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Oh my God is the Catholic Church right?

  1. Jan 29, 2010 #1
    Let me know if I've got this right. If there is no absolute rest and everything is relative then everything is moving and we are stopped. The universe does revolve around us.

    The observer is the "man, dog, king pin" and in this case we earthlings are standing still and everything revolves around us.

    Or is there something that leads us to believe this not to be true? That we are in fact orbiting around the sun along with the planets and blah, blah blah.

    Because I have always been a man of science but the more I learn about mathematics and physics the more I begin to see that a lot of things just don't add up.

    Like the Adam and Eve story is becoming more credible the the evolution story. There are a lot of things about our being that had to be there before the function that supports these things could have developed. Like building the roof of a house, in the air, before the house that would support the roof was built.

    At least what is let out to the public, the laws of physics are very well understood but the how and why these laws exist are still far from being understood.

    If any one would like to comment on the things I've noted above I would be very thankful because it would surely increase my understanding of the real world I live in.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2010 #2
    You misinterpret the meaning of relative. To you, relatively, you seem to be standing still on earth. But you are actually moving at 30 kilometers a second around the sun.

    I don't understand why you think that life required 'building the roof' before the supports. Evolution is a gradual process, we didn't just jump from fish to man, its much more complex than that.
  4. Jan 29, 2010 #3


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    This is one of the most obviously incorrect conclusions I have ever seen. The red text contradicts the blue text, so the blue clearly can't imply the red.

    Yes. There are lots of scientific theories that make incredibly accurate predictions about the results of experiments, and none of them says that the world revolves around us, or anything remotely similar to that. In fact, they all suggest the opposite of that (some of them very strongly).

    You started this post with an extremely incorrect conclusion. If you do that sort of thing a lot, nothing will add up.

    I won't ask you to stop listening to crackpot arguments against evolution (because they can be quite entertaining 1, 2), but please start listening to the arguments against them as well. You are clearly ignoring everything that doesn't support what you want to believe.

    If you're talking about the concept of "irreducible complexity", that actually isn't a valid argument against evolution. I'm not going to debate it further here, because this is the wrong forum for it. I recommend that you check out http://forums.randi.org. You should also check out the forum rules. This forum is intended for discussions about scientific theories, not personal beliefs.

    If we try to answer those questions with another theory, then we just find ourselves with another set of hows and whys. And if we try to answer them with a set of statements that doesn't qualify as a theory, then we have no way of telling if the answer is correct or not. This only means that we can't find a complete answer to every question we might want to ask. So it certainly isn't a reason to think that someone already has all the answers.
  5. Jan 29, 2010 #4


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    I think he's buying into a particular creationist argument that sometimes uses a mouse trap to illustrate the idea. Remove one part, and the whole thing is completely useless. Apparently there are plenty of biological structures that are that way too, and the creationists think (incorrectly) that such structures can't evolve. Search for "irreducible complexity" on YouTube, and you'll find lots of videos about it.
  6. Jan 29, 2010 #5
    Wow, I've got to be a bit more focused. You guys are great, thanks for your replies.

    Let me rewrite my question.

    If there is no absolute rest point to use as a reference, how can it be determined who is moving faster or slower, or for that matter, if something is at rest. Could the earth be at rest and the universe revolving around it, no matter how improbable? Is there a way to tell.

    Example, The distance between two objects is increasing at close to the speed of light in empty space. Can it be determined what velocity each object has with out a third referance point?

    I'm just trying to understand SR.
  7. Jan 29, 2010 #6


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    Er... this is classical mechanics.

    Look at the position of the object at a particular time. Now look at the position of the object again at ANOTHER time. If those two positions are not the same, the object is moving. If the two positions are the same, the object is not moving. The RATE of change of position will tell you how fast it is moving. The higher the rate, the faster it is moving.

    {scratching head}

  8. Jan 29, 2010 #7


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    You have to differentiate between linear motion and rotation. Linear motion is relative, because it cannot be determined without a reference point. Rotation can be determined without a reference point, so it is absolute.

    There is also the Machian idea that rotation is relative as well, and we couldn't determine it, if it wasn't for the distant stars we are rotating relative to. But that theory is hard to test:
  9. Jan 29, 2010 #8
    You and I are moving away from each other at close to the speed of light, can it be determined who is doing the moving in empty space? And will SR know which clock to slow or speed up?
  10. Jan 29, 2010 #9


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    You are moving relative to me, and I am moving relative to you.

    If you look at MY CLOCK, you will see that my clock is slower when compared to yours. If I look at YOUR clock, I will see that your clock is slower than mine. The situation is symmetrical and democratic. No one sees differently in each other's frame of reference.

  11. Jan 29, 2010 #10
    Thanks A.T. I guess the Church is still wrong.

    The effects of angular momentum are hard to ignore.

    I'm just having a hard time understanding SR when it comes to velocity, time and space.

    Example, I'm sitting on earth and you buzz by me at the close to the speed of light, who's to say that I'm not doing the buzzing. How does SR know which clock to slow.
  12. Jan 29, 2010 #11

    Doc Al

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    Did you read ZapperZ's response?
  13. Jan 29, 2010 #12
    Thanks ZapperZ

    That explains a lot, thanks. So it doesn't matter who is actually doing the moving, it's all has to do with the relative position and velocity of the observer to the observed.
  14. Jan 29, 2010 #13


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    The Catholic Church accepted long ago that the Earth is not at absolute rest.

    Meanwhile they also accept Evolution:

  15. Jan 29, 2010 #14


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    This answer is wrong--in relativity there is no notion of how fast anything is "actually" moving, all speeds are measured relative to some particular frame of reference, so there will be some frame where you are moving at 30 km/s and many others where you are moving faster or slower, with no frame's perspective more correct in any objective sense.

    And in general relativity, even non-inertial frames are on equal footing with inertial ones thanks to diffeomorphism invariance (see http://www.aei.mpg.de/einsteinOnline/en/spotlights/background_independence/index.html [Broken]), so the original poster was half-right in the sense that there's nothing stopping you from picking a weird non-inertial coordinate system where the Earth's coordinate position doesn't change over time while the Sun's does. Of course a Sun-centered coordinate system is equally valid in general relativity, and it would probably be a lot more practical...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  16. Jan 30, 2010 #15

    P.S. That answer ALWAYS works. :laugh:
  17. Jan 30, 2010 #16
    Thanks JesseM, That's what I was looking for.

    I'm trying to develop a correct concept of empty space, SR, and time. Then I'll work in gravity. They call gravity a weak force, not if you go back to the point just before the big bang, I'm thinking gravity was an overwhelming force at that point in time. Also the electromagnetic force is very strong but over a very short distance, where gravity is a weak force but over an extremely large distance, I'm going to be looking for a relation between the two.

    Frame Dragger, I did get a good laugh out of that one. There is a good test of any theory in that.
  18. Jan 30, 2010 #17
    The one possible exception is that the Catholic Church DID publicly accept the notion of the "Big Bang". It is officially in line with church doctrine, although as Stephen Hawking has pointed out, they seem to miss the possible loss of determinism or "uniqueness" in related theories. I'm not sure how to feel about that, but it makes me glad I'm not as non-religious (not anti, just not) as it gets.
  19. Jan 30, 2010 #18


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    Actually it is the other way around:

    - Science is always wrong because it makes theories which are falsifiable, and get falsified sooner or later.

    - Religion is never wrong because it makes theories which are not falsifiable.

    This doesn't imply religion is always right, just that it cannot be proven wrong. Now, some times religious people are making theories which falsifiable, and don't (or take centuries to) accept that they were falsified. But as long as each side stays on it's playground, there is never a conflict.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  20. Jan 31, 2010 #19
    LeMaitre, who introduced the idea of a big bang in the 1920's, was a Catholic Priest. In the 1950's the Catholic church expressed their support of the big bang, but LeMaitre warned against tying church doctrine to a theory which might be falsified. At the time one of the main objections to the big bang was that it was thinly veiled creationism. The creationist vs big bang arguments are much more recent.
  21. Jan 31, 2010 #20
    Jesuits don't count; they have have brains. :tongue2:

    Now, why would a religion that claims to have a living infallible person (the pope) that contradicts reality all the time, worry about this idea being falsified? Must be their famous logic again.
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