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


"Another proof of the diurnal motion of the earth has been made manifest since the introduction of railways. On railways running due north and south in the northern hemisphere, it is found that there is a greater tendency in the carriages to run off the line to the right than to the left of a person proceeding from the north to the south, or from the south to the north in the northern hemisphere. And this is the case in all parts of the world on lines of railways so placed, whether they are long or short."

The above quotation is mostly assertion. The author gives no proof of his statement, and therefore any one has a right to contradict him without giving his reasons. It is true that writers, in their anxiety to furnish some kind of practical evidence in support of their theory of diurnal motion, have occasionally vented their thoughts on this subject in local journals, but they seem to be uncertain whether the few cases they have referred to are really such as would satisfy any scientific investigator. The author has made many inquiries from practical men connected with several of the leading railways which run north and south in Great Britain, but has never received any corroboration of such an idea. In more than one instance the most thoroughly practical men, some who have run hundreds of miles every day for many years, have smiled almost contemptuously at hearing that such a notion had ever entered the head of any reasoning person. It certainly has been found that in some places the winds prevail

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in one direction more than another, and at such times a tendency to deflection has been noticed; but it has been observed almost as often in one direction as in another, and therefore the possibility of any influence arising from diurnal rotation is looked upon as merely a dream. If the earth really does move on axes, objects in motion on its surface would manifest an unmistakeable degree of deflection from a right line running north and south; but nothing of the kind is practically observable, therefore the earth does not move diurnally. Thus, as ever, theory, when standing against fact, must, sooner or later, be extinguished.

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