Try this brain teaser: If a plane, a train and an automobile all leave Denver for New York City, which one will get there first. A plane, of course. Well… maybe not. Check this out.

According to science, the Earth rotates counterclockwise to the east. The speed with which the earth rotates is calculated as follows: circumference of the Earth is 40,070 kilometers, and the day is 24 hours long so the speed is 1,670 kilometers/hour or 1,037 miles/hr. That’s basic science, supposedly.

If a flight leaves Denver and flies due east, towards New York City, and is traveling at an average speed of 500 miles an hour, how long will it take to arrive in New York City about 1,500 miles away? Well, the math would seem to indicate that it would take 3 hours to go 1,500 miles at 500 miles/hr.  If I wanted to, I could even confirm the flight time in any airline’s flight schedule. Yep. Just over 3 hours.

However, the Earth is rotating at a speed of 1,000 miles/hr. which is far faster than the plane can fly.  As a result when the plane takes off from Denver, New York City becomes gradually further and further away. So, explain to me just how the plane ever reaches its destination?

So, what’s wrong with this picture?  The only way to explain this seeming anomaly is to posit that the Earth doesn’t rotate! Why? Well, because if a plane is traveling 1,500 miles at 500 miles an hour and arriving in 3 hours, then the object that it is traveling over must, by definition, be motionless!  “By definition”, I mean that it is a mathematical certainty. At least, that’s what they taught me in school.

 

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to to reality, they are not certain; and as far as     they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”  – Albert Einstein

 

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