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How on our theory do we account for the moon and what do we claim to be its structure? We may answer those questions wholly in the words of the orthodox scientists and the answer will show how inevitably all real research into the structure of the heavenly bodies fits into the facts as we have discovered them--and this fitting in of every separate fact is the conclusive demonstration of the soundness of our ideas. Many theories fit some of the facts. Almost any theory is thought to be true as long as there are no facts to contradict it. But that is not enough. If a theory be true, every fact that can possibly be discovered will fit in with it.
Now it would be quite possible that in the rotation of the hollow nebula which afterwards condensed to the planet Earth a nebulous mass might have been hurled off, perhaps owing to the attraction exercised upon it by a passing comet of large dimensions. Scientists, in fact, have said, in the past, that the hurling off of the moon from the earth--which they thought took place when the earth was in a fluid or plastic condition--that this hurling off was
responsible for the depression in the earth's surface that formed the earliest ocean. But since that time astronomers are tending to abandon that theory and to give their allegiance to the "capture" theory. Professor See is the proposer of the capture theory, and by that expression he means that the earth captured the moon by its attraction; that the moon was a very small planet which came very near the earth and was deflected out of its path and caused to revolve around the earth instead. An article on Professor See's researches which appeared in the Scientific American Supplement for February 15, 1910, says:
"Our moon, likewise, was originally a planet which neared the earth and was finally captured and made a satellite. It was no part of the terrestrial globe detached by rapid rotation, as has been generally believed since the time of Anaxagoras, B. C. 500-428, and more recently taught by LaPlace, Lord Kelvin, Sir George Darwin, Poincare, Pickering, and other eminent writers."
Of course this is not absolutely proven, but astronomers base the conclusion on certain calculations which show, or seem to show, that the rotation of the earth was not of such a speed that a body the size we know the moon to be, would be thrown off.
We do not wish to decide that question, however, but simply to point out to the reader that if the moon
is a captured small planet it ought--if it is true that a planet is a hollow body as we have contended--it ought, we say, to be hollow.
Now if the scientists themselves--not those who know of our theory, but men who wrote before our theory was published to the world--if these men, quite independently of us, were to say that the moon was hollow, would not that be a very remarkable confirmation of our theory? Would not any candid reader have to admit that we had scored a very strong point, all the stronger because we do not argue it ourselves but simply set down what the orthodox scientists are saying, and let it speak for itself.
Very well, then. Let the reader turn to page 123 of Edwin S. Grew's "The Romance of Modern Geology". There he quotes from a book that Mr. Wells wrote about the moon. Mr. Wells made it the scene of a story but he wished to have a really scientific background for this tale, and, as Grew says, he "has gathered together all the more reasoned speculations on the subject". And the result of these speculations is that Mr. Wells came to the conclusion that there was not only some atmosphere on the moon but:
"There are gases of some kind on the moon. There must be gases, for example, shut up in the moon's rocks; there may be gases in the moon's interior.
[paragraph continues] Mr. Wells imagined that there was a good deal of gas inside the moon; indeed he went so far as to suppose that the moon was partly hollow."
And then Mr. Grew himself goes on to say that only in case Mr. Wells were right, only indeed if the moon were hollow could he explain what is known to be a fact that the moon is very much lighter in proportion to its size than the earth. Not only that but it is lighter, he says, "than we should expect it to be."
Why is that? Simply because being a much smaller spheroid than the earth its shell is proportionally thinner.
It is obvious that if the earth and the moon were both solid bodies as the astronomers have thought, they would be of proportionately equal weights, for both being made up of the same substances the specific gravity of the one would be approximately equal to the specific gravity of the other.
Only on our theory that both moon and earth are hollow can this difference be explained.
And so whatever facts of astronomy or cosmogony the reader wishes to bring forward it will be seen that our theory fits them fully and links them up into one consistent body of knowledge.
Next: Chapter XXI. A Note on Gravitation