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

p. 300


To those who are not strictly logical, a favourite "argument," in support of the earth's globular form, is "that as all the heavenly bodies are worlds, and visibly round, may, not the earth be so necessarily, seeing that it is one of the same category?"

This is only seemingly plausible. In reality it is a piece of self-deception. It must be proved that the stars are worlds; and to do this, or to make it even possible that they are so, it must be proved that they are millions of miles distant from the earth, and from each other, and are hundreds or thousands of miles in diameter. By plane trigonometry, in special connection with carefully measured base lines, it has been demonstrated--placed beyond all power of doubt--that the sun, moon, stars, comets, and meteors of every kind, are all within a distance of a few thousand miles from the sea-level of the earth; that therefore they are very small objects, therefore not worlds, and therefore, from analogy, offer no logical reason or pretext for concluding that this world is globular.

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