Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Galileo and the miracle of seeing the phases of Venus

How do we get the media to look further back in history ?
The history behind the star and crescent emblem is quite funny. The star has been imagined as Venus and the crescent as a phase of the moon. However they have drawn a distorted/fictional crescent which extends past the poles.(The crescent on the flag of Singapore is closest to real life) It would have been a miracle if the Coran had said the star was Venus and the crescent was showing a moment of its phases. Neither the Coran nor the Babble manage this miracle even though Mohammad is claimed to have flown to the seven heavens on his trusty Buraq and Jesus also is said to have flown up past the clouds.  They both failed to advise on how to make lenses. Perhaps they were both short sighted and needed glasses but didn't know how to make them ?

In medieval Islamic cosmology due to the scientific dominance of the Ptolemaic the Muslim astronomers accepted unanimously the geocentric model. The ideas in the Almagest allowed for predictions of the motion of planets so maybe reinforced their mistaken view that the geocentric model was correct.

Using a telescope in 1610, Galileo was able to observe Venus going through a full set of phases, something prohibited by the Ptolemaic system (which would never allow Venus to be fully lit from the perspective of the Earth, as this would require it to be on the far side of the sun, which is impossible if its orbit is, as the Ptolemaic system requires, between the Earth and the sun ). This observation essentially ruled out the Ptolemaic system, and was compatible only with the Copernican system

See Wikipedia: Geocentrism and Islamic astronomy

Also from Wikipedia:

During the 1950s to 1960s, the symbol was re-interpreted as a symbol of Islam or the Muslim community.

 It has been associated with the Moabites (14th or early 13th – 6th century BC), as the symbol or symbols appear on what are thought to be Moabite name seals. Crescents appearing together with a star or stars are a common feature of Sumerian iconography, the crescent usually being associated with the moon god Sin (Nanna to the Sumerians) and the star (often identified as Venus) with Ishtar (Inanna to the Sumerians). However, in this context, there is a third element often seen, that being the sun disk of Shamash.

The star and crescent was also the emblem of Mithradates VI Eupator. "His royal emblem, an eight rayed star and the crescent moon, represented the dynasty's patron gods, Zeus, Stratios, or Ahuramazda, and Men Pharmacou, a Persian form of the native moon goddess." Other scholars have suggested that the star and crescent are more directly related to the cult of the god Mithra. Ustinova associates the star and crescent motif attested in a number of finds in the Bosporan Kingdom (which date from the 5th century BC to the 1st century AD) with the cult of Mithras, and indicates the star and the crescent together constituted the emblem of Pontus and its kings, asserting that it was introduced to the Bosporus by Mithradates and his successors, where it is attested on coins, locally produced jewelry and other objects. She suggests that this emblem indicates "the possibility of an earlier association of the Pontic dynasty with the cult of mounted Mithra. Mithra in fact must have been one of the most venerated gods of the Pontic Kingdom, since its rulers bore the theomorphic name of Mithradates […] although direct evidence for this cult is rather meager."

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