ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
 

Notices


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags gravity

Reply
Old 9th September 2010, 01:15 AM   #1
McCragge
Scholar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 60
Earth stops spinning, we fly into space?

The other day I was watching a video of an atheist and a christian going at each other on a beach front debate. One of them mentions god stopping the sun for a day and the atheist says that would mean the earth would stop spinning and therefore we would all float off into space if that happened. Therefore it didn't happen, even if god wanted it too or something similar to that.

In any case, I was thinking about it. Does the rotation of the earth create the gravity we feel? I don't think so, I am, of course, no physics professor or learned scholar by any means, but I was under the assumption that mass determines how much gravity is felt. And if we look at the merry-go-round when it spins it pushes things away from the center due to centrifugal force. So, if the earth were to stop spinning, wouldn't we then feel the full effect of the earths gravity due to lack of centrifugal force? (granted it probably wouldn't be crushing gravity, but more then we are used to perhaps).

Is this correct? Or do we actually float of into space if the earth stopped spinning?

McCragge
__________________
Fundies say the darndest things: "And, you attacked christianity. You can't attck chrisitanity based on things from the old testament. Thats no argument at all."
McCragge is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 01:20 AM   #2
Zep
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 26,709
Erm...no we would stay firmly attached. Until such time as we baked away in the sun or froze solid on the opposite side of the planet.
Zep is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 01:34 AM   #3
nathan
Zygoticly Phased
 
nathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,477
Originally Posted by McCragge View Post
So, if the earth were to stop spinning, wouldn't we then feel the full effect of the earths gravity due to lack of centrifugal force? (granted it probably wouldn't be crushing gravity, but more then we are used to perhaps).
The Earth is an oblate spheroid because it is rotating (and sufficiently malleable). IIRC the equatorial radius is 14Km greater than the polar radius. If it stopped spinning, it would relax back to a sphere and your weight would be greater at the equator than now, and less at the poles than now. Your equatorial weight would be less than your current polar weight though.
__________________
Crank works have one advantage: they don't really lose anything in translation. Skeptic
That's the beauty of Paranormal claims - there are no failures, only newly discovered restrictions on the ability. Ashles
nathan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 01:45 AM   #4
Jack by the hedge
Safely Ignored
 
Jack by the hedge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 6,718
If the earth instantly, magically stopped spinning, then there would be the inconvenience that our own momentum would cause us all to fly off to the East at several hundred miles per hour (depending on our lattitude, of course). So it would be quite important to make sure the magic applies both to the planet and everything on it.
Jack by the hedge is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 01:55 AM   #5
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In my pants
Posts: 47,189
Yes, we would all fly off, as we would still have momentum. We would accelerate in a straight line, so we would leave the surface, but the earth's gravity (which exists, as you say, due to its mass) would cause us to fall back down pretty quick.

From our perspective, everything would move very suddenly and very hard in a westerly direction, and would appear to drop away from us. But we would actually be following a ballistic trajectory around the world, and would land with a wet splat a few seconds after liftoff.
__________________
Some men just want to watch the world burn - and I think we're dealing with one of them here this evening.
- Senator Christine Milne, 30 October 2014
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 02:19 AM   #6
Thabiguy
Muse
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 784
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yes, we would all fly off, as we would still have momentum. We would accelerate in a straight line, so we would leave the surface, but the earth's gravity (which exists, as you say, due to its mass) would cause us to fall back down pretty quick.
Actually, strictly speaking, we wouldn't leave the surface. As we would be tossed eastward at less than orbital velocity, we would drop faster than the surface does due to Earth's curvature, so we would be falling down ever since the first moment. But hey, we could still be lifted off the ground if the terrain happens to be sloped, or if we bounce off the things we impact.

On the other hand, Jack is right. If one can use magic to stop the entire planet, it seems trivial to stop the surface stuff as well. Actually, it would be even more impressive if the spell was shaped so precisely as to stop all the Earth's mass but not the people on it.
Thabiguy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 03:12 AM   #7
Lukraak_Sisser
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,025
Don't forget the atmosphere either. If earth would stop spinning and it doesn't apply to the air rotating at the same speed the ensuing hurricane would pretty much wipe the surface clean.
Lukraak_Sisser is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 03:22 AM   #8
bokonon
Illuminator
 
bokonon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,437
Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Don't forget the atmosphere either. If earth would stop spinning and it doesn't apply to the air rotating at the same speed the ensuing hurricane would pretty much wipe the surface clean.

H.G. Wells described his vision of it in "The Man Who Could Work Miracles":
Quote:
You see when Mr. Fotheringay had arrested the rotation of the solid globe, he had made no stipulation concerning the trifling movables upon its surface. And the earth spins so fast that the surface at its equator is travelling at rather more than a thousand miles an hour, and in these latitudes at more than half that pace. So that the village, and Mr. Maydig, and Mr. Fotheringay, and everybody and everything had been jerked violently forward at about nine miles per second — that is to say, much more violently than if they had been fired out of a cannon. And every human being, every living creature, every house, and every tree — all the world as we know it — had been so jerked and smashed and utterly destroyed. That was all.
__________________
Laugh while you can, monkey boy.
bokonon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 03:41 AM   #9
MrQhuest
Thinker
 
MrQhuest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 150
I remember reading somewhere that the amount of energy required to stop the earth from spinning would liquefy the surface of the planet. I know we are talking magic though, just saying that flying off would not be the only thing to worry about.

MrQ
MrQhuest is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 03:53 AM   #10
Lothian
Penultimate Amazing
 
Lothian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,366
In addition to any momentum problems the spinning is needed to create the magnetic field which surrounds earth and protects us from the solar wind. With out the magnetosphere the solar wind would destroy everything on earth…. or something.....
__________________
.
.
.
.
.
.
Lothian is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 04:02 AM   #11
Zep
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 26,709
I was assuming that it was the biblical scenario - the Earth and everything on it stood still.

If someone stuck a stick in the Earth's spoke and jammed it at an instant stop but not everything on it, the result is very much like the others describe. I would add that the Earth's crust would likely slide with massive momentum, buckle titanically and release oceans of molten magma, etc. Into which we and all the contents of the Earth's surface would all be thrown sideways at colossal speed.

They should make it a Wii game!
Zep is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 04:38 AM   #12
Yuri Nalyssus
Graduate Poster
 
Yuri Nalyssus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,315
Originally Posted by McCragge View Post
The other day I was watching a video of an atheist and a christian going at each other on a beach front debate.
Aw, I thought this was going to be one of those old jokes...

Originally Posted by McCragge View Post
One of them mentions god stopping the sun for a day and the atheist says that would mean the earth would stop spinning
Would the Earth stop spinning if the sun was stopped? If the sun just stopped spinning (not sure what you mean by 'stopped') wouldn't the planets continue orbiting as normal?

Yuri
__________________
www.rationalvetmed.org/ - because nothing is as good as homeopathy...
Yuri Nalyssus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 04:52 AM   #13
bokonon
Illuminator
 
bokonon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,437
Originally Posted by Yuri Nalyssus View Post
Would the Earth stop spinning if the sun was stopped? If the sun just stopped spinning (not sure what you mean by 'stopped') wouldn't the planets continue orbiting as normal?
The question is related to a story in the Bible, in which the sun supposedly stood still for a day so one tribe would have enough light to finish the job of slaughtering another tribe. Or something like that; I'm not going to look it up right now.

At the time it was written, it was probably thought, at least by the writer, that the sun moved around the earth, and thus "stopping the sun" would just mean halting this forward progress. With the modern understanding that the apparent motion is caused by the Earth's rotation, anyone who pretends to take the story seriously must deal with the possible effects of actually stopping the Earth's rotation. I don't see it as much of a problem; if you can really stop the rotation by magic, you can presumably deal with all the other inertia by magic too.

People who enjoy thinking about such hypotheticals might want to check out the Naked Science episode, ""When the Earth Stops Spinning", which considers the effects of a more gradual slowdown and stop.
__________________
Laugh while you can, monkey boy.

Last edited by bokonon; 9th September 2010 at 05:01 AM.
bokonon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 05:17 AM   #14
gambling_cruiser
Muse
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 728
Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
H.G. Wells described his vision of it in "The Man Who Could Work Miracles":
Nine miles per second equals 1000 mph?
Rotation speed at equator is about 463 meters per second (1519 feet per second).
Up to about 44 degrees of latitude we would move super/transsonic eastwards. Close to the poles you could survive until the melting of the earth surface gets you. Not to mention the 10++ richter scale earthquakes, the oceans splashing over, firestorms and other uncomfortable events not immediately obvious.
The god of the bible had to avoid all this unpleasant side effects, therefore he couldn't slaughter the enemies himself.
Sounds like he likes it complicated! Otherwise the enemies of his favorite tribe would have vanished in a blink and all would have impressed by this trick.
Maybe YHWH is at least as incompetent as Q in Star Trek.
gambling_cruiser is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 05:20 AM   #15
aggle-rithm
Ardent Formulist
 
aggle-rithm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 15,336
Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
If the earth instantly, magically stopped spinning, then there would be the inconvenience that our own momentum would cause us all to fly off to the East at several hundred miles per hour (depending on our lattitude, of course). So it would be quite important to make sure the magic applies both to the planet and everything on it.
That's what inertial dampeners are for. Presumably, God has watched Star Trek.
__________________
To understand recursion, you must first understand recursion.

Woo's razor: Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by aliens.
aggle-rithm is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 05:22 AM   #16
bokonon
Illuminator
 
bokonon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,437
Originally Posted by gambling_cruiser View Post
Nine miles per second equals 1000 mph?
Yeah, I believe he should have written nine miles per minute. What a hack, huh?
__________________
Laugh while you can, monkey boy.
bokonon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 05:27 AM   #17
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In my pants
Posts: 47,189
Originally Posted by MrQhuest View Post
I remember reading somewhere that the amount of energy required to stop the earth from spinning would liquefy the surface of the planet. I know we are talking magic though, just saying that flying off would not be the only thing to worry about.

MrQ
Yeah, but as others have pointed out, this is divine magic we're talking about. God doesn't just stop the earth, He stops everyone and anything on it, including the atmosphere. God is omnipotent. He can do that ****.
__________________
Some men just want to watch the world burn - and I think we're dealing with one of them here this evening.
- Senator Christine Milne, 30 October 2014
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 05:31 AM   #18
Skwinty
Philosopher
 
Skwinty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,582
God did not stop the earth, he turned the rest of the universe.

Sheesh people don't underestimate the powers of god.
__________________


What is reality? Nothing but a collective hunch.
--Lily Tomlin
Skwinty is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 05:41 AM   #19
bokonon
Illuminator
 
bokonon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,437
Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
God did not stop the earth, he turned the rest of the universe.

Sheesh people don't underestimate the powers of god.
But... that would mean most of the universe was moving faster than the speed of light.

Awesome.
__________________
Laugh while you can, monkey boy.
bokonon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 06:39 AM   #20
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 18,601
Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
In addition to any momentum problems the spinning is needed to create the magnetic field which surrounds earth and protects us from the solar wind. With out the magnetosphere the solar wind would destroy everything on earth…. or something.....
No; it is the convection of the iron in the molten region of the core that generates the magnetic field. Stopping the rotation of the planet wouldn't eliminate the convection because the convection is caused by heat (from radioactive decay in the inner core), not the rotation.

The sudden motion disparity between the solid crust and mantle and the molten outer core would not need to be taken into account, because it is the entire mass of the Earth (including the core regions) whose rotation is being halted instantly as a unit.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002

Last edited by Checkmite; 9th September 2010 at 06:40 AM.
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 06:50 AM   #21
TjW
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11,097
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yeah, but as others have pointed out, this is divine magic we're talking about. God doesn't just stop the earth, He stops everyone and anything on it, including the atmosphere. God is omnipotent. He can do that ****.
Why not just wipe out the pesky competing tribe himself? Seems like less trouble all round.
TjW is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 06:52 AM   #22
Crossbow
Seeking Honesty and Sanity
 
Crossbow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 7,619
Originally Posted by McCragge View Post
The other day I was watching a video of an atheist and a christian going at each other on a beach front debate. One of them mentions god stopping the sun for a day and the atheist says that would mean the earth would stop spinning and therefore we would all float off into space if that happened. Therefore it didn't happen, even if god wanted it too or something similar to that.

In any case, I was thinking about it. Does the rotation of the earth create the gravity we feel? I don't think so, I am, of course, no physics professor or learned scholar by any means, but I was under the assumption that mass determines how much gravity is felt. And if we look at the merry-go-round when it spins it pushes things away from the center due to centrifugal force. So, if the earth were to stop spinning, wouldn't we then feel the full effect of the earths gravity due to lack of centrifugal force? (granted it probably wouldn't be crushing gravity, but more then we are used to perhaps).

Is this correct? Or do we actually float of into space if the earth stopped spinning?

McCragge
You ask a good question, and since I have not really seen anyone answer in quite this way, I will give my answer.

First of all, if the Earth were to stop spinning, then people/animals/object/what-have-you would not fly off of the Earth because these things are held to the Earth by the force of gravity. And to put it simply (without getting into the full explanation) the magnitude of the Earth’s gravitational pull is dependent upon the mass of the Earth, and since the mass of the Earth would still be constant regardless of the amount of rotation, then the Earth’s gravitational pull does not have anything to do with the rotation of the Earth itself.

Second of all, if the Earth were to gradually stop rotating, then one would notice many things (such as the period between sun rise and sun set would be more like half a year instead of half a day), however things would not fly off into space. Because the Earth’s gravitation pull is determined by the mass of the Earth, not the rotation of the Earth.

Third of all, if the Earth were to suddenly stop rotating, then that would be quite bad. Much like being in a moving car at a steady speed, then suddenly stepping on the brakes can cause a most uncomfortable deceleration effect. But in this case, the effect would be quite widespread and it may even cause things such as a considerable seismic disturbance which would cause numerous earth quake and volcano problems. However, objects would not go flying off into space because the Earth’s gravitation pull would remain unchanged.

Fourth of all, even if some sort of super powerful supernatural being could suddenly stop the rotation of the Earth without all of the bad effects mentioned above, then objects would still not fly off of the Earth because again, the Earth’s gravitational pull would be unchanged. However, I expect that anything strong enough to do such a thing, could send Earth objects flying off into space if he/she/they/it wanted to do so.

I hope this helps!
__________________
On 19 DEC 2014, 'Brainster' said: "I was a liberal for much of my life. But you know what they say; we get old too soon and too late smart."

A man's best friend is his dogma.
Crossbow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 06:54 AM   #23
Starthinker
Philosopher
 
Starthinker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,013
I think it would be infinitely easier to kill a few people than stop the rotation of the Earth in such a way that no one else gets killed then start the whole thing back up again. It's extraordinarily hard for me to accept that people actually believe these kind of tales. Then you have people saying "such and such a program that tracks the movement of stars over millions of years simply won't work if you don't add an extra day in to account for the day god stopped the earth" which I've heard on a few occasions. Utter and complete nonsense.
__________________
|¦¦|¦ |¦||||¦|||¦||¦¦|¦|||||||¦|¦¦¦¦|¦¦¦¦||¦|¦|¦¦|¦ |¦¦|¦
He who doubts victory has already lost the battle.
Below the navel there is neither religion nor truth.
Starthinker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 07:25 AM   #24
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15,942
Ah... the Bible vs. basic physics. I love it when fundies display their stupidity so openly for all to see. Fun times
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
"We ****** up the air, the water, we ****** up each other. Why don't we just finish the job by flushing our brains down the toilet?" -- John Trent, In the Mouth of Madness
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 07:32 AM   #25
bokonon
Illuminator
 
bokonon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,437
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Ah... the Bible vs. basic physics. I love it when fundies display their stupidity so openly for all to see. Fun times
While I think there's probably been a bit of "Chinese whispers" misunderstanding along the way, in the OP it was the atheist who was purportedly arguing that people would float off if the Earth stopped spinning.
__________________
Laugh while you can, monkey boy.
bokonon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 07:43 AM   #26
rambaldi
Thinker
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 171
Originally Posted by McCragge View Post
Is this correct? Or do we actually float of into space if the earth stopped spinning?
I stumbled recently about this, it doesn't involve a sudden stop though.

http://www.esri.com/news/arcuser/0610/nospin.html
rambaldi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 08:29 AM   #27
Dancing David
Penultimate Amazing
 
Dancing David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 36,163
Originally Posted by McCragge View Post
The other day I was watching a video of an atheist and a christian going at each other on a beach front debate. One of them mentions god stopping the sun for a day and the atheist says that would mean the earth would stop spinning and therefore we would all float off into space if that happened. Therefore it didn't happen, even if god wanted it too or something similar to that.

In any case, I was thinking about it. Does the rotation of the earth create the gravity we feel? I don't think so, I am, of course, no physics professor or learned scholar by any means, but I was under the assumption that mass determines how much gravity is felt. And if we look at the merry-go-round when it spins it pushes things away from the center due to centrifugal force. So, if the earth were to stop spinning, wouldn't we then feel the full effect of the earths gravity due to lack of centrifugal force? (granted it probably wouldn't be crushing gravity, but more then we are used to perhaps).

Is this correct? Or do we actually float of into space if the earth stopped spinning?

McCragge
Probably already answered, no we would not shoot into space, we would go in a straight line from the momentum of the earth's movement prior to it stopping, but that is not near escape velocity. So yes things would suddenly be moving relative to the stopped earth, but no they would not drift away after they crashed down again.
__________________
I suspect you are a sandwich, metaphorically speaking. -Donn
And a shot rang out. Now Space is doing time... -Ben Burch
You built the toilet - don't complain when people crap in it. _Kid Eager
Never underestimate the power of the Random Number God. More of evolutionary history is His doing than people think. - Dinwar
Dancing David is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 08:55 AM   #28
Yuri Nalyssus
Graduate Poster
 
Yuri Nalyssus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,315
Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
The question is related to a story in the Bible, in which the sun supposedly stood still for a day so one tribe would have enough light to finish the job of slaughtering another tribe.
OK, thanks, I understand the OP better now - clever idea of God's; thunderbolts are sooo 'minor deity'.

Yuri
__________________
www.rationalvetmed.org/ - because nothing is as good as homeopathy...
Yuri Nalyssus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 09:38 AM   #29
aleCcowaN
imperfecto del subjuntivo
 
aleCcowaN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 2,942
Originally Posted by McCragge View Post
The other day I was watching a video of an atheist and a christian going at each other on a beach front debate. One of them mentions god stopping the sun for a day and the atheist says that would mean the earth would stop spinning and therefore we would all float off into space if that happened. Therefore it didn't happen, even if god wanted it too or something similar to that.
I watched part of that video ("An Atheist and a Christian Debate at the Huntington Beach Pier") and, besides its obvious lack of spontaneity, it repeats a lot of stereotyped arguments -including "because if the Earth stopped we would be floating out in outer space..."-. The "fact" would be that an omnipotent being could perfectly modify properties of Physics, giving empty space some dynamic anisotropic refractive properties to make the sun look like it has stopped in the sky for a specific location -be it Jericho or Atlantic City-, as it seems there has been no recollection in Babylon, Egypt, China or wherever saying "gee! there was a time the sun stopped seven days and nobody understood what the hades was going on". Miracles have such elastic properties that you can't argue against them.

I mean, that omnipotent being wouldn't be so sloppy to let such loose ends. It is true that if Earth stopped spinning dead, everyone outside a building and in open and flat space would fly horizontally for -at most- a few seconds until the friction with the air and the friction of the air with the now-still surface make them fall like a collection of samples of all what is possible to happen in an airplane crash. This, as other explanations, require to say what the omnipotent being left unattended: It -with capital i, as i(humbled) don't want anybody to think i'm being disrespectful, least of all It- has to have forgotten the atmosphere and all the loose items in the planet -including us, Its servants- for that to happen. Even, if It should forgot to withdraw the energy in the spin we all be burnt instantly.

There are a lot of scenarios, but again, there is no thing that It, the master of entropy, can't do.
__________________
(Gone ... most of the time. Troubled to cope with the hopelessness of these fora)
These fora are full of scientist and specialist. Most of them turn back to pumpkins the second they log out.

Last edited by aleCcowaN; 9th September 2010 at 09:39 AM.
aleCcowaN is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 10:17 AM   #30
bokonon
Illuminator
 
bokonon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,437
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
The "fact" would be that an omnipotent being could perfectly modify properties of Physics, giving empty space some dynamic anisotropic refractive properties to make the sun look like it has stopped in the sky for a specific location -be it Jericho or Atlantic City-, as it seems there has been no recollection in Babylon, Egypt, China or wherever saying "gee! there was a time the sun stopped seven days and nobody understood what the hades was going on". Miracles have such elastic properties that you can't argue against them.
Yeah, the easiest way to accomplish the effect wouldn't be to stop anything, but just to hang a light in the sky above the battle, and hide the real sun behind some clouds while it set.

I'll bet you could bring the whole project in for less than it cost to kill all the firstborn children...
__________________
Laugh while you can, monkey boy.
bokonon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 10:52 AM   #31
aleCcowaN
imperfecto del subjuntivo
 
aleCcowaN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 2,942
Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
Yeah, the easiest way to accomplish the effect wouldn't be to stop anything, but just to hang a light in the sky above the battle, and hide the real sun behind some clouds while it set.
That's very clever. But I'm not sure that an omnipotent being must feel budgetary restricted; a feeling shared by omnipotent beings and earthly politicians. The sole prospect of an "economy of omnipotence" make these beings -heavenly and earthly- look like they have something to shame about.

But accepted such "economy of omnipotence", I think that in the end the lowest energy solution for illiterate realms is writing a book telling in it that a miracle happened when in fact it didn't. In that case the miracle is in the eye of each believer, what is not the triumph of logic, but logistics'.
__________________
(Gone ... most of the time. Troubled to cope with the hopelessness of these fora)
These fora are full of scientist and specialist. Most of them turn back to pumpkins the second they log out.
aleCcowaN is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 11:57 AM   #32
Madalch
The Jester
 
Madalch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,529
Of course, if the earth slowly came to a halt (so our momentum and kinetic energy could be turned into, say, heat[1]), then the sudden lack of centrifugal force around the equator would lower sea level in the tropics and raise it in the Arctic.

New world map: http://bigthink.com/ideas/21768

[1] No, I'm not calculating the temperature increase.

(I see Rimbaldi gave a better link. I'll shut up now.)
__________________
As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of resolving approaches zero. -Vaarsuvius
It's a rum state of affairs when you feel like punching a jar of mayonnaise in the face. -Charlie Brooker

Last edited by Madalch; 9th September 2010 at 11:58 AM.
Madalch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 12:06 PM   #33
Madalch
The Jester
 
Madalch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,529
Originally Posted by Madalch View Post
[1] No, I'm not calculating the temperature increase.
Actually, that's not so hard. The drop in velocity (according to above posts) is 463 m/s. Kinetic energy is (1/2)mv2; if this energy is turned into heat, we get mc(delta)t. The masses cancel, and we get (delta)t = v2/2c.

Using the heat capacity of water (close enough for living tissue and oceans) of 4200 J/kgK, you get a temperature increase of 25 degrees for things at the equator. Ouch.

Anyone ever had a fever of 62 oC? That's 145 oF for the Americans.
__________________
As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of resolving approaches zero. -Vaarsuvius
It's a rum state of affairs when you feel like punching a jar of mayonnaise in the face. -Charlie Brooker
Madalch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 12:38 PM   #34
Dancing David
Penultimate Amazing
 
Dancing David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 36,163
Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
Yeah, the easiest way to accomplish the effect wouldn't be to stop anything, but just to hang a light in the sky above the battle, and hide the real sun behind some clouds while it set.

I'll bet you could bring the whole project in for less than it cost to kill all the firstborn children...
I was thinking along the same lines, but why not just give the children of Israel super powers for one battle?
__________________
I suspect you are a sandwich, metaphorically speaking. -Donn
And a shot rang out. Now Space is doing time... -Ben Burch
You built the toilet - don't complain when people crap in it. _Kid Eager
Never underestimate the power of the Random Number God. More of evolutionary history is His doing than people think. - Dinwar
Dancing David is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 12:41 PM   #35
aleCcowaN
imperfecto del subjuntivo
 
aleCcowaN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 2,942
Originally Posted by Madalch View Post
Using the heat capacity of water (close enough for living tissue and oceans) of 4200 J/kgK, you get a temperature increase of 25 degrees for things at the equator. Ouch.
And most of the Earth's mass is made of material with much less heat capacity. If you start from .5 x I x ω2 and use an average heat factor of 700 or 1000, you'd get the oceans boiling.
__________________
(Gone ... most of the time. Troubled to cope with the hopelessness of these fora)
These fora are full of scientist and specialist. Most of them turn back to pumpkins the second they log out.
aleCcowaN is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 02:22 PM   #36
ingoa
Surfing on the relativistic brain wave
 
ingoa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 494
If God breaks the laws of physics he is a criminal!

I strongly believe that is the reason why we do not see miracles anymore. He is still in jail for breaking the law. To make the sun to appear to sit still requires to break many laws. He is also a repeat offender (according to his confession laid down in the bible). As is his son. Probably they got life without parole. So do not expect the second coming soon. Life for a god is a loooong, loooong time....
__________________
Suum cuique

I have no prejudices. I hate everbody!
ingoa is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 06:26 PM   #37
Subduction Zone
Muse
 
Subduction Zone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 981
I remember this topic from my college days, and yes the year was in the AD's. The claim of "proof" that the Earth stood still was that a NASA computer analyzed all of the motions of the planets and realized there was a perturbation in the orbits. That perturbation was taken away if the Earth stopped for the time period, and the date of the story in the Bible. I Google searched this once and you can still find references to it. But NASA never did such a study of found such a perturbation. And a year or two later in a geophysics class I learned that gravitational solutions for materials under the Earth are not unique, and I assumed the same could be applied to orbits. It was a YEC roommate of mine who first introduced me to this story. Too bad we weren't still roommates when I found the counter to his claim.
__________________
humber:
Quote:
If you "feel" 1G for 1sec, how far you travel depends only on your mass.
Subduction Zone is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 06:31 PM   #38
RecoveringYuppy
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 4,897
Google "Harold Hill" and his role in spreading that NASA missing day canard.

Don't know what you're referring to about non unique solutions regarding Earth materials. The refutation of this story is far simpler in that there are simply no ancient astronomical records that could possibly allow NASA to do such a calculation.

And the Biblical story only requires that Earth's rotation, not it's revolution, stop. So there wouldn't even have to be a perturbation, since Earth's rotation doesn't affect it's gravitational effect on other planets.
__________________
REJ (Robert E Jones) posting anonymously under my real name for 30 years.

Make a fire for a man and you keep him warm for a day. Set him on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.

Last edited by RecoveringYuppy; 9th September 2010 at 06:33 PM.
RecoveringYuppy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 06:35 PM   #39
jhunter1163
Beer-swilling semiliterate
Moderator
 
jhunter1163's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Room 118, Bohemian Grove Marriott
Posts: 21,644
I remember reading in one of Sagan's books ("Broca's Brain" maybe), when he was discussing the theories of Immanuel Velikovsky, that the amount of energy required to stop the Earth's rotation would not be enough to melt it, but it would be enough to boil the oceans.
jhunter1163 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th September 2010, 06:40 PM   #40
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15,942
Originally Posted by bokonon View Post
While I think there's probably been a bit of "Chinese whispers" misunderstanding along the way, in the OP it was the atheist who was purportedly arguing that people would float off if the Earth stopped spinning.
Yes, I did see that. And it made me grimace in annoyance.

My specific comment was in reference to those who hold the Bible up as infallible, which is laughable when you read the literal text regarding causing the Earth to stop spinning. Sorry that I didn't clarify.
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
"We ****** up the air, the water, we ****** up each other. Why don't we just finish the job by flushing our brains down the toilet?" -- John Trent, In the Mouth of Madness
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:09 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.