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Discussion 5 to Talk Back 88
Did the idea of an earth-centric universe really originate with the Greeks?

by: Paul W. Sharkey

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Michael Horn wrote:

"The Greeks looked at the world and found the sun went around them. Their conclusion was that the Earth did not move. It took fifteen hundred years to get rid of that idea."

The standard ancient geocentric model was indeed documented by Ptolemy, an Alexandrian Greek, in the second century, CE, But he did not originate it. The idea of an earth-centric universe can be found in pretty well every ancient civilization.

Perhaps it should be noted that Aristarchus of Samos, (3rd Cent. BCE and predecessor of Eratosthenes who demonstrated spherical nature of earth, accurately calculated its circumference and the tilt of its axis etc) argued that all the planets, including the Earth, revolve around the sun and that the Earth rotates on its axis once a day. So, rather than originating the concept of the earth-centric universe, the Greeks may have been the first to challenge the idea.

And as for the idea that the Earth does not move, perhaps, Michael, you should consult your Bible. In Psalm 93 verse 1 (which long predates Ptolemy,) it states clearly:

"Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved."

Perhaps such biblical authority explains why, as you say, it took fifteen hundred years to get rid of the idea that the Earth does not move. If only you could question the literal truth of certain other Bible verses.