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March 18th, 2019, 05:02 AM   #11
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 Originally Posted by v8archie No physical theories are "right", except perhaps on a very superficial level. The best ones are merely the least wrong. Every mathematical model carries assumptions and simplifications that render them no better than approximations.
I don't know archie. I understand your point of course. But do you honestly mean it? The way you say it, is that both geocentrism and heliocentrism are just mathematical models that do give good approximations to reality.
Don't you think that heliocentrism, according to Kepler's laws, is somehow more correct than geocentrism?

March 18th, 2019, 06:40 AM   #12
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 Originally Posted by Micrm@ss The way you say it, is that both geocentrism and heliocentrism are just mathematical models that do give good approximations to reality. Don't you think that heliocentrism, according to Kepler's laws, is somehow more correct than geocentrism?
Is that not what they are? Obviously one of them gives a much better approximation than the other when other heavenly bodies are considered and is thus much more useful and more correct.

But neither is the truth, is it? Both move about the barycentre of the system, don't they?

March 18th, 2019, 06:44 AM   #13
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 Originally Posted by v8archie Is that not what they are? Obviously one of them gives a much better approximation than the other when other heavenly bodies are considered and is thus much more useful and more correct. But neither is the truth, is it? Both move about the barycentre of the system, don't they?
The epicycle theory is essentially applying a Fourier series on the orbit. The accuracy can be arbitrarily close. In fact, when heliocentrism was first proposed by Copernicus, the epicycle model outperformed it.

Agree to disagree I guess. Both the epicycle and the Newton model are mere approximations. Both are incorrect since when you look "close" enough they disagree with experiment. But I maintain that the Newton model is more correct than the epicycle model. I don't see exactly why that is, but I don't like to put them on the same footing. The epicycle model is essentially curve fitting. The Newton model actually offers some sort of "explanation" and has spawned a lot of other theories in physics.

March 18th, 2019, 12:58 PM   #14
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 Originally Posted by Micrm@ss Agree to disagree I guess. Both the epicycle and the Newton model are mere approximations. Both are incorrect since when you look "close" enough they disagree with experiment. But I maintain that the Newton model is more correct than the epicycle model.
I don't really see what you are trying to argue about. The real power of the Newtonian model is that it applies to all planetary masses orbiting any star without the need for calculating epicycles specific to other bodies. That's why it's better than epicycles.

But Newton isn't correct, because it's a linear approximation to a better theory (relativity), IIRC.

Relativity isn't correct either - it doesn't work at the quantum level, does it? - but it's the best we've got.

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