Talk on Gravitation, Part 2
But we, dear reader, can also muse over apples. While so musing, I wonder why my apple makes no tremulous motion towards the moon, which is rising as I write, especially as she is now between the two “ ponderous and superior” planets. Mars and Jupiter, which are approaching towards conjunction. Ye t through the varying positions and relationships of the heavenly bodies, as they roll around the world and my apple, it remained on the shelf twenty-four hours perfectly stationary, as though no such tremendous forces were playing their mighty artillery upon it. They may try from their various vantage grounds, east or west, north or south, mid-heaven or sideways, yet the apple will not move. Yet a breath would have caused it to roll. There is no proof for flat earthers of universal attraction in this apple. But perhaps mine is different from Newton’s. It will not bow to fair Luna as she pulls it sideways, assisted by the two powerful giants, one on each side, attending her like guards, much less will it attempt to rise towards the mighty sun as he pulls with all his meridian power and glory. Its weight is the same throughout the twenty-four hours. No! friends. I must see an apple fall ” upwards before I can believe in solar gravitation. But a superficial thinker may object that the reason bodies only fall downwards to the earth is, because the earth being nearer than the sun, its force of attraction is the greater of the two. Is it ? Let us take another instance, which proves, not only that there is no such thing as terrestrial gravitation, or attraction, but which shows that this supposed power may be defied.
In the science schools o f to-day our pupils are taught the atomic theory, namely: that all bodies consist of innumerable minute particles so small that they are invisible and cannot be further divided, or cut up, as their name, atoms, implies. These atoms, the gods of the scientist and evolutionist, may all be the same size, if we can attach size to such infinitely small things, or potentialities, but they have not all the same specific gravity or weight. Hydrogen, a kind of gas, is the lightest body known. Hydrogen may be obtained by a combination of sulphuric acid, zinc clippings, and water. As the gas bubbles up through the water we catch a little in a glass bottle, or a test-tube. We may fix our mind’s eye upon one molecule of hydrogen, and let all the others go free.
We work this molecule safely inside a small glass tube. It is the lightest body known upon the earth, and it is easier to pull about light bodies than heavy ones. Now, the theory of gravitation is that all the atoms in the earth and in the world are attracting, or pulling at this molecule of hydrogen; and that, being nearest to the earth, the latter will have the most power over it. We will not pause to show further the absurdity of this theory, and the infinite number of bonds and filaments our little
molecule must possess to be in pulling connection with all the atoms of the universe; but we will proceed to liberate it from the bottle, not from the bonds, and watch, with mental vision, its behaviour, on being so far set free. Now what course ought the molecule to take, if the theory of
our astronomical friends be true?
Clearly and rapidly downwards to the earth, pulled down unmercifully by ten thousand times ten million threads or gravitating cords. We turn the bottle neck downwards and draw the cork. The molecule of hydrogen ascends in the glass, and refuses to leave the bottle. Remember, every atom in the so-called “ globe” is pulling with all its might at our little molecule of hydrogen; yet It refuses to leave the jar! Turn the glass right side up, and now our molecule, really liberated, mounts up above the highest clouds, in complete defiance of the combined pull of all the gravitating forces in the “ globe.” It stands aloof from all the nonsensical “ forces,” or theories, of the astronomers, and mounts upwards and onwards in defiance of them. It defies, as we defy, all their metaphysical “reasoning” and jargon about gravitation. If bodies falling to the earth prove gravitation, what do bodies ascending from the earth prove? If the “globe” can pull at a distant body like the moon and make it “fall” through sixteen feet per second, why can it not pull at air, smoke, clouds, gases and things close at hand, and make them all lie down in layers upon its surface? The conclusion is evident; a force that cannot overcome a little helpless molecule of hydrogen, is no force at all. The apple was too much for it, and so is the molecule.
Bodies rise or fall, according to their inherent density, or weight, and they remain at rest whenever and wherever they attain their equilibria. This is reasonable, because it is natural; yet at the same time it is utterly opposed to the fanciful speculations of the scientists, who darken counsel with words without knowledge. In the whole wide world there is no such thing as the astronomer’s “attraction of gravitation.” I challenge any of them to prove it. I will, in conclusion, proceed to show that their idea of attraction is a myth.
To be continued