To look at this drawing (and the Mars apparent retrograde motion animation) of the path Venus takes across the sky, a casual observer might never expect that it actually follows a simple elliptical orbital progression around the sun. No wonder the word 'planet,' meaning 'wanderer,' was assigned to the bright, rapidly moving night sky objects like Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. In fact, until the middle of the 16th century when Nicolaus Copernicus promoted his heliocentric model of the solar system, a vast majority of 'experts,' 'professionals,' 'learned scholars,' etc., held fast to a belief that Earth was the center of the universe and everything moved relative to it. Sophisticated mathematical and mechanical models were created by some of the smartest minds of the day to explain the circuitous movement of the planets. Indeed, and to their great credit, observed phenomena agreed very closely with the studiously developed theoretical models. I'm not knocking it; that's the way science works.
Proving a long-held theory or set of beliefs to be wrong meets with a lot of resistance from believers, even in the presence of indisputable evidence. I'm not referring to Creation/creation issues because neither extreme can be proved absolutely based on direct observation of contemporary evidence. Many religions have versions of Creation (capital 'C') and many science sects have versions of creation (little 'c'), all of which rely on a combination of past beliefs and current observations (monotheist, polytheist, universe, multiverse, etc.). All predict what will happen in the future based on past events. Today, the question of whether planets travel around the sun or the Earth is utterly indisputable; to deny the latter is consummate stupidity. There is no need to rely on historical data or to project what planetary behavior might be in the future. However, when Copernicus first proposed his heliocentric planetary model, he was not just academically opposed but threatened with death for his belief.
You might think that society and science has advanced enough in the six centuries since Copernicus that such illogical and irrational attitudes would only still exist in the mountain caves of Afghanistan (and Garland, Texas), but if you honestly assess the actions of proponents of some of today's most politically charged issues - most of which are based on data (often fudged) that represents an infinitesimally small snapshot in time - you have to see the similarity in attitudes and actions that prevailed by the geocentric solar system model (aka Ptolemaic). Anyone who dares to challenge the politically correct, and usually highly profitable 'norm' is immediately labeled an ignorant fool and made a pariah. I am not referring to the alien visitation crowd, but anyone who questions the validity of current global warming models, societal behavior, and education methods, to name a few. Integrious behavior requires admission that one's theory is purely that - a theory - derived from what is personally deemed to be honest data. Then, remain open to peer review and criticism. Instead, a militant, religious stance is taken where an army of like-thinkers are assembled to build an unassailable fortress to defend the popular opinion - even if it means decimating 'the enemy.'
That declared 'enemy,' defined as anyone who challenges the decreed norm, is a direct threat not only to the egos of the enlightened members of the force, but equally as important they are a threat to the millions or even billions of dollars that are channeled into the movement. A successful challenge to the ruling class also means loss of control over the freedoms and actions of those being controlled. Anyone having lived more than four or five decades has, especially in America, witnessed an extreme reduction in personal freedoms at the hands of megalomaniacs. Your toilet can only use a gallon of water to flush, you cannot buy a 100 W incandescent light bulb in a store, the cost of a McDonald's hamburger has increased due to expensive regulatory mandates on content and labeling, you cannot buy a 32-ounce soda in Brooklyn, banks pay virtually no interest to savers while borrowers are rewarded with near-zero loans, violators of immigration laws are celebrated as heroes while law-abiding legal citizens are belittled for expressing concern about it, and the list goes on.
Unfortunately, it appears we have crossed the line to where a turn-around is no longer probable. The new norm is to let selfish, low- or non-achievers rule the rest of us because their numerical majority now enables them to elect rulers willing take from those pulling the figurative wagon and give to those along for the ride - with the threat of financial (IRS) and punitive (jail) measures levied to ensure compliance.
Now get back to work... your fellow country inhabitants expect and depend on it from you.
Posted on May 7, 2015