Time to continue with the dissection of Hesedyahu’s Flat Earth post (though another way of looking at this is that Hesedyahu opposed the notion of what he considers blindly accepting a spherical earth). My first look at his arguments can be found here.
Now, by “first principles,” I’m not using that in a technical sense. I’m using that in a personal way to describe where I actually start from, i.e., my own sensory experience. [I also learned that we don’t just have five senses, but that’s another story.] So I think about my day-to-day experience. Starting from there, I ask myself, if I feel any motions as described by the story of the universe as described by the knowledgeable believers in the theory, not just the normies who are just like I used to be, ignorant of the details. So yes, I need to know the details. What are the motions?
In their story, the surface of the earth spins at a tangential speed of 1,000 miles per hour at the equator. Where I live, that would be about 600 miles per hour. Let’s pretend that’s a constant speed. Except not exactly since it is said that this ball earth wobbles. Oh well. The earth is also said to be moving around the sun, about 67,000 miles per hour and not in a circle but in an ellipse, which means there is now acceleration in that alleged journey, faster closer to the sun and slower further away. That also means there’s acceleration as the ball earth is supposed to spin on its non-existent axis, faster in the night (orbit speed + spin speed) and slower in the day (orbit speed – spin speed). That’s not all. The sun system is supposed to be moving in the spiral arms of the galaxy at about 500,000 miles per hour. That’s not all. The galaxy itself is said to be moving at 522 kilometres per second. Hmmm … I don’t like that. The units changed. Let me change that to miles per hour. Step-by-step. So first I’ll change the km to miles. So that’s 324 miles per second. That would be 324 times 60 miles per minute, which is 19,440 miles per minute. Then it’s 19,440 times 60 miles per hour, which is 1,166,400 miles per hour.
So, back to my initial question: do I feel any of this incredible speed? Absolutely not! I experience no such movement. I imagine a picture of it happening, but not to scale. I know there are meant to be immense distances between the planets in this imagined supposition, but there is no physical connection between the bodies of the flying system. That … errr … that just seems even more fictional now. But it’s supposed to be “gravity,” right? I’ll get to that. But it doesn’t help.
I’m no expert but I’d say motion is relative. Step onto a train for example. The train can be traveling at a hundred miles per hour but, whilst you might feel a sensation of speed, you don’t personally feel that sense of speed. You might feel the acceleration but once the train gets to a steady pace you won’t notice – and a gradual acceleration will go virtually unnoticed. This also applies to plane travel – you’ll notice the acceleration but once up to cruising speed you’ll not feel like you’re moving at several hundred miles per hour (and look out the window to see the curvature of the earth for yourself, as mentioned in the previous Flat Earth post). Does this mean that the train and plane haven’t travelled quickly? We wouldn’t make such an argument (at least, I’m not aware of anyone who would).
My senses tell me that the earth doesn’t move in such motions. The sky and the bodies in it move, but I don’t. That’s where I start from.
There’s another factor to this. I personally sense no curve. I’ve got no inkling that I’m on a ball. In my limited travels, I’ve never experienced such a dip or curve, never seen it directly. I’ve only travelled over something that doesn’t seem to have the angles of a cube or any other 3D shape. I’ve only travelled over a relative plane, save for hills.
Another thing I’ve never experienced is higher air pressure staying stuck to the outside of a surface near an area of a lesser pressure and not expanding out to equalise. Nor have I experienced water sticking to the outside of a ball the way described by the ball earth idea.
When it comes to gravity, I have experiential issues with that. When I was at school, “Newtonian” gravity – it’s not really Newtonian since there is evidence that Newton didn’t want anything to do with such an idea – was defined as mass attracting mass, that objects of sufficient mass pull other things towards their centre. And I accepted this for a long time. That is, until I stopped and thought about it. What was mass? People would say it’s just how much stuff an object has, how many molecules that something has. But then others say it’s resistance to a change in motion (essentially inertia). But whatever it was, it wasn’t in my experience. I know weight, how heavy something is. But mass seemed different. Anyway, why would the amount of mass something has make it attractive? I thought fatter men and women, morbidly obese, weren’t that attractive at all … Oh wait! Wrong topic. LOL.
Anyway, there’s no reason why this mass thing would make things come together or become attractive like a magnet. There’s no point in invoking “spacetime” which is only a mathematical concept, not a physical thing. But not only that. I had never in my life experienced that at all, mass attracting mass or a real and physical substance oxymoronically called “spacetime” (what a stupid name!). So the question would then be, why would I apply attributes that I’ve never experienced to bodies I could never touch? The sun, moon and stars are all intangible for me. Why would I ever believe that a big rock can forever fall around a ball of burning hydrogen? How do I even know what the sun is? Why the hell would gas, hydrogen, be massive? Gases don’t clump together and burn eternally. In fact, pushing gases together makes them more energetic and push apart.
If gravity is not a force that exists, what alternative idea can Hesedyahu present to explain why objects that are thrown into the air return to the ground? What theories can Hesedyahu present to explain… well… anything?
If we are to reject gravity, we need to reconsider a great many things. The formation of planets cannot happen without gravity and the relationship between gravity, mass and density. Since anyone can pick up a telescope and see planets for themselves, in spherical forms no less, we know planets exists. We can point telescopes towards the sun (not wise, but we can physically do it) and see for ourselves it’s a very bright ball that burns with an incredible intensity. These objects exist, and the scientific theories developed around gravity, and the related fields of planetary formation and star formation, all explain what we can see and observe. It is also quite strange that Hesedyahu would say stars can’t form out of hydrogen. Elements can exhibit different properties in different conditions – helium is known to exist as a gas but under certain conditions can also be a liquid. Another well-known element to exhibit different properties is nitrogen. The hydrogen found in dust clouds and molecular clouds exhibits different properties from the gaseous form of hydrogen that we find commonly on earth.
Finally, the principles of the fusion reactions happening in the core of stars underpin the function of thermonuclear fusion reactors, which, whilst currently horribly inefficient, exist and function right here on earth. We know the principle works (it would be my suggestion to Hesedyahu to do a bit of research).
There’s more – next up will be a detailed look at the ‘evidence’ presented for why we should reject a spherical earth, but that will involve a lot of work and seeing as it’s late, that’s definitely something to examine when I have more free time.