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Reader Opinion: Simpler to understand

Sept. 15's "Galileo Again" writer is again partially correct. Tyco Brahe's modified geocentric theory can explain, in a very complicated way, the retrograde motion of Mars, but cannot explain stellar parallax as was stated. In fact, it was the la...

Sept. 15's "Galileo Again" writer is again partially correct. Tyco Brahe's modified geocentric theory can explain, in a very complicated way, the retrograde motion of Mars, but cannot explain stellar parallax as was stated. In fact, it was the lack of stellar parallax that prompted Brahe to

develop his modified geocentric theory.

Science doesn't deal in absolutes. Can the geocentric theory be correct, certainly, but science follows something called Occam's Razor (a quote attributed to 14th century logician William of Ockham), which loosely translates to, "with two competing theories that make the same prediction, the simpler one is better." Either of the geocentric theories (Ptolemy/Brahe) work, both involve extremely complicated motions (epicycles, deferents and eccentrics). The heliocentric theory of Copernicus explains the solar system much simpler (elliptical orbits) accounting for stellar parallax and all planetary motion.

A simple question, "What causes the planets to move on epicycles?" This complicated movement violates all known laws of physics. Planetary elliptical motion around the sun is easily explained by Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation.

It is ludicrous to expect that the sun (mass = 331,000 Earth masses and volume of 1,300,000 Earths) orbits puny Earth. It's more feasible to know Earth orbits the sun.

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As to the exclusive teaching of the heliocentric theory in schools, no good science educator would just teach the heliocentric theory. A good educator would show the good/bad points of each system.

As to the quote of George Ellis, of course science cannot disprove (see paragraph 2 above) that Earth is the center of the universe, nor can science disprove that Earth orbits the sun carried on the back of a large invisible tortoise.

The heliocentric theory explains planetary movements in observance of all laws of science and is simpler to understand.

Fred Baker

Motley

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