Monday, April 3, 2017

Zero and Infinity

Science has proven that the sun has risen zero times -- the sun does not rise. Yet, we have observed it rising every day and will continue to do so for eons of time. Zero & infinity side by side.

It is this sort of philosophical nonsense that I read from time to time that truly irks me. In case you do not see the obvious fault in the above, let me make it plain: Yes, both statements are true. However, it is comparing apples and oranges. The first considers the perspective of someone looking down on our solar system from a distance that would easily and readily make it evident that the spinning of the earth is what gives the illusion of sunrise and sunset. (Although, from that distance, it is possible it never even occurs to the observer how it would be perceived by someone on the earth.) The second is from the perspective of someone within earth’s atmosphere, (although I’m unsure of LEO). It was this misguided conclusion that for decades had even science believing that the earth was the center of the solar system and even possibly the universe. Indeed, it was this mistaken belief that got Galileo condemned by the 17th century Catholic Church.

So yes, both opening statements are true but not in the same context or perspective. Zero and infinity are not "side by side" except in someone's fertile imagination.

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