September 26th, 2011

Eppur si muove. But why?

This might turn out a bit embarrassing, but I'm rather curious to see what replies I'll get. Over the weekend I realised that if I would be in trouble to give sound answers if, confronted by one of those fanatics of ignorance, I were challenged to explain how it is that we know that the Earth rotates on its axis and orbits the Sun. I tried to recall what I was taught in school about the matter, but I only could remember that they told us that people used to be frightfully ignorant and superstitious, and implicitly dumb, until science came along and showed us the truth; nothing though as to why the truth was true. I don’t intend to debate well established facts, but rather to see how far these facts are accepted mainly on Science’s authority. If your LJ friends are the kind of people who care for this kind of questions, kindly point them to this entry. So, this is not a quiz but a poll it's not about giving the right answer but about telling what you learned:
What proof do we have that Earth rotates on its axis?
What proof do we have that Earth revolves around the Sun?
Did you learn this in school? College? Or in self study?