On his own, as an observer of the world around him, a man surely can, but does not have to, doubt the truth of what he sees and feels. However, by accepting a metaphysical communication, which in no way can be tested by us on its truth content, any doubt about this content is for me out of the question. Backed up by the highest authority thinkable I declare the Earth to be the firm centre of creation and not a negligible globule-among-globules whirling through space. And I hold that unbiased research will demonstrate that conclusion inescapable. Newton, accordingly, will be shown at bottom to have been right. Space knows place and movement rest. In defining that space as God’s sensorium he went too far, and his efforts to demonstrate absolute motion by means of a rotating water-filled bucket Berkeley showed to be unconvincing. Yet both men believed in a Creator and Heavenly Father, whose existence they, be it unwittingly, alas, began to make subject to doubt by their acceptance of Galileo’s folly.
I must admit that from the positivist point of view the Earth and the life on it rather appear as a miscarried, or in its present stage, dangerously flawed evolutionary development That at first sight from a religious outlook it appears at best as a field on which good and evil, God and devil fight a see-saw battle with the devil holding the upper hand, I also do not deny. Yet I do not believe that we Earthlings, are no more than the at the moment highest evolved specimens of some long-time natural caprice. We are not by chance living on a blob of matter adrift in nothingness. We are, on an unmoved world until the end of the present era here below on trial – sons and daughters of a Creator, whose glory the Heavens declare, and Who at His appointed Day will make all things new and forever abolish evil and death in an endless Golden Age, for which the deepest dreams of all men everywhere have been and are longing. How, seeing the damaged but still marvelous beauty, design, and order of everything around us, could this ever have come to be doubted? How, as clearly inevitable for the perfection of His ultimate purpose by an Almighty and Omniscient God allowed?
It cannot be repeated enough: nobody has ever incontestably shown the Earth not to be at rest in the centre of the Heavens. Numerous experiments have confirmed its stability, none have dislodged it But rather than at last again to confirm its unique position and to consider the obligations this may impose on all we think and do, secularized astronomy has after 1905 welcomed relativistic impossibilities. Even those – and their number is growing – who have come to see that Einstein cannot be right still, however, cling to the Copernican gospel, mightily toiling to uphold the fiction of Mother Gea’s insignificance among the many links of the Great Chain of Being.(75)
Pro and contra the Special Theory of Relativity -they all are wrong. And the simple space trials proposed in the present paper will show it Mach may have declared all motion to be relative, the true state is that all motion is absolute, it being defined as such from an Earth at rest in a spatiality in and through which light – it is assumed -travels at constant speed. Assumed, to be sure – not necessarily true!
The question, then, quoted in the beginning of this paper can be categorically answered. Is the Universe rotating? Yes, it is, and we all can confirm this, walking with absolute motion on an Earth on which the bases of our telescopes are absolutely at rest. And the extrapolations of that fact have to be grappled with. Aberration and parallax, that is to say, now accordingly appear in a different light altogether. The former does not exist, the application of the latter has to be reversed. Furthermore: whether this Earth-centered Universe gives the quietus to curved space of necessity invented to save the appearances and the flat-worldly data? Maybe something like it will appear to be the case – I do not know. And whatever there is beyond the region of the stars I shall not even try to fathom. Living and thinking, as we are, in a space in which objects can only have length, breadth, and height, it is only by playing with meaningless marks on paper according to certain rules -as the eminent German mathematician Hilbert once defined his craft – that higher dimensions and elastic time become for theorists as easy as child’s play.
The Universe, having been created, is hence, I believe, finite. Following Aristotle I hold that whatever there is “outside” of it is of such a kind as not to occupy space and not to be affected by time.(76) Folly it is for mortal man to assume himself able, brushing aside Russell’s Reminder, to ply us with any ultimate pronouncement about the way the Heavens go. However, “inside” that Universe we are in a better position. The Earth is at rest, and drawing conclusions from stellar data, thought to be obtained from a circling planet, is therefore beating the air. Those apparent aberration circlets are in fact real orbits. And since these orbits are practically of the same size, it follows that all the stars are at about the same distance from us, with less than a thousand of them slightly closer by. Which is to say that the Universe is bounded by a shell of stars – that Stellatum of Antiquity. Kepler, at least therein following his master Tycho Brahe, still defended this shell – two German miles thick, he estimated – against Giordano Bruno and his infinity of Suns becoming stars by virtue of their distance.
It is at this point that Hoyle’s “as good as anyone else’s but not better” shows itself to be only tenable for his relativistic model. As amply demonstrated earlier: whether we, elevating ourselves to the actually unattainable position of bystanders, assume the Earth to move through star-studded space or that space through the Earth – it makes for Earth-bound observers no difference in the celestial pageant. Contrariwise: if we are absolutely at rest in “flat” space, that conclusion does not square with the accepted view of the stars’ positions. For, as after Bradley’s explication of their apparently equal-sized orbits nobody wanted reasonably to doubt anymore, those stars are taken to be randomly scattered through an immense emptiness. However, if the Earth is at a standstill, then there is no aberration in the prevailing sense. Now the overwhelming majority of the stars are describing real equal-sized orbits, as it appears, “in step” with the Sun. And their designless distribution can in consequence solely be accounted for either by hypothesizing and artificial arrangement of orbits proportional to distance, which is hard to believe, or by a Stellatum, a layered shell of stars pat to the purpose.
- Some Desiderata Not to be Overlooked
- Why Impossible?