Earlier Beliefs - superstitious minds

A Giant Turtle

A well-known scientist Bertrand Russell was once giving a public lecture on Astronomy. He explained how earth orbits around the Sun and in turn how Sun orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. (Milky Way, a spiral shaped galaxy). At the end of the lecture an old lady from the back of the room got up said what all he had told us is all rubbish. The world is actually a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise. Scientist gave a superior smile and asked her "WHAT WAS THE TORTOISE STANDING ON". She could not answer but all she could say was that its turtles all the way down.

A Greek philosopher Aristotle thought that the Earth is stationary and that the Sun, Moon, the planets and the stars moved in circular orbits about the Earth.


He believed this because he felt, for mystical reasons that the earth was the centre of the Universe, and that circular motion was the most perfect.


He elaborated this idea in the second century A.D into a complete cosmological model. The Earth stood at the center, surrounded by eight spheres that carried the moon, the sun, the stars and the five planets known at that time, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.