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Topics - TotesNotReptilian

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Flat Earth Debate / Problems with the Bishop Experiment
« on: October 22, 2016, 01:01:34 AM »
Experiment originally presented here by Tom Bishop.

I live along the California Monterey Bay. It is a relatively long bay that sits next to the Pacific Ocean. The exact distance between the extremes of the Monterey Bay, Lovers Point in Pacific Grove and Lighthouse State Beach in Santa Cruz, is 33.4 statute miles. See this map.

On a very clear and chilly day it is possible to see Lighthouse Beach from Lovers Point and vice versa. With a good telescope, laying down on the stomach at the edge of the shore on the Lovers Point beach 20 inches above the sea level it is possible to see people at the waters edge on the adjacent beach 33 miles away. I can see children running in and out of the water, splashing and playing. I can see people sun bathing at the shore and teenagers merrily throwing Frisbees to one another. I can see runners jogging along the water's edge with their dogs. From my vantage point the entire beach is visible. Even with the unaided naked eye one can see the beaches along the opposite coast.

IF the earth is a globe, and is 24,900 English statute miles in circumference, the surface of all standing water must have a certain degree of convexity--every part must be an arc of a circle. From the summit of any such arc there will exist a curvature or declination of 8 inches in the first statute mile. In the second mile the fall will be 32 inches; in the third mile, 72 inches, or 6 feet, as shown in this chart. Ergo; looking at the opposite beach 30 miles away there should be a bulge of water over 600 feet tall blocking my view. There isn't.

Whenever I have doubts about the shape of the earth I simply walk outside my home, down to the beach, and perform this simple test. The same result comes up over and over throughout the year under a plethora of different atmospheric conditions.

Panoramic picture overlooking Lovers Point Beach

1. The view of the Santa Cruz beach from Lovers Point Beach is obstructed by a seawall and a rock outcropping. Perhaps he climbed over some rocks to the north side of Lovers Point, however...
2. The image he provides to back up his claim was also taken from the south side of Lovers Point, above the beaches. It also does not show the Santa Cruz beach. It shows a beach only 4 miles away looking east from Lovers Point Beach.
3. Others have questioned the physical possibility of seeing that far with a telescope. I have yet to see Tom Bishop reveal what telescope he used, despite requests on multiple occasions.
4. The correct distance to the Santa Cruz beach is 23 miles, not 33 miles as he states in the text. (Perhaps just an innocent "typo")
5. Generally sloppy math.
6. He provides no other photographic evidence, data, or witnesses to back up his claim. All we have to go on is his word.

Since it is clear that the Bishop Experiment will remain listed on the wiki, it is probable that someone will bring it up again at some time in the future. Therefore, I decided to list the problems with the experiment as clearly as I could for easy future reference and your viewing pleasure.


Edit: got my east/west mixed up

Suggestions & Concerns / Bishop Experiment in the Wiki
« on: October 19, 2016, 06:48:03 AM »
The "Bishop Experiment" is listed under the "Experimental Evidence" section of the Wiki. For a very long time, people have complained about the inaccurate distance listed in the experiment (23 miles vs 33 miles). Yet no one has bothered fixing it.

I was recently pointed towards the original post that Tom Bishop described his experiment in. Based on that post, it is quite obvious that he was NOT looking in the direction of "Lighthouse State Beach in Santa Cruz", but rather a beach only about 4 miles away instead. Tom Bishop has since disappeared from the forum, and has not bothered to comment on the accusation, despite his earlier participation in the thread.

I think it is time the "Bishop Experiment" was removed from the wiki, or at least severely edited.

(I wasn't sure whether to put this in S&C or General. Feel free to move it if you think it should be elsewhere.)

Flat Earth Debate / Angles, Perspective, and the Setting Sun.
« on: September 19, 2016, 02:09:48 AM »
In order to explain how the sun touches the horizon, flat earthers have come up with some peculiar theories related to "perspective".

In particular, this video claims that the "side view diagram" of the angle between the sun and the horizon is not accurate. To arrive at his conclusion, the author hopelessly confuses how angles and perspective relate to each other.

What is an angle?

An angle is simply a difference in direction between two lines. Let's say you have three objects: A, B, and C. Stretch a string between object A and B. Now stretch a string between object A and C. Use a protractor to measure the angle between them. This will give you the actual angle between the objects. Now, depending on where an observer is standing, the angle might appear to be different, but the actual angle measured by the physical protractor gives us the actual, physical angle between the objects.

What is an orthographic projection?

First, let's talk about the "side view diagram". The creator of the video claims that the "side view diagram" doesn't accurately reflect "perspective". This is true. It's not supposed to show exactly what the person sees, because it isn't from the perspective of the person looking at the sun.

The "side view diagram" is an orthographic projection. An orthographic projection has a few useful properties:

1. All lines that are parallel in reality are also parallel in an orthographic projection.
2. For all lines that are parallel to the projection plane, the angles between the lines are accurate. They are exactly the same as the angles measured in reality.

An orthographic projection isn't meant to show perspective. It's specifically meant not to show perspective, so that we can accurately portray angles. The reason we use an othographic projection is because it accurately portrays the angles we are interested in.

How do the angles change when we actually take into account perspective?

The diagram on the left is an orthographic projection. If we had 3 objects located at the ends of the red lines on a grid in reality, the angle portrayed by the orthographic projection will exactly match the angle measured in reality. Now, imagine the grid rotating away from us. The two diagrams on the right represent what you would see, taking into account perspective. Notice the "perspective lines" that have appeared.

1. The grid lines are no longer parallel.
2. The angle between the red lines is not the same.

These perspective diagrams are no longer useful for measuring angles. The angle that the red lines appear to meet at is completely dependent on the angle at which we view the grid. The same goes for the angle of the "perspective lines".

Now imagine that the grid continues to rotate until it is pointing directly away from us. The "perspective lines" are now just a single vertical line. The red lines are now just a single vertical red line. This is representative of what we would see from a first person perspective. There is no point in drawing perspective lines, or measuring any angle with a protractor, because they are both just vertical lines. Keep in mind, throughout this entire process, the physical angle between the red lines has not changed.

At 2:40, the creator of the video tries to incorporate "perspective lines" into an orthographic view in order to make it more representative of what we would see. However, from a first person perspective, the "perspective lines" are just a single vertical line, and there is no discernible angle to measure. He is trying to combine a first person view with an orthographic side view, and settled somewhere arbitrarily in the middle. The angles he is measuring are completely arbitrary. The "perspective lines" he is using are completely arbitrary.

Orthographic projections are useful for accurately portraying angles.
Perspective projections are useful for portraying what we see.

To sum up:

When we ask "what is the angle between the sun and the horizon?" we are talking about the actual, physical angle. If you point one stick at the sun, and another stick at the horizon, what angle do those sticks meet at? This angle is accurately portrayed by the "side view diagram" (orthographic projection), and has absolutely nothing to do with perspective.

Flat Earth Debate / The South Celestial Pole
« on: August 21, 2016, 03:48:34 AM »
I. The Facts
II. Round Earth Explanation
III. Flat Earth Explanation

I. The Facts

1. Facing North, stars circle around a single point in the sky. This is called the North Celestial Pole.
2. Facing South, stars circle a different point in the sky. This is called the South Celestial Pole.
3. In the Northern Hemisphere, the North Celestial Pole is above the horizon, and the South Celestial Pole is an equal distance below* the horizon.
4. In the Southern Hemisphere, the South Celestial Pole is above the horizon, and the North Celestial Pole is an equal distance below* the horizon.
5. The North Celestial Pole is due north. The South Celestial Pole is due south. They are in exactly opposite directions from one another.

Here are both celestial poles in one image. North Celestial Pole is on the left above the horizon. South Celestial Pole is on the right, below the horizon. Forgive the distortion, it's a panoramic image:

* Obviously we can't actually see the celestial pole that is below the horizon. However, we can approximate it's position by extrapolating the paths of the stars.

II. Round Earth Explanation

The earth is a rotating sphere. From our perspective, the stars appear to be rotating around us. The elevation of each celestial pole depends on your location on the earth.

At 30 degrees north of the equator, the North Celestial Pole will be 30 degrees above the horizon and the South Celestial Pole will be 30 degrees below the horizon. Likewise, at 30 degrees south of the equator, the South Celestial Pole will be 30 degrees above the horizon and the North Celestial Pole will be 30 degrees below the horizon.

You can confirm for yourself that the elevation of each celestial pole corresponds exactly with your own latitude.

III. Flat Earth Explanation

Obviously, the visibility of the South Celestial Pole presents a problem for the flat earth model. If the stars are all rotating around a vertical axis, then the South Celestial Pole should be below the earth. In order to see it, one would have to peek over the edge. "Celestial Gears" are the most common solution to this problem that I have seen. I have never seen a particularly detailed explanation of how they work, but I assume it is something like this:

However, this still presents some problems.

1. There has never been a report of anyone seeing an intersection between the various South Celestial Poles. Considering that mankind has been navigating the oceans by the stars for several hundred years, this seems unlikely.
2. The South Celestial Pole is always exactly due South. It is always 180 degrees in the opposite direction of North. In the "Celestial Gears" model, moving east or west would cause the South Celestial Pole to no longer be due South. There would be a non 180 degree angle between the North Celestial Pole and South Celestial Pole.

The Bipolar Model has the exact same problem.

In conclusion, the visibility of the South Celestial Pole is in direct contradiction with the flat earth model. The earth isn't flat.

If you have ever been south of the Equator, you know that the seasons are reversed: December through January are the hottest months, and have the longest daylight hours. Flat earth theory has a halfway decent explanation for this. The radius of the sun's orbit above the earth increases and decreases with the seasons. During the southern summer months, the sun has a larger orbital radius:

This sort of makes sense for the Northern Hemisphere. But as they say, the devil's in the details. Let's look at two cities during the December Solstice:

New York City: 9 hours 15 minutes of daylight
Sao Paulo: 13 hours 35 minutes of daylight

I plotted the location of the sun at sunrise and sunset for each city on a Polar Azimuthal Equidistant Projection Map*:

Notice the location of the sun at sunset for each city. Why does the sun set later for Sao Paulo than for New York City, even though New York City is much closer to the sun?

As you move farther south of Sao Paulo, the days become longer and longer, and the distance from the sun at sunset and sunrise gets farther and farther! In fact, according to this model, in the extreme southern latitudes, much of the northern hemisphere lies between the sun and the southern hemisphere at sunset, despite it being pitch black in many of those northern locations. How is this possible on a flat earth?

* Yes, I know this isn't an official flat earth map. But since there isn't an official map, I'll use this one since it seems to be the most commonly referenced.

Edit: Accidentally posted early. Give me a few minutes. Ok, all better now.

Flat Earth General / Round Earth Information Repository
« on: July 30, 2016, 10:38:31 PM »
Introducing the Round Earth Poor-Man's Wiki.

Feel free to submit your own proofs/explanations/forum links!

Explanations for Common Misunderstandings

Proofs that the Earth is Round

Informative Forum Threads

Read the rules before posting please!

The point of this thread is to provide a poor-man's wiki for round-earth information. If you want to submit a topic, simply post a reply. If it is well done, I will add a link to it at the top of this post.

Rules for Posting

  • Be neat. Format it nicely. Use good grammar. Use good spelling. Organize it logically.
  • Don't just link to posts in other parts of the forum. Recreate the post as neatly as possible in this thread, and provide a link to the original post for reference. This will allow you to correct any mistakes in the post without the permission of the original author.
  • Tag the title of each post with the appropriate tag
  • Do not start a debate in this thread. This is just an information repository. If you want to debate one of the topics, start a debate thread and then link to it in a [comment] post.


  • Tag original posts with [topic] in the title.
  • If you want to comment on someone else's submission, tag it with [comment] in the title, and provide a link to the original topic at the top of the post.
  • If you just want to submit an informative forum thread to be listed, tag it with [link] in the title.
  • If you want to comment about something else on this thread, tag it with [meta] in the title.

There has been a distinct lack of flat earthers trying to defend the flat earth theory on this forum lately. Are there any out there with evidence for a flat earth that hasn't been recently debunked?

(Intikam doesn't count, obviously)

Flat Earth Q&A / Path of the Sun in the Bi-polar Model of the Earth.
« on: June 06, 2016, 02:34:19 AM »
I was recently directed to the bi-polar model of the flat earth. This model has a distinct advantage over the traditional ice-wall model: it can provide a somewhat plausible explanation of the south celestial pole. However, it seems to retain some of the problems of the traditional model: sunsets, the size of the sun/moon, the path of the sun/moon. It also introduces new problems: flight times over the pacific ocean, distortion of certain continental shapes.

My main question is this: what is the path of the sun in the bi-polar model?

This post was on the frontpage of reddit. It is a time lapse that has been stabilized to the Milky Way. (Click on the post to see it in the smoother gifv format. Source for the image is in one of the comments.)

Notice the axis of rotation.

If the earth was flat, we would expect there to only be rotation around the vertical axis (like an airplane yawing). But this picture demonstrates rotation mostly around a horizontal axis (like an airplane rolling).

Just some more evidence to add to the already massive pile.

Stuff appears smaller with distance. This is common knowledge.

In most flat earth models, the sun and moon are rotating above the earth. Line of sight with the sun/moon is maintained over the entire earth at all times. So why is the sun/moon not visible at all times? A common answer goes something like this: "we can't see forever, the sun becomes too far away to see."

There is a problem with this explanation though! Stuff appears smaller with distance. This is true about everything... except the sun/moon, apparently. The sun/moon stay the same size in the sky throughout the day. So, why does the sun/moon get an exception? To the wiki!

The magnification of the sun at sunset
IT is well known that when a light of any kind shines through a dense medium it appears larger, or magnified, at a given distance than when it is seen through a lighter medium. This is more remarkable when the medium holds aqueous particles or vapour in solution, as in a damp or foggy atmosphere. Anyone may be satisfied of this by standing within a few yards of an ordinary street lamp, and noticing the size of the flame; on going away to many times the distance, the light upon the atmosphere will appear considerably larger...

-- Rowbotham

His primary mistake is that he is confusing the size of the light source with the glare surrounding the light source. There are two main causes of glare relevant to this discussion:

1. Too much light: The light from the source overwhelms the light coming from everything around it. The light appears as a bright, white, washed out blob. The amount of glare as seen by a camera can be adjusted with the aperture, shutter speed, lens, etc. Note: this type of glare DECREASES with distance.

2. Too much scattering: Light bounces off the nearby air, causing the light source to appear as an indistinct, fuzzy ball. This especially happens when there is a lot of fog or smoke. When near the light source, the scattering isn't significant, and the distinct features of the light source can be seen. When far away from the light source, the size of the light source can be mistaken for the size of the "indistinct, fuzzy ball" of glare around it.

In the case of the sun and moon, we are able to take pictures that show clear, sharp, distinct features. We don't even need a camera to make out the features of the moon. With the right camera settings, we can make out the distinct edge of the sun. With a telescope, details of the sun's surface can be made out.

So no, there is no "known magnification effect" which magically causes the sun to appear the same size at all times. The explanation given in the wiki is hilariously bad, and very easily seen to be completely false with minimum effort.

For your consideration, I present two simple proofs that the earth isn't flat. The beauty of these proofs is that they are easy for anyone to verify without expensive equipment or expert knowledge. No faith in NASA/government/scientists required.

The sun sets below the horizon, maintaining its size and shape.

According to most flat-earthers, the sun is a spotlight, rotating in a plane 3000 miles above the earth. Let's make some predictions based on this model:
  • The sun should decrease in size as it rotates away from us in the afternoon.
Doesn't happen. The sun stays approximately the same size.
  • The sun should not go below 20 degrees from the horizon (based on 3000 miles distance from earth, and 8000 mile diameter of the equator).
It definitely goes below 20 degrees. In fact, it sinks all the way below 0 degrees. In fact, it is possible to see the sun halfway below the horizon, halfway above the horizon, which should absolutely never be possible.
  • The sun should appear to always curve north as it travels across the sky. (The point about which it rotates)
This generally happens in the northern hemisphere! Horray! Unfortunately, near the equator, the sun travels in a straight line due west. Bummer. Significantly south of the equator, the sun even curves to the south. Double bummer.
  • If the sun is a flat disc, it should appear elliptical as it travels away from us.
Doesn't happen. The sun stays perfectly round.

The existence of the South Celestial Pole

When we are in the Northern Hemisphere, the stars appear to rotate around some point in the North. This is consistent with both a flat earth and spherical earth. Excellent.

When we are near the Equator, the stars appear to travel due west. Again, this is completely consistent with a spherical earth, but on a flat earth, we would expect the stars to still curve north. What gives?

As we continue moving into the Southern Hemisphere, the point in the North about which the stars rotate sets below the horizon, and another point about which the stars rotate rises in the South. The farther south we go, the higher this "South Celestial Pole" rises in the sky. Again, this is completely consistent with a spherical earth, but completely unexplainable on a flat earth.

Some people mention "Celestial Gears" as an explanation for this phenomenon, but I have never seen it actually described. Until there is at least a slightly plausible model explaining the existence of this phenomenon, it is solid evidence against the flat earth model.

Both of these proofs are easy to verify for yourself. The first requires simple observation of the sun on a clear day, preferably near the ocean so that mountains don't obstruct your view. The second only requires travelling to the Southern Hemisphere (unless you already live there) and observing the stars.

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