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Topics - stevecanuck

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / The Islamic veil debate.
« on: October 07, 2022, 06:07:02 PM »
The death of Mahsa Amini in Iran and resulting demonstrations have people yet again debating what the Qur'an says about veiling. I had a closer look at two verses on the subject, and although a less ambiguous directive from Allah would have saved a lot of uncertainty, it looks to me as though the Qur'an does indeed encourage full-body covering, as opposed to merely 'modest' dress.

The word for word translation of verse 33:59 (The Quranic Arabic Corpus - Word by Word Grammar, Syntax and Morphology of the Holy Quran) says that believing woman should "draw over themselves their outer garments" so that they "should be known and not harmed".

The first underlined phrase seems to define an extra, outer layer of covering, and the second supports that interpretation by indicating that the degree of body coverage should be obvious enough to make Muslim women stand out from others.

Verse 24:31 is long-winded and harder to follow, but it also commands Muslim women to cover themselves to a greater degree than they do at home. They are told to, "draw their headcovers over their bosoms", and to not "display their adornment" except to family members and household staff. The inclusion of non-blood male relatives, such as fathers-in-law and nephews, in the list of those to whom a woman may "display her adornment" is crucial to defining the difference between acceptable dress in the home vs. when out. I think it's safe to assume that a Muslim women would already be modestly dressed in her father-in-law's presence, so to insist on even further coverage when outside the house is consistent with saying that she must bring her head covering down as far as her already covered bosoms, which, by definition, would also cover her face.

IMO, those verses are more suggestive of full-body veiling than not.

FEers and REers agree on just about nothing. However, I don't see how "sunrise" and "sunset" times can be disputed. They are documented and easily verifiable. For example, I randomly googled sunrise times for Sunday, June 27, 2021 for Helsinki and got 3:57 a.m. (GMT+3), and Cape Town and got 7:52 a.m. (GMT+2). World-wide times for both "sunrise" and "sunset" could be gathered and input to a spatial interpolation algorithm to create a light/dark demarcation line for the entire world at any given time.

Another point of agreement is probably that the dark/light demarcation line is smooth as opposed to a zig-zag. The RE model is pretty clear on that. For FE, the spotlight effect is also shown to have a smooth radius creating a circular demarcation line.

Given those two points of agreement, the locations associated with each time could then be plotted on a map with various spotlight radii to create test FE maps. This process could be repeated as many times as necessary, and at all times of the year, and tested with digital cross-correlation until only one scenario fits all locations at all times, thus creating an accurate FE map.


Philosophy, Religion & Society / When did Islam introduce fighting?
« on: May 02, 2021, 10:08:17 PM »

NOTE: This is not a cut and paste from a web site. I spent 18 months rereading the Qur'an in chronological order and summarizing it. This is from that summary.

In the first 12 years of Islam's creation Mohamed lived in the pagan city of his birth, Mecca. He spent those years trying to convince the Meccans that he had been chosen as God's final prophet, and that they should abandon their pagan ways and follow him in worship of the one and only true god. They ignored him. Two thirds of the Qur'an came from that period and all without so much as one word about fighting.

After he and his very small following moved to Medina, things changed overnight. If the expression, "Wait. What?" were in vogue at the time, it probably would have run through the minds of converts after the revelation of verses 2:154 and 2:155:

- 154 "Do not consider those who are slain for the cause of God to be dead. They are alive but you are unaware of them".
- 155 "Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere".

During the revelation of surah 2, Mohamed embarked on a campaign that changed not only the nature of Islam, but the course of history. He started a war with the pagans of Mecca by raiding their trade caravans. For the first time, Muslims were instructed to take lives by fighting "fee sabil Allah (in the cause of God)". The pagans responded by sending forces to protect their caravans, but, despite having superior numbers, were defeated by the Muslims in the Battle of Badr (CE 624). This sparked a seven year war that ended in complete victory for the Muslims and control of Mecca and the Kaaba. These raids were the first action in a pattern of aggression that would escalate and eventually turn into the campaigns of conquest that resulted in the creation of a vast Islamic caliphate within only 100 years of Mohamed's death.

Muslims dispute this. They claim the raids were justified based on persecution they suffered at the hands of the pagans before the Hijrah. What they do not, and can not, claim is that physical abuse of Muslims occurred during that period. There are no verses in the Qur'an that speak of harm inflicted; only of mockery and refusal to obey Mohamed and abandon their long-held beliefs and gods. They also do not dispute that the 'first arrow' was fired by a Muslim named Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas when his party was sent to raid a caravan (although the raid was eventually called off). Rather, they celebrate Sa'd as a folk hero.

For Mohamed to order military action "in the cause of God", he was faced with being able to claim that a clearly offensive strike would be justified and in compliance with God's wishes. The Qur'an would therefore have to supply him with two revelations that were not so much as hinted at in all 86 Meccan surahs; a direct command to fight, and moral justification for taking lives. To that end, the following two verses were conveniently revealed:

- 190 "Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors".
- 191 "And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression (fitnah) are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith".

Verse 190 provided the order to fight, but only in self-defense, which by itself did not justify an attack against the pagans, as there is no indication in the Qur'an that any Muslims had been killed. Therefore, Mohamed could not accuse them of being "those who fight you". He immediately solved that problem in 191 by providing a work-around that moves the goal posts in such a vague and open-end manner as to designate virtually any unbeliever an enemy. It breaks down as follows:

- "And slay them wherever ye catch them" removed any doubt that blood-letting had been introduced to Islam. 
- "and turn them out from where they have turned you out" is a clear reference to Mohamed's claim that he was forced to flee Mecca.
- "for tumult and oppression (fitnah) are worse than slaughter" introduced 'fitnah' as a catch-all crime against Islam that, in the space of one verse, effectively dropped self-defense to second place as a reason to make war. 

The importance of the definition of 'fitnah', and of adding it to self-defense as the basis for which Muslims can justify attacking non-Muslims, cannot be stressed enough. 'Fitnah' is described in various English translations as any action that either impedes the practice of Islam ("suppresses faith") or simply violates any of God's commandments as stated in the Qur'an. For example, Christians are guilty of 'fitnah' every time they pray to Jesus rather than God. Six of the seven translations given in define 'fitnah' as tumult, oppression, or persecution, whereas the seventh, by Muhammad Sarwar, goes so far as to translate it as "the sin of disbelief in God".

The only 'crimes' the Meccans had committed against Islam were to "deny God's signs" (refuse to adopt Islam), and to 'desecrate' the Kaaba by using it for polytheist prayer. But, thanks to verse 191, it became enough to warrant an attack. However, that was just the beginning of the influence verse 191 had in shaping history. It not only provided the excuse Mohamed needed to attack the Meccans, and although it was crafted to solve a short term problem, it established the criteria that has inspired Islamic jihad for 1400 years and counting.

Verse 191 is noteworthy for a third reason. Although it targeted the pagans of Mecca, it demonstrates a method of instruction commonly used in the Qur'an. While the first part of the verse is specific to a given circumstance, the concluding statement is generic and suggestive of a wider application. In this case, "Such is the reward of those who suppress faith" implies that military action would be an appropriate response against any person, tribe, or nation deemed guilty of 'suppressing faith'.

The next two verses describe how far to take the fight, and what the outcome is expected to be:

- 192 "But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful".
- 193 "And fight with them until there is no persecution (fitnah), and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors".

Verses 190 and 192, if quoted together and without contextual consideration of surrounding and later verses, give the impression that fighting is to be strictly defensive, and that hostilities must cease as soon as the enemy quits the battle. However, 191 and 193 add conditions that paint a decidedly more aggressive picture, as they give 'fitnah' as sufficient reason to engage in hostilities, and state that annihilation of the enemy is required until "religion should be only for Allah".

Flat Earth Theory / UA and the atmosplane
« on: May 02, 2021, 08:48:11 PM »

I tried to find the answer to this in the wiki, but I guess I didn't word my search well enough. Here's my question:

Does the accelerating earth push against the atmosplane (air), or is the air also being accelerated?

If the former is the case, then the air would be pushed towards the edges of the earth, and that clearly is not happening. How does it all work? If there is a wiki page for this, then please just point me to it and I'll try to figure it out on my own. Thanks.

Flat Earth Theory / Was Milankovitch "in on it"?
« on: March 24, 2021, 04:33:36 PM »
Milutin Milankovitch spent his life studying the solar system and it's effects on the earth. A by-product of his research was an affirmation of the existence of the solar system and the round earth. He defined cycles that were named for him.

So, was he in on the hoax, or was he utterly fooled his whole life?

Flat Earth Theory / Why does the moon have impact craters?
« on: March 22, 2021, 09:48:42 PM »

I searched for "crater" in the wiki, but I couldn't find any threads about moon craters (maybe I just need a wiki lesson). If previous posters have already asked this, perhaps someone could direct me.

Anyway, the moon clearly has impact craters, which comports with the whole RE/the-universe-exists side of the argument. How does FET explain them?

Flat Earth Theory / FET implies intelligent design
« on: March 20, 2021, 07:38:21 PM »

As an spin-off of my last thread, it occurred to me that for UA to work, three factors have to exist:

1. The force pushing the earth "upward" has to be at EXACTLY 90° to the surface of the earth to create straight-down pseudo gravity.
2 and 3. The earth would have to be perfectly symmetrical AND perfectly balanced in terms of weigh distribution* on the surface to keep it from wobbling and thereby throwing us all over the place.

Since the likelihood of that happening in nature is probably zero, the only thing that leaves is ID. We are an ant farm.

* The problems with creating perfect weight balance on the surface are legion. The weight of the oceans and land masses have to be distributed PERFECTLY evenly, or it's Weeble time. Any flat earth flat would have to reflect that fact, and that's impossible. The entire FE story turns to tatters when examined carefully.

Flat Earth Theory / Is there anything that RET cannot explain?
« on: March 19, 2021, 10:10:06 PM »

This is NOT to ask what FET can or can not explain, but to ask if there's something RET and the existence of the universe fails to explain. I believe RET has perfectly logical and provable explanations for the following (I have undoubtedly missed some). So, to reiterate, are there any phenomena that RET either can't explain or contradicts?

day and night
light and dark distribution
eccentricity, obliquity, and precession per Milankovitch cycles
area of continents and seas
distance from any point A to any point B on earth
direction from any point A to any point B on earth
continental drift
geologic strata
different stars visible in north vs south
moon waxing on right in the north and on left in the south
ocean currents
coriolis effect
weather patterns
magnetic field
space travel
all satellite functions such as GPS, satellite phone, satellite radio
millions of photos of earth from space

and all without inventing new phenomena such as EA and UA. 

Flat Earth Theory / Looking for curvature is a fool's errand.
« on: March 01, 2021, 09:07:18 PM »

Trying to disprove that the earth is flat by looking for curvature is a fool's errand, because a circular shape is not proof of sphericalness. Hold up a flat, round placemat, and you will see a circular outline. Hold up a basketball, and you will also see a circular outline. So, what is it that allows you to perceive that the basketball is a sphere but the placemat is not? Depth perception - but only up to a certain distance. For a basketball that is only a few feet away from you, your depth perception can see that the sides of the ball curve away from the center of it and away from your face. This allows your brain to interpret it as a sphere (It probably helps that your brain already knows this and is predisposed to interpreting it as such).

If you were on a raft in the middle of a perfectly calm ocean, and spun around to view all 360 degrees, it would all look exactly the same. It would be like being in the middle of a large hoop that arcs around you at a constant distance and then attaches back to itself after describing a perfect circle. There would be exactly zero appearance of curvature in the dimension that would prove sphericalness. You can't see the 3rd dimension you're looking for because you can't see past a horizon that is equidistant from you at all times.

Now, magically levitate and repeat the process. No matter how high you go, nothing changes in terms of not being able to see proof of sphericalness due to curvature. The horizon is farther away (the hoop is bigger), but that's all. Perhaps if you went high enough, the earth would take on relative basketball proportions and your depth perception would kick in.
To be able to see sphericalness, you would have to be able to see farther to the left and right than you can in the middle (you could only do this with a transparent globe). So, the irony is that the spherical nature of the earth is the very thing that prevents you from seeing the spherical nature of the earth.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Short summary of the creation of Islam
« on: January 20, 2021, 09:00:42 PM »

About 20 years ago (do the math) I decided to read the Qur'an to see just how much 'Islam' there is in 'Islamic terrorism'. The short answer is - a lot. For those who have no idea what Islam is or where it came from, here is a my bare-bones summary:


In 610 CE, a 40-year-old illiterate merchant named Mohamed announced to the pagans of the Arabian Peninsula city of Mecca that he had received a message from God, via the angel Gabriel, stating he had been chosen to become God's final prophet.

He began exhorting the pagans to abandon their gods and to follow him in submission (Islam) to the "one true god".

He claimed to receive such revelations, collectively called the Qur'an, for the remaining 23 years of his life and preached them from memory.

Therefore, to be a Muslim is to believe that the Qur'an is a verbatim sermon from God that created and defined a new religion called Islam.  

The first 86 surahs (chapters) were revealed from 610 to 622 while Mohamed lived in Mecca.

The remaining 28 surahs came from 622 to 632 when he lived in Medina.

By the time of Mohamed's death the Qur'an had grown to 6,236 verses.

It was not compiled into written form until after his death. It was compiled roughly by order of size of surah rather than chronologically.



These surahs are little more than repetitions of Old Testament stories of Moses, Adam, Noah, Lot, etc. The story of Jesus and Mary is told, but while denying Jesus is the son of God.

The five pillars were defined - faith, prayer, fasting, alms, pilgrimage.

The only other discernable difference between Islam and Judaism in terms of theology to that point was that Mohamed was to be the Abrahamic world's new spiritual leader.
No mention of fighting (armed jihad as opposed to personal jihad) appeared during this period.

The greatest sin/crime was defined as disbelief in God.

The oneness of God, the promise of Heaven for believers, and the threat of a literal Hell for unbelievers were the primary tenets of the Meccan period. They were repeated hundreds of times.

This period can be summarized by the following verses":

39:62 - "Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs".
17:111 - "He has not begotten a son and has no partner in His Kingdom".
41:30 - "Those who have said, 'Our Lord is God.' ... rejoice in Paradise that you were promised'".
29:68 - "Who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah or rejects the Truth when it reaches him? Is there not a home in Hell for those who reject Faith?".    



Mohamed claimed to have uncovered a plot to kill him, so he and the few followers he had managed to attract sought refuge in the largely Jewish city of Yathrib. This migration is known as the Hijrah, and is the start of the Islamic calendar.

The tone and message of the Qur'an changed immediately.

All rules regarding daily life (diet, marriage, inheritance, etc.) in the Islamic community were introduced.

Fighting "in the cause of God" was introduced.

Hostilities began against the pagans of Mecca when Mohamed began raiding their caravans.

Three major battles were fought against the pagans resulting in the Muslims claiming final victory.

Two of the three major Jewish tribes were expelled from Yathrib and their property confiscated.
The men and youths of the third Jewish tribe were beheaded, and the women and children were taken as slaves.

Mohamed renamed Yathrib to Al Medinat Al Nabi (The City of The Prophet), and became known as Medina.

Control of Mecca and the Kaaba were ceded to Mohamed.

The Arabian Peninsula steadily came under Mohamed's control via military conquest and bloodless capitulation.

He initiated military campaigns against Yemen and the Byzantine empire.

The last verses of the Qur'an were revealed.

Mohamed died in 632.His successors continued the military campaigns he started, resulting in the creation of a vast Islamic empire.

One of the last verses revealed describes the final, militaristic turn that Islam took in its evolution:

9:111 - "Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain".

Flat Earth Theory / An inconvenient hemiplane.
« on: December 01, 2020, 06:46:35 PM »

Assuming the distance from the North Pole (NP) to the Equator (E) is 10,000 km whether speaking of FE or RE, and that the Equator to the southern edge (or South Pole) is an additional 10,000 km, we can easily calculate the area of each hemiplane using A = pi*r squared.

Where r = 10,000 km from NP to E, the area of the northern hemiplane = 314,159,265 kmsq.
Where r = 20,000 km from NP to SP (or southern edge) the area of the world = 1,256,637,061 kmsq (which, btw, is about 2.46 times the area in RE theory).
To calculate the size of the southern hemiplane, simply subtract the northern hemiplane from the total, which = 942,477,796 kmsq.

Therefore, the southern hemiplane is exactly 3 times the size of the northern hemiplane.

Does that agree with FE theory?

Flat Earth Theory / Surface area comparison
« on: November 22, 2020, 06:09:27 PM »

The surface area of a round earth is about 510 million square kms. A flat earth, with a radius of 20,000 kms (north pole to southern edge), is about 1.256 billion square kms. That would make the area of a flat earth about 2.46 times more than that of a round earth. I'm pretty sure we all know that simply isn't so. Distances from one side of the southern hemisphere to the other as well as the size of continents would be completely out of whack if that were true. Thoughts?

Area of a sphere = 4 x pi x radius squared (radius of a round earth = 6371 km.)
Area of a circle = 2 x pi x radius squared (radius of a flat earth = 20,000 km.)

Flat Earth Theory / How far is it from Vancouver to Sydney?
« on: November 22, 2020, 12:19:47 AM »

The round earth distance, the one used successfully by Air Canada to plot direction and distance, says 12,500 km. What is the flat earth distance?

Flat Earth Theory / Line of sight question
« on: November 21, 2020, 07:02:25 PM »

My understanding is that the sun 'appears' to set because sighting tangentially along the curved ray caused by EA would cause such an optical illusion. If that's wrong then this question doesn't apply.

Assuming I'm right about sighting along the EA-caused tangent, then a person in an airplane over California who's flying just under the red cloud would see the sun setting INTO Texas. How is this explained by FET?

Flat Earth Theory / Why the round earth hoax?
« on: November 21, 2020, 05:31:20 PM »

Has anyone explained the purpose of saying the earth is round if it's really flat. What is achieved by perpetuating the lie?

Flat Earth Theory / Moon wax and wane direction
« on: November 11, 2020, 11:58:29 PM »

Hello, I'm new here. I have a million questions, but I'll start with just one:

When I'm in Canada at the start of a new moon, it waxes from right to left. When I'm in Australia it waxes from left to right. This is consistent with a round earth as you're 'up side down' when in Australia.

How does FE explain this?

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