Most people are merely told that the earth goes around the sun. Their “knowledge” is ungrounded in evidence and lacking in reasoning. They could give you no evidence for the idea, nor derive, from the evidence of the senses, how we know such an idea. They lack any understanding of the idea. They are trained to memorize and obey authority, not to reason and use logic, not to think independently and obey only the intellectual authority of reality.
To understand the idea, and to be trained properly in school, students would have to learn how a ball falls on a ship, a train, a car, a carriage, and then classify a ball falling on earth as being in the same causal category. And how in all those situations, you can throw a ball up and catch it where you stand or sit.
Students would have to learn the relative sizes of the sun, moon, and earth, and put them in context of a dog wagging a tail or a ball on a string circling you as you twirl it — smaller things go around or get moved by the bigger, not vice versa.
They would have to learn that magnets prove that forces-at-a-distance exist.
They would have to learn, using mathematics, that the fall of an apple is the same as the fall of the moon.
They would have to learn the mathematics of circular motion.
But, sadly, since training students to reason and use logic is not the goal of modern education, they do not understand — they don’t know the essence of, they cannot reduce, and they have not integrated — the fact that the earth goes around the sun — and they do not understand a lot more that they should, about physics, math, chemistry, government, history.
Knowing what understanding is, and how important it is to action in our lives, we can help change and improve education. We can push for, advocate, and demand that students be taught to actually understand ideas they learn. We are not making an arbitrary demand. We are asking that man be treated and respected as man, the rational animal. We are asking that the mind, our fundamental tool for attaining values, for attaining the things we need and love in life, be well-trained. We are asking because we are passionate about life and living and scientific and logically rigorous about the nature of man.