Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Crank Watch: Case 2

I think its about time I got back to my usual pastime of crank watching (and baiting).

The reasons for choosing crankhood as an occupation are legion; simple mistakes followed by bloody minded insistence on your own correctness (a la Arp), madness, social disfunction, inflated opinion of oneself (I'm smarter than Einstein etc.), the desire to be noticed, the chance to earn the respect of a bunch of poorly-washed barely-literate loons and of course the need to spend some time doing something other than surfing the 'net for porn.

However in my personal opinion the worst reason is obvious: religion. It's surely madness to base an attempt at a scientific theory on some religious beliefs. I'm glad to say that most of the major organised religions have come to the conclusion that science tells us how the world works, they tell us how the afterlife works. Nowadays they generally don't get involved in claiming how the world works, mostly due to the fact that time after time they get proved wrong, best not to argue with the science and just worry about the moral implications.

Well some people are unfortunately not that enlightened. I've just come across a bunch of geocentrists! yeah I thought no one could be that nuts either, but there you go, never underestimate the stupidity of strangers. Check out their website here. Their basic reason for believing that the Earth is the centre of the Universe is that it says so in the Bible, good start. But just look down their list of other reasons for why it is valid!

Kepler murdered Tycho Brahe because he was a geocentrist! Now there's a story and a half. Interestingly modern investigations do seem to show that Brahe died from mercury poisoning, still quite a leap to blame Kepler.

Most of their other reasons are simply due to the fact in GR you can choose any reference frame you want, so if you are stupid enough you can choose one where the Earth is stationary. This does of course have implications, the most obvious being that the Universe must be rotating round the Earth once every 24 hours. So for distant galaxies that rapidly builds up to speeds greater than light, now technically this is allowed as it is space that is rotating not the galaxies, but come on! Whats more likely, that one insignificant planet is moving or the entire Universe has been arranged perfectly such that everything moves around it? Honestly. Just check out the monster "discussion" of the theory at the bad astronomy bb.

Apparently telecopic observations show that the Earth is at rest, that's news to me and I've made quite a few telescopic observations.

Also apparently Einstein "invented" relativity to escape the geocentric evidence. So how come it works, perfectly, every single time its tested?

The guys who wrote the book however are a bit touchy, here is a quote from the blog the authors are involved in:

So the devil's drumbeat continues : the modernist claims of credibility invariably return to the strawman of Galileo vs. geocentrism. One can take it to be the logo of modernism, its defining mark and the signature stamp of the demon, the bludgeon by which orthodox dissent is beaten into silence.

Well, what did they expect the Spanish Inquisition? I doubt it, No one expects the Spanish Inquisition. Sorry couldn't resist. Check out the rest of the madness here.

Disclaimer No Cranks were harmed in the making of this post, we'll not physically, though a few egos were bruised, probably.


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