# Relative Quantities are not the Quantities

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

(Revelation 6:6) NKJV

When the sun is less massive than the Earth, planetary and stellar bodies have gravitational relationships with each other that have the same relative proportions, but at a different scale.

And if the meaning of words is to be determined by their use, then by the names time, space, place and motion, their measures are properly to be understood; and the expression will be unusual, and purely mathematical, if the measured quantities themselves were meant. Upon which account, they do strain the sacred writing, who there interpret those words for the measured quantities.

– Sir Isaac Newton, Principia Mathematica p. 81-82

The empirical observations are what they are, we just don’t know the absolute values of the mass of anything. The calculations necessary to obtain values are themselves based on an assumption about the nature of gravity which, sadly, is wrong. Newton was perfectly well aware of this issue, he described it.

Wherefore relative quantities are not the quantities themselves, whose names they bear, but those sensible measures of them (either accurate or inaccurate), which are commonly used instead of the measured quantities themselves.

– Sir Isaac Newton, Principia Mathematica p. 82