The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.(Ecclesiastes 12:11) ESV
Any opposition to the popular science (SciPop) heliocentric cosmological model will be greeted with the general refrain of “it must be true because it works.”
The rationale is: iPhones are totally cool and that’s science, so the evolutionary origin of humanity must be true too, because that’s also science. Evolution is just one example, it has many application. It’s conflating empirical with theoretical, truth and error, good and evil. Here’s how the idea was framed by a Christian who was passionately defending the SciPop narrative of godless existence.
We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.– Matty’s Razor
Earth’s average density is not a problem for me or anyone else. Applying it to the volume of the Earth provides functional orbital mechanics that always work for satellites, spacecraft, and astronomy.– Compromised Christian
We’re going to show you how it can work but not be definitive at the same time. We’re getting into the nitty-gritty of cause and effect. The mass of the Earth isn’t the cause of it’s gravitational field, the gravitational field causes the mass of the Earth. That’s enough of a distinction that the accepted value we have for Earth’s mass isn’t absolute, it’s relative.
These concepts all hang together because of the way in which orbital mechanics combine empirical observations of what’s actually happening in space, with our theoretical model of what we think is happening. They coincide, which is why people assume that one proves the other. The problem is, the theoretical model is math which is infinitely malleable and can be used to create many theoretical versions of the empirical reality, while being unable to prove the authenticity of any of them.
We use the Newton/Einstein concept of gravity, in which the mass of the Earth is producing it’s gravitational field, to calculate a value for the mass of the sun and all of the other planetary bodies. We believe it’s accurate because we can send spacecraft to rendezvous with any of these planetary bodies. We know the mass of the spacecraft, and we know how to get them where they’re going, so therefore the values we’re using for the mass of the planetary bodies must be correct, correct?
Sort of. The thing about math is that it can compare values which are relative, they don’t have to be absolute. Our value for the mass of the Earth, for instance. It’s a placeholder value, it could be anything. It’s based on a flawed concept of gravity but it’s a value. It’s like a nail in the wall that we can hang something on. Wrong nail, wrong wall, but it’s the beginning of the process of rationalization. Whether or not the value is right or wrong doesn’t matter. The theory behind how the number was derived is the problem, the value is arbitrary, but all of the values in the model have been derived from it. They’re all relative.
If everything has been related to the value we’re using, and this has been designed to fit the observed planetary motion, then our model will be predictive and we can land a space vehicle on a comet. However, the model is only one possible representation of gravitation and relative motion, but not the only possible representation.
We can use the same value for the mass of the Earth in a Biblical theory of gravitation because it relates a ball drop experiment to the gravitational field of the Earth, regardless of its actual mass. This is how we can have a successful space program and there’s a great gulf of open space inside the Earth.