Saturday, May 9, 2009

25 Copernicus

Between 100 and 178 AD lived a man in Alexandria, Egypt. He was an astronomer and he was the one who put the earth in the middle of the universe. That people believed him was because you could predict planetary movement by means of his calculations.

Planets on the nightly sky look different from stars. They move! They are not always in the same place. But the most remarkable thing was that sometimes they move forward, then for a few days they seem to stay at the same place and then start moving backwards. It is called the retrograde movement. And after some time they return to moving forward.

Claudius Ptolomaeus had observed these movements and developed a calculus to predict that movement. I'll save you the details, it just worked to some extend. And till about 1520 everyone hold this theory for true.

Another point in favor was that it was in line with the Scripture. It put man in the middle of the universe. The most important creature of God''s creation.

It is not so that Copernicus was all of a sudden and out of the blue some mathematician, who invented a heliocentric universe. Also in his time there were a lot of (historical) publications in which a heloicentric universe was suggested.

Fact is that he was the brilliant mathematician, who exchanged the sun for the earth in the calculations to predict and explain the retrograde movements of planets among other things. And it worked.

With Freud, who we will meet, man lost his Godlike mind, with Darwin, also on my list, man lost his exalted place among the creatures of earth. With Copernicus man had lost his privileged position in the universe.

You cant exaggerate the tremendous impact of this new look at the position of the earth in the universe. Even religious revolutionaries like Luther and Melanchton came to view Copernicus' position with abhorrence. His views challenged the literal interpretation of Scripture.

First God created the earth, created night and day and then put the stars in the sky. That is hard to interpret when the earth is just another 'star' in the sky.

Rome wasnt pleased. That is for sure, but only got mad a hundred years later at Galileo, tho it hadnt forgotten Copernicus.

Result was that his book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium was put on the index. Forbidden to read by catholics. It was till 1853 that it finally was removed from the index.

Even in his days there already was a masssive opposition against his views. It was the slow , sure acceptance of the technical Revolitionibus by natural philosophers that ultimately quieted the general clamor against heliocentrism.

It took about another hundred years before the Church realized it had lost the battle against science.

And what is our position now? Did Copernicus answer all cosmological questions? I dont think so. I still have problems with the universe, with theories like the big bang theory.

And the problem is caused by the fact that I think in terms of time and space. I can answer the question "Where is Herman Bergson?", no problem, he is here, but when I ask a question like "Where is the universe?" does that make sense? I dont know..:-)

The Discussion

[13:20] Maphisto Mapholisto: ever since Copernicus our universe has become colder and ever more empty and alien
[13:20] Maphisto Mapholisto: expanding universe so we all flying apart from each other and no centre to hold us; continental drift so we aren't even on firm ground any more
[13:20] Herman Bergson: yes so far it is a pretty lonely place
[13:20] AristotleVon Doobie: I am the center of the universe.
[13:21] Maphisto Mapholisto: we know you think that Aristo, lol
[13:21] Alarice Beaumont: LOL
[13:21] Ewa Aska: lol
[13:21] AristotleVon Doobie: Still it is so,
[13:21] Rodney Handrick: Aristo brings up a good do you define universe?
[13:21] Herman Bergson: Copernicus himself wasnt a philosopher, but you can imagine what impact his theory had on how we look at our place in the universe
[13:21] Maphisto Mapholisto: but Aristo is right of course, as he so often is - we are each the centre of our own universe
[13:22] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes so it is naturally a lonely place.
[13:22] Herman Bergson: dont confuse things...psychological matters and astronomical matters
[13:22] Rodney Handrick: If that's the case...I'm a black hole!
[13:22] Maphisto Mapholisto: in a sense, with each human that dies, there dies a whole universe
[13:22] oola Neruda: would you guys be quiet and let Herman finish his lecture PLEASE
[13:22] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[13:22] Alarice Beaumont: that is too dramatically spoken!
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: thy oola
[13:23] Herman Bergson: that is only a metaphore Maff
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: ty*
[13:23] Osrum Sands: yes please
[13:23] Herman Bergson: the lecture is finished, Oola....:-)
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: ah
[13:23] Maphisto Mapholisto: you gotta feel de flow, oola
[13:23] Herman Bergson: but noone has answered my question Where is the universe
[13:24] Maphisto Mapholisto: in our heads, herman
[13:24] AristotleVon Doobie: In my mind.
[13:24] Alarice Beaumont: it's everywhere.. we are in it!
[13:24] Ewa Aska: I cant sorry lol
[13:24] Gemma Cleanslate: the problem is it is not our solar system only
[13:24] Osrum Sands: Its where ever we want it to be as there is no reference point
[13:24] oola Neruda: i DON"T feel the flow... the flow is inturrupted.... and i am trying to learn.... and you guys make it more difficult
[13:24] Rodney Handrick: At the sub atomic level
[13:24] AristotleVon Doobie: Once I am dead the universe is gone.
[13:24] Gemma Cleanslate: and we do not really have t reference point do we
[13:24] hope63 Shepherd: maybe we should ask the other way round: where is NOT the universe..
[13:24] Alarice Beaumont: No... Aristo!
[13:24] Gemma Cleanslate: good hope
[13:24] Alarice Beaumont: The universe is still there!
[13:25] AristotleVon Doobie: Not for me.
[13:25] AristotleVon Doobie: So if it is not in my mind it does not exist.
[13:25] Herman Bergson: I want to point out an important philosphical fact
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: oh boy
[13:25] Herman Bergson: Just take a minute to listen..:-)
[13:25] Rodney Handrick: ok
[13:25] hope63 Shepherd: big bang would be a reference point os.. but what was before big bang..
[13:26] Osrum Sands: ask Stephen hawkins
[13:26] Osrum Sands: his theories go back a few moments before the BB
[13:26] Herman Bergson: it is something that will come up time and again when we 'll deal with the next philosopher
[13:26] Herman Bergson: plz?!
[13:27] Rodney Handrick: Let's not forget the concept of dimension as it pertains to the universe
[13:27] AristotleVon Doobie: waiting for the Prof.
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: UPPER CASE HERMWN
[13:27] Ewa Aska: sssshhhhhhhh
[13:27] Herman Bergson: SILENCE !!!
[13:27] Herman Bergson: lol
[13:27] Rodney Handrick: I sorry..
[13:27] Rodney Handrick: I'm Sorry!
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)))
[13:27] Herman Bergson: hmmm..sorry for the rough method, but you are a wild bunch..:-)
[13:27] Immin Babii: lol
[13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: actually you created this wild bunch
[13:28] Herman Bergson: What I wanted to say is that we will run into some epistemological questions all the time..
[13:28] Herman Bergson: the fact that we perceive the world in space and time
[13:29] Herman Bergson: in fact it makes it impossible for us to think about the univrse
[13:29] Herman Bergson: yes we can think about solar sytems. stars etc....but we cant think about the universe itelf
[13:30] Herman Bergson: because then we only have our and time..
[13:30] hope63 Shepherd: we lack the knowledge about the infinite dimension..
[13:30] Herman Bergson: and the universe isnt spacial
[13:30] Herman Bergson: ye..but to me the infinite doest mean a thing
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: the universe is a universal?
[13:31] Herman Bergson: it is a word we have invented for what we cant understand I think
[13:31] Maphisto Mapholisto: yes, what does it reference?
[13:31] Herman Bergson: I dont think so Aristotle
[13:31] Herman Bergson: yes..Maff..that is the question
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: Not spatiotemporal.
[13:32] Maphisto Mapholisto: which is why i believe we can only talk of the 'constructed' universe each of us builds up in our heads
[13:32] Herman Bergson: We will see this return in Kant and in another way in Kuhn and Feyerabend
[13:32] Osrum Sands: Have a read of George Smoot's book Wrinkles in Time it offers evidence for the bigbang
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes Maff
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Your words come close to ideas of Thomas Kuhn Maff
[13:33] AristotleVon Doobie: The origin is irrelevant.
[13:33] Maphisto Mapholisto: then Kuhn is kool
[13:33] Osrum Sands: Stephen Hawkins says of the book ' the scientific discovery of the century, if not of all time'
[13:34] AristotleVon Doobie: But he is a scintific determinist.
[13:34] Herman Bergson: The big bang thing is a theory...a mental construct
[13:34] Immin Babii: the origin always was
[13:34] Osrum Sands: yes but of a reality
[13:34] Herman Bergson: it still is spatiotemporal thinking
[13:34] Osrum Sands: sure
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: I think the idea of the big bang is definitely being revisited anyway
[13:34] Immin Babii: of the mind
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: Just the facts, mam.
[13:35] Herman Bergson: we have no facts..only our mind
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes but the big bang is fact?
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: Who knows.
[13:35] Herman Bergson: to a mental construct..a theory
[13:35] Osrum Sands: stop that herman
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: I agree.
[13:36] hope63 Shepherd: kopernikus had only a mental theory..
[13:36] Maphisto Mapholisto: maybe the 'universe' is the backside of 'God' - each as elusive to grasp because each outside sensory experincing alone
[13:36] AristotleVon Doobie: That all we all have.
[13:36] Immin Babii: is the mind of god?
[13:36] Maphisto Mapholisto: well, if that's all there is, then let's keep dancing
[13:36] hope63 Shepherd: and today e akll accept it as real..
[13:36] Osrum Sands: and partying
[13:36] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes lets.
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: Consume life.
[13:37] Immin Babii: live it
[13:37] Osrum Sands: and allow it to consume you
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes
[13:37] Herman Bergson: Sure we should Aristotle...
[13:37] Immin Babii: lol
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: It will anyway Os.
[13:37] Immin Babii: yes
[13:37] Maphisto Mapholisto: i feel rather nibbled around the edges today, lol
[13:37] Herman Bergson: I think we are loosing track a little in this conversation...:-)
[13:37] Immin Babii: agreed
[13:38] Maphisto Mapholisto: bring us back
[13:38] Herman Bergson: Ok...
[13:38] Alarice Beaumont: :-)
[13:38] Herman Bergson: Our epistemological position is one in which time and space are essential
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: Are we in the universe or is the universe in us?
[13:39] Immin Babii: maybe both
[13:39] Herman Bergson: it is interesting to keep that in mind when we see men like Descartes, Hume and Kant
[13:39] Asrom Sands: I think it all comes down to ones central reference point / the still point in the universe
[13:39] Herman Bergson: The repositioning of the earth by Copernicus was a major thing in the development of our thinking, our science
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: I hold to me being the reference point.
[13:40] Maphisto Mapholisto: and what is that, asrom?
[13:40] Immin Babii: lol
[13:40] Asrom Sands: not for me so how 'real' is you reference point aris
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: For me all things have to refer to me.
[13:41] Herman Bergson: I want to mention again....dont mix psychology with epistemology
[13:41] Asrom Sands: its up to each person
[13:41] Maphisto Mapholisto: solopsist
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd: we noticed that ari..:)
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: I can not touch the universe but I can feel it.
[13:42] Herman Bergson: The way you experience time and space and your place in the universe is a psychological matter
[13:42] Asrom Sands: but as people discover that there is something the same in each experience we tend to name it and then by convention that experience has a being and life
[13:42] Asrom Sands: maybe or maybe not
[13:42] Herman Bergson: That sound already like a bit of Hume Asrom
[13:43] hope63 Shepherd: by convention te earth was flat for 13000 years..
[13:43] Maphisto Mapholisto: not just how you experience, herman, but also how you know ... cognition is also a psychological issue
[13:44] Herman Bergson: True Maff....but only as a process
[13:44] Herman Bergson: not as a logical reasoning to justify a knowledge claim
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: One must be conizant to be philosophcical.
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: cog
[13:45] Maphisto Mapholisto: epistemology is a mental activity and a culural practice and therefore is itself a subject of psychological and anthropogical study
[13:45] hope63 Shepherd: mathematics is not a psycholocal cognitio..
[13:45] Herman Bergson: I dont aagree Maff
[13:46] Herman Bergson: Exactly Hope
[13:46] Maphisto Mapholisto: oh? where does mathematics dwell, Hope?
[13:46] Herman Bergson: only in the mind, Maff
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: ??
[13:46] Maphisto Mapholisto: it's all in the mind, folks
[13:46] Herman Bergson: but independent of the mind in the logical deduction you can make
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: maff. i think even before we talk about psychology we should talk about socio/cultural study..
[13:46] Osrum Sands: only if you think that
[13:47] oola Neruda: if i remember it correctly... ............ looking at the stars... the pollen of the blossoming Godhead........... rilke
[13:47] Maphisto Mapholisto: lol, os
[13:47] Maphisto Mapholisto: nice, oola
[13:47] Osrum Sands: u caught it Maff
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: very poetic
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: Poetry is like wine.
[13:48] Alarice Beaumont: true.. can fill one up and tastes good
[13:48] Immin Babii: get drunk and fall vdown
[13:48] Herman Bergson: In that way philosophy is the ultimate poetry..:-)
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: Must use prudence.
[13:48] Maphisto Mapholisto: smile
[13:48] Gemma Cleanslate: i am still looking at th e question of math being only in teh mind
[13:49] Herman Bergson: yes Gemma too
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: Math has no substance does it?
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: but does not seem to exist unless there is the physical
[13:49] Osrum Sands: neither does any word
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: to work with
[13:49] Maphisto Mapholisto: it is a system of universals, of abstractions, it is a language .... there is no algebra in space
[13:49] Herman Bergson: JUST HOLD ON...
[13:50] hope63 Shepherd: if there wouldn't be any physical .. we wouldn't be here..
[13:50] Herman Bergson: Hope!
[13:50] Asrom Sands: silence is golden
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: Not productive tho.
[13:51] Herman Bergson: Ok...we are far out in the universe now with our discussion...tons of quetions...but I want to follow Gemma for a moment, for she hit a nerve..:-)
[13:51] Herman Bergson: is just the product of our brain...
[13:51] Herman Bergson: but what has amazed me always...
[13:52] Herman Bergson: you can manipulate numbers...make calculations
[13:52] Herman Bergson: then you apply them to physical things...and your spaceship arrived at the moon right in time
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: Isnt math only our understanding of how things work.
[13:53] Herman Bergson: I still dont understand the relation between mathematics and reality
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: yes that is the rub
[13:53] Maphisto Mapholisto: nor do i, herman .... but i don't understand how my finger can touch my nose with eyes shut either
[13:53] Asrom Sands: and what Qqhat is reality
[13:53] Herman Bergson: and that is so amazing in Copernicus too..
[13:53] Alarice Beaumont: intuition!
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: how could it miss Maph??
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: You can do that Maff
[13:54] Maphisto Mapholisto: this is a hypothetical discussion
[13:54] Herman Bergson: he aplied mathematics and related them to the movement of planets...and it worked ...!
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[13:55] Herman Bergson: I think we did a good job today....
[13:55] Herman Bergson: and we are prepared to enter the age of science
[13:55] Maphisto Mapholisto: they're getting tougher, boss
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: yes they are
[13:56] Herman Bergson: Yes..Maff...good students..they are learning..:-)
[13:56] Maphisto Mapholisto: really making us think, herman
[13:56] Herman Bergson: ye sindeed
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: The road is geeting all this byways along the way.
[13:56] Ludwig John: and perhaps science can give us colour - we all here are grey
[13:56] Ludwig John: science
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: and some of us seem to take every turn we some to
[13:56] Maphisto Mapholisto: lol, ludwig ... time is relative - you suffer lag
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: Give it Time Ludwig.
[13:57] Herman Bergson: you wear a blue shit Ludwig
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: LOL
[13:57] Ludwig John: yes I have to wait
[13:57] hope63 Shepherd: lol
[13:58] Herman Bergson: I thank you for your attention and vivid contributions to our discussion...the blog will be fun again to edit..:-)
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes thanks you Herman
[13:58] Gemma Cleanslate: again thank Herman
[13:58] Maphisto Mapholisto: thnx herman ... phew
[13:58] Ewa Aska: ty herman
[13:58] Gemma Cleanslate: hope you keep your sanity
[13:58] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:58] Maphisto Mapholisto: lol
[13:58] Alarice Beaumont smiling.. thank you, Herman
[13:58] Herman Bergson: It is getting tougher indeed...
[13:58] Maphisto Mapholisto: The Wild Bunch
[13:59] Herman Bergson: thought Copernicus was an easy one to do..:-)
[13:59] Ewa Aska: lol
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: Keep poking the mind and you will stay sane.
[13:59] hope63 Shepherd: peckinpah on the list of the 100?
[13:59] Herman Bergson: very true Aristotle
[13:59] Maphisto Mapholisto: i shudder at what's to come then, herman
[13:59] Herman Bergson: me too

Posted by herman_bergson on 2007-12-06 15:50:25

No comments:

Post a Comment