Wednesday, 22 July 2015

On Spirographs and Standard Candles - Cosmic Markers for Mark Shea

1) On Spirographs and Standard Candles - Cosmic Markers for Mark Shea, 2) How Big is Kepler 452? A Geocentric Minority Report, 3) - But Parallax Guarentees the Distance of Kepler 452, Right? Right? Don't Tell Me It Doesn't!

Mark Shea is usually pretty good, except he has decided to be a mosquito for Geocentrics. The following paragraph, even if he's more of a bumblebee than a mosquito, physically, does succeed in giving some irritation (perhaps the sleep privations this night have made me somewhat unduly irritable):

In antiquity, nobody had yet teased out categorical distinctions between such things as miracles and magic, science and superstition, revelation and folklore. Firmly defined barriers between different species of knowing that later generations would erect did not yet exist. To ask if a man was practicing the rudiments of chemistry or alchemy, astronomy or astrology, science or magic, myth or religion was usually a nonsense question for ancients. They knew things were connected. But they were still only in the bare beginning stages of understanding how they were connected.

Sound familiar? They were, if not dumb, at least just childish starters. We are the ones that have grown smart enough to understand things fairly well.

Now, is that really so?

Those who know me, know I disagree on this one!

I will take an example from Spirographs.

Spirograph is a geometric drawing toy that produces mathematical roulette curves of the variety technically known as hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. It was developed by British engineer Denys Fisher and first sold in 1965.

The name has been a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc., since 1998 following purchase of the company that had acquired the Denys Fisher company. The Spirograph brand was relaunched with original product configurations in the USA in 2013 by Kahootz Toys and in Europe by Goldfish and Bison.

[That was for juridic acknowledgements, I omit some history involving the mathematician Bruno Abakanowicz to get to the functioning:]

The original US-released Spirograph consisted of two different-sized plastic rings, with gear teeth on both the inside and outside of their circumferences. They were pinned to a cardboard backing with pins, and any of several provided gearwheels, which had holes provided for a ballpoint pen to extend through them to an underlying paper writing surface. It could be spun around to make geometric shapes on the underlying paper medium. Later, the Super-Spirograph consisted of a set of plastic gears and other interlocking shape-segments such as rings, triangles, or straight bars. It has several sizes of gears and shapes, and all edges have teeth to engage any other piece. For instance, smaller gears fit inside the larger rings, but also can engage the outside of the rings in such a fashion that they rotate around the inside or along the outside edge of the rings.

To use it, a sheet of paper is placed on a heavy cardboard backing, and one of the plastic pieces—known as a stator—is secured via pins or reusable adhesive to the paper and cardboard. Another plastic piece—called the rotor—is placed so that its teeth engage with those of the pinned piece. For example, a ring may be pinned to the paper and a small gear placed inside the ring. The number of arrangements possible by combining different gears is very large. The point of a pen is placed in one of the holes of the rotor. As the rotor is moved, the pen traces out a curve. The pen is used both to draw and to provide locomotive force; some practice is required before the Spirograph can be operated without disengaging the stator and rotor, particularly when using the holes close to the edge of the larger rotors. More intricate and unusual-shaped patterns may be made through the use of both hands, one to draw and one to guide the pieces. It is possible to move several pieces in relation to each other (say, the triangle around the ring, with a circle "climbing" from the ring onto the triangle), but this requires concentration or even additional assistance from other artists.

Now, I hope you ALL know what kind of curves I am talking about.

The digression was long, but it was meant to illustrate the kind of curve we mean. I played around with Spirographs when a child just after losing grandpa, spring of 1977 - when it was thought I would be growing up to be a Social Democrat, like gramp, since the group where I saw the Spirograph was called Young Eagles and it was a child and youth group for Social Democratic Party. No offense, but their Spirograph inspire me more to this day than their politics.

The thing is, when Copernicus is claimed to have been living in a time when Geocentric astronomy was too complex to be explained, we are not talking of physical explanation of movements – that being usually considered back then to be angels moving celestial bodies, we’ll get back to that in a moment – but of geometric “explanation” or description of orbits.

The problem with that is that Geocentrism requires some celestial bodies to move in Spirograph formed orbits. And as the Spirograph was not yet invented, that was a complex thing to draw out.

But it is now being claimed as if a Spirograph orbit were per se unbelievable.

We can among Christians agree, if God tells an angel to move Mercury in a Spirograph pattern, the angel will be able to do it, and even not really need the plastic rings.

And we even do see Spirograph patterns elsewhere:

IC 418, also known as Spirograph Nebula, is a planetary nebula in the Milky Way Galaxy.

The name derives from the intricate pattern of the nebula, which resembles a pattern which can be created using the Spirograph, a toy which produces geometric patterns (specifically, hypotrochoids and epitrochoids) on paper.

OK, not only would an angel be able to move Mercury in a Spirograph pattern, if that is what it takes for it to move as it does when observed from Earth, but Spirograph patterns are actually shown elsewhere in the universe too.

Was anyone saying the Spirograph pattern in planetary orbits was unbelieveable?

Well, frankly, no.

But if moderns really don’t get it, I can only restate the words of Mark Shea in a more accurate way like this:

In modernity, nobody is longer teasing out categorical distinctions between such things as miracles and magic, science and superstition, revelation and folklore. Firmly defined distinctions between different species of knowing that earlier generations did erect no longer exist.

Still, we moderns often try to force ancients into our categories.

Sometimes, yes, like following example, sometimes no. Examining facts as precisely facts and as, if not opposed to fancies (any more than to fads), at least formally distinct from them as such, is not a very new idea, even if some people like to pretend we only recently got the tools for it.

So when some scholars tell us there is evidence Israel encamped around the Tabernacle in such a way as to reflect the constellations (Numbers 2) we often get a mistaken notion. When we further discover that there are ancient synagogues with mosaics of the zodiac inlaid in the floor, that notion can harden into the certainty that Israelites "believed in" astrology.

This is false. There is something more like sacramental symbolism taking place here than astrology. Israel saw itself as the beginning of a new world order, symbolized by the "heavenly host". Indeed, the link between the "heavenly host" ruled by Yahweh Sabaoth (the "Lord of Hosts") and the "earthly host" of Israel is very strong in the biblical mind. For both hosts are ruled over by the same God. So the earthly Tabernacle was a miniature of God's heavenly dwelling: both were attended by the armies of the Lord, composed of the angels and the people of Israel. Similarly, in Genesis 37:9, Jacob and his sons are likened to the sun, moon, and twelve stars.

This conviction that earth and heaven are both guided by a common Creator runs through Scripture. We are told "the stars in their courses fought against Sisera" (Judges 5:20).

Was someone just telling me (a few months ago) that “angels moving stars” was a non-biblical concept, taken over from Pagans, alien to the Biblical world view?

Well, no, once again.

And so, the argument for Heliocentrism as per “situation when Copernicus discovered it” falls to the ground. Not the only one, by the way.

Mark Shea actually offered another one. Or two, but the one about Geostationary satellites was already answered elsewhere, Mark Shea not being the only reader of Karl Keating who has taken this hastily as absolute proof against a non-rotating earth while ignoring the Geocentric answers. I already threshed that one out with Tom Trinko and will concentrate on the former one here.

Here it is:

Geocentrists claim earth is the center of the universe and all other heavenly bodies orbit it. Some even insist earth does not rotate on its axis. Instead, according to them, the entire universe moves around earth every 24 hours. The falsity of this folly has, of course, been shown many times. Such a theory requires we believe galaxies billions of light years from earth to make a complete circuit of the universe every 24 hours at speeds orders of magnitude faster than light rather than acknowledge the obvious fact that earth is just rotating on its axis.

There is a thing called "Cosmic distance ladder" involved here.

It involves a thing called standard candles:

Almost all astronomical objects used as physical distance indicators belong to some class that have a known brightness. By comparing this known luminosity to an object's observed brightness, the distance to the object can be computed using the inverse square law. These objects of known brightness are termed standard candles.

In astronomy, the brightness of an object is given in terms of its absolute magnitude. This quantity is derived from the logarithm of its luminosity as seen from a distance of 10 parsecs. The apparent magnitude, or the magnitude as seen by the observer, can be used to determine the distance D to the object in kiloparsecs (where 1 kpc equals 1000 parsecs) as follows: [omitting formula, which I will not per se be criticising.]

But well before starting to decide the absolute or physical magnitude and brightness of standard candles, astronomers were stuck with two items : apparent magnitude/brightness, and distance supposedly calculated from parallax.

Now, if parallax (as observed by astronomers) is NOT what Heliocentrics think it is (namely a parallactic illusion, similar to when trees and rivers [seem to] move sideways to onlookers in a [moving] train), then it is NOT a distance measure either. And if first calibration of standard candles is wrong, which it can very well be to a Geocentric reasoner's satisfaction of possibilities, then standard candles are not reliable either, because calibrated wrongly. And this leaves all the rest of the rungs of the "cosmic distance ladder" unattainable, since the first two rungs were not so.

This means that a non-rotating Earth does NOT require me or any other reasonable logician to "believe galaxies billions of light years from earth to make a complete circuit of the universe every 24 hours at speeds orders of magnitude faster than light", since I have no reason to believe there are "galaxies billions of light years away" in the first place.

Which is of course where Geocentrism ties in, as always with me, with Young Earth Creationism.

"Furthest visible stars are billions of light years away [or were when their light was emitted to us], this means it took their light billions of years to reach us, this means if God created anything at all, He created universe billions of years ago, not a few hours before a day one of a seven day week ending with Adam and Eve enjoying a Sabbatical picnic in Eden less than 10.000 years ago."

Now, suppose "furthest" as well as "nearest" visible stars are much closer than that. As a Geocentric, I can do that. Here is the corrected version:

"Furthest/nearest/all visible stars are one light day away, this means it took their light one day to reach is, this means if God ... created them on day four, they were already visible to the birds created on day five, and then to Adam and Eve created on day six as well."

Now, that does NOT sound like a refutation of Biblical Chronology to me.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Mary Magdalen

Links to cited texts:

New Catholic Register : Puny Humans, Geocentrism, and ET
by Mark Shea : 07/17/2015

Wickipeejuh : Spirograph

Wickipeejuh : IC 418 (or Spirograph Nebula)

Wickipeejuh : Cosmic distance ladder
a linea : Standard candles

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