Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Geocentric View

I think I've settled on a blog title: Geocentric View. geocentric view? a geocentric view? It's all so complicated.

Even though mollishtronomy did make me laugh out loud (thanks, John), I wanted something slightly less restrictive, as I write about things other than astronomy. Okay, while that is also true, the real reason is that I have a really difficult time spelling "mollishtronomy": it's terribly difficult to not put a "k" after the "h," and then it all falls to hell after that. Well, okay that and the fact that I'm just a wee bit compulsive and if I'm going to pick a "real" blog title then it has to be perfect. I'd considered your life in boxes for a while, but then general reaction to that one seemed to be, "... boxes?" I also liked the sound of beneath star-freckled skies, but not only is it a tad too complicated, but Columbus is rather cloudy most of the year. quiet Euclidean space is simple and clean, though slightly too mathematical, and if I'm going to go the mathematical route, then it should by no means be geometric or topological, and certainly not Euclidean for crying out loud. On the other hand, "Abelian grapes" is a little too far from, you know, what I spend all day doing and what I actually blog about, and besides, it's already taken. Both three double-blind mice and three blind jellyfishes have been duly considered, and both were decided to be Awesome group blog titles, which this blog is not. When I started writing this post, particles to pelt was the title of choice, but the universal response to that seems to be, "pelt? ... like, fur? huh?"

No, the credit for a geocentric view goes completely to the unsuspecting Sean Carroll over at Cosmic Variance and a Mr. W. H. Auden who wrote some poetry once upon a time. (I wonder how many more links I can cram into this thing?) The BBC has a recording of Auden reading the relevant poem, entitled "After Reading a Child's Guide to Modern Physics." It's well worth installing RealPlayer, though I found Sylvia Plath's intonation of "Lady Lazuras" much more intriguing: have you ever read a book where they have a poet character and the author goes on and on about how sonorous and melodic the character's voice is? What the author is really trying to say is that the (female) character's voice is like that of Sylvia Plath.

Anyhow, I digress. Here's the lovely poem:

If all a top physicist knows
About the Truth be true,
Then, for all the so-and-so's,
Futility and grime,
Our common world contains,
We have a better time
Than the Greater Nebulae do,
Or the atoms in our brains.

Marriage is rarely bliss
But, surely it would be worse
As particles to pelt
At thousands of miles per sec
About a universe
Wherein a lover's kiss
Would either not be felt
Or break the loved one's neck.

Though the face at which I stare
While shaving it be cruel
For, year after year, it repels
An ageing suitor, it has,
Thank God, sufficient mass
To be altogether there,
Not an indeterminate gruel
Which is partly somewhere else.

Our eyes prefer to suppose
That a habitable place
Has a geocentric view,
That architects enclose
A quiet Euclidian space:
Exploded myths - but who
Could feel at home astraddle
An ever expanding saddle?

This passion of our kind
For the process of finding out
Is a fact one can hardly doubt,
But I would rejoice in it more
If I knew more clearly what
We wanted the knowledge for,
Felt certain still that the mind
Is free to know or not.

It has chosen once, it seems,
And whether our concern
For magnitude's extremes
Really become a creature
Who comes in a median size,
Or politicizing Nature
Be altogether wise,
Is something we shall learn.

It's simple, yet "deep." While Auden is certainly not my favorite poet, he has quite a few pieces I enjoy, and I haven't found any of his works to be annoying or yicky. It's a poem about physics, and yet it's not revolting or condescending or plain wrong like so many scientifically minded poems are. I'll refrain from doing a full-out explication, but the penultimate stanza demands comment: both physics (a kind of science) and poetry (a kind of art) are ultimately a quest for understanding, the "process of finding out." Humankind is driven to it: we have to try to know. What Auden everso innocently asks, though, is just why the seekers seek, and would they be able to "stop any time they wanted"?

Oh, and it really gets me that in the recording the audience doesn't laugh at the end of the fourth stanza. I surely did.

7 comments:

John said...

Yeah, I know what you mean about the spelling thing. Whenever I'm writing a piece of code that keeps track of something, I call it the SomethingManager, which I then proceed to spell SomethingManaher every single time.

Jon said...

Man... now I gotta update my links....

Making me work... on a Monday... :(

mollishka said...

John: I was drinking something when I read your comment and then the something went out my nose. Also, I don't seem to have a problem typing "Manager" ...

Jon: And yet it's Thursday and your links aren't updated! :-(

Micky said...

A Geocentricity Verse In The Apocrypha

1 Esdras Chapter 4
34 O ye men, are not women strong? great is the earth, high is the heaven, swift is the sun in his course, for he compasseth the heavens round about, and fetcheth his course again to his own place in one day.

Micky said...

Sixty-Seven Scriptural References
Which Tell Us That It Is The Sun
And Not The Earth That Moves


Genesis 15:12...... "...and when the sun was going down..."

15:17..... "...when the sun went down..."

19:23..... "The sun was risen upon the earth."

28:11..... "...because the sun was set...."

32:31..... "...the sun rose...."

Exodus 17:12..... "...until the going down of the sun...."

22:3...... "...if the sun be risen upon him...."

22:26.... "...the sun goeth down...."

Leviticus 22:7...... "...And when the sun is down...."

Numbers 2:3........ "...toward the rising of the sun...."

Deuteronomy 11:30..... "...the way where the sun goeth down...."

16:6....... "...at the going down of the sun...."

23:11..... "...when the sun is down...."

24:13..... "...when the sun goeth down...."

24:15..... "...neither shall the sun go down...."

Joshua 1:4..... "...the going down of the sun...."

8:29... "...as soon as the sun was down...."

10:12.. "...Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon...."

10:13.. "...and the sun stood still...."

10:27.. "...the time of the going down of the sun...."

12:1.... "...toward the rising of the sun...."

Judges 5:31.... "...as the sun when he goeth down...."

8:13.... "...before the sun was up...."

9:33.... "...as soon as the sun is up...."

14:18.... "...before the sun went down...."

19:14.... "...and the sun went down...."

II Samuel 2:24.... "...the sun went down...."

3:35.... "...till the sun be down...."

23:4..... "...when the sun riseth...."

I Kings 22:36.... "...the going down of the sun...."

I Chronicles 16:30.... "...the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved...."

II Chronicles 18:34.... "...time of the sun going down...."

Job 9:7.... "...commandeth the sun and it riseth not...."

Job 26:7.... "...He hangeth the earth upon nothing...."

Psalm 19:4.... "...tabernacle for the sun...."

19:5 ... "...cometh out to run...."

19:6.... "...goes forth in a circle from one end of heaven to the other...."

50:1.... "...from the rising of the sun...."

93:1.... "...the world also is stablished that it cannot be moved...."

104:19.. "...the sun knoweth his going down...."

104:22.. "...the sun ariseth...."

113:3.... "...from the rising of the sun...."

Ecclesiastes 1:5.... "...The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down

and hasteth to the place where he arose...."

Isaiah 13:10.... "...sun shall be darkened in his going...."

38:8...... "...is gone down on the sundial of Ahaz...."

38:8...... "...so the sun returned...."

41:25.... "...from the rising of the sun...."

45:6...... "...from the rising of the sun...."

59:19.... "...from the rising of the sun...."

60:20.... "...the sun shall no more go down...."


Jeremiah 15:9.... "...her sun is gone down while it was yet day...."

Daniel 6:14.... "...going down of the sun...."

Amos 8:9.... "...cause the sun to go down at noon...."

Jonah 4:8.... "...when the sun did arise...."

Micah 3:6.... "...and the sun shall go down...."

Nahum 3:17.... "...when the sun ariseth...."

Habakkuk 3:11.... "...the sun and moon stood still in their habitation...."

Malachi 1:11.... "...from the rising of the sun...."

Matthew 5:45.... "...for He maketh His sun to rise...."

13:6..... "...and when the sun was up...."

Mark 1:32.... "...when the sun did set...."

4:6...... "...when the sun was up...."

16:2...... "...at the rising of the sun...."

Luke 4:40.... "...when the sun was setting...."

Ephesians 4:26.... "...let not the sun go down upon your wrath...."

James 1:11.... "...for the sun is no sooner risen...."


That is a Total of 67 Verses from the Bible Which Say

that It Is the Sun that Moves and Not the Earth!


*******************

# of Verses from the Bible Which Say

that It Is the Earth that Moves and Not the Sun:

0

***********************

Will You...your Preacher...your Church Boldly

Stand With The Bible on this Creationist Teaching??

In the Biblical Creation there was, after all,

no sun for the earth to go around until the fourth day!
(Genesis 1:14-19)

mollishka said...

Oh I get it. So if I'm in a car and I see a building zoom by at 30 miles per hour, then clearly I am at rest and the building is moving.

Micky said...

GRAMMATICALLY AND SEMANTICALLY
THE BIBLE DENIES COPERNICANISM
(AND THUS DENIES THE "THEISTIC COPERNICAN" POSITION AS WELL...)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"And God set them [sun, moon, and stars] in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth...." (Gen. 1:17)

Notice: God SET them.... Now, inside our so-called "solar" system, we have only the sun and the moon (from the verse above).

We KNOW the moon moves. Therefore, when God SET IT "in the firmament", the inescapable meaning is that He set it in motion on the track it follows.

Thus, when He set THEM in the firmament it is a grammatical imperative that He set the sun in motion ALSO on its track just like He set the moon in motion on its track.

-------

"Then spake Joshua.... Sun, stand thou still upon
Gibeon, and thou moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until
the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies....
So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and
hasted not to go down about a whole day."

(Joshua 10:12,13)