reference star (23h 56m 4.1s). Lets choose Mintaka for example as it lies very close to the celestial equator and is easily identifiable as the W most star in Orions belt. 

An example website that explains this shown is listed below but there are many, many more.

https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-sidereal-day-and-vs-solar-day/

I am keen to know what the mechanism is that causes this under FE.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 06:54:37 PM by tellytubby »

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Offline markjo

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Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 10:00:34 PM »
Basically it's a simple matter of the earth being (relatively) stationary while the sun, moon and the celestial dome (or plane, if you prefer) all rotate above at slightly different rates.
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

tellytubby

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 10:14:45 PM »
Sure.. It is easy to say it is just a matter of the different rotation rates of the Sun and celestial dome. But what causes that difference in FE theory? There must be a cause for such differential rotation.  This is accounted for perfectly well in RE but not FE as far as I can tell.

That's why I want to hear from a FE believer to explain why.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 03:58:23 PM by tellytubby »

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2019, 12:05:20 PM »
It is easy to say it is just a matter of the different rotation rates of the Sun and celestial dome. But what causes that difference in FE theory? There must be a cause for such differential rotation.
That's not true. Physicists acknowledge that certain events, such as radioactive decay, are uncaused. The fundamental forces of the universe themselves don't have an underlying "cause." If absolutely everything had a cause, this would entail an infinite regress of causes, which is inconceivable. Evidently, some things just are, without any reason as to how or why; some things are simply metaphysical facts of the universe.

IMO, this applies to the movements of the celestial bodies. They have no underlying mechanism.

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Offline WellRoundedIndividual

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Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2019, 12:59:53 PM »
Incorrect. Physicists acknowledge the theory of quantum mechanics as the underlying principle and quantum vacuum fluctuations as the cause for radioactive decay.
BobLawBlah.

tellytubby

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2019, 01:09:28 PM »
Quote
IMO, this applies to the movements of the celestial bodies. They have no underlying mechanism.

Your opinion is wrong in this case.  There is a clear and measurable reason why the sidereal day is slightly shorter than the solar day. At least from a RE point of view. However I cannot find an underlying reason for it in FE theory.

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2019, 02:24:55 PM »
Physicists acknowledge . . . quantum vacuum fluctuations as the cause for radioactive decay.
Source? A cursory Google search using the search terms "quantum vacuum fluctuations decay" yielded no reliable evidence in support of this claim. In fact, a Caltech article actually supports my claim:

https://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/March03/Lineweaver/Lineweaver5.html
Quote
Primordial quantum fluctuations are initial conditions. Like radioactive decay or quantum tunneling, they are not caused by any preceding event. (italics in original, bold added)

Not only is radioactive decay uncaused, but the quantum fluctuations you claim "cause" it are themselves uncaused as well.


There is a clear and measurable reason why the sidereal day is slightly shorter than the solar day. At least from a RE point of view. However I cannot find an underlying reason for it in FE theory.
According to my model, it has no underlying reason, just like radioactive decay, quantum fluctuations, and the fundamental forces lack underlying "causes."

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Offline WellRoundedIndividual

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Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 03:01:34 PM »
"It initially escapes from the nucleus of its parent atom, invariably one of the heaviest elements, by quantum mechanical processes and is repelled further from it by electromagnetism, as both the alpha particle and the nucleus are positively charged."

https://www.iop.org/resources/topic/archive/radioactivity/

https://www.thoughtco.com/why-radioactive-decay-occurs-608649

https://www.dummies.com/education/science/chemistry/the-process-of-natural-radioactive-decay/

https://www.famaf.unc.edu.ar/~vmarconi/moderna1/emision_estimulada_AJP.pdf

I can find plenty of resources that point to my claim.

I can find no reference source cited for the claim made in your evidence - so therefore it is just a claim.

I think your objections to my claim come from a philosophical rather than a scientific one:

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-and-radioactive-decay.html
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 03:11:49 PM by WellRoundedIndividual »
BobLawBlah.

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Offline markjo

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Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 03:34:21 PM »
Not only is radioactive decay uncaused, but the quantum fluctuations you claim "cause" it are themselves uncaused as well.
According to the Standard Model, radioactive decay is caused by the weak force.
https://www.britannica.com/science/weak-force

According to FET, the motions of the celestial bodies is caused by either the celestial dome (or plane, if you prefer) interacting with the universal accelerator.  It seems that the sun, moon and dome (or plane) are each affected slightly differently by their interaction with the UA.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 03:43:43 PM by markjo »
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

tellytubby

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2019, 03:49:01 PM »
Just a quick question here. Why are some people getting embroiled into a debate about quantum fluctuations here.

My original question which as yet remains unanswered as far as I can tell is how FE theory can account for the difference of 4m between the length of a solar day and the length of a sidereal day. I have provided the answer for how RE explains it already.

If you want to talk about quantum theory do it elsewhere. Not relevant here.

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2019, 12:19:13 AM »
According to the Standard Model, radioactive decay is caused by the weak force.
https://www.britannica.com/science/weak-force
Sure, radioactive decay involves the weak force and is mediated by the emission of bosons, but there doesn't appear to be any particular event that stimulates their emission. Decay is stochastic; while decay rates can be generally predicted statistically, it is impossible to precisely determine when any individual atom will decay. This is because there is no known underlying mechanism for why individual atoms in a mass of radioactive matter decay at particular times, while others don't. Consequently, decay is said by physicists to be "uncaused."

According to FET, the motions of the celestial bodies is caused by either the celestial dome (or plane, if you prefer) interacting with the universal accelerator.  It seems that the sun, moon and dome (or plane) are each affected slightly differently by their interaction with the UA.
I'm aware that UA is a "standard" theory in this community. I personally do not buy into it.


"It initially escapes from the nucleus of its parent atom, invariably one of the heaviest elements, by quantum mechanical processes and is repelled further from it by electromagnetism, as both the alpha particle and the nucleus are positively charged."
Do you have a source for this quote? Radioactive decay is, itself, a quantum mechanical process; the processes involved in decay (e.g., emission of W bosons) are not known to have a particular underlying cause.

https://www.iop.org/resources/topic/archive/radioactivity/

https://www.thoughtco.com/why-radioactive-decay-occurs-608649

https://www.dummies.com/education/science/chemistry/the-process-of-natural-radioactive-decay/

https://www.famaf.unc.edu.ar/~vmarconi/moderna1/emision_estimulada_AJP.pdf

I think your objections to my claim come from a philosophical rather than a scientific one:

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-and-radioactive-decay.html
Please quote the relevant sections of your sources you feel support your claim. Remember, your claim is that quantum fluctuations cause decay.

I can find no reference source cited for the claim made in your evidence
My source, being a Caltech article, is reputable. Some details about the article:

https://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/March03/Lineweaver/Lineweaver_contents.html
Quote
  • Contributed chapter to " Proceedings of the New Cosmology Summer School" edt. M. Colless, to be published by World Scientific, 2003. Based on five lectures given at the 16th Canberra International Summer School "The New Cosmology" held 3-14 February at the Australian National University.
  • School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

You can view the credentials of the author, Dr. Charles H. Lineweaver, on his website:
https://www.mso.anu.edu.au/~charley/
Quote
  • Senior Fellow, Planetary Science Institute (PSI)
  • Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA)
  • Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES) (Earth Chemistry)
  • Australian National University (ANU)


Why are some people getting embroiled into a debate about quantum fluctuations here.
Because my position, as an FEer, is that the motion of celestial objects is uncaused, like quantum fluctuations and other physical events/forces/conditions. Since, even according to RET, events can be uncaused, it's not totally inconceivable that celestial objects' motion lacks an underlying cause.

My original question which as yet remains unanswered as far as I can tell is how FE theory can account for the difference of 4m between the length of a solar day and the length of a sidereal day.
markjo has already explained how this works in the "standard" FET advocated by regulars here. My only deviation from this account is that the motion of the celestial objects has no underlying mechanism, and that there is no UA.

tellytubby

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2019, 07:05:15 AM »
Well I guess that is one of the differences between RE and FE.  In RE we often have much more simple explanations for the way nature and the Universe works.  In FE you have to apparently invent far more complex explanations for the same. 

If you choose to ignore these more simple explanations just because they wouldn't work in your FE world then I can only sympathise. If you imagine the Earth orbitng the Sun as it does and then consider how that would affect the length of the solar and sidereal days then everything fits in very nicely with what we experience.  I provided a link illustrating this at the top of the thread.



Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2019, 06:29:16 PM »
In RE we often have much more simple explanations for the way nature and the Universe works.
Actually, among the three models presented in this thread—RET, "standard" FET, and my own—mine is the most parsimonious (simple). The RET model posits the existence of "gravity," whose mechanisms are described using highly complex mathematics. The "standard" FET model, while simpler than RET, assumes that "universal acceleration" (UA) somehow accounts for the celestial objects' motion. My model doesn't involve any assumptions whatsoever for their motion, other than that it has no underlying cause. Obviously, a model positing no underlying cause is much simpler than one relying on systems of differential equations.

If you imagine the Earth orbitng the Sun as it does and then consider how that would affect the length of the solar and sidereal days then everything fits in very nicely with what we experience.
Personally, I aced college astronomy, and so am pretty familiar with RET. I understand that the model can explain solar VS sidereal days. I just don't accept its assumption that the earth is an oblate spheroid. I think it's very likely flat.

tellytubby

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2019, 06:58:20 PM »
Quote
Personally, I aced college astronomy, and so am pretty familiar with RET

So did I, achieving a grade A in the UK O level system as it was back them. In a couple of years I will be completing a BSc(Hons) degree in astronomy as well. After 40 odd years of studying astronomy as a whole, I have never come across any evidence that suggests the Earth to be anything other than it is.  It seems your experiences of astronomy and mine are (for whatever reason) very different.

Since you did so well with your astronomy education I find the basis for your beliefs surprising.  I never like the word 'somehow' in a sentence like this...'UA somehow accounts for the celestial objects motion'.  And I'm not sure where you think the 'assumption' is that the Earth is an oblate spheroid.  There's no assumption needed at all here. Just recognition of the very clear evidence.  Of course evidence is only evidence if you accept it. The fact is we have measured the shape of the Earth now to a very high level of precision using a variety of means.

Your understanding of astronomy should have led you to wonder why the Earth should be flat when we have never actually seen it as such.  In contrast to that there are a lot of photographs taken from space and by a large number of independent sources that shows the oblate spheroid that you claim not to believe in.  To dismiss photos because they don't happen to conform to your beliefs or your faith (whatever the difference there is) is hardly an acceptable line of defence. If any direct evidence existed of the whole of the flat Earth surface then there would be more of a case to answer.

If you had said that a couple of centuries ago (at least) then I could perhaps understand it a bit more but not in the 21st century.  The purpose of science is to investigate, learn and progress. To ask why and discover the answers. Science does not always get the answers right to begin and often the answers simply open up new questions but that is all part of making progress.   Science is definitely not about deliberately lying about things and trying to deceive.  What would be the point of that?  If a belief in flat Earth is for no other reason than to take an 'anti-establishment' stand then it is sadly misguided.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 09:27:18 PM by tellytubby »

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Offline Tim Alphabeaver

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Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2019, 03:38:53 PM »
Personally, I aced college astronomy, and so am pretty familiar with RET. I understand that the model can explain solar VS sidereal days. I just don't accept its assumption that the earth is an oblate spheroid. I think it's very likely flat.
Since you understand it well, then it seems to me that you're choosing between two options:
1) All massive objects must deform into spheres, because gravity, so the Earth is a sphere. RET astronomy predicts celestial motions of the Sun, planets etc. very well.
OR
2) All massive objects must deform into spheres, because gravity, except for the Earth because [reason]. FET astronomy is so poor at predicting any celestial motion that your only explanation of it that "it has no underlying cause".

I can't understand how a rational person with good understanding of both RET and FET could possibly pick 2) over 1). To me, it's like saying "I don't like your explanation of how bikes work, so I think bikes have no underlying cause", except that my explanation of how bikes work is perfectly consistent and predicts how bikes work very well.
**I move away from the infinite flat plane to breathe in

tellytubby

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2019, 07:46:26 PM »
In science we might discover something that initially seems to have no underlying cause. Actually that usually means we simply haven't yet discovered or we don't understand what the cause is. Once we have discovered what the cause is, we can generally predict events in the future. If our predictions of future events turn out to be accurate then can assert that our understanding is correct.  That sounds a little bit like the scientific method in action to me.  Observe, hypothesis, test, analyse, conclude.

Now translate that into human evolution and our understanding of the Universe. The first humans would have observed the same celestial events (meteors, comets, eclipses, phases of the Moon to name but a few naked eye visible examples) that we do today but unlike us they would have had no idea what they were seeing or why certain things (e.g. eclipses) occurred.  Most of these events for them would have had no underlying cause.

Now fast forward to the 21st century and we know that meteors are caused by tiny fragments of space 'dust' colliding with the Earths atmosphere. That also explains why the activity rate of meteors increases when the Earth passes through the debris left behind by a comet. Presumably if FEers believe that the Earth is stationary then you will need to find an alternative explanation for meteor showers.

We also know the causes of eclipses and we can predict very accurately when eclipses are going to occur in the future.  Tom points out that eclipses happen in patterns.  So do many things in astronomy but those patterns have only been identified through our understanding of underlying reason why eclipses happen. Many events in nature happen in a pattern like sequence.

What I cannot yet find an underlying cause or reason for though is how someone who self-rates themselves so highly in understanding astronomy seems to hold such a strong conviction that the Earth is flat.  That doesn't compute for me!

« Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 07:53:03 PM by tellytubby »

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2019, 06:37:17 PM »
I have never come across any evidence that suggests the Earth to be anything other than it is.
Have you looked out your window?

The burden of proof is always on the affirmative claimant. In this case, REers are making the positive claim that the earth's shape is something other than what it appears, so the burden is on them to demonstrate this. Since the claim contradicts direct empirical evidence, their burden is heavy; extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Current evidence in support of their view is easily explainable under FET, or otherwise unreliable. They have not satisfied their burden.


Since you did so well with your astronomy education I find the basis for your beliefs surprising.  I never like the word 'somehow' in a sentence like this...'UA somehow accounts for the celestial objects motion'.  And I'm not sure where you think the 'assumption' is that the Earth is an oblate spheroid.  There's no assumption needed at all here. Just recognition of the very clear evidence.  Of course evidence is only evidence if you accept it. The fact is we have measured the shape of the Earth now to a very high level of precision using a variety of means.
Just because I studied something does not mean I have to accept it. For example, I was raised Catholic and am familiar with Catholic theology. This does not mean I must believe in it. Similarly, many REers have studied FET, yet none buy into it.

That the earth is an oblate spheroid is the central axiom (basic assumption) of RET. Regardless of how true or obvious it may be that the earth is oblately spheroidal, this is still assumed by the RET model.

The earth's rotundity has supposedly been demonstrated using "satellite" technology. However, I believe sustained spaceflight is virtually impossible, so I don't buy into "satellite" measurements. Do you personally have access to the raw data collected by these devices? If not, then how are you so sure they point to a round Earth? How are you so sure this data even exists?


Your understanding of astronomy should have led you to wonder why the Earth should be flat when we have never actually seen it as such.  In contrast to that there are a lot of photographs taken from space and by a large number of independent sources that shows the oblate spheroid that you claim not to believe in.  To dismiss photos because they don't happen to conform to your beliefs or your faith (whatever the difference there is) is hardly an acceptable line of defence. If any direct evidence existed of the whole of the flat Earth surface then there would be more of a case to answer.
Direct empirical evidence demonstrates that the earth is indeed flat. Again, have you looked out your window?

Photographic evidence is unreliable. First, no full-disk photograph of the earth has depicted its supposed oblateness. Instead, these images show a perfectly circular disk. As far as I'm aware, no one has precisely measured these images and detected a slight bulge near the equator. Evidently, Earth's oblateness is merely assumed. Second, high-altitude photography of the earth is often taken using a distortive (such as a wide-angle) lens, making it impossible to accurately determine its true shape. Finally, since images can be altered, or even completely fabricated, they don't serve as conclusive evidence.

I dismiss these photos because they don't amount to dependable evidence. The act of faith is in accepting evidence that contradicts firsthand, empirical evidence just because it's used in support of a dominant ideology. This is no different from religious people who insist God exists, just because their religious communities hold this belief, even though there is no empirical referent for his existence.


If you had said that a couple of centuries ago (at least) then I could perhaps understand it a bit more but not in the 21st century.  The purpose of science is to investigate, learn and progress. To ask why and discover the answers. Science does not always get the answers right to begin and often the answers simply open up new questions but that is all part of making progress.   Science is definitely not about deliberately lying about things and trying to deceive.  What would be the point of that?  If a belief in flat Earth is for no other reason than to take an 'anti-establishment' stand then it is sadly misguided.
Science consists of three major components: It is an institution, a method, and a body of knowledge produced by this institution/method. Being an institution, science is inherently political. Its findings are necessarily value-laden (imbued with cultural meanings) and not "objective," as that term is normally understood. As philosopher of science Sandra Harding elaborates in "Rethinking Standpoint Epistemology: What is "Strong Objectivity"?:

Quote
. . . scientists never can study the trees, rocks, planetary orbits, or electrons that are "out there" and untouched by human concerns. Instead, they are destined to study something different (but hopefully systematically related to what is "out there"): nature as an object of knowledge. Trees, rocks, planetary orbits, and electrons always appear natural to scientists only as they are already socially constituted . . . . Such objects are already effectively "removed from pure nature" into social life—they are social objects—by, first of all, the contemporary general cultural meanings that these objects have for everyone, including the entire scientific community. They also become socially constituted objects of knowledge through the shapes and meanings these objects gain for scientists because of earlier generations of scientific discussion about them. Scientists never observe nature apart from such traditions; even when they criticize some aspects of them they must assume others to carry on the criticism. (italics in original, bold added)

Science is not an unbiased, impartial means of investigating and learning; no such endeavor could possibly be completely lacking in bias and partiality. The notion that scientific findings can "escape their historical locatedness" (and its associated political influences) is, as Harding notes, a "delusion." So, we should always regard contemporary scientific findings with a healthy dose of critical skepticism and not view them as necessarily being the result of a linear progress toward the truth. Just like biological evolution does not proceed in any particular direction (e.g., toward higher complexity or "advancement"), neither does cultural evolution in general, nor scientific progression in particular.


Presumably if FEers believe that the Earth is stationary then you will need to find an alternative explanation for meteor showers.
Actually, it's not necessary to explain every single celestial event in order to have a working model, whether for RET or FET. For instance, there are some solar phenomena that are unexplained by current models, yet these models still have great overall explanatory and predictive power.


We also know the causes of eclipses and we can predict very accurately when eclipses are going to occur in the future.  Tom points out that eclipses happen in patterns.  So do many things in astronomy but those patterns have only been identified through our understanding of underlying reason why eclipses happen.
Certain ancient societies, such as the Aztecs, were able to predict eclipses and other celestial events with some precision. While RET has much more precise predictive power in this regard, its explanatory power here is questionable, as highlighted in Tom's solar eclipse thread. To summarize:
  • With a stationary light source (such as the RET sun), we would expect the shadow cast by an object moving past it (like the moon) to travel in the same direction as the object.
  • Only when a light source is moving about an object relative to an external reference point (such as the FET sun, which isn't stationary but instead travels in the same direction as and at a greater speed than the moon) would we expect to see the shadow it casts move in the opposite direction.
  • The moon's apparent motion across the sky is much slower than the sun's (0.5° VS 15° per hour), so the path of totality's direction cannot possibly be explained as being a consequence of the moon's orbit.
  • Since the path of totality's counterposed direction of travel to the moon's across the sky is what we'd expect with a moving, not stationary, light source and FET suitably accounts for this phenomenon, RET lacks explanatory power in this regard.


What I cannot yet find an underlying cause or reason for though is how someone who self-rates themselves so highly in understanding astronomy seems to hold such a strong conviction that the Earth is flat.  That doesn't compute for me!
My "conviction" isn't strong. As my username suggests, I merely tend to believe the earth is flat. I lean toward FET, but am by no means a fanatic.

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2019, 06:37:50 PM »
Since you understand it well, then it seems to me that you're choosing between two options:
1) All massive objects must deform into spheres, because gravity, so the Earth is a sphere. RET astronomy predicts celestial motions of the Sun, planets etc. very well.
OR
2) All massive objects must deform into spheres, because gravity, except for the Earth because [reason]. FET astronomy is so poor at predicting any celestial motion that your only explanation of it that "it has no underlying cause".
A few points:
  • RET has had the advantage of time, being developed and refined over centuries, in order to mathematically describe and predict the motions of celestial bodies and also integrate this data with the round earth assumption.
  • As I explained above to tellytubby, predictive power doesn't guarantee or necessitate explanatory power. Even the Aztecs, who were FEers, predicted these motions reasonably well; however, as an REer, you would not say their model correctly explained their underlying dynamics.
  • I don't believe in gravity.
  • I don't believe all massive objects must deform to spheres. While I won't make any definite claims as to the distances and masses of the celestial objects, I do believe they're much closer/lighter than REers claim and don't think their mass has anything to do with their shape.

tellytubby

Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2019, 09:26:38 PM »
Quote
Quote
Direct empirical evidence demonstrates that the earth is indeed flat. Again, have you looked out your window?

Does it.....How?  And by the way... yes I have.  Many times thanks. As I'm sure you have as well.  We both see broadly the same things and events when we look out of our respective windows.  The difference we have lies in the way we choose to interpret what we see.  Your interpretation is based on your choice to believe the FET so naturally you interpret what you see in such a way that fits in with your belief.  I completely respect that.

I completely agree that there are many aspects of nature and the Universe that science has yet to explain. That's the reason for studying it isn't it.  I'm sure you will say that you believe FET can explain more about the Universe and the Earth as we see it than RET can.  Personally I don't see it that way for the reasons outlined above.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 09:36:47 PM by tellytubby »

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Offline Tim Alphabeaver

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Re: Solar day v sidereal day
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2019, 11:44:11 PM »
A few points:
  • RET has had the advantage of time, being developed and refined over centuries, in order to mathematically describe and predict the motions of celestial bodies and also integrate this data with the round earth assumption.
  • As I explained above to tellytubby, predictive power doesn't guarantee or necessitate explanatory power. Even the Aztecs, who were FEers, predicted these motions reasonably well; however, as an REer, you would not say their model correctly explained their underlying dynamics.
  • I don't believe in gravity.
  • I don't believe all massive objects must deform to spheres. While I won't make any definite claims as to the distances and masses of the celestial objects, I do believe they're much closer/lighter than REers claim and don't think their mass has anything to do with their shape.
Okay.
  • I would argue that FE has had just as much time, just much less progress.
  • I think that predictive power is highly indicative of a good model. Good models will always have high predictive power and bad models will always have low predictive power. Maybe you could come up with an argument about fringe cases but realistically I think it's hard to argue against this. The Aztecs may have been able to predict some things, but ultimately it can come nowhere close to predicting the kinds of things that RE astronomy can predict today. This means that it is a worse model.
  • I don't think that I get to choose which model I believe to be true: RE demonstrably works, and no other models currently do. The only rational thing to believe is RE until another model surpasses it. Of course I think that skepticism is great, but the fact is that almost all FE theory is just unproven hypotheses. I will believe FE when it can demonstrably show where RE went wrong, and has experimentally shown that the Sun is 3000km above the Earth, that gravity is actually Universal Acceleration etc. etc. etc.
  • I can give you some links about mass attracting mass in a lab setting, if you're interested.
**I move away from the infinite flat plane to breathe in