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« **on:** December 13, 2018, 07:49:56 PM »
Rowbotham actually goes a ways toward proving that the earth is a sphere. That proof is by his own numbers and calculations.

His first example in his book was to calculate the distance between Sydney and Nelson. By his own quote “the two places are nearly on the same latitude”. Rowbotham’s stated distance between the two ports was 1550 statue miles. These statements are the crux of the whole problem and seems to be his basis for determining that the earth is NOT as sphere, but flat. Now lets examine the statements for some discrepancies and apply proven and known modern day math to the statements.

1st……..Sidney is at 34deg, 00’, 00’’ South by 151deg 11’, 00’’ East

2nd…….Nelson is at 41deg, 16’, 00’’ South by 173deg ,17’,00’ East

The difference in longitude is correct and I agree with that. However, the difference in latitude is about 7 degrees. It is true that Rowbotham did say that the differences are ‘nearly’ the same. Now let’s apply “the whole matter now becomes a mere arithmetical question” quote from Rowbotham and calculate the distance 7 degrees of latitude makes. That distance going straight North or South is 483 statue miles. I agree that the route isn’t directly North or South so the whole 483 mile mistake won’t apply. A modern day measurement between the two ports would yield a distance of about 1305 statue miles. The difference between Rowbotham’s assumed distance and the corrected one is about 245 miles.

Split the difference between the two latitudes and do a calculation of the points 37.5deg S by 115deg, 11’E to 37.5deg S by 173deg, 17’E and that comes out to 1208.57 statue miles or 1050.21 Nautical miles. That’s about 47.7 Nautical Miles per degree longitude at the 37.5 degree South Latitude. According to Rowbotham’s own chart provided so the reader could make calculations for himself I come up with pretty good agreement with a spherical earth.

Now I agree that the calculations are a bit tricky. I didn’t use Google Earth for any distances but effectively did a dot multiplication of two vectors and got the distance between the two coordinates using standard spherical trigonometric methods that would work on any sphere. These methods are used each and every day by both the shipping companies and airlines so you know for sure that they are quite valid.

My only assumptions were of the exact locations alluded to by Rowbotham. I took an estimate and did the calculations with those figures. If someone wants to provide the ‘official’ Rowbotham approved port coordinates I can re-calculate.

Having said everything above it is hard to determine if the minor calculation error above was intentional to make a case for a flat earth or just a wrong assumption. The question now is can you trust anything in Rowbotham’s book and his assumptions that the earth is flat based upon a mistaken assumption?