The Pertinacity of the Asp

imgres.jpgGalileo, complaining about those people who refused to look through a telescope to see those things, such as the moons of Jupiter or sunspots moving across the face of the sun, referred to them as being “replete with the pertinacity of the asp.” Everyone knew that the sun revolved around the earth: it was proven scriptural science.

I recently read William T. Vollmann’s treatise, Uncentering the Earth: Copernicus and The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres. In general it is a very readable presentation of some rather difficult concepts, both astronomical and mathematical. But truly it is far easier to understand and accept the unnecessary complexities of the scriptural world view than it is to accept that the world obeys the insights of scripture and not of science.

Continue reading

The earth revolves around the sun?

From the Daily Kos (no, it’s not The Onion):

Americans are enthusiastic about the promise of science but
lack basic knowledge of it, with one in four unaware that
the Earth revolves around the Sun, said a poll out Friday.

The survey included more than 2,200 people in the United States
and was conducted by the National Science Foundation.

Nine questions about physical and biological science were on
the quiz, and the average score -- 6.5 correct -- was barely
a passing grade.

Just 74 percent of respondents knew that the Earth revolved
around the Sun, according to the results released at the
American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting
in Chicago.

Fewer than half (48 percent) knew that human beings evolved
from earlier species of animals.

Note that this does not mean that these people think the Sun rotates around the earth but now that I think about it, if Darwin is evil, what do they think of Copernicus?