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April 2014
May 2014

2014-04-10 »

One of the coolest expositions I've ever seen was at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto a few years ago.  Off in a corner there was this demonstration - an accurate scale model - of how planetary orbits work in our solar system, assuming a geocentric model.  Next to it was the same thing assuming a sun-centric model.  (It was, of course, much simpler.)

The mind-blowing part, at least to me, was... they were both correct.  Relativity.  There is no center to any of it, but math and gravity work the same no matter which point you decide to rotate it all around.

After having my mind blown, the next best part was a wall of comment cards from the prior showing of this expo, several years before.  Those comment cards were so very angry.  People complaining that geocentrism had been debunked for centuries, how could you do this in a so-called science center, children might actually be misled into believing this nonsense, etc.

I loved that they posted those comment cards up there, and that they never explicitly said what they were obviously thinking: these people who are so insistent that geocentrism is wrong are just as dumb as the people who rejected Galileo's rebuttal of it so long ago.  Someone told them this is how the universe works, and they blindly accept it, not bothering to think, even with the evidence right in front of them.  They don't actually understand what's going on, and reject an updated model (relativity) without even knowing why.

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