Re: [asa] New fruit fly threat in Southern California

From: gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
Date: Sat Aug 01 2009 - 18:39:49 EDT

On Sat, 1 Aug 2009, George Murphy wrote:

> & your last sentence is just wrong.  If we could watch the history of the
> universe being run backwards we would see events at the level of elementary
> particles or atoms obeying the same laws that we see them obeying
> now (except for kaon decay).  The earth orbiting the sun in a clockwise
> sense (instead of counterclockwise as it does now) would obey Kepler's &
> Newton's laws (approximately).  Of course ireversible thermodynamic
> phenomena would look different but how is that relevant to the point at
> issue?

I certainly agree with these statements, but they also reminded me of how
our prejudices affect our terminology. The earth orbits the sun in a
counterclockwise sense because we think of it as being viewed from
"above". If we viewed it from "below", the orbit would be traversed in a
clockwise sense. Presumably we want to think of north as being up. I once
saw a world map in a shop in New Zealand that had been hung upside down
(from what we are accustomed to) with a sign underneath that said "No
Longer Down Under."

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

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Received on Sat Aug 1 18:40:45 2009

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