Flat Earth Believers and Modern Astronomy
FROM THE “LEICESTER DAILY
Letters to the Editor
Note: From time to time, as many of you know, I post old flat earth articles. The purpose of this are several: it saves this information for posterity, it shows that there were people in the past that believed in the flat earth, that these flat earthers were primarily Christians, and how these the flat earthers of yesteryear handled and responded to critics. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this and future articles. Grammar and any spelling errors are as it originally appeared. Richard
Sir – I was pleased to read in the Post of last Friday your sensible remarks on the ambitious pretence of modern astronomy. It is, as you remark, one of the “most fascinating while it is one of the most unsatisfactory of all the sciences;” whilst its professors assume the loftiest tone imaginable, and expect us to receive their mere speculations and fancies as gospel truths. In fact, the teaching of the Bible is entirely ignored in their fascinating speculations, and one is almost scouted in these days for suggesting that possibly the ancients were more correct in their ideas of the universe than are the moderns. If, as you say, “the nebular hypothesis of Laplace really represents the extent of our astronomical knowledge,” and this hypothesis should prove an unfounded speculation, how much real knowledge is there in this modern and much-vaunted “science” after all? It would, as the Apostle Paul says, be a “science falsely so-called;” yet many professing Christians, alsas! Swallow down anything in the name of “science” with open mouths, while the account given by Moses of the creation of the world is pooh-poohed as old-fashioned and out of date.
If all matter were originally nebulous, what, I should like to know, caused its condensation into star, or hot and flaming bodies, as they are again supposed to be, like our sun? Gravitation? But what is gravitation? I have seen a great deal of astronomical conjuring with this word: but what is the thing itself which is called “gravitation?” Has solar attraction ever been proved, or is it only another “hypothesis” or assumption? If the latter, when the whole theory of modern astronomy rests upon two baseless ideas or speculations, rather than upon the well-founded facts of eternal truth. Now I seriously ask for one single fact proving solar or stellar gravitation. How can one star or sun pull another body said to e millions of miles away? What is the rope, or connecting rod, or coupling, by means of which the “pull” is enacted? When we travel by train we find that before the engine can pull its load of following carriages each car has to be hooked on to it, but this mysterious kind of matter called gravitation is a sort of elastic web, which is always hooked on, and which is supposed to pull with the greatest tension when the distance between the two objects is the least! This is contrary to our ordinary experience on the earth, is it not? Perhaps some of your more learned readers will explain it for us, namely, solar gravitation, because it appears to me that this hypothesis of Newton is at the base of all the subsequent hypotheses or speculations of his now numerous admirers. If Dr Huggins and the astronomers cannot tell us whether the heat of our sun is now less or more than it was a hundred years ago, they had better stop at home a little more and not wander so far away amongst the stars. Let them secure their base line, and then sally abroad amongst the stars. Your figure about the household fly having the audacity to suppose it could master the secrets of social science is not a bad one to represent the pride of those titled mortals who not only thinks they can pierce the heavens, but who dare to impugn the teachings of the Creator through his servant Moses who writings have been endorsed by the Son of the Most High. I remain sir, yours, $c., ZETETES.
150 St. Saviour’s Road, August 25, 1891