The Moon’s Tidal Action
Mr. John Hill’s notice of the Moon and Tides, in the last number of The Earth, is a reminder that on several occasions I, with others, have carefully watched the Thames, while in full flood, at Richmond, observing the volume of water was composed of two distinct strata. The lower tidal, or bed stratum, of about two feet deep was somewhat cloudy and carried a large amount of detritus , and was rapidly flowing towards Teddington, while the clear upper stratum, of many feet deep, was flowing strongly towards Isleworth and London.
From the theoretical astronomical side evidently the moon was ignoring the upper stratum of water entirely, and devoting all its influence on the lower one on these occasions ; but as the luminary has no apparent effect on water in mid ocean, land-locked lakes, ponds, or even small puddles, this need not cause much wonderment.
Intelligent people think, if the moon causes all the astronomers say it does regarding the tides, these peculiarities could not exist. The fact is the astronomers know little more of the celestial luminaries and their influences than the man in the street, although professing to talk very learnedly about them. Parallax, in his work Zetetic Astronomy, advanced a more sensible and feasible cause for the tides than all the theoretical astronomers and so-called scientists have been able to do up to the present.
As to “Nature’s” and Lord Kelvin’s treatment of Mr. John Mill’s letter, that is no more than was to be expected from such sham oracles, as no doubt they saw the drift of the (questioning, which would only hold them up to ridicule had they dared to be involved. They would give the ears of their heads could they produce only one solitary proof of the globularity of the world; they know it cannot be done but are too cowardly to own it. What an exhibition of British learned pluck!