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← A few Catholics still insist Galileo was wrong

wtfbits's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by wtfbits

Here's an excerpt from an article which explains why the heliocentric view is not any more valid than the geocentric one.

A famous example of different pictures of reality is the model introduced around A.D. 150 by Ptolemy (ca. 85–ca. 165) to describe the motion of the celestial bodies. Ptolemy published his work in a treatise explaining reasons for thinking that the earth is spherical, motionless, positioned at the center of the universe, and negligibly small in comparison to the distance of the heavens.

This model seemed natural because we don't feel the earth under our feet moving (except in earthquakes or moments of passion). Ptolemy's model of the cosmos was adopted by the Catholic Church and held as official doctrine for fourteen hundred years. It was not until 1543 that an alternative model was put forward by Copernicus. So which is real? Although it is not uncommon for people to say Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong, that is not true. As in the case of the goldfish, one can use either picture as a model of the universe. The real advantage of the Copernican system is that the mathematics is much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.

Link to full article

Wed, 31 Aug 2011 20:55:38 UTC | #866029