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Is this book cracking or crummy? Read my review and get the inside dope

Does the Earth Rotate? NO!

William Westfield [pseudonym of William Edgell?]
The Author
Edition / Year
In the section labelled

Does the Earth Rotate? NO!

In the compiling of this little book as a contradiction of the theory of the present Astronomers I have made a special point of being as concise and plain as possible in putting forward my proofs, and to do so I have used simple language not indulging in astronomical terms. My intention is to place all my facts in a plain and simple method so that all may conceive what I wish to prove, as the use of unnecessary terms and huge wording would only tend to puzzle and fog one in reading, hence I hope that those who peruse this book will be able to follow any argument and agree with my conviction that the earth is a fixture and the sun does certainly move.

Thus begins this uncommon little tract, by which William Westfield hoped in vain to persuade the “Educational Authorities” to abandon the idea that the earth rotates, or indeed moves at all, in space. The crux of his argument is based on a simple experiment performed in his garden, in which he placed a tube pointed at the Pole Star.

Viewing tube experiment

He says of it:

I have this tube fixed in my garden, size 3 feet 6 in. by 3/4 in., directed to the fixed pole star, and I can view the star continually. Why? Because the star is fixed in the heavens and because the earth is a fixture also.

His tube would have covered only just over one degree of arc of the sky, so actually he should have observed a little movement of Polaris, but presumably he was not really looking for it. His disbelief in the earth's rotation did not wholly rest on this single experiment, in any case:

Here is another positive proof that the earth cannot rotate. In the Desert of Sahara, the length from east to west is 3,000 miles, its average breadth 900 miles, and its area 2,000,000 square miles. Rain falls on this desert at intervals only of five to ten or twenty years. If the earth rotates over 10,000,000 miles daily [corrected in errata to a mere 1,555,200 miles a day - still too large by a factor of about 60!], and in addition makes another movement round the orbit and sun yearly how can this large desert escape the rain from the heavens for years at a stretch, while other places receive the rain regularly? Why? It is because this desert is a fixture, and is not favoured by rain from the heavens, like other places, owing to geographical conditions.

As recent as June, 1917, it rained for about one hour on my garden, and only two and a half miles from here, north, south, east and west, there was no rain at all.

His garden should be located and marked with a blue plaque to record its important role in the history of thought.

I would not want to address each of the many fallacies expounded in Westfield's book, though it may be of interest that he thought that the rotation of the earth that he was arguing against was like the rolling of a ball, with the north and south poles exchanging places twice daily, but I do think his attempt to justify a belief in a flat earth is worthy of some attention:

The sun over London and New Zealand

As I contend that our earth is practically flat except for the hills, mountains and valleys, that no such thing as a globe exists, readers may wonder why the sun is not on view all over the world at one time. My answer is as illustrated. No 1 is the position of the sun at mid-day, in June, in England. At the same time it is midnight in New Zealand, and the mountain, hill or horizon as shown at C would easily prevent a person in New Zealand at D from viewing the sun when over England.

No 2 is the sun at New Zealand in mid-winter and a person in England at A is prevented from viewing the sun at New Zealand after it has travelled from viewing across the heavens to that country. This is due to the mountains, hills, towns, villages or horizon at B obstructing the view. All readers are aware that mountains and hills and horizon are common in all countries, and therefore it is these that easily hide the sun from our view, although the sun is even at a high altitude at that place.

(Yes, those horizons get everywhere, don't they?) On this basis Westfield calculates the sun to be only 2,500 miles above the earth. Curiously, he omits to say exactly how it must move in relation to the flat earth below it, in order to give the relative timing and orientation of sunrises and sunsets that are actually observed throughout the world. But to do so would presumably be a simple exercise, given his confident conclusion to this volume:

There are [...] large sums of money spent annually at our Observatories throughout England on astronomy based upon Astronomers' opinion and enormous distances given by them, such as the distance of the earth to the pole star and sun of millions of miles, whereas ordinary mathematics as taught at schools daily, absolutely prove the distance in both cases to be less than 10,000 miles.

With all due respect to astronomers' prophesies of future happenings as to comets, readers will see their judgment as to distances and earth rotation cannot be relied upon. May I ask, is it worth while keeping a large staff at our Observatories, or anyone working at a false and unreasonable theory, especially when our Government has now definitely decided on economy at their establishments?

A considerable sum of money can now be saved by greatly reducing the staff at observatories in this country, and undoubtedly the Government will be convinced that the proofs given in this small book is [sic] overwhelming against the enormous distances given by astronomers, and that the earth rotation theory is absolutely disproved.

I wonder if the current British Government, given its documented willingness to accept dodgy evidence is yet ready to listen?

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Aug 2011 - 19:32 Permalink

So guys I am not a Muslim or in that instance no faith at all, yet it is very convincing me to accept a geocentric flat earth where sun orbits over the earth and I do not feel seasonal changes as being near to the equator. The string theories, space-time fabrics and Hawking’s new theories and all are fine but one should make sense what he observes. Sri Lanka
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 31 May 2011 - 04:27 Permalink

The fact that this discussion has been going on for over two years is unbelievable.. i'm going back to live my life now... i was trying to find out the difference in flight time west coast to east coast.. and vice versa.. now i'm late for my flight
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 26 May 2011 - 08:20 Permalink

If you all believe in science and revolution then you would also believe that your ancestors were monkeys in the first place and then became humans (atleast this is what I have read) I donot believe in the fact that Earth revolves around the sun, it is the sun that revolves. END OF Discussion
Submitted by pseudonym (not verified) on 31 May 2011 - 14:44 Permalink

In the unlikely event that you read this response I feel it is my responsibility to inform you that if you are talking on the subject of ancestors then you must be talking about the branch of biology called evolution, no r. Evolution does indeed state that humans ancestors many millions of years ago were a different species, but certainly not monkeys, otherwise monkeys would become extinct as we would have out competed them for resources or vice-versa, though if that were the case we would not be having this conversation. Evolution is the results of inherited characteristic, like vision, breathing oxygen or walking upright giving one species an advantage over another or even with random variation in each generation the ability to survive and reproduce more successfuly than it's parent or siblings and pass on their characters to the next generation. Characteristic are the result of special bio-chemical coding in the cells of all life including plants that we call DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), it is what gives us the hair color or eye color of our parent, the leaf color and bark thickness of a trees parent and the muscles mass or excellent eyesight of a wildcats parent. DNA is in males sperm and females eggs and varies wildly and further varies through mixing the two and in some circumstances varies even further through disease and environmental radiation. This variation can lead to new sets of characteristics that advantage a sub-species who could later develop even more new DNA sets called genes to the point that they are distinct from their original species and while they can breed with the transitory sub-group they can no longer breed with the original species. Hopefully this explains a little of how it is that monkeys and humans evolved at the same time from proto-monkeys and proto-humans, if you go further into the past you will find one species that is the ancestor of both humans and monkeys, but without a time machine it's too hard find the exact point. I'm not sure if anyone reading this will learn from it but it was an interesting exercise or me, but next time I might just cut and paste a biology text book.
Submitted by Shaamil (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 - 18:47 Permalink

Is not He Who has made the earth as a fixed abode. (Qur'an 27:61) What is the Tafsir (explanation) of this verse. What does the Islamic scholars say about the meaning of this verse. Does' it really mean that the earth is not moving?
Submitted by Shaamil (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 - 18:38 Permalink

The simplest proof that the earth rotates around the sun is the Foucault pendulum. Quoted from Wikipedia: The Foucault pendulum (play /fuːˈkoʊ/ foo-KOH), or Foucault's pendulum, named after the French physicist Léon Foucault, is a simple device conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. While it had long been known that the Earth rotated, the introduction of the Foucault pendulum in 1851 was the first simple proof of the rotation in an easy-to-see experiment. Today, they are popular displays in science museums and universities. Link: Foucault pendulum
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 23 Feb 2011 - 18:58 Permalink

What crap this is lmao people still living in the dark ages? or what? what crap do people teach these days The world isn't flat if facking round i think we know by now people falling off the sides geez -_-
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Feb 2011 - 14:16 Permalink

First of all, the Earth doesn't exist. 55% of all scholars in the world know that, the other 45% just keeps pointing out questions that will drive our attention off the truth. Secondly, a great evidence of the flatness of the Middle-earth is that when we play Age of Mythology, you can see the entire world by dragging your mouse around, and when you reach the limits of the terrain, all you see is layers and layers of (plain) soil, and then, black forever. The movement of the screen stops, indicating that the earth really ends there. In Civilization this doesn't work, but Civilization was made by the 45% evil scholars from Muslim communist monarchies.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Feb 2011 - 02:54 Permalink

By far the funniest threads I have ever read. The guy who said something about the carousel made me cry. Also, I noticed that all the people arguing that the earth is flat seem to be ignoring all the people who say "get in a plane and find out if it is". Anybody here who thinks the earth is flat should try to explain what would happen if I got in a plane and just kept flying in one direction, I would love to hear your viewpoint. Thanks guys.
Submitted by David Horton (not verified) on 27 Jan 2011 - 11:48 Permalink

On second thoughts ..... perhaps I'll keep myself nice. The ones I get when I blog at the ABC ( don't come across to the Watermelon Blog thank goodness - I like to keep it civilised.