Re: [asa] (what's a fact?) Brilliant article by Dawkins

From: dfsiemensjr <>
Date: Thu Aug 27 2009 - 14:38:58 EDT

On Wed, 26 Aug 2009 21:43:51 -0600 "Terry M. Gray"
<> writes:
> Bernie,
> Yes, that's close to where modern philosophy of science is today.
> Perhaps we should say that a fact is an observation that is
> conditioned by the observer and the theoretical constructs that the
> observational apparatus exists in.
> So...
> Heliocentricity is not a fact, it's a theory. Geocentricity was
> never
> a fact, it too was a theory. Both are based on the same
> observations.
> Interestingly, I'm not sure that Ptolemaic geocentricism didn't fare
> as well as Copernican heliocentricism with respect to predictions. I
> would guess that a flight to the moon could be successfully carried
> out under Ptolemaic geocentric predictions with respect to the
> celestial motions. I'm not sure how Ptolemy would deal with the
> rocket.
I think you might slam into a crystalline sphere. If that did not happen,
there would be a grave problem landing on a fast-moving object. I don't
recall the distance to the moon in Ptolemy's system, but the velocity to
accomplish a 24-hour circuit would be great. I also recall that the
proper locus of the element fire was someplace in the sublunar area. I
also doubt that there would be any way to deal with a rocket before
Newton provided the formulas.
Dave (ASA)
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Received on Thu Aug 27 15:05:07 2009

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