Models, or simplifications, aren't bad though. Because what value can you get out of "everything gravitates around everything else"? Not much. But if you use a model, you can use the model to explain what happened in the past and use it to make an approximated assumption about the future. You can use it to guide decisions, and you can use it to focus on more details in other areas. E.g. if you don't use the actual trajectory of everything but a model, you can still calculate where Mars will be when you reach it if you start right now from point X on Earth. Of course the center of Mars will not be at exactly the same point, but it will be a good enough approximation that you can start planning resources required to get there, and it can help you decide if "now" and point X are good inputs to that travel plan.
Models are a good, helpful tool. They are just not explaining everything, and that on purpose, and as a human we always need to be aware of that models are just models and not reality.
Expensive numerical simulations!
Do we have anything else but models?
What helped me understand it the most was an answer to this question:
"Where does the Solar System end"
"When the dominant gravitational influence is not the Sun"
it seems like it is always a loaded question because it is relative to the body being talked about and not its own moons, but it really just comes down to gravitational influence.
But honestly not sure what semantic nuance you are playing devil’s advocate on
Technical the orbit, is a spiral of the whole system around the center of mass, slightly deteriorated by remainders of old interactions.
Which got me thinking, if you run a astronomical simulation backwards- can you computate old interactions and "gone" missing bodys from that?
Use celestial motion as a sort of archive-trail to go back along?
I'd suggest lurking around the stream of thought and materials coming from Ben Davidson and the Suspicious Observers community if this interests you.
Any error in our measurements would be magnified as we look backwards to the point that the simulation would at some point significantly diverge from reality, I wonder how many years back you can look before that happens?
Also floating point error would compound on top of that.
The uncertainty in the orbital elements (current orbital position and velocities) from which you start is not a major problem as long as all bodies are well separated. But our model would for example completely miss the body that crashed into the young Earth and left us with a moon.
If we have a limit of 2^64 for $x, can't we set $y = representive of multiples of $x's upper limit?
$y = 5 = 5x2^64
What's the reason for not being able to sub-divide numbers and operations into smaller, more manageable forms?
The tradeoff for this limited space is though a complex ruleset and to recreate the data, lots of computation.
The three body problem doesn’t stop you from running a simulation and getting the correct answer.
Wouldn't this make it very difficult to do the highly precise detective work needed to find alleged former solar system bodies? Or are simulations accurate enough these days?
I'd be happy to be corrected, of course.
With that said, I don't think there's any valid answer besides "you can define your terms and points of reference such that it does or doesn't; there's no particular physical reality to the matter".
In the Tychonian model, the earth is the center and the sun revolves around the earth. But the other planets revolve around the sun! You will notice this is practicallty the same model as the Copernican model except for the arbitrary definition of what is "the center".
The only observable difference was the relation to the firmament which in the Tychonian model revolved around the earth but in the Copernican revolves around the sun. If the Copernican model was correct, some parallax to the stars should be observable. Now we know this is not observable due to the distance to the stars, but this was not known at the time.
Earth is no different than any other planet (or other celestial body in a stable orbit relative to the solar system) in this respect. Hell, you could make the Moon the center of the solar system - the math works just fine.
This... is completely false. Copernicus never faced adversity for his heliocentric model.
A naive reading of what you said suggests eg. no spaceflight is possible because no astronomical (or any...) calculation is reliable. Can you clarify?
It's analogous to talking about someone throwing a ball on a train. A person on the train can say the ball moves relative to the train, and someone outside can say the ball and train are both moving relative to the Earth, and a guy in a spaceship can say that all three are actually moving relative to the sun. But choosing one of those claims over the others is purely a matter of convenience or perspective, not of physical reality.
As with most paradoxes, it's about how a seemingly innocuous question turns out to either be underspecified to have an answer, or tricks even the mind of mathematicians to assume too much.
Here it's about what it means to have a "random chord of a circle"; several simple ways to generate random chords lead to very different results, but true randomness should not be easy distinguishable from other true randomness...
E.T.J's solution to invoke the maximum ignorance principle to require any source of random chords to be size- and translation-invariant (because those dimensions are not specified in the problem) seems elegant.
Now, comparing to orbits, or to balls on a train, the thing here is: all these different viewpoints, although very different, do lead to the same result. Even if you calculate stuff; and if I'm not mistaken, that's because of relativity (Galilean relativity should be sufficient for the train example to work, the more modern ones for the rest).
“there's no particular physical reality to the matter”
The conclusion that there is no physical reality to this is based on the what @aluren mentioned - you can take any immutable point of reference and describe the movements of the others from it using the same laws of physics, thus "the matter" becomes one of philosophy and choice of point of reference rather than physics itself.
You may disagree with this point but I don't think anyone disputed the existence of a physical reality, they simply moved one particular question out of its domain.
Still very much existent.
Inertial reference frame, right? Otherwise you need to add in fictitious forces.
Rotating around a point still applies in any frame of reference. Spin a top and the axes of rotation is independent of your frame of reference. Pick an atom on that top and it’s rotating around a specific point in any frame of reference.
The center of mass in a two body system is a nice inertial reference frame which simplifies calculations.
"In the 17th century, Johannes Kepler discovered that the orbits along which the planets travel around the Sun are ellipses with the Sun [approximately] at one focus, in his first law of planetary motion. Later, Isaac Newton explained this as a corollary of his law of universal gravitation.
More generally, in the gravitational two-body problem, if the two bodies are bound to each other (that is, the total energy is negative), their orbits are similar ellipses with the common barycenter being one of the foci of each ellipse. The other focus of either ellipse has no known physical significance. The orbit of either body in the reference frame of the other is also an ellipse, with the other body at the same focus."
The existence of barycenter it a physical reality. The elliptic movement is a physical reality. Compared to all other distances, the barycenter is for all the motions of all the planets effectively Sun. Even it it is approximation, it's a good approximation. Even if it moves and is sometimes a little outside of the Sun surface, it's still compared to the other distances practically there.
It was known even three centuries ago, but now some "philosophers" think that they "relativize" that away. No. It's there.
A barycenter is a mathematically defined point that we choose because it makes equations simpler. There's nothing physically real (i.e. directly observable) at the location.
Consider: if you fire a cannonball it will follow a parabolic path, and that parabola will have a focus, right? But that doesn't mean there's anything physically real about the focus of the parabola - it's a mathematically abstraction we invent because it's useful for describing the cannonball.
> some "philosophers" think that they "relativize" that away.
The relativity we're talking about comes from Einstein, not philosophers. Deciding whether the Earth revolves around the sun or vice-versa ultimately boils down to choosing a frame of reference, and one of the grand results of relativity is that there really is no absolute frame of reference we can measure from.
The parabolic path is physically real, it will not go any other way.
The same is with the paths the planets make: their form is real, they don't take any other.
If you try to draw these paths on scale, you have to draw the ellipse (which for many planets is hard to distinguish from circle, the measurements had to become precise to learn that). Also, you have to place the Sun directly in one of the foci of the ellipse.
All of these steps you have to do to make a picture that corresponds to what is measured and observed -- to make a picture reflect the physical reality.
You obviously agree that much. So when you then write "whether the Earth revolves around the sun. ... I don't think there's any valid answer besides "you can define your terms and points of reference such that it does or doesn't; there's no particular physical reality to the matter"."
You are confused with the fact that the calculations can be done using different frames of reference to make a statement that "there's no particular physical reality to the matter."
The particular reality is the ellipsoid paths and the Sun in one of the foci, and whichever calculations you do, you have to reconstruct that physical reality. These shapes and that the Sun is actually in one of the foci is what you can't "relativize away."
> Deciding whether the Earth revolves around the sunb or vice-versa ultimately boils down to choosing a frame of reference
It doesn't. The Sun is in the focus of the ellipses made by planets around it. The opposite doesn't hold.
> there really is no absolute frame of reference we can measure from.
And that has nothing to do with the fact that the Sun is in the focus of the elliptic path of each planet and not the vice versa. The planets do make that path around the Sun, what can be simplified to "they rotate around the Sun." If you ever tried to draw it it would be obvious to you too.
So you were just confused after taking that "Philosophy of Physics" class.
Certainly the opposite holds - if you draw the Sun's orbit from a planet's frame of reference, you'll draw an elliptical path with the planet at one focus. That's the whole point here, that neither drawing describes observable reality any better than the other.
I don't think I'm making any headway here so I'll defer to Einstein:
> Can we formulate physical laws so that they are valid for all CS [coordinate systems] ... ? If this can be done ... the struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS could be used with equal justification. The two sentences, 'the sun is at rest and the Earth moves', or 'the sun moves and the Earth is at rest', would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS. Could we build a real relativistic physics valid in all CS; a physics in which there would be no place for absolute, but only for relative, motion? This is indeed possible!
(from The Evolution of Physics)
It's too bad (but not surprising) that you couldn't have gotten a bit deeper into general relativity where even the idea of "points of reference" gets a lot tricker. Even though there's a lot of pop-science talked about "space time" I find most people don't really grasp how really challenging of an idea it truly is.
Newtonian physics and special relatively are quite happy to imagine one observer looking at another from a particular frame of reference. The classic example is of course watching someone driving while you are in a train. Special relativity seems really crazy at first because you realize the length of the car can change if either of them are going close to the speed of light.
But GR does away with this idea that you can understand the universe at all while sitting on a train. In GR frames of reference only exist locally in infinitesimally small units of space and time and are defined by being simple such that all particles being observed move in straight lines. The big insight of GR is that the question "which 'revolves' around the other" is the wrong question because the only way to understand the universe is in slices of space and time where everything moves straight (well you can't ever get 'everything' straight, so even then you just worry about getting it right for a few particles at time).
In GR when you jump forward and land on the ground in front of you, you moved in a straight line the entire time. This sounds impossible because we can't imagine a single frame of reference where we could observe this. And that's what makes GR so hard to understand because the jump forward can only be understood by looking at the way those infinitesimal local reference frames change, but there is no general frame of reference that we can find where we can clearly observe this. In the exact same way that calculus understands a curved line as an infinite sequence of perfectly straight lines, GR understands curved space time as an infinite sequence of perfectly straight frames of reference.
It is, in fact, much more complex than the simple case of trying to understand who is right from the two reports of two observers seeing each other on passing trains.
A lengthy and enjoyable read of the original controversy is "The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown." (I prefer to start there, as it's easy to tell whether you are interested in reading after the first few paragraphs, but he did put a ToC together, too.)
Isn’t the article linked here exactly the correct and valid answer of whether the earth orbits the sun? Philosophy likes to make things all seem like perception and mental frame of reference, and sometimes it is with people, but the earth’s trajectory relative to the sun doesn’t change if we think about it different or define terms differently.
Maybe the whole problem is asking an invalid binary right/wrong question, when the actual valid answer is that it’s not binary. This one hinges on your definition of “orbit”, when the real valid answer is that there are more than 2 masses, so using orbit in the first place is misleading. Another valid answer to whether the earth orbits the sun might be 99.87% yes and 0.013% no.
That's exactly the point here - answering the question of which revolves around what boils down to deciding which body is stationary, and that depends entirely on your frame of reference. Viewed from the Earth the sun is moving, and viewed from the sun the Earth is moving, and viewed from somewhere else they both move relative to one another. But none of those viewpoints is any more physically real than the others - they're just choices for where to put the origin of the coordinate system, as it were.
That is, if you wanted to predict how the planets will move in the future, you could start from any of those assumptions and still make correct predictions. That's what I mean by saying there's no physical reality to the matter of which frame of reference you choose.
Is it though? I'm genuinely curious. For example, in our current reference, earth almost always is orbiting the sun, but what would happen if the entire system was not contained in the galaxy but in the middle of space (not attached to any galaxy), how would the planetary orbit change?
Another question would be if our solar system was closer to the center of the galaxy, would the orbits of the planets stay the same or would they be skewed because of gravitational forces from the center of galaxy + other solar systems?
> Another valid answer to whether the earth orbits the sun might be 99.87% yes and 0.013% no.
I'm not sure if you're an astronomer or have a weather of knowledge or PhD in this topic but from the article, the answer is given as "Technically, what is going on is that the Earth, Sun and all the planets are orbiting around the center of mass of the solar system," writes Cathy Jordan, a Cornell University Ask an Astronomer contributor." That would be the only correct answer it seems. If the center of mass happens to be direct center of the sun or skewed one way or other is irrelevant to the fact. However, I could be wrong in my understanding.
Completely wrong. The physical reality is reflected by calculating Newton‘s formulas, which give the center of mass somewhere inside or very close to the Sun, as the article explains.
It depends on your frame of reference.
In short, the universe cares about acceleration, but not constant motion. Accelerating frames are different from non-accelerating frames.
Space is intrinsically expanding, and that expansion is accelerating. That's quite different from acceleration in Newtonian physics. The statements I made about acceleration are in the context of Newtonian, pre-Relativistic physics, and are only approximate in a Relativistic framework.
Depends on exactly how pedantic you want to be. Technically everything in the solar system orbits the barycenter of the galaxy and intra-system movement is the same type of low-distance high-frequency wobbling the author chose to dismiss with regards to the motion of moons around planets.
I'm told that you do the math at that level it's almost the same as in the Newtonian model, which is surprising. I never understood the math but it's related to the fact that changes in stress-energy tensor of matter are continuous. Mass+energy moves gradually from place to place, there are no sudden jumps. Earth accelerates towards point point where the Sun is in future. Not the same point as Newtonian mechanics with instant gravity says it should be, but close enough to hide relativistic effects of gravity most of the time.
If your gravitating objects are in an orbit, they also have angular momentum and moments of inertia.
A distant small body exerts a smaller force for a longer time, and a nearby one exerts a greater force for a shorter time.
It comes down to how much time and how much force. The law of graviton plus Kepler's third law plus some algebra ought to show that you get a larger circle with a weaker force over a longer time (not an obvious result).
Suppose that you have a 2 planet system: A sun type star (mass 210^30 kg), an Earth type planet 1 AU from the sun (weight 610^24 kg), and a Jupiter type planet (mass 2*10^27 kg) that is 1000 AU away from the sun.
The distance between the Earth type planet the center of the star could be nearly constant.
The distance between the Earth type planet and the barycenter would not be nearly constant -- it would not "orbit" the barycenter in a circular orbit.
I may be wrong and I would be very happy if someone corrected me.
(Note: I think the barycenter would be about 5 AU from the star!)
Do you mean the moon never moves 'backwards'?
Something like this
The distance from the earth to the sun is about 150 million km.
Therefore, the earth's "orbit" is actually a very elongated helix.
The simulation proved they could but it took a fairly large planet in a closish orbit.
Planet finding techniques have improved considerably.
One problem I remember having was
Setting the initial state so the planets didn’t just slide off my coordinate system with a constant
For example: one of the reasons that the flat-earthers get as much traction as they do is that "the earth is flat" is actually a reasonable approximation in some circumstances. "Flat" is actually just a special case of "round" where the radius is infinite. If the distance scale that you are concerned with is small (e.g. the size of your own body) and you don't care about small errors, then infinity is a not-entirely-unreasonable approximation of the radius of the earth.
Of course, this all falls apart as soon as you start to care about anything that is more than a few thousand body-lengths away from you. But it's a mistake to say that the flat-earthers are wrong in any absolute sense. They aren't. They're just using a bad approximation for the realities of modern life.
Unless you're sending a spacecraft to another planet, "the earth orbits around the sun" is a perfectly fine approximation.
I'd say they're absolutely wrong in the sense that they make the flawed claim that people who assert that the Earth is an oblate spheroid are absolutely wrong, or worse, are engaged in some kind of conspiracy to hide the truth.
If you're going to be pedantic, get it right.
This article is a much better technical explanation of the orbit, including both the moving center of mass and the elliptical orbit: https://socratic.org/questions/is-the-sun-directly-in-the-ce...
Oh, and the earth's orbit is also distorted by proximity to other gravitational masses, most notably the moon, but we're not going to be /that/ pedantic.
Side note: the phrase "Well, actually," was banned at my house. Not sure why...
I believe that the statement is a good approximation for the orbits of trans-Neptunian objects or any other orbiting object that is more than 40 AU from the Sun, but I think it is a bad approximation for Mercury, and not a good approximation for the Earth. When I say it's a bad approximation, I mean that it would be more accurate to say "the Earth and Mercury orbit the center of the Sun" than it is to say "the Earth and Mercury orbit the barycenter of the Solar System (center of mass)".
Any comments by someone more qualified that me would be appreciated (I took about 6 courses in physics and 2 courses in astronomy in college and I graduated over 20 years ago).
Edit: Basically Ptolomy did that the 2nd century AD.
Careful there, buddy.
Perhaps “not experiencing net force“
Actually: in the universe, not just solar system.
Is such frame is proper to Earth (yeah, go google what proper frame is) then the Sun does revolve around Earth.
If the frame is not proper to Earth or Sun then they both rotate around common center of mass which is (relatively) near Sun’s center but does not coincide with it.
Does this mean even the sun orbits around that point?
So as, pointed out elsewhere, we choose our points of reference and they're pretty arbitrary when you consider the whole Universe.
models being wrong/right/useful/etc. is just a model of a relation between a model and [an aspect] of reality [or whatever else] the model is supposedly modeling.
It's important to also recognize that everything we believe about the world except raw sensory perception is a model and, ipso facto, wrong, though perhaps useful.
(Though it's possible that the actual mechanism of sensory experience involve modelling, but the only way we could draw the conclusion that that is the case is through a model of the mechanism which has the problem of all models. All other belief about the external world is necessarily a model.)
For instance, we know that a stick isn't actually bent when it goes into water, even if it looks like it is.
More generally, we have no practical problem dealing with reality using the information given by our senses. It's not a problem in our daily lives and it's not a problem for going to the moon, Mars, creating microprocessors, etc.
Sorry for busting up the "deny knowledge to make room for faith" parade.
If you reread the comment you are responding to, it says raw sensory input is the only thing that is not wrong, not that it is wrong.
> For instance, we know that a stick isn't actually bent when it goes into water, even if it looks like it is.
We don't even know that there is a stick, even if it looks like there is, but we do know the sensory data itself. In fact, there very idea of “a stick” (or discrete objects more generally) is a useful, but still wrong, model.
> More generally, we have no practical problem dealing with reality using the information given by our senses.
We have lots of practical problems dealing with that, and lots of practices adopted specifically to mitigate those problems. The historically recent invention of the modern scientific method is itself a (far from entirely successful) method of mitigating a very broad and impactful class of pervasive practical problems with that.
> Sorry for busting up the "deny knowledge to make room for faith" parade.
Faith, where it concerns the material universe at all, is still a method of selectig models subject to the “all models are wrong, some are useful” rule, it's just a method of model selection that isn't focussed on predictive utility, so, insofar as prediction is your key metric for utility, it's inferior to the scientific method which is narrowly focussed on predictive utility.
Pointing out that all knowledge of the material universe beyond the facts of raw sensory data is models that are at best useful but always in some respects wrong is certainly denying lots that is commonly claimed as knowledge, but it absolutely isn't clearing the field for faith by so doing.
My view is that raw sensory input is just information, so it's not wrong, and so we are in agreement there. Further, I am saying that knowledge can be derived from that sensory input, which is where we disagree.
I see what you are saying, I failed to clearly distinguish these two cases when I used the term "sensory information."
> We don't even know that there is a stick
Yes we do. But to "know that there is a stick" is subject to certain caveats. It's not an absolute, like being omniscient. For example, if something is a stick, it's still a stick, even if we actually live in the Matrix, or in the dream of an alien being. Because to be a stick is just a mental classification (i.e., concept) that we have created for a certain kind of thing evidenced to us by our sense data and by the use of reason.
> is a useful, but still wrong, model
A model can be correct as long as it doesn't overstate its own power of generalization. There is a sibling discussion going that covers the fact that Newton's Laws are correct as long as they are understood to describe phenomena (i.e. evidence) actually observed by Newton, and then only to a certain level of fidelity; but not "correct" if you hold them to the standard of explaining everything.
> Faith, where it concerns the material universe at all, is still a method of selecting models subject to the “all models are wrong, some are useful” rule,
Faith doesn't select a model. A model is based on evidence of the senses. Faith dispenses with models entirely and just makes stuff up out of whole cloth. I see your point there, I just think you're using the word "model" too loosely and in a way that gives faith too much credit.
Yes, it does.
> A model is based on evidence of the senses.
No, a model is an abstraction by which one conceptualizes phenomena, regardless of the basis. It seems true that a model not based on structured application of sensory observation is likely to be a poor model if you judge quality by how well it lines up with future sensory observations, but a model is not necessarily a good model.
Faith, also, does not dispense with evidence of the senses, it just applied it differently.
“I perceived X describing Y as true”, where X is a (natural or supernatural) authority figure is sensory data, as are positive sensations associated with a particular belief. Now, they aren't sense data that empiricism would treat as relative to the truth of the belief at issue, but that's a different issue.
It's like saying a scientific theory not based on empirical information is still a scientific theory.
I don't see why that point is worth defending. Except perhaps as a way to give bad ideas higher stature by lumping them in with good ideas.
> Faith, also, does not dispense with evidence of the senses, it just applied it differently.
No idea what you are talking about here. For instance, the only sense-based evidence I know of for Christianity or Islam is the historical record, and that isn't reliable enough to establish these beliefs as anything more than make believe. In other words, we can't see Jesus work miracles, which would constitute partial evidence for Christianity; the only evidence we have is that someone said they did a long, long time ago. I'm also not aware of evidence for Zeus or Thor or Brahma.
> as are positive sensations associated with a particular belief
Emotions do not constitute evidence for religion.
The first part of your argument reminds me of Searle's that a belief shared, external reality is implicit in every statement of faxt, e.g. it no sense to say that "there is snow and ice at the top of Mt. Everest, AND there is no shared, external reality."
The anti-intellectuals will spin this to prove their own points without any understanding of math or physics.
I've seen this happen, and they are very confident, their 'friends' don't know either. When it comes time, will anti-intellectuals trust scientists or their neighbor?
So often debates arrive at a stasis like:
> "You're wrong"
> "No YOU'RE wrong"
And there they sit, each side certain that the other is an idiot.
The alternative is to admit that both parties are right according to their model, and that both models are wrong (because being right is not what models are for). I think this is better because the "which model is more useful" question sets up a lot more potentially fruitful interaction between opposite sides.
The danger you're referring to only occurs in a setting where science is implicitly authoritative in the first place. If we drop that assumption, science still produces the most useful models, but finding the most useful one for your project becomes less adversarial.
You have to have an argument that will pursuade the uneducated, poorly informed neighbor first. And often model outputs just don't cut it.
An emotional/moral argument will be a coinflip with these people.
Will they side with the sad story of X, or the anti-intellectual sad story of Y?
I do not know the solution, I've seen others propose everything from hiding difficult to understand topics to calling them 'stupid' infront of their peers, etc...
Engaging them with logic and argument makes the problem worse.
Would be willing to hear ideas if people have them.
Convincing people is hard and starting from the position "I know better than them" only makes it harder. I understand that sometimes people are just wrong or are using fact incorrectly, but often this get inflated to an extreme degree by the "smarter" side.
For me an important distinction is whether people are using unsound arguments to support a position or are holding an unreasonable position. For climate change the problem (from our "let's save the planet" side) is that we want them to change opinion, not that they are misusing unsound arguments.
To solve this the only way is to start a two way conversation where you can communicate how and why you believe is important and they can do the same. It is hard to convince people that do not want to be convinced, it is even harder to lecture people that do not want to be lectured.
A good starting point is to show that you yourself are willing to reconsider their point of view as stuff like "calling them stupid" is the same as brewing social resentment.
It would be interesting to try and model people more directly. Like what political campaigns do, but with a more noble intent. Use the data to discover how to serve people's needs.
This is a similar sentiment, but perhaps more useful initially in conversation with people who may get hung up on what “model” means. It can also lead to a fruitful analogy as people easily grasp why different kinds of maps are important.
Newton’s Laws are absolute in a typical human context. A better model must explain everything covered by newton and more. Discovering that better model doesn’t make newton wrong.
Newton's laws captured part of what he observed at the time. And that's all a model is supposed to do.
That doesn't make it wrong. It makes it limited. You could say it's a "low resolution" view of reality.
If we limited our knowledge only to perfect models, we would be holding ourselves to a standard of omniscience, and we would never know anything.
We clearly have good enough models to design hypersonic aircraft, to pick a semi-random example. But our models are not complete; we don't know everything. But our models are not wrong.
Other commenters who warn that saying "all models are wrong" encourages anti-intellectualism and exactly right. That leads to a bad place.
I agree though that saying they're "wrong" has limited utility... Perhaps the more useful way of thinking about models is "give sensible predictions up to certain amount of accuracy in certain contexts".
> Newton's Laws are not correct, therefore they are wrong.
They are correct as long as they are stated with the caveat that they are only known to apply to Netwon's observations, and then, only with a limited amount of fidelity.
I haven't read Newton's original source material, so I don't know if he overstated the universality of his laws.
> The "all models are wrong" saying has an implicit "at representing the observable reality in full fidelity".
No, it doesn't. This is exactly like saying "All knowledge is wrong" has an implicit "as knowing everything in full fidelity, i.e., being omniscient." You are holding models (or knowledge) to a completely ridiculous standard. They are not supposed to work the way you are implicitly asking them to work.
How can taking a particular epistemic stance be wrong? What non-epistemic basis would you use to judge it? It might be inconsistent with the stance you have chosen, but that doesn't make it wrong.
And as far as it being disastrous, I know a number of very competent people that take that view--what disasters should I look for in their lives to see how disastrous their stance is?
You can choose to reject even that, but there is no reason to make such a choice, and it would be supremely impractical to do so.
> And as far as it being disastrous, I know a number of very competent people that take that view
The view that knowledge based on sense data isn't really knowledge was advanced by Kant, and certainly helped make room for the Nazis. Marx also exploited the anti-knowledge ethos of the time with his dialectical materialism. Finally, religion thrives when the ability to know is denigrated; that was Kant's stated goal . Religion is fundamentally dishonest and leads to an infinite plethora of evils.
 "I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge, in order to make room for faith" -Kant, Critique of Pure Reason
As for knowledge logically derived from the sense data--it is exactly the choice: "which logic should I choose to interpret this sense data?" that is in question.
If you choose a logic where all models are wrong and some are useful, then it won't contradict knowledge derived according to itself. If instead you choose some other way, you're again not going to run into any contradiction.
The choice of an epistemic theory can only be about utility. Truth and falsity can only come later because they must be expressed in terms of the chosen theory.
Most people have a phone with GPS these days. GPS would flat-out fail to work entirely without correcting for time dilation effects in the satellites. Newton had no concept of time dilation (nor should he have, given his context).
I disagree with the poster about that saying. I think it's a fantastic saying.
Einstein's theory of gravity is much more robust and is highly accurate across a far wider domain. It can be used to implement a reliable GPS system.
He spun a good tale about the universe. Later somebody else spun a good tale that was better in at least one way. That's all.