Mysterion Cosmegraphicon

Today I learned something new about Platonic astronomy. Johannes Kepler’s Platonic solid model of the solar system must have been the coolest thing since sliced bread at the time. It at least caught the attention of Tycho Brahe. Unfortunately though the ratios of planetary orbits do seem to match at first glance, they really aren’t close enough to match modern observational data.

That’s the problem. Creationism isn’t a new thing in the search for scientific truth. Kepler was trying to fit the universe into his theological conception of what it should be. By showing how the orbits of planets were “perfect” and “ideal”, he could perhaps convince the authorities of the possibility of a heliocentric universe. It was no different than creating imaginary suborbits in the Ptolemaic model to ensure the planets only followed circular paths (Why would God use an imperfect shape?).

This is another reason why I get slightly pissed off when I listen to New Agers babble on about “sacred geometry”, or the Lotus of Venus, or other false connections between the beautiful and the factual.

Hat tip to VSauce for the fun video about Kepler’s beautiful error.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s