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Was the early church right and Gallelio wrong?

  1. Aug 26, 2011 #1
    About the earth being the centre of the universe?

    Observational science seems to say we are at the centre of the observable universe.

    I mean we can see the same distance in all directions can't we?

    We have no visual proof there is anything more to the universe than what we can see do we?

    The only 'proof' we have that we are not at the centre seems to come from scientific 'speculation' or theories? Is that correct?

    Do we believe our eyes, or does 'science' know better, can someone explain to me me what the status quo is regarding our position in the universe?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2011 #2
    Note this is nothing to do with creationism it is based on observation so please don't start on me about that.
  4. Aug 26, 2011 #3


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    There is no absolute center of the universe. Any object in the universe will see other objects receding from it in all directions radially. Observational science most certainly does not say we are at the center; I have no idea where you got that misconception from.
  5. Aug 26, 2011 #4

    How do you know this?
    Has this ever been observed from different parts of the universe?
    I rather doubt it.

    When we observe the universe it looks the same in all directions right?
    That's what I mean by observational science.
    It is a leap of faith somewhat so say there is more than we can observe, isn't it?

    Just to give a parallel, some people would say there is not proof God exists because nobody has seen him, or that we cannot observe him, hence can't I say the same about bits of the universe which we can't observe.

    Again, I am not putting forward a creationist argument here, just giving an example or the type that you can't have you cake and eat it, ie say lack of evidence is proof of non-existence in one case but not the other. If you see what I mean.

    You see what I am saying is we have only ever observed the universe from one perspective
    So how can we know we would see the same thing from different places?
  6. Aug 26, 2011 #5
    Didn't the big bang have a centre?

    I thought it did?

    Can we nail that one down for the purpose of the discussion?
  7. Aug 26, 2011 #6
    What exactly is your point, if you have one? Do you understand the difference between empty speculation and science? What was it that you wanted to "discuss"?
  8. Aug 26, 2011 #7
    I want to discuss whatever the discussion leads to, I am open minded.

    I you want to restrict it somewhat can we have a consensus on the 'shape' of the
    big bang, it did it start at a point? If not where is it start?

    Hope you find that question acceptable.
  9. Aug 26, 2011 #8
    It's someone subjective, ie is the glass half empty or half full.
    I mean as we do not have theory of everything is not science at least partially empty speculation?
    You sound rather aggressive I might add, that may not be the case, it's hard to tell in text.
    If you are angry please stick in the appropriate smile, that would be very helpful. :smile:

    Actually there is not really any angry smile, just this one :mad: which seems more unhappy than angry.
  10. Aug 26, 2011 #9


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    The current view of the universe is a result of many different concepts in science. The fact that we see everything receding from us combined with the fact that everywhere we have been the same laws of nature behave identically leads us to believe that the Big Bang happened and the current views on the evolution of the Universe is mostly correct.

    We COULD choose to believe that the effects we observe on Earth aren't the same when we travel to faraway places, however so far that has not agreed with experiments. Not to mention the fact that we don't even have a reason to believe that the laws DON'T work the same just because we go somewhere else. Whether we do things at different points on the Earth, on the Moon, or a space probe on the way out of the solar system, nothing has been shown to be different simply because our point of view moved.
  11. Aug 26, 2011 #10

    If we backtrack everything which is receding from us do they meet at a point?
    That point would appear to be the earth would it not?

    If you are saying that we would see the same everywhere then would we not have a load of separate points?

    So there seems to be a problem with your theory?????
  12. Aug 26, 2011 #11


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    No, current theories say that not only is everything receding from us here on Earth, but also that 5 billion light years away another person would also see everything receding from them, including Earth. The reason we think that is due to my above post.
  13. Aug 26, 2011 #12
    No, it was not.
  14. Aug 26, 2011 #13
    But we are at a point (pretty much) how can everything appeared to be centred on that point and also another point billions of miles away?
    Indeed an infinite number of points billions of miles away.

    I mean it does not make sense, well not to me anyway.

    Do you believe it?
  15. Aug 26, 2011 #14
    No, it does not. Have you ever looked at the night sky? There is a white band of stars called the Milky Way.
  16. Aug 26, 2011 #15
    How is that relevant?

    I don't see your point. ( no pun intended).

    I do however see lots of different points, which are all centres of the universe (according to some theories) and that does not make sense to me, indeed I fail to see how it could make sense to anyone with the most basic grasp of geometry.

    Or am I missing something here?
  17. Aug 26, 2011 #16
    It is very relevant. It means the Earth is not a center of anything.
  18. Aug 26, 2011 #17


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    Do this: Take a regular balloon and put a bunch of dots equally spaced across it while it is not inflated. Now, take the balloon and start blowing it up while watching the dots. You will notice that each dot sees every other dot get further away from it as you blow the balloon up. Now, it is CRITICAL to understand that this is merely an analogy, a way of visualizing the expansion of space. The balloon is a 3d object expanding INTO 3d space. This is NOT what is happening to the universe. The exact details of how and why would require knowledge of advanced mathematics and an understanding of what spacetime is beyond what I can explain in a forum post. (Not to mention that while I understand some of it, I cannot do the math myself)

    Yes, I do believe it. Or more accurately, I believe that it is the most accurate view we have developed so far.

    Honestly, not believing in this is like me going to a football game (american football), not knowing any of the rules, and not believing that a team can score 22 points. If you don't know the rules then of course you won't understand it!
  19. Aug 26, 2011 #18


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    Every point in space is at the center of its own observable universe. This is because light has a finite speed and there are points in the universe that are so far away the light will either not had time to reach it or will never reach it thanks to expansion. The observable universe is simply the part of the universe that we can see. There is nothing special about it.
  20. Aug 26, 2011 #19
    Well you have spotted the flaw in your argument, before I pointed it out.
    However it is still a flaw nonetheless is it not?

    The universe is not like the surface of a balloon at all, it is more like the whole of a solid balloon, which of course only has one centre, ie one point at which every thing is expanding away from.

    Hence it is a flawed analogy and you can't use one of them to prove anything really.

    So we are left with a lot of hand waving and "of it's beyond your comprehension" or at least your ability to explain it here.

    If you can't explain it then point me somewhere which can. (open challenge to all).

    You second analogy about football is also very poor. I think I can give you a good analogy from a football perspective of what your analogy is like.

    It's like my team playing your team at football and my team scoring twice as many goals as your team but you insisting that your team won. When I push you as to how this can be
    You are coming out with stuff like "Oh you don't understand the scoring system properly, you need to understand advanced maths to see why but unfortunately I don't have the time to explain it to you!!!

    And what would our team be thinking at that point?
    "We've been robbed!!!"
    And lets face it you can hardly blame them!!
  21. Aug 26, 2011 #20
    Well it is special in that we can see it exists.

    You do still have the problem in that in the real part of the universe which we can see (as opposed) to the theoretical bit) you have numerous points which all believe they are the centre ( according to you, not me at this stage). I can't believe they are all at the centre because, not to put too fine a point on it, it is basically nonsense.

    Or perhaps I should go back to my old maths teacher and tell him all the geometry he taught me was wrong?

    Looks like Euclid's geometry is going to need a rewrite too doesn't it?

    He's not going to be happy is he!!!
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