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    Re: Universe of the ancient Greeks.
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2006 Mar 13, 22:30 -0500

    Lu wrote
    > True, but then why didn't the rest of the "learned" crowd jump on the
    > idea as a solution for the motion of the planets?   Or were they more
    > interested in a "logically satisfying" solution than one that provided
    > the easiest solution to a problem?
    They were too busy trying to pound a square peg into a round whole thanks to
    Aristotle, Plato, and others who told them the peg must be round. Premise
    faulty, conclusion usually faulty. Faulty logic. Sort of trying to solve a
    math problem when you believe 2+2=5. The celestial bodies movements, no
    matter what revolved around what, *had* to move in a perfect circles at
    constant velocity, so they went about putting epicycles into the orbits to
    account for the "erratic" motions of the planets.  All sorts or crystal
    spheres and magic moving forces.  The circle idea lasted all the way through
    Copernicus and early Kepler.
    There are a lot of steps between observing something, be it an apple falling
    from a tree or spontaneous generation of life (nothing, then maggots then
    flies, on meat), accurately measuring what was observed relative to the
    observer's position, creating a model to accurately predict, then explaining
    to a lead-pipe cinch why it does what it does.  All that based on
    observations in our little niche in the universe; and in the historical
    areas we ponder, without most of the tools we now enjoy.
    So the turning point was not so much having answers to the age old
    questions, but rather asking new questions. Starting with a blank sheet of
    paper.  What if everything we know from the ancients is wrong?
    Fast forward, what will history say about Newtonian physics, quantum
    mechanics, and string theory?  We have mathematical models for the effects
    of gravity/gravitation, but do we really know why two bodies attract each
    other? Still sort of magic.  We just swapped out angels for gravitons. 

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