ericmurphy
Posts: 2460 Joined: Oct. 2005

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 03 2005,18:49)  Whoops, make that 2.99E12 
Which, of course, is several orders of magnitude beyond c.
But I'm assuming you think Einstein is completely wrong, so I'm not going to use that as part of my argument. Let's do it this way:
Using very rough approximations, all of which work in Bill's favor, so we can do the math in our heads as we're walking through that den of iniquity, downtown San Francisco. Let's assume:
* That p. Centauri (or a. Centauri, doesn't matter which) is only 4ly away; * That a lightyear is only 5 X 10^12 miles (if you like, Bill, you can probably use any figure for a ly larger than 10^9 miles and I'll still be okay with it) * That pi = 3 (can we walk like Egyptians?)
So 4 ly times 5 trillion miles times 2 = 40 trillion miles orbital diameter times pi (which we're estimating as ~3) = 120 trillion miles orbital circumference.
Let's make a day 30 hours long to make the arithmetic radically simple (and to make matters easier on Mr. Paley), and we get an orbital speed (let's not worry about vector quantities yet) of 4 trillion miles an hour, which is in reasonable accord with Bill's figure of 6.68 trillion miles an hour.
Let's further assume, again, that Einstein's wrong, and c is not a barrier to velocity, but assume that Newton's law of gravity (which, after all, has been around a bit longer) is more or less accurate.
So, Bill, here's your homework assignment. Given an orbital radius of 20 trillion miles and an orbital velocity (we couldn't avoid vector quantities forever) in the neighborhood of 4 trillion miles an hour, would you care to solve for the mass of the earth? (Since Bill says the heavens revolve around the earth, not that the earth and the heavens are orbiting a common center of mass, we can probably assume the mass of p. Centauri is much smaller than the mass of the earth, and hence can ignore it.) I have the feeling you're going to come up with a value that's a little high to be believable. High enough to squash us all flat, I'm guessing.
I'm using English units under the assumption that Bill really doesn't like the metric system, since communists (and, worse, the French) use it (although I will note he used it himself, presumably to make the math easier). Even though it makes the formulae harder. But hey, Bill tells us he's a smart guy.
Sorry I did this all at once, but all the suspense was getting tedious.
 2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity
"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams
