Thursday, 17 March 2016

194) “From David Wardlaw Scott, “I remember being taught when a boy, that the Earth was a great ball, revolving at a very rapid rate around the Sun, and, when I expressed to my teacher my fears that the waters of the oceans would tumble off, I was told that they were prevented from doing so by Newton’s great law of Gravitation, which kept everything in its proper place. I presume that my countenance must have shown some signs of incredulity, for my teacher immediately added - I can show you a direct proof of this; a man can whirl around his head a pail filled with water without its being spilt, and so, in like manner, can the oceans be carried round the Sun without losing a drop. As this illustration was evidently intended to settle the matter, I then said no more upon the subject. Had such been proposed to me afterwards as a man, I would have answered somewhat as follows - Sir, I beg to say that the illustration you have given of a man whirling a pail of water round his head, and the oceans revolving round the Sun, does not in any degree confirm your argument, because the water in the two cases is placed under entirely different circumstances, but, to be of any value, the conditions in each case must be the same, which here they are not. The pail is a hollow vessel which holds the water inside it, whereas, according to your teaching, the Earth is a ball, with a continuous curvature outside, which, in agreement with the laws of nature, could not retain any water.””

 A flat earther in an old book describes, accurately or otherwise, how a teacher once made a bad argument against the flat earth. And?

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