THE WHYS AND WHEREFORES OF GEOCENTRISM: Part IIIby
Walter van der Kamp
Bulletin of the Tychonian Society, No. 52, p. 16
Part Two of this history of the Tychonian Society ended with the story of the first few years of the Tychonian bulletins, and the beginning of the influx of articles for them from all over the globe. It was one thing, however, to circulate theories virtually privately among a few sympathetic "subscribers." but quite another to "go public."
The first one openly to promote the Tychonian cause was Professor James Hanson of Cleveland State University. Thanks to him, I received an invitation to speak at the Space and Astronomy Convention organized by the Bible-Science Association and Campus Crusade for Christ International, held at Seattle pacific College from August 17 through 19, 1975. Not without fear and trembling did I accept this chance to "go public," and I went to work on preparing a, to my thinking, convincing paper.
To state that my lecture, "I Make Its Pillars Firm," later published in the Bible-Science Newsletter, courtesy of its editor, Pastor Walter Lang, received a mixed hearing is about the best that can be said about the event. If Professor Hanson had not stood solidly by my side, a motion to throw me out of the meeting might well have been made and seconded: perhaps even carried! I still remember, however, how my promoter's no-nonsense, solid paper, thankfully following mine, authoritatively impressed on a clearly skeptical audience an important point: do not assume that on this topic Einstein has the last word! About a dozen new subscribers to the Bulletin also affirmed that Hanson's and my arguments had not been brought forward totally in vain.
After publishing No. 6 of my little periodical in August 1974, in the next three issues I began to tackle in earnest a major aspect of the matter already broached in Airy Reconsidered four years earlier. Does space know place, and can movement rest? Newton said "yes," and Berkeley "no." What about it, and what about Mach and Einstein's views? For that matter, what options are left for him who resolutely rejects all Copernically-based theorems?
The first of these options, and the most plausible inference from the obvious facts, was to go a mile beyond Michelson and Morley, They had not been able to confirm the 30 kilometer-per-second velocity we are supposed to maintain in our orbit around the Sun. What if the Earth ultimately turned out only to rotate every twenty-four hours? No one can deny that, apart from all other considerations, this is prima facie the case. If this were so, the the Michelson and Morley interferometer, as a simple calculation will show, had been moving through space at only about a hundredth of the velocity those Cleveland sages were looking for; a discrepancy far below the threshold of the sensitivity that their complicated instrument was able to register. But to pinpoint such a minute chance of a few hundred meters per second in a velocity of 300,000,000 meters per second would not be a sinecure. As far as I could judge it might well-nigh be impossible to trap such a small difference.
I remember to this day the place and the moment, twenty years ago by now, when I was suddenly allowed to see the way to go about it, to wit by using a Rayleigh refractometer as an interferometer by means of filling only one of its two tubes with a fluid having a high refractive index. Since this experiment, published in final form in the American Journal of Physics in 1985, is copyrighted, I can only give here, spelling error included, in the pristine manner in which as a supplement I added it to a number of Bulletins. (See Supplement 1.)
(As for the "P.T.O." at the bottom of the little sheet, I had printed an "Outline of an Experiment to Test the Validity of LeSage's Collision Theory of Gravity" on the other side. Such a theory, to be sure, is still under consideration, but it does not seem feasible to execute the experiment, though it has been judged to be theoretically sound. The forces involved, so far as we have been able to ascertain, are too small to be measured by any means available today.)
To make sure I did not overlook a theoretical slip-up, I discussed the test proposal beforehand with a highly respected professor of Physics at the University of British Columbia. He saw something in it and even expressed a willingness to give it a try. But when he realized the consequences that a positive result would entail, he hastily withdrew his words. It would be nonsense to go looking for something that could not possibly be found, he said. An "etherdrift" of the size I envisioned would mean that all the stars are "phased," i.e. in step with the Sun. Therefore, my mentor concluded, the outcome of the experiment could not possibly be positive, and going after it was hence a waste of time.
When I countered this by remarking that a null result would not only lend support to Einstein more accurately than ever, but would also deal a sever blow to the "Biblicist" stance that I hoped the experiment would enhance, he sadly shook his head and remarked: "Not a chance. You are too far gone for any scientific evidence to influence you." It was typical, incidentally, for the ubiquitous climate of thought then, and still is today, that any further confirmation of Einstein was considered unnecessary. He simply is, and must be, right.
At the time I emphatically denied my too-far-gone bias; but actually, he was correct. Compelled to make my choice between a Revelation modified and updated by science, or a science corrected and modified by Revelation, I had indeed been shilly-shallying for years. Yet by the time I saw him, taught by epistemology and history, I was in fact no longer waving to and fro.
It only remained for me to borrow the war cry "Onward, Windmill Tilters!" of a tried and true-blooded Tychonian, Mr. Richard Elmendorf of Bairdford, Pennsylvania, another helper of the first hour, who encouraged me with this shout. Delighted to be invited to read a paper in the Third National Bible-Science Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, on August 15-18, 1976, I therefore included my suggestion to test the isotropy of space in the essay I had been asked to submit beforehand for the standard procedure of having the address available in print form during the actual lectures. To my dismay, the Program Chairman phoned me a week before the opening of the Conference and asked me to withdraw passages concerning the experiment, because according to him I was wrong in claiming it to be valid. Unable to refute him on the spot, I bowed to his suggestion to delete this contestable matter. During the conference, we agreed, we would talk things over. This we did, with the result that I turned out to be right; and after I had presented my paper the Chairman told the audience the story of the misunderstanding, and presented the hearers with an outline of the page missing from the printed proceedings.
The reader may well ask why I have gone on at such length about the vicissitudes of my isotropy experiment. The reason is that until today it has remained an unblunted weapon wherewith, I hold, the Tychonian Society will be able to slay the unbelievers. The waiting is only for a physicist with enough cognitive dissonance to see that Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity is no more than a not-even-logically-soundly supported hypothesis. From 1976 until 1981 the matter was therefore, as the saying goes, "on the back burner," and the Bulletins undertook instead to occupy themselves seriously with the many-faceted philosophical, physical, and theological demurrals besetting geocentrism.
For that, happily, support from far and near turned out to be in the offing. Though my lecture in St. Paul was received only slightly less favourably than the one held in Seattle, nonetheless, interesting contacts resulted from it. The Bulletin of November-December 1976 could be considered a harbinger of things to come. Dr. G. D. Bouw, now the Editor, entered the list on my side with a Ph.D. in Astronomy, to give battle with a paper on "Scripture and Geocentrism." To be sure, perceptive readers must have soon realized that his approach to the propositions involved was different from mine. Our views with respect to the inerrancy of Scripture and the role of the Bible in any scientific controversy were, and still are, far apart. The Tychonian model to which he pays homage is a far cry from the one I envisage. From then on till today, however, while agreeing to disagree on these two particular aspects of our common cause, we have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in our anti-Copernicanism and our promotion of a Christian cosmology.
Come one, come all. As the saying goes: where one sheep goes, another will follow. What, I had asked myself already, if there were to arise the need to separate those welcome sheep from unwelcome goats? Being very reluctant to base any of my geocentric and theological conclusions on a pronounced or even implied "Thus says the Lord," I set myself the rule never to reject any courteously and reasonably written paper, whether pro or contra the general geocentric theory I wanted to uphold and propagate. All worldly wisdom is not a priori worthless on account of being worldly. Hence it was that in the same Bulletin No. 13 in which Mr. Bouw's article appeared, I published also a request by a professed atheist, Dr. Stefan Marinov, an announcement about an International Conference on Space-Time Absoluteness. Sad to say, this gathering, to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, in May 1977 under the patronage of Dr. A. D. Sacharov, never took place. The communist rulers of Bulgaria squashed the plan out of hand. (In fact, until today Stefan and many others, however much we may all differ in our reasons for affirming it, experience as a result of our adherence to the concept of space-time absoluteness the same ostracism. To be against Einstein is to be blacklisted.)
The year 1977, in fact, was the year in which the Tychonian Bulletin grew up and matured. In January the already-mentioned windmill tilter sans peur et sans reproche, Mr. Richard Elmendorf from Bairdford, Pennsylvania, made his debut with "Clarification of 'Time' and 'Observer' in Relativity," offering notes on Special Relativity as covered in Herbert Dingle's book, Science at the Crossroads. The March-April issue featured first of all Dr. Bouw's "The Principle of Equivalence and the Earth's Rotation," with a few pages of heavy going for non-mathematical readers. It also contained a supplement of lasting value for all future geocentric meditations and prognostications: Elmendorf's "Celestial Motion Illustrator."
A finished illustrator has been on my desk ever since, as a warning and a reminder. I cannot but reprint my remarks accompanying its publication; for not to keep those in mind is to court disaster when engaging in a dispute with Copernicans as well as relativists. How painfully I remember that in October 1980 I lost a debate at a Dutch Evangelical College because I forgot their crucial importance. It allowed my opponent to keep our audience and me enmeshed in the shortsightedness of a view we all "instinctively" are inclined to adopt. And thus he slew me.
Not to add my own comments to Mr. Elmendorf's elucidations is impossible for me. For the clever contraption can help to clarify a cardinal point, which is for those who grasp it as clear as day, but for those who do not yet "see" it is as invisible as a black cat on a starless night at New Moon. Time and again vaunted theories, I submit, are fatally flawed by not taking this unavoidable implication into account, and many questions which reach me from even the most knowledgeable readers would never have been asked if they had not overlooked the absolutely basic issue for any reasoning, deductive as well as inductive, about the Universe in which we find ourselves.
The first man who realized the point's importance but notwithstanding that did not throw off his Galilean shackles is, as far as I can ascertain, the idealist Irish philosopher George Berkeley (1685-1753). Allow me to quote from his De Motu, a critique of Newtonian mechanics. "We are sometimes deceived by the fact that when we imagine the removal of all other bodies, yet we suppose our own body to remain."
To discuss the problem in depth and in detail is beyond the scope of a small periodical. But a few remarks aimed at putting the matter in the right perspective may not be amiss and may be an extra incentive in encouraging you to have a go at pasting, cutting, and assembling Mr. Elmendorf's "educational toy," which is much more than a toy.
Imagine as well as you can, "empty space," or better: "bottomless void." Now in your thinking suspend in that void our Solar System as commonly envisaged: the great Sun in the middle and the planets, obeying Kepler and Newton's trustworthy laws, running around it. The conclusion which you draw you will find obvious and convincing. The Tychonians are fools and the Copernicans clearheaded chaps....
Just a moment: to which immovable mass in space are you clinging when you observe the Sun and its satellites? Do you not realize that in fact you have taken a stance "at rest" relative to the Sun, and that in doing this you are begging the question? That you only declare that Great Light to be "at rest" because in your imagination you have taken a position "at rest" relative to it?
Whatever you say, in the first place you can't go (yet) to that spot from which in your flight of fancy you saw Mother Gea racing around a "static" Sun. And even if and when with a future Apollo LXIII or Mariner CXXIII you would go there, are you sure,--can you be sure--that in hitching your space vehicles to the stars you and your crafts are "at rest?" If you deem that possible, may I ask you: "at rest" in relation to what rock that cannot be moved?
"Imagine," says Einstein, "a closed room accelerating in space." "Imagine," says Dingle, "two clocks, one at rest and the other running away." Imagine......imagine--but be aware that in performing these mental acts you must not overlook the most obvious and yet almost never realized fact, that when you began to imagine those moving rooms and running clocks you could not think yourself away but--I am inclined to say--unwittingly assumed yourself to be the only one in all the wide observable heavens undoubtedly and absolutely at a standstill. That at bottom, however unaware of the intent, you proudly identify yourself with Aristotle's Unmoved Mover. That, to quote Dr. Bouw's article in the Dec.-Jan. Bulletin you are absolutely absolute in judging movement and rest from your intra-cosmic viewpoint, the status and coordinates of which would have to be found in the void that does not and cannot have coordinates? Don't you see, to cite Sir Fred Hoyle's Machian and Berkeleyan dictum for the umptieth time that the thing is impossible, and that in the present World Age (Aion) of observable and conceivable realities the geocentric view is "as good as anybody else's, but not better?" If we restrict ourselves to the space-time Universe in which natural man lives and moves and has his being we cannot but agree with Mach who wrote in 1872, "For me only relative motion exists."
"Give me but one firm spot on which to stand, and I will move the earth," Archimedes boasted already more than two millennia ago.
However, for none of us there is such a spot, neither within the starry sphere nor, certainly, without it in the void.
"Yes, but...," I know. Grant me leave to approach the point by means of an analogy. our situation is somewhat similar to that in which Epimenides the Cretan put himself when he wrote "The Cretans are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies" (Titus 1:12). If he excludes himself his judgment is not universally valid--if he includes himself the statement doesn't even reach the level of nonsense.
Such is, to my way of thinking, our position when we try to pin down the pivot on which the Universe turns, and, not believing the appearances, are trying to save them by idolatrous models. Not only in the material mode, but in the immaterial ones as well. Nowhere and in no way do we by ourselves have a living or logical leg to stand on. When I am thinking about the validity of thinking, I am thinking already and resemble--apologies for the far-fetched comparison!--a kitten chasing its tail. It is not: "I think, therefore I am," and then jumping to certainties, clear and distinct ideas of which I can be certain, as Descartes surreptitiously did, but "I am, therefore I think." That is: I think, and only can think, along the circuits of logic etched upon our brains by the Designer of those brains. Because that Designer is trustworthy, the logical operations of those circuits are trustworthy insofar as we follow the Designer's manual, i.e., His Authoritative Word containing His just laws--which after that sad day recorded in Genesis 3 we often do not and cannot do perfectly. We do not trust a computer's output because it is a computer, but because we trust the man who built it. A computer assembled by monkeys or one that just "happened" to assemble itself--nobody will pay a dime for its directives. Absolute true truth is not within our grasp; we can only have it when we accept it on Authority from Above. Nowhere will we find "rest" literally and figuratively, but where the Great Creator and Saviour assures us where we can find rest. He alone knows.
There is the "void," the "nothingness" in which (at least at the moment I write this, but tomorrow the see-saw may have come down on the steady state or what-not side), Scientism tells us, the primeval atom exploded with a Big Bang and in which or into which void the Universe is still expanding. Preferring His Master's Voice above that of the abbe Lemaitre and his compatriots, I don't believe a word of that flight of fancy. My information I have from Him Who cannot lie, and He assures me that He in that void created the Heaven and "the basic space-mass-time continuum (to quote Dr. Morris' The Genesis Record) which constitutes our physical Universe," or (to cite Hoyle's irreverent expression) "the bubble in which we live." That is to say: an, in comparison with the size of our bodies, large but finite and temporal "volume" in the void, bounded by infinity and eternity, as we understand those terms.
That Universe "outside" of which man cannot go I see pictured in Mr. Elmendorf's "illustrator."
However, this is for a Christian not an ontological and epistemological journey's end. There is another Mode of Being where time is not our time and life is not our life and which only a few mortals have seen since Creation's morn, but which we all shall see when the trumpet shall sound: that Heaven which is God's abode. The space which we are able to observe is not absolute; measuring absolute motion within it is chasing the wind. And only where that super-temporal and super-dimensional Mode of Being touches our temporal one do we have a hold on the only Absolute in all existing and transfinitely possible modes of being--that Great White Throne which cannot be moved. To state it with fear and trembling and with all the reverence a creature has at his command: only the LORD views the Universe in the way we view Mr. Elmendorf's Illustrator. Your chair is not a steady "frame of reference," but God's Throne is. And, reading your Bible "as is" from the first verse of Genesis to the last words of Revelation, does Scripture then not clearly express and imply that relative to the Immovable Throne of the Ancient of Days the Earth, His footstool, is at rest, and that the heavens with all the celestial bodies in it revolve around us in the courses the Creator has determined for them?
Whether the geocentric paradigm thus stated sub specie aeternitatis can be experimentally affirmed or refuted is after all a question of secondary importance. I personally do not need such an affirmation, but in setting forth our case to a world that is now, as its ultimate consequence, deriving despair from the Copernican infection, Paul's words in Romans 1:18-23 should not be overlooked. Peradventure a demonstration of the untrustworthiness of the still undoubtedly "believed" cosmology may be a help in our witnessing for the Truth.
Without accepting supercosmic standards delineating all our endeavours we are adrift in a nothingness without holds. And if on the lowest, that is the cosmologically defined level, the existence of such a standard is scoffed at already, how can we hope for the religious and ethical levels of life? To promote the truth of our Earth being at rest in the centre of the observable Universe as a first step in Christian apologetics is in fact the only reason why I defend the Tychonian theory.
At any rate, to resume the history of the Tychonian Society after this latest diversion: as I stated above, in 1977 the Tychonian Bulletin as it were grew up quickly. It is probably not necessary to render a detailed account of the content of these Bulletins after the cover of the May-June issue, with Cheri Mattila's design on the front and the Tychonian diagram on the back, gave them the distinctive appearance they still have. The number of subscribers kept rising, and papers discussing and analyzing every aspect of the geocentric theorem, touched on in the above reprint from Bulletin 15, filled the pages. Authors expostulating with other contributors on most points, invalid statements, to be ruefully but thankfully retracted--whatever the rights and wrongs, nobody could accuse our little magazine of being tedious or one-sided with respect to the articles presented to its growing and truly international circle of readers. Professor Harold Armstrong, a stalwart Christian and a World War II veteran, and Dr. Stefan Marinov, Bulgarian "citizen of the world," both of them competent physicists, contributed essays throwing light on some arcane points of theoretical science, be it from diametrically opposed religious and philosophical starting points. A number of times the late Harry A. Kavafakis, hailing from Athens, and Mr. Walter M. DeCew enriched the Bulletin with essays about the enigmas of infinity with respect to cosmological considerations; the former not shying away from referring to venerable Aristotelian insights, the latter bringing to our attention the paradoxes of mathematics and the thought of St. Bonaventura pertinent to astronomy. Dr. John Byl, an astrophysicist, championing an instrumental philosophy of science, and Dr. Bouw and I filled many pages with our views on, respectively, the scientific authority of the Bible and the historical and epistemological angles and aspects of Geocentrism. A few issues also carried noteworthy supplements, such as translations of very technical older German papers analyzing the ins and outs of general relativity, with explanations by Professor Hanson about their impact on the tenets of the Tychonian theory. And not to forget: in 1980 there was and Elmendorf piece that offered a $1,000 "Reward for Scientific Proof Positive that the Earth Moves." It has not yet been earned and is, as far as I know, still open for all comers; but any fear of the challenger having to pay up I do not have.
Other features could still be mentioned. A few times, as for instance in the case of Theo Theocaris, a Cyprian studying and working in London, the Bulletin gladly brought out anti-relativity articles and appeals which the "establishment" authorities and magazines had refused to accept. Letters to the Editor and Quotable Quotes often functioned as a sort of hors d'oeuvre to the "main courses." Of which, allow me to add, a few now seem dated or plain wrong, but many are worthy of a--perhaps sometimes slightly amended--reprint. They are as relevant today as they were a decade or more ago.
But enough of reminiscences. Leading up to the present there are nevertheless a few acts and facts not to be passed over. Professor Hanson and Dr. Bouw arranged a Geocentric Conference, held on June 5-7, 1978, in the International Auditorium of the University center at the Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio; the first gathering in four hundred years that was going to look at the alternative to Copernicanism and even more so its modern derivatives. A few commemorative pages dedicated to that unique meeting of divergent minds in amicable concord would, it appears to me, not come amiss. Also, a second gathering of that kind--it might now become truly international--I still look forward to. These personal wishes, however, in no way detract from the achievements of the originators of that Cleveland convention.
At the beginning of this installment of the history of the Tychonian Society I mentioned and experiment with a Rayleigh Refractometer that I had sketched out. It remains to tell what happened at this point, because in 1982, thanks to the generous financial help of twenty-four faithful supporters, my experiment to test the isotropy of space was carried out professionally. To switch to a lighter vein for a few moments, this is how we began to go about doing that test, as reported in Bulletin No. 34, December, 1982:
Your editor, though by nature a steadfast pessimist, very unrealistically expected the actual measurements to be a cinch, once we would start turning that fourteen-foot sandbox with its laser, beam splitter, and lenses. And hence I postponed issuing a Bulletin until I could "give the readers the dope."
Alas, great have been my disappointments. Our first trials, for which we needed a high ceilinged building, were run in an open barn of a friend and farmer, Henry Hut, in the Pitt Polder here. We recklessly risked the collapse of his roof by hanging the then half ton contraption from ominously creaking rafters. Not only that: our host, at that time being short of living space for a few calves, was compelled to give us these tied-up nosy beasts as permanent spectators. I was entrusted with the scientifically important task of keeping a frisky baby heifer of twice my own weight out of the way when the experiment was in progress. Shoving and shivering in the late-evening cold darkness of the door-less machine shed I covered my co-workers against the intrusions of the nearest curious Holstein, when they were walking around with the rotating box, only the glow of the laser barely illuminating the from a scientific point of view dismally unorthodox scene.
I spare you the details of all that was wrong and went wrong. Let it suffice to say that after months of tinkering with the unwieldy apparatus Mr. Sanderse succeeded in taming the unruly rippling and vibrating light-and-dark patterns of the balky interferometer. At long last the definitive tests, with the fringes on the projection screen perfectly steady, could be performed in the workshop of the Fraser Valley Christian High-School, Surrey, graciously placed at our disposal for that purpose. A detailed report and discussion I hope to publish in, D.V., the next Bulletin. Here I only mention the outcome of the affair: neither of the Earth's supposed annual revolution around the Sun, nor of its diurnal rotation in space, even the slightest trace could be found.
(For the professional account I refer the reader to our publication of the outcome in the American Journal of Science. See Note 1.)
In a certain sense the outcome of the experiment was therefore disappointing. It dashed to the ground my hope that by means of it showing the Earth to rotate only with respect to the cosmos as a whole, the geocentric theory could be set on a firm footing. Not only that: by attesting this diurnal rotation to be measurable as a change in the velocity of light relative to the apparatus used it would have put Einstein's Special Theory out of the running. On the other hand the result could just as well be taken to attest to an, immanently considered, even more absolute Geocentrism that the one I had hitherto expected. It did not strictly "prove" the prevalent relativistic view, but only, and that at first sight, leant more support to it. For there are a few pertinacious aspects of the Special Theory of Relativity that are seldom realized. In fact, not at all.
To be sure, if Einstein is right, neither the orbital, nor any other velocity of our Earth can be measured directly. And, indeed, no one has ever experimentally demonstrated that the Earth circles the star called the Sun. Hence one might well conclude that in fact Einstein was right.
That is, alas, an overhasty inference, resting, as it does, on an unwarranted generalization. Upon close, logical inspection the Special Theory of Relativity turns out to be no more than a lopsidedly supported hypothesis. For if in the Sahara no ice fields can be found, this observation does not thereby prove that icefields exist nowhere. If here on Earth the velocity of light is the same for all observers, then that fact does not yet thereby confirm that this "apparent paradox," as the Ridpath Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Space calls it, is equally valid for observers on the moon, which is in motion relative to us. At least one control experiment is necessary to make the paradox credible, and two simple tests for just that purpose are readily available. Both have already been performed, the one by Hoek in 1868, the other by the author and his coworkers in 1982. Their outcomes in a laboratory at rest on the Earth indeed support Poincare's "principle of relativity" squarely. This result, however, does not deliver proof, logically. Only after the same experiment has been executed in e.g. a Concorde or space shuttle, and its results still uphold Poincare's principle, will Einstein's Relativity have become a viable theory.
With this quote from the abstract of my book published in the summer of 1988 I may well end this historical account of the promotion and defense of Geocentrism by the Tychonian Society. Having become a septuagenarian in March 1983, in the Bulletin of March 1984 I handed over its editorship to a trustworthy successor, my friend Gerry Bouw.
As far as I myself am concerned after that demise, in 1985 I published a book in Dutch about the importance of a Houvast aan het hemelruim, that is, a "Hold on the Heavens," and in 1988, as already mentioned, my De Labore Solis, to which I refer the reader for an in-depth treatment of the geocentric theory and its far-reaching ramifications.
Let me now recapitulate this history of the Tychonian Society and put the present state of my whole enterprise in a nutshell.
I insist that the author or authors of Genesis One intend to give us plain truth in plain language without any scientific overtones. We can only take or leave the impression which that language conveys of an Earth central to all things created. Whatever theory of inspiration or delegated authorship we adhere to, God clearly wanted the story of the Hexhaemeron to be told in the manner that all men--learned and unlearned, sophisticated and simple alike!--would have seen the Creation taking place if they had been allowed the position of eyewitness during the six days it took to complete that Mighty Act. To interpret Genesis One in any other way in order to make it accord with the level of science at the moment believed in, that is to make the author of authors, and by implication no less the One who prompted or commissioned them, into deceivers.
Today, as I hope I have shown, and admittedly leaving aside a host of--in my opinion--improbable copernically-based ad hocs, the choice is between two models, the geocentric Tychonian and the acentric Einsteinian. The latter already has two strikes against it. To begin with, it is acknowledged to be inconsistent with the model required by quantum mechanics. "They cannot both be correct." The former is at least verifiable by experiments and can hence attain an increased "truth content," though of course it shares with relativity the sad lot of all physical theories: it cannot be proven, only more-or-less disproven. Einstein's theory, however, is in a far worse position. Not only is it equally unprovable--its basic tenet is unobservable except through the very phenomenon it was invented to explain. Which phenomenon, to wit the Earth's complex motion through space, is assumed to exist, though never yet physically demonstrated. Now true scientists will not leave a stone unturned in their efforts to establish the truth of their ideas ever more solidly by means of showing any possible disproof to miss the mark. Not so the ruling relativists! What all men daily observe, the hosts of the created Heavens rotating around an immovable Earth, cannot be the true state of affairs. Carrying out my experiment from a fast moving platform relative to the Earth is therefore, it is held, unnecessary. For Einstein must be right, since otherwise....
Yes, since otherwise Tycho Brahe, who trusted Holy Writ, might be found true; and Galileo, who trusted himself, a liar.
FOOTNOTES: John Byl, Martin Sanderse, and Walter van der Kamp, "Simple first-order test of special relativity," American Journal of Physics, January 1985, pp. 43-45.
: We have had enough of a turn-over in readership since then that it would probably help our readers to reprint the Illustrator. We hope to be able to do so soon. --the Editor.
: Walter van der Kamp, De Labore Solis: Airy's Failure Reconsidered, privately published, 14813 Harris Road, Pitt Meadows, B.C. V3Y 1Z1, Canada. Postpaid $10 Am., $12 Can.
: See J. P. Wesley, ed., Progress in Space-Time Physics, Blumberg, West Germany, Benjamin Wesley, Publisher, 1987.
: Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Bantom Books, 1988, p. 12.