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Unread 02-12-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
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sun and earth/Rambam vs science

The Rambam describes the the solar system as being completely geocentric i.e that both years and days are determined by the movement of the sun and the world is completely stationary.

The Rebbe defends the geocentric model based on the theory of relativity as discussed at length here

This answer though only defends the way years work as an orbit of the sun or the earth.

However relativity doesn't answer the way days are determined as earth spinning on its axis or a full orbit of the sun which can be determined from space by viewing the earth etc'.

Does the Rebbe agree with this conclusion of science?
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Unread 02-12-2010, 02:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by couldntbe View Post
However relativity doesn't answer the way days are determined as earth spinning on its axis or a full orbit of the sun which can be determined from space by viewing the earth etc'.

Does the Rebbe agree with this conclusion of science?
Conclusion of science is that the relation between 2 points of matter has sense and follows the equations of relativity theory only in infinitely small distance between these points. There is no physical sense to simultaneous consideration of sun and earth. (That's why refutation on the basis that if you take earth as static, the stars would be considered to fly faster than speed of light, does not have physical sense). See Raushenbach on Einstein's theory in a popular form.
Anyway, the same relativity principle holds fine to have as a 0-point for any point on earth's surface as any other point in the universe.
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Unread 02-13-2010, 02:35 PM   #3
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the dominant gravitational body in the solar system is the sun. thats for sure.

but the whole chiddush of relativity is that the entire question is meaningless.

however the math works out much more nicely if you use the sun as your starting point, but thats just math. Thats because the sun is the gravitationaly (and therefore respective of motion) dominant body in our solar system.

I think this is basicaly why the rambam said "don't get to married to this interpretation, it isn't exact". his point was more to point out that the starts are not deities and move according to preset orbits. For that his description is still a better way of describing the apperant motions of the planets than a heliocentric patern. most people who grow up hearing about the helio-centric solarsystem have trouble wraping their minds around the concept of a retrograde loop, which is probably what led the ancients to decide to worship the planets. Esentialy his point is, this is all explainable, predictable, and intelligeable. Movealong people, nothing to see.

I had a program that would let you set gravitational bodies in motion around each other, and it was facinating to decide to pin the smallest body in the system and let all the others move around it, cause they move in such bizzare motions, much like rambam describes.
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Unread 05-30-2011, 06:19 PM   #4
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I have seen a number of letters of the Rebbe on this matter, but I have yet to see a letter in which the Rebbe cites a specific source, e.g., the Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, or some posuk, or the like, in support of the Rebbe's shitah that al pi Torah, the sun goes around the earth. Because the Rambam seems to hold not only that the earth is in the center and not revolving around anything else, but that it doesn't even revolve on its axis. For if the earth would revolve on its axis, there is no need to say that the sun and stars are revolving around the earth every night.

If, however, Mishneh Torah is not the Rebbe's source for his shitah, then perhaps the Rebbe could hold that what the Rambam writes about galgalim, etc. (which no one will question conformed with the science of his time) does not need to be accepted literally, but at the same time, due to relativity, the earth can still be said to be in the center, because of whatever other source that indicates so.
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Unread 05-31-2011, 01:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wednesday View Post
The problem with heliocentricity is also the problem with geocentricity. We may as well go for a jupitercentric system...
According to the approach of scientific theory.

The Rebbe says shtark klar that al pi Torah the Earth is at the center.
Chassidim must study Chassidus--HaYom Yom 21Kislev
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