Winston, trying to be logical, recognising the age of the Earth mentions dinosaur bones, to which O’Brien replies;
‘Have you ever seen those bones, Winston? Of course not. Nineteenth-century biologists invented them. Before man there was nothing. After man, if he could come to an end, there would be nothing. Outside man there is nothing.’
Winston, still not fully broken, tries;
‘But the whole universe is outside us. Look at the stars! Some of them are a million light-years away. They are out of our reach for ever.’
‘What are the stars?’ said O’Brien indifferently. ‘They are bits of fire a few kilometres away. We could reach them if we wanted to. Or we could blot them out. The earth is the centre of the universe. The sun and the stars go round it.’
This denial of reality is key to the mentality of the Party. Is key to any kind of idiotic movement which seeks to organise and control the stupider people.