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Offline Tom Bishop

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On "Behind The Curve"
« on: March 01, 2019, 07:15:45 PM »
It has come to our attention that a documentary titled Behind the Curve has appeared on Netflix and is introducing significant numbers of new people into the Flat Earth discussions. After viewing this piece we feel that the work depicts a poorly researched Flat Earth Theory. It should be noted that the Flat Earth Society was not consulted with the science of the documentary and that the topics discussed should be further researched.

Questions have come up about the light experiment at the end of the film. We point to the following from an account of a self-proclaimed Round Earth proponent who was present at the Jeran event [archive link] :

"In about 10 tries, with the light held waist-high at 17 feet above water we never clearly saw it through the center panel hole. On one of the attempts, maybe the fourth of ten, we clearly saw it when Enrique lifted it over his head. On that one, Jeran asked him to raise it and lower it a few times, and it would appear when Enrique raised it and vanish when he lowered it. That was the "gasp" moment. Jeran said, "that's interesting." I noted it was the prediction for a round Earth. When they repeated the whole procedure, it did not happen again. I suggested having Enrique move from side-to-side a bit when occluded by the panel, in case it was lateral alignment that was off. Jeran accepted the suggestion, but it made no observable difference."

Of about ten observations, the fourth observation was the only one where the event occurred, and the only one which was published in the documentary. Nine of the ten trials did not see the event. The above description of inconsistency suggests the presence of curving light rays in the experiment—refraction. The manner in which the experiment was portrayed in the film by the producers further suggests dishonesty. The documentary does not show the times the event did not occur. Misrepresentation of this nature is called scientific fraud. Had the results of all ten trials been honestly presented it would have, assuredly, been a far different segment.

It should be noted that time lapse photography has shown that the curvature of light rays across long distances can be a regular occurrence. Since ancient times, mankind has used this inconsistent effect as a primary piece of evidence that the Earth was spherical 1.

Per the Ring Laser Gyroscope, the claim that this device can see the rotation of the Earth is the latest in the controversy between Copernicans and Anti-Copernicans on the matter of the Earth's rotation. From the era of Ptolemy, to Tycho Brahe, to conflicts of the Victorian Era, and even to attempts in present day, science has been engaged in the attempt of finding direct and conclusive evidence for the rotation of the Earth 2. When assessing the Ring Laser Gyroscope studies of Earth's rotation, we find that the device does not appear to be measuring the Earth's rotation directly 3.

Regarding other social aspects of the film as presented by Delta-v Productions, we may only comment that it is a non-compelling argument to consult with psychologists rather than to seek the consultation of scientists and experimenters on combating the Flat Earth movement and demonstrating truth on empirical grounds. The Flat Earth Society values scientific integrity and demands direct, conclusive, and repeatable evidence that our Earth is a globe.

Footnotes:

1 Sinking Ship Effect Caused by Refraction - Information on the Sinking Ship Effect
2 Coriolis Effect - Information on the Coriolis Effect and historical attempts to determine rotation
3 Ring Laser Gyroscope - Resource on the claim of the Ring Laser Gyroscope observing Earth's rotation
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 03:23:29 AM by Tom Bishop »

Re: On "Behind The Curve"
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2019, 09:22:40 AM »
Quote
we may only comment that it is a non-compelling argument to consult with psychologists rather than to seek the consultation of scientists and experimenters...demonstrating truth on empirical grounds

Arg! It is even more infuriating than that.  They DID have some legitimate scientists and experimenters, but then had them talk about how flat-earth made them "feel" and what they thought it meant for the human race ( like calling an expert witness and only asking them about their weekend ).  They only showed or talked about flat earth in terms of specific facts/arguments and experimentation for the purpose of derision.  However, this may just by CYA though ("cover your ass") because it is in no way a career boost to have pro flat-earth projects associated with you.

The one thing positive to say about it was that it encouraged "learned" people to reach out to flat-earther's and engage rather than the existing default of mandated social banishment and derision. Of course it does so while deriding those very people with the central thesis and title ("Behind the curve").  One of the psychologists, whose greater message I really agreed with, even went so far as to say that the people that believe in the flat-earth are "lost" and need to be "saved" to become useful to society again.

It was driving me nuts when the laser gyroscope scene came up.  It was completely disingenuous and based on my remembering of Michelson-Morley, a complete hoax/fraud!  I was taught in high school that in an "inertial frame" there was no experiment that one could do to prove that they were in motion (either in relation to the axis of the earth, or to the sun, or the galaxy etc.) and that Michelson-Morley had confirmed this yet again by attempting to re-orient the apparatus and finding no variance (which was very unexpected).  I did some more research and found that shortly afterwards, they did more tests with a ring interferometer setup and DID detect the rotation of the earth that they expected to find, just no motion through space (the (a)ether) in any direction regardless of orientation of the apparatus which they also expected to find. I had to ask the question over at straight-dope (highly recommended) Behind The Curve - The Straight Dope

In my mind there is a mutually-exclusive thing going on here.  Either you decide that light has yet another special exception property (doesn't it have enough already?!) or you rationally/logically accept that in the direction of motion, if you recede the target away from the light at some velocity, the light WILL effectively be moving slower from the perspective of the receding target by that same velocity factor.  It DOES allow for the detection of universal motion, which may bum you out if you are a relativist, but it's not so bad!  On the negative side for the Flat-Earth position, it means the world is rotating (just juggle it, it doesn't seem that hard). And on the up-side, it proves/strongly suggests that we are not moving in space in any direction (not up, not down, not side to side... no motion except rotation).

I read your Laser Gyroscope page, and I don't think you're going to win this one.  I like it, "It's all vibration!".  I highly doubt that would explain Foucault's pendulum, which is what this is ALL about.  If Foucault's pendulum works, then so does the MEMS Gyroscope https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0957-0233/23/2/025005 and the Gyrocompass, and for the same reason.  I would be intrigued by an interpretation of the mems gyroscope that does not involve the rotation of the world, but I think Occam's razor could have this one....  I just tried a thought experiment, though I'm not sure I was successful...  If the MEMS gyroscope works by having one edge bend towards the earth and the other edge raise towards the north pole (or south pole, I suppose) wouldn't it fail to register the speed of rotation of the earth at the poles? (because the force would be equally apportioned across all 4 springs and balance out, and there would be no bend/dip)

Anyhow, I find it HIGHLY unlikely (for the conceptual reasons listed above) ... But if the Laser Gyroscope was actually being affected by seismic disturbance then inducing vibration or insulating from it should adjust the "noise" that you propose it is (I have little doubt it will affect it, but I bet it won't affect it much).  Hang it from fishing line inside a container you then evacuate all the air out of. Hang it from helium balloons.  This is the kind of science that can be knocked out in a day.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 09:26:38 AM by jack44556677 »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: On "Behind The Curve"
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2019, 10:48:00 PM »
Bob and Jeran's responses to the Behind the Curve documentary may be found here:



In regards to the gyroscope, Bob says that he has never actually touched the device himself and gives us some more details about the event.

Jeran's response starts at the 14:20 mark. Jeran confirms that the Behind the Curve team did not accurately portray the experiment as it occured and engaged in egregious selective editing. Jeran also alleges that they engaged in various other underhanded tactics such as showing footage of a nearby run down house on cinder blocks and implying that it was his own.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 10:26:01 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: On "Behind The Curve"
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 04:55:01 PM »
Having cleaned up the derailing posts from here, I think it's safe to lock this.
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