# The Flat Earth Society

## Flat Earth Discussion Boards => Flat Earth Theory => Topic started by: twilight on March 24, 2014, 01:47:15 PM

Title: YAFED - Yet Another Flat Earth Debate
Post by: twilight on March 24, 2014, 01:47:15 PM
Right, I won't argue about evidence for any of the two theories, flat or round, or say that someone is simply stupid, I will only say from my personal experience and knowledge, and let experienced members/users here discuss with me.

I happen to be a merchant navy officer and I have already made a few voyages around the earth/globe. Let me point out a few things:

1) A scientist named Mercator invented a method of projecting a spherical area to a 2D map. In order to do that efficiently he had to introduce distortion which increases logarithmically as you go close to the poles. At the poles distortion is infinite. This what we primarly used for navigation and is the safest because it shows all islands, dangers and obstructions. More at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercator_projection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercator_projection). Going from point A to point B we had two options: a) Go in a straight line a.k.a. rhumb line and make more miles b) Go in a great circle a.k.a. orthodrome while following the curvature of the earth and saves miles! This appears at the Mercator map as a bow.

2) While approaching a place, harbour, port etc. first we see tall buildings, towers, POIs (Points Of Interest for position fixing), Lighthouses then the rest (roads, small buildings and even people). And all these with a nominal visibility of 10 miles.

If we lived in a Flat Earth, with an ideal/perfect visibility everything would be visible, right? With proper "binoculars" I could see New York all the way from Greece! We wouldn't even have problem with radio waves... We do we need transponders anyway?

3) At this point let us not take into account the GPS satellites which are used for position fixing and follow the same principles as position fixing with celestial objects. If I wanted to travel from Europe to the US with no sort of electronic equipment, I would easily keep Polaris at the same height and go West! My latitude would not change. And I could easily cross check my position with the sun at midday.

4) Time zones... how do you explain that? Traveling west and we had to retard hour every a couple of days, travelling to the east and we had to advance an hour again every a couple of days. Passing the date line we had to retard and advance a whole day respectively.
Title: Re: YAFED - Yet Another Flat Earth Debate
Post by: Tintagel on March 24, 2014, 03:40:28 PM
Welcome to TFES, Twilight.

1) A scientist named Mercator invented a method of projecting a spherical area to a 2D map. In order to do that efficiently he had to introduce distortion which increases logarithmically as you go close to the poles. At the poles distortion is infinite. This what we primarly used for navigation and is the safest because it shows all islands, dangers and obstructions. More at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercator_projection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercator_projection). Going from point A to point B we had two options: a) Go in a straight line a.k.a. rhumb line and make more miles b) Go in a great circle a.k.a. orthodrome while following the curvature of the earth and saves miles! This appears at the Mercator map as a bow.
We are aware of the Mercator projection and its distortion.  You are assuming the earth is flat in the same way that a sheet of paper is flat.  It isn't.

2) While approaching a place, harbour, port etc. first we see tall buildings, towers, POIs (Points Of Interest for position fixing), Lighthouses then the rest (roads, small buildings and even people). And all these with a nominal visibility of 10 miles.
It shouldn't surprise you that larger structures are visible first, this is how perspective works.  Everything isn't visible on a flat earth for a variety of reasons.  The vanishing point exists due to perspective, and moreover, air isn't 100% transparent.

3) At this point let us not take into account the GPS satellites which are used for position fixing and follow the same principles as position fixing with celestial objects. If I wanted to travel from Europe to the US with no sort of electronic equipment, I would easily keep Polaris at the same height and go West! My latitude would not change. And I could easily cross check my position with the sun at midday.
No one claims that latitude and longitude don't exist or don't work.  They will, as will celestial navigation.  Neither of these things is dependent upon a spherical earth to function as intended.

4) Time zones... how do you explain that? Traveling west and we had to retard hour every a couple of days, travelling to the east and we had to advance an hour again every a couple of days. Passing the date line we had to retard and advance a whole day respectively.

The same way they function on a spherical earth.  The sun's position determines the relative times of day, not the shape of the earth.
Title: Re: YAFED - Yet Another Flat Earth Debate
Post by: twilight on March 24, 2014, 04:00:31 PM
Welcome to TFES, Twilight.

Thank you very much.

We are aware of the Mercator projection and its distortion.  You are assuming the earth is flat in the same way that a sheet of paper is flat.  It isn't.

I am not assuming anything, I say that this scientist had to invent a way to project an area from a sphere in a 2D paper, thus allowing surface navigation safely. Just because you can't accurately present everything in 2D he had to introduce this form of distortion.

Google Earth also distorts imagery taken from satellites, but research has been made in order to present almost everything in their actual position.

It shouldn't surprise you that larger structures are visible first, this is how perspective works.  Everything isn't visible on a flat earth for a variety of reasons.  The vanishing point exists due to perspective, and moreover, air isn't 100% transparent.

I am not surprised that I see large objects first, this happens, its physics. Air isn't 100% transparent off course, I pointed out only a theoretic perfect visibility.

No one claims that latitude and longitude don't exist or don't work.  They will, as will celestial navigation.  Neither of these things is dependent upon a spherical earth to function as intended.

They are dependent because they were invented taking into account that earth is spherical.

The same way they function on a spherical earth.  The sun's position determines the relative times of day, not the shape of the earth.

In the heliocentric model the sun is not moving relatively to earth. The earth spins and therefore sun is moving relative to the earth observer.

In the end, with the flat earth model all the current physics have to be altered to much it. According to what you say its all a matter of relativity and perception.
Title: Re: YAFED - Yet Another Flat Earth Debate
Post by: Tintagel on March 27, 2014, 01:20:44 PM
I am not assuming anything, I say that this scientist had to invent a way to project an area from a sphere in a 2D paper, thus allowing surface navigation safely. Just because you can't accurately present everything in 2D he had to introduce this form of distortion.

Google Earth also distorts imagery taken from satellites, but research has been made in order to present almost everything in their actual position.
As I understand it, the distortion is caused by turning the lines of longitude into vertical lines, which makes sense.  On earth this isn't the case.

I am not surprised that I see large objects first, this happens, its physics. Air isn't 100% transparent off course, I pointed out only a theoretic perfect visibility.

Even with theoretic perfect visibility one couldn't see infinitely far.  There is a vanishing point at which any structure would be too small to be seen, not to mention the difficulty of sightlines with elevation changes / obstructions.

They are dependent because they were invented taking into account that earth is spherical.
Perhaps they were designed under the assumption of a spherical earth, but I don't think that makes them dependent.  The lines of longitude more or less follow the magnetic field lines of the earth.  That's their value, not the implied shape they give the earth.

In the heliocentric model the sun is not moving relatively to earth. The earth spins and therefore sun is moving relative to the earth observer.
Observationally, it doesn't matter if the sun is moving or the earth is moving.  The ancient Greeks long understood that the earth is stationary and the idea of a heliocentric cosmos was nearly universally rejected until the 16th century - and even then it took a while to gain widespread acceptance.  Aside: Tycho Brahe's geo-heliocentric system as well is a fascinating beast, take a look at it sometime.

Even still, time zones are something we created, and even the 24-hour day is something we made up, by observationally tracking the sun's position in the sky.  Whether the sun or earth is the one moving doesn't matter, time zones still work the same way.
Title: Re: YAFED - Yet Another Flat Earth Debate
Post by: twilight on March 27, 2014, 09:24:44 PM
As I understand it, the distortion is caused by turning the lines of longitude into vertical lines, which makes sense.  On earth this isn't the case.

Distortion is caused more by stretching to the north and sound and less just by making longitude lines from crossing to parallel. When navigators calculate a great circle route they take into account the so called meridional parts which measures how much distance is between any given latitude on the Mercator map to the actual on the curvature of the Earth.

Even with theoretic perfect visibility one couldn't see infinitely far.  There is a vanishing point at which any structure would be too small to be seen, not to mention the difficulty of sightlines with elevation changes / obstructions.

And that's why I mentioned binoculars. Any magnifying medium could suffice to observe farther than the naked eye. Between Portugal and New York is Atlantic Ocean so no obstructions whatsoever; just my good telescope... go to your balcony and say hello, I am looking at you.

Perhaps they were designed under the assumption of a spherical earth, but I don't think that makes them dependent.  The lines of longitude more or less follow the magnetic field lines of the earth.  That's their value, not the implied shape they give the earth.

There is no assumption, round Earth is a fact. Mercator was a serious scientist and his primary concern was the safety of navigating around the world. The lines of longitude do not follow those of the magnetic field because True North Pole and Magnetic North Pole do not match, not to mention that magnetic poles are moving and/or shifting. And they don't give the shape of the earth.

AFAIK there are also other kinds of coordinates such as UTM, not only lat/long in degrees, minutes etc.

Observationally, it doesn't matter if the sun is moving or the earth is moving.  The ancient Greeks long understood that the earth is stationary and the idea of a heliocentric cosmos was nearly universally rejected until the 16th century - and even then it took a while to gain widespread acceptance.  Aside: Tycho Brahe's geo-heliocentric system as well is a fascinating beast, take a look at it sometime.

Long before Copernicus there was an ancient greek, Aristarchus of Samos (310 BCE – c. 230 BCE) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristarchus_of_Samos) who understood that Earth was moving around the sun, so its false to think that "all" ancient greeks knew about a geocentric system. He probably didn't have enough influence or maybe, his studies disappeared with the fire in Alexandria's library.

Even still, time zones are something we created, and even the 24-hour day is something we made up, by observationally tracking the sun's position in the sky.  Whether the sun or earth is the one moving doesn't matter, time zones still work the same way.

Man has created a lot of things, including, but not limited to other bullshit, the Flat Earth Theory. The world had few problems and no poverty, so just because he had to kill his boredom somehow, he came up with these bollocks.

Time Zones were created to help man track his time. There are also recent studies that other timekeeping models can exist, while deprecating time zones, have UTC only globally, etc.