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← Why We Don't Believe in Science

Sharpur's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Sharpur

Comment 10 by Alan4discussion :

Comment 7 by Nunbeliever

I can't help to retell the old story about Elizabeth Anscombe saying to Wittgenstein, that she can “understand why people thought that the sun revolves around the earth.” Ludwig asks, “why?” Anscombe says, “Well, it looks that way.” Wittgenstein responds, “and how would it look if the earth revolved around the sun?”

Ah! but to understand Earth orbiting the Sun, requires multi-tasked CLEAR THINKING! - about orbit and rotation SIMULTANEOUSLY!! Astronomers would also include the effects of the axis - or even suggest an eliptical orbit!!!! - Too hard for fundamentalists!

Fully understanding that the Earth orbits the Sun does require a bit of thought as you say, but the crux of Wittgenstein's remark is that the observation Anscombe is making is of the Earth orbiting the Sun (combined with the Earth's rotation). It is her interpretation of what she observes that is wrong. (Though, admittedly, she would need to make observations of other astronomical phenomena to have a reasonable chance of figuring this out.)

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 15:48:32 UTC | #946352