When Empirical Isn’t

What is crooked cannot be made straight, And what is lacking cannot be numbered.

(Ecclesiastes 1:15) NKJV

We (that’s me and the Holy spirit) were asked: if Newton’s law of universal gravitation is an empirical formula, how is the accepted mass of the sun (1.9^E30 kg) not empirical?

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

F=G{\frac {m_{1}m_{2}}{r^{2}}}\
  • F force between masses
  • G gravitational constant (6.674×10−11 N · (m/kg)2)
  • m1 first mass
  • m2 second mass
  • r distance between the centers of the masses

We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.

Matty’s Razor

So, it would seem that Newton’s law is empirical, right? The known quantities in using Newton’s law of gravity to calculate the mass of the sun are:

  1. mass of the Earth (m1)
  2. orbital radius (r)
  3. gravitational constant (G)

Here’s the thing: the way in which the law is applied is theoretical. Here’s why: The equation is used in the following way:

How massive would the Sun have to be in order to..
.. hold the Earth (of known mass)*
.. in orbit (of known radius and duration)?

– The logic used to calculate the mass of the sun.

If we apply the formula as it is, then the masses of the Earth and sun would come out equal. In order to calculate a mass for the sun of 1.9E^30 kg it’s necessary to include the orbital period of 365 days. This is where the assumption of heliocentricity is made. The mass of the sun is whatever’s necessary to hold the Earth in an orbit of known radius and duration. Therefore the premise of heliocentricity was made before the calculation. This is inductive reasoning. Heliocentricity isn’t a conclusion which can be deduced nor is it a result which is derived using math.

We’ve now left the empirical and entered the realm of the theoretical. The empirical formula is being used in a theoretical manner. Newton’s law of universal gravitation isn’t proof of heliocentricity.


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