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Ptolemy's model of universe assumes that our earth is the static center of universe and everything else move relative to it (ref: The grand design ch:3). This model would give us a consistent picture of universe the only complication would be that the trajectories of other heavenly bodies would be fairly complicated with our earth on center. So assuming any center doesn't contradict fundamental property of nature.

Similarly could we have assumed that the speed of light too was not the same on different frames and had similar properties as speed of sound (for example) which is different on different frame and still not contradict fundamental property of nature only giving some other complicated (may be) equations describing nature?

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Comment to the question(v2): It seems OP wants to go back to the old aether theory. – Qmechanic Nov 19 '12 at 7:23
Possible duplicate: – Qmechanic Nov 19 '12 at 9:42

First, one thing to be clear on is that relativity assumes merely that there is a speed which is the same in all reference frames. The fact that light (or anything else) travels at that speed is mostly irrelevant.

Now, can you formulate a consistent theory in which there is no speed that is the same in all reference frames? Yes, you can, and this is what people did before relativity, or what we still do (as a simplifying approximation) when relativistic effects can be neglected. However, such a theory would contradict the fact that the speed of light is measured to be the same in all reference frames, and the fact that Lorentz contraction and time dilation are measured to precisely agree with the predictions of relativity. So it would clearly not be the best available description of reality.

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protected by Qmechanic Mar 3 '13 at 18:55

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