Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bad Astronomy

I was reminded of the Bad Astronomy website and blog by my Superior Older Sister, who today dropped me a link to a curious argument against heliocentricity. While the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) premise is an inspiring ode to empiricism with its blinders on, it's a simple fact that there are compelling pieces of real, facts-on-the-ground evidence that show that the earth both rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. Even if you're willing to decry Foucault's Pendulum as a hoax perpetrated by a vast Jesuit conspiracy, I doubt even the Jesuits could convince hurricanes rotate counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern. For that matter, if he's so determined to believe Foucault's Pendulum doesn't demonstrate the Coriolis Effect and ergo a rotating earth, why doesn't he just build one himself? It's a pretty simple experiment, really. Unless he's not actually interested in truth. Sigh. Some people. Bad Astronomy does a great job of debunking this sort of mischief, including one of my favorite sub-genres of this sort of thing, the Moon-Hoaxers, as well as Bad Movies, Bad TV, Bad News, and a variety of popular misconceptions about astronomical phenomena and physics in general. Good stuff.

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