Moon Thinking

Before I start talking about the Moon I’d like to state a few thoughts about Thinking.  Thinking does not come entirely naturally to guinea pigs, often because we lack the stimulus of Observation, which is essential to any Natural Philosopher.  There are Philosophers who Think thoughts that are purely about Ideas, and this may be something that pigs in Hutches and in The Wild do during long winter nights when it is all dark and quiet (well I assume it is).  This is also how the tradition of Storytelling came about.  Those of us in Cages generally get to see more of the natural world at all hours of the day and night and therefore have greater opportunity for Observation.

Of course another issue is the degree to which you have your slave properly trained.  If you have to forage for your own food you are obviously going to have less time and inclination for sitting and Thinking.  Foraging takes both time and effort, which detracts from the energy left for Thinking.  So I realise that I am in a privileged position, and so are other Philosophers and aspiring Philosophers.

And so to the Moon.

Moon at perigee

There are two important observations about the Moon.

  • It is not always round
  • It does not follow the same path through the sky from day to day, and it doesn’t even shift the same way through the seasons

I did hear someone firmly assert that the Moon was eaten over the course of a month by the Great Guinea Pig in the Sky, who regurgitated because it was made of cheese which as anyone knows is not a foodstuff for piggies.  Well, I Thought about this and discounted it for a number of reasons.

  • I have  not found any credible evidence for a Great Guinea Pig in the Sky
  • Any all-knowing guinea pig (which a GP in the Sky would be if it existed) would know that cheese is bad for piggies and therefore wouldn’t eat it in the first place
  • Guinea pigs don’t have stomachs that can regurgitate things so cheese would just make it ill
  • Why does the Moon come back in a thin slice if it has been regurgitated?

Two points must be made about the process of Thinking here: Thinking always leads to more questions, and you must have the discipline to think of one question at a time, following up all the subsequent questions when you have gone as far as you can with the first one. Secondly, you need to follow up ideas other persons have had and ensure you understand their reasons for their conclusions before you adopt them yourself.

My observations of the Moon suggest that it cycles through approximately 4 times seven days before it gets back to the same state each time.  But it also cycles through the stage of the night when it appears through our window, so that when it is very thin with the left side showing, it appears very early, sometimes even when the sun is still out (actually we only see this if we are out in the garden at sunset).  When it is fully round it is high in the sky and shines directly down through our windows.  Now if the Moon was spherical and half of it was white and shiny and half was black as night and it was turning, this would account for the changes.  But it wouldn’t account for its path through the sky, and the fact that it sometimes takes a high route through the sky and sometimes a low one.  I can tell this because sometimes it shines through our skylight and sometimes through our door-windows and sometimes through both at once.

Now the next step in my thinking was inspired by George, as he said to me once “You know the Earth we live on is like a big ball, don’t you?”  And I was surprised by this but he gave me some good ideas of why he thought this and I must admit it solved a lots of puzzles if it was the case.  He even demonstrated his engineering model of an earth and a moon using some of the toys we used to have.  So I decided that, without any evidence to the contrary, the earth we live on is a huge ball and the Moon is also a ball, with one shiny white half and one matt black half, and when it goes round us it turns slightly and wobbles so sometimes the path is higher and sometimes it is lower, but it regularly turns so that as the weeks go by it turns its white face away from us and then turns it back again.

And then I thought: why is the dividing line between the white half and the black half so straight (which you can see when it is a half-circle) and why is it always upright when it is highest in the sky?

I’ll leave you to think about that and tell me what you Think.

4 thoughts on “Moon Thinking

  1. Auntie Dawn

    Sorry for not replying yesterday, F. I was too tired to have a proper Think and leave a comment. I’m very impressed with your inaugural Philosophy entry.

    It’s very true what you say about the need for discipline in Thinking. Many of today’s problems could be adequately addressed if only the parties would take time to separate the questions and answer each in turn. Many times, we humans jump to erroneous conclusions without having Thought things through. It angers me when politicians say things like, “We can’t address climate change now because we have to worry about the economy and jobs.” (At least, they do in the US; I’m not sure how it is where you live.) They assume that the two are mutually exclusive, and most people buy that false argument. If only they’d stop, Think, and ask the proper questions, they’d see that the two are interrelated, and by addressing one problem they could address the other. Pffft.

    I was somewhat surprised to find that you didn’t know that the Earth was a big ball until G told you. But now I realize that you would have had no reason to know. That’s something that young humans are told in a place called school, where they are made to learn things, some of which are useful and some aren’t.

    Regarding your question about the moon, F, you do know that the moon itself isn’t shiny, but rather is illuminated by the sun. Does that give you a clue?

    Have you heard of Galileo? You should look him up when you get a chance. He had much to say on the Earth, sun, and moon. If one were to combine you with your brother and send the combined entity back in time to 17th-century Italy, the result would be Galileo. ❤

    Ciao, Frederico.


  2. Fred

    Gosh Auntie Dawn I didnt realise you were also a Natural Philospher to have discovered all that. School? Well, George talked about more things than I understand about the ways of humans. He also found a lot of things on the internet but I have been spending most of my time here blogging. I didnt realise I could find things about these Ideas here too.
    I will look up Galileo.
    Illuminated by the sun, eh… well that makes sense. That would explain a lot of things like why it always turns its white face to where the sun went or is coming next. How sure of this are you?
    What is Italy?
    love Fred


    1. Auntie Dawn

      Aw, F! I don’t consider myself a Philosopher. If I am one — and that’s a big if — I couldn’t hold a candle to you. You’re one smart pig. ❤

      Humans are mostly inexplicable. Don't worry too much if you don't understand us.

      I am certain that the moon is illuminated by the sun. I have not tested it myself, but most great Minds through the centuries have agreed on it, and many have tested it, so I think we may consider it a fact. I do admire your inquisitive and critical nature, F — how you don't merely accept what people tell you. I'm sure you know, though, that Mummy and I would never lie to you or misguide you. If we tell you something, you can believe it.

      Italy is a country, like England where you are, or the United States where I am. A "country" is basically an assembly of people who live within a specified land mass or masses, who agree to abide by — or are forced to abide by — a certain set of laws under a certain ruler or rulers. I'm oversimplifying but I think you can get the gist of it.

      Italians are known for their great food, sleek cars, designer clothes, organized crime (in some cities), and tendency to surrender in wartime. Lol. I'm allowed to say this because many of my ancestors came from Italy, and I think it's ok to make jokes about one's own race. My ancestors moved about 100 years ago, changing their country from Italy to the United States, when they couldn't make a living in Italy.

      Keep on questioning, Wise One.


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