Patrick Taylor

When planet Earth remained static

The Earth is static and the Sun, Moon and stars revolve around it. This geocentric model of the universe, which held sway from the days of Classical Greece until the 17th century, was promoted in European culture by one of my distant ancestors known as Libertus Fromondus (1587-1653), Doctor of Theology at Louvain University.

Fromondus was the brother of Marie Libert, my Belgian 9 x great grandmother. He was a leading opponent of Galileo, who proposed the heliocentric model of the universe that is accepted today. In justifying his point of view, Fromondus famously reasoned that if the Earth did indeed rotate as Galileo said it did then "the wind would constantly blow from the east" and that "buildings and the earth itself would fly off with such a rapid motion that men would have to be provided with claws like cats to enable them to hold fast to the Earth's surface." His argument relies on the existence of friction between the Earth's atmosphere and space and as far as I know, there isn't any, but he wasn't to know that. In fact he won't have known about space at all.

Wrong though he was, Fromondus was a very clever man. He existed eleven generations above mine, which according to my calculations means that, together with probably tens of thousands of other individuals, I share 1/4096 of his genes, or 0.025% (the really clever ones). These figures allow for the fact that he was the brother of my direct ancestor.

The line to Fromondus

My Belgian mother's parents were Charles and Jeanne Wauters who married in 1908. Charles's father, Fernand Wauters, married Victorine in 1879. Fernand's father, Arsène Wauters, married Victorine Rigo in 1811. Victorine's father, Jean Nicolas, married M de Froidmont, year unknown. M de Froidmont's father, Jean Libert, married Marie Beatrice in 1781. Someone called Libert (Jean Libert's father) married Marie in 1743. Jean married Libert's mother, Agnes in 1709. Agnes's father, Henri, married Jeanne Marie, year unknown. Henri's father, also Henri, married Marie, year unknown. Henri married Marie, Henri's mother, year unknown. This Marie was the sister of Fromondus, whose real name was Libert Froidmont. The parents of Marie and Libert were Gerard Libert and Marguerite Froidmont, and Gerard's parents were Libert Froidmont, his father, and Marie Birtout, thirteen generations above mine. More here »

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Page last modified: 13 March, 2020