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Monday, May 23, 2016

Schöpffer: Gauss doubts, Fontenelle dreams: Copernicanism, Part 18d

      This continues from Part 18c, 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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      We conclude Carl Schöpffer's narrative:

To my justification.
(concluded from Part 18c)
I began my studies in Göttingen in earnest and presented the results of my research in a monthly Blätter der Wahrheit [Journal of Truth, no WorldCat] but only nine issues were published, partly because I myself had awkwardly taken over the distribution by hand, partly because most of the distribution handlers were hostile to the venture.  If I had written “Journal of Lies”, so I would certainly have had more luck —  Journal of Truth was  not wanted.
Carl Friedrich Gauss
"new doubts"
Very soon I became acquainted with the famous astronomer of Göttingen [Carl Friedrich] Gauss.  He met me in the most friendly way, supported me with books and allowed me to turn to him anytime if I needed his advice.  Truly a great consolation for me!  The friendship of Humboldt and Gauss compensated me abundantly for the cold reception that I found with Encke and Lamont; the encouraging words of [King] Ludwig of Bavaria and Karl von Raumer had to be more valid for me than the threats of the small Berliner who wrote in the Magdeburg newspaper that he wanted to destroy me.  
Baader    Schelling    Hegel
I shared with Gauss the previous course of my research; I told him how I found that all great thinkers, a Franz von Baader, Schelling, a Hegel, had rebelled against the exuberant assumptions of the Copernicans, while only the smaller spirits and the uneducated arrogated to themselves the right, not only to mock as a fool, but to even follow with wild fanaticism those who had not joined in the chorus of the current assumptions of the day; [page 9] I told him that this very fanaticism, far from deterring me, rather strengthened me in my quest because it demonstrated the weakness of my opponents; I confessed that I was convinced that there was nothing more suitable to suppress in large part the development of reason and the formation of a sound judgment, than the dedication of these in the Copernican hypothesis and its conclusions; whoever, against the daily inspection and without having the slightest evidence, merely on blind faith, could assume that the Earth rotates, must be thereby enabled to accept every conceivable nonsense as bare truth, and has once and for all forged their reason and understanding in the tightest bondage;
Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle
"Plurality of Worlds"
NASA's mascot?
needless to say, how much the imagination of mankind must be misled by the dreams inferred from the Copernican hypothesis, as especially our youth, fed from the tenderest years with the silliest mythical stuff [Märchenkram], willingly they, as all poets borrowed, suffered Fontenelle dreams of the inhabitability of the stars, but so also their minds would be poisoned so that they would be unable to have serious notions, unresponsive to all things high and holy.  Gauss, the most famous and greatest of the astronomers then living, argued nothing against all these remarks, on the contrary he gave me to recognize his perfect applause.  He even confessed to me that every new discovery in astronomy filled him with new doubts about the dominant system.  But when I told him that Alexander von Humboldt had stated that he would also immediately object to the present views if an astronomer with a name would declare against them, he replied: “If I were twenty years younger!

Schöpffer calls on three philosophers who "rebelled against the exuberant assumptions of the Copernicans".  It should be noted that C.F.W. Walther also called on some astronomer/philosophers in 1868, including Schelling and Carol Grande, but would likely not have mentioned Baader or Hegel.  Walther stated:
"It should be noted that recently some astronomers acknowledge that the Copernican system is only a hypothesis (assumption), and that some have returned to this, that the sun goes around the Earth, for example Schelling, and Carol Grande..."
I suspect that Walther knew of practically all literature coming out of Germany through his time and would know of any authors who fought against Copernicanism.  I strongly suspect that he had also read Schöpffer's lectures published in the 1850s, maybe even had drawn on what he learned there.
      For all the supposed support for the "sciences" in the world today, isn't it more true that much of today's "science" is really Fontenelle's Dream, a dream of other worlds beside ours?  Much of what passes for content on the "Discovery Channel" should be rather called "Delusion". —  The dreams of the Frenchman Fontenelle caused me to remember how Walther had also spoken against French ideas and customs, ensnared as the French people are under the Pope  go >here< on Dance, search for "French".
      Dr. Gerhardus Bouw calls Carl Friedrich Gauss "one of history's greatest  astronomers" – quite a statement!  I would say that trumps Fontenelle, wouldn't you?
      In the next Part 18e, I want to publish a few more items from this book of Dr. Carl Schöpffer, and later conclude my chapter on him.