Essay on Homework 1

Submitted By AD8060
Words: 743
Pages: 3

Gardner McNeil – gbm339
AST 309 – 47970
Homework 1
1. Newton pondered the universe in attempts to gain insight as to how and why the “uniform” distribution of galaxies existed. He theorized that it was seemingly uniform, however with deeper thinking concluded it to be composed of many nonlinear clusters. He uses an analogy of sharp needles to describe the formation of these clusters and to propose the improbability as well as impossibility of uniform galaxy distribution. He notes that to place a mass in space in the mathematical center thus perpetuating it without motion would contain the difficulty of making “the sharpest needle stand upright on its point upon a looking glass.” Even the minutest position off true center would place a gravitational advantage to a specific side thus putting the mass (needle) in motion. He goes further to explain that uniform distribution of galaxies in our universe would have the mathematical chances related to an infinite number of needles standing on their points on a looking glass in perfect relation to one another so that equal gravitational forces on all sides of every needle keep them in balance without motion. In his analogy, the needles represent galaxies while the looking glass represents our universe. Newton comes to the conclusion that the forces of gravity under the theory of Principia must have come from a Deity; that the orbits of planets in no way could have come from natural origins nor the “diurnal rotations” of such planets. Newton was attempting to explain the gravitational forces throughout our universe and how uniformity was highly improbable, thus supporting the Copernican principle denying Earth of being without motion at the center of the universe. If Newton’s observations held true, Earth was at motion being pulled by gravity proving false the Ptolemaic system.
2. I find Gott’s principle to be highly interesting however I think it to be implausible when applied to the human species. He uses statistical observational data to derive a formula that is associated with the limits of our race. After wrongly categorizing our species to a range of inanimate and non-intelligent test subjects, he finds himself with a range of years that he assumes our population has left. He asserts observations of prior species to a theory of our existence limited to ~8 million years, however, although the Copernican principle denies our special place and time in the universe, his observational data comes from a non-intelligent specie group. In the sense of our universal importance, we are not special but in terms of his data and application, we are unique in the fact that we are the most advanced and progressed. Is he to say that we follow the same existence formula limitations as Broadway shows? The Copernican Principle determines that our time and place is not necessarily unique – i.e. not