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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Schöpffer: found by old Missouri, few historians; Stimson's account; Copernicanism, Part 18f

      This continues from Part 18e, a series on Copernicanism and Geocentricity (see Intro & Contents in Part 1) in response to a letter from a young person ("Josh") who asked if I believed Geocentricity ... and did not ridicule me in his question.
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      In 1871 Lehre und Wehre, the theological journal of the old Missouri Synod, announced Schöpffer's last book by quoting approvingly the comments of German theologian, Stroebel in a German periodical, who had also been quoted in 1868 regarding the Knak-Lisco Affair:
Literary announcements.
In 1869, the following writing appeared:
Dr. C. Schöpffer, The Contradictions in Astronomy [Die Widersprüche in der Astronomie]. Berlin by Beck. XVI and 144 pages, gr 8. (121 Gr.).
Stroebel  reviewed this writing as follows:
This brave book, vigorously against the “modern Edomites" and “people's toadies", prefaced by Dr. A. Frantz, and provided with a lithographed figure panel, reveals the contradictions that “arise when adopting the Copernican system, but disappear in the opposing one.”.  We received many interesting, instructive, and surprising reports regarding the “Copernican hypothesis” and its exhibitors, finishers, followers, opponents etc.  The total result of the discussion of this “orthodox astronomy, that well will not tolerate any contradiction, Dr. Schöpffer gives finally in the following heterodox words [page 128]: “Let's be honest, we must admit that one can not understand how educated people could get lost to such outlandish fantasies, even more, that one can not see how the world could admire these empty dreams as lofty and awe-inspiring research, as results of science.  Besides, also no reasonable person has ever given the least thought to such chimeras, rather every thinking researcher has always been surprised how one could develop such an adventurous system with such seriousness.  Cicero once spoke out his astonishment moreover, how two augurs [page 119] could meet each other without laughing at each other's face, so it is surprising to a far higher degree, how two astronomers can look at each other seriously,” etc.  Honor to such men as Schöpffer and Frantz who, undeterred by mockery, arrogance and puffery, with Protestant courage and understanding, defend what is their truth and castigate the "humbug" of Copernican priestdom!  The applause of Goethe, Schiller, Gauss, Schelling, Hegel, Franz von Baader, Alexander von Humboldt, Karl von Raumer and a Tycho Brahe, which Copernicans hardly hold a candle to when all are taken together, was already shared, and they can also be certain of the applause of the educated foreign community; since only in Germany, not in France, England or elsewhere, one stamps the "Copernicus'" hypothesis as dogma.

I had to burst out laughing at the comment of Cicero.  But Stroebel's last comment was perhaps overly harsh with his German countrymen, since France had already produced a Fontenelle...  and America was spawning the likes of Andrew Dickson White. —  By this announcement in Lehre und Wehre, I am certain that C.F.W. Walther was well aware of Carl Schöpffer and Dr. Alexander Frantz.  And Walther would nine years later make a bold statement about Copernicus's own faith that no one else claimed... but that comes in my later blog post.
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Prof. Dorothy Stimson
      Schöpffer has not been totally ignored by some modern historians of science.  Notable is Dorothy Stimson's account of Schöpffer in her 1917 book The Gradual Acceptance of the Copernican Theory of the Universepgs 102-103:
A Carl Schoepffer had taken up the defense of the Tychonic scheme in Berlin before this (1854) and by 1868 his lecture was in its seventh edition. In it he sought to prove that the earth revolves neither upon its own axis nor yet about the sun. He had seen Foucault's pendulum demonstration of the earth's movement, but he held that something else, as yet unexplained, caused the deviation of the pendulum, and that the velocity of the heavens would be no more amazing than the almost incredible velocity of light or of electricity.
Unfortunately we see that Stimson's history is disappointingly superficial (including incorrect dates, misspellings regarding Pastor Knak) and, like most other science historians, lacked objectivity and overlooked Schöpffer's last great work The Contradictions in Astronomy (Die Widersprüche in der Astronomie, 1869), which included his firsthand "List" of great German scientists...  too bad.  But to all historians of science who have ignored Schöpffer, I say:
Humboldt and Gauss did not ignore Schöpffer. 
Die Widerspruche in der Astronomie
    Dr. Gerardus Bouw (p. 362) called Schöpffer's last book:
"the foundation of almost every geocentric work published from then to 1950".  
In order to begin to correct today's history, I want to publish the full text of this book here:
——— >>> Full text Die Widersprüche in der Astronomie in Google Docs, available for immediate automatic Google Translation in Chrome browser.  The text in this document has been polished somewhat, corrections made, spellings updated, all for the ease of fast automatic translation.

      Schöpffer's name became so detested by the publishing trade that he needed a pseudo-name from 1856 to 1868 in order to keep publishing his scientific works: L. F. Dietrich (see here and here).
This is revealed on page 18.  But we see that Schöpffer cast off that pseudo-name in his last book of 1869 and went back to his real name... with a holy vengeance!

As badly as Schöpffer was treated for his scientific stand, yet Pastor Knak's confession, based purely on the Holy Scriptures, set the world on fire.  Schöpffer suffered much – Knak suffered more, for his response was based purely on faith in God's Word.
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>> A challenge to Cornell University and Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison: <<
I would like for you, as large prestigious institutions, to obtain a photocopy (a PDF file will do) for me of the book Doctor Schöpffer, der grosse Reformator der Astronomie.  WorldCat shows that it is available in Europe in two places: Switzerland and Great Britain.  You would then be able to expand your collection on "pseudo-science" and I would gain more knowledge of the scientist that Dr. Gerhardus Bouw calls "the greatest geocentrist of the nineteenth century".  You know... the scientist that Humboldt and Gauss received kindly...
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      This concludes my posts directly about Schöpffer, yet I want to reveal the other writer who provided a preface to Schöpffer's last great book: Dr. Alexander Frantz ... a Lutheran?... in Part 18g-1.