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Zetetic Astronomy, by 'Parallax' (pseud. Samuel Birley Rowbotham), [1881], at

Every point of importance has now been fairly considered, and shown to be either unconnected or inconsistent with the assumption of the earth's rotundity and diurnal and orbital motions. It is most important to the reader that he should thoroughly understand the bearings of the various explanations which have been given of the phenomena which the Newtonian philosophers have hitherto relied on as proofs of their hypothesis. They have assumed certain conditions to exist in order to explain certain phenomena; and because the explanations of such phenomena have appeared plausible, they have thought themselves justified in concluding that their assumptions must be looked upon as veritable facts. The contrary, or Zetetic process, has necessitated that the foundations be demonstrated; that the earth be proved by special and direct experiments to be a plane, irrespective

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of all consequences, regardless of whether numerous or any phenomena can be understood in connection with it or not. An endeavour has been made in the preceding pages to explain the various phenomena without assumption, but in connection with the undoubtedly demonstrated fact that water is horizontal, and that the earth as a whole is not a globe, but a vast "discular" plane. The. reader must properly bear in mind that if any one, or even the whole, of these explanations are unsatisfactory to him, he is not to jump abruptly to the conclusion that therefore the earth cannot be a plane, but must be a globe. Apart from, and totally independent of, all consequences or success in explaining phenomena, the proposition of the. earth's plane or discular form must be admitted, or shown to be fallacious. Wherever doubt shall exist as to the. sufficiency of the phenomenal explanations offered, the mind must at once fall back upon the grand reserved proposition that water is horizontal, and, therefore, any want of satisfaction in explaining phenomena must be met by further efforts in that direction, and not by the mentally suicidal process of denouncing a proved foundation. Once for all it may be said that, whatever explanation is proved, or thought to be, unsatisfactory, a better must be sought for, but still in connection with the same ground-work or datum. Whoever objects to this procedure, and is unable to see its logical justice and necessity, is most certainly not a reasoner, and, quite as clearly, cannot be a philosopher.


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