Offline tavrus

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Debunking the debunkers
« on: August 10, 2020, 10:36:16 PM »
Hi,

I've revisited the topic of FE after first hearing of it some years ago and found some new and interesting arguments for the theory.
Then after some more searching (through duckduckgo) found this site https://flatearth.ws/ which seems to very thoroughly debunk every? FE argument out there.

Has there been any effort in debunking (or at least arguing against) the information on this site?
How many of their debunks are debunkable?

What is the strongest FE argument that hasn't been debunked yet?

Also - is this forum the main place where all the FE debate around the world happens?

thanks and kind regards
« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 08:25:13 PM by Pete Svarrior »

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 08:56:33 AM »
Has there been any effort in debunking (or at least arguing against) the information on this site?
Flatearth.ws doesn't even attempt to remain faithful to FET in their "debunks". This guy's entire website revolves around making up his own "FE" arguments and then explaining why they're wrong.

This pattern is pretty easy to spot: @febunk states that "Flat-Earthers claim <x>" or "Flat-Earthers assert <x>" and provides a rebuttal, but shies away from providing any sources or references of FE'ers actually making those claims. This is especially devious given that different FE groups often have very different beliefs about the specifics of our world. This methodology allows @febunk to choose the most convenient position for him to attack, or to make one up entirely. You don't know who he's debunking, or even if the people he's responding to actually exist.

I just had a quick scroll through the first page of his most recent posts, and I can't say I agree with any of the things that "Flat-Earthers [supposedly] assert". We generally don't give @febunk much of our time, since he did not extend the courtesy to learn our arguments before trying to dispute them. If he wants to keep fighting strawmen to make a quick buck, why should we care?

Also - is this forum the main place where all the FE debate around the world happens?
That's not an easy question to answer. The FE movement is very fractured. Different groups attract different people - it would be presumptuous of us to call ourselves "the main one", or to dismiss others as "lesser".
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Offline ChrisTP

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2020, 06:28:50 PM »
Has there been any effort in debunking (or at least arguing against) the information on this site?
Flatearth.ws doesn't even attempt to remain faithful to FET in their "debunks". This guy's entire website revolves around making up his own "FE" arguments and then explaining why they're wrong.

This pattern is pretty easy to spot: @febunk states that "Flat-Earthers claim <x>" or "Flat-Earthers assert <x>" and provides a rebuttal, but shies away from providing any sources or references of FE'ers actually making those claims. This is especially devious given that different FE groups often have very different beliefs about the specifics of our world. This methodology allows @febunk to choose the most convenient position for him to attack, or to make one up entirely. You don't know who he's debunking, or even if the people he's responding to actually exist.

I just had a quick scroll through the first page of his most recent posts, and I can't say I agree with any of the things that "Flat-Earthers [supposedly] assert". We generally don't give @febunk much of our time, since he did not extend the courtesy to learn our arguments before trying to dispute them. If he wants to keep fighting strawmen to make a quick buck, why should we care?

Also - is this forum the main place where all the FE debate around the world happens?
That's not an easy question to answer. The FE movement is very fractured. Different groups attract different people - it would be presumptuous of us to call ourselves "the main one", or to dismiss others as "lesser".
I actually thought of that website as more a hub for all the kinds of arguments flat earthers have actually made. If he's making up more arguments that only means he's going out of his way to think about it and respond to possible arguments, surely? I mean, I've seen so many of those flat earth arguments used by flat earthers, even if not yourself. Like, you'll see a flat earther make that argument, go to the website and find why that argument is incorrect.

And in all honesty what really seperates it from your wiki? It's a place to dump all the possible debate arguments into one place as a reference. I'm sure you don't agree with all the things in the wiki as potential reasons for the earth being flat, so should you also consider the wiki unstrustworthy? Sorry if this comes across as agressive but I am just asking to understand your viewpoint because you say the whole website revolves around making up flat earther viewpoints but that from my perspective isn't true because flat earthers do say those things (from what I've seen).
Tom is wrong most of the time. Hardly big news, don't you think?

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2020, 07:57:44 PM »
I actually thought of that website as more a hub for all the kinds of arguments flat earthers have actually made. If he's making up more arguments that only means he's going out of his way to think about it and respond to possible arguments, surely?
He avoids addressing actual FE positions, and instead makes up positions that nobody holds. There is absolutely no way you can make this look good. If you try, you're just letting your Indonesian friend drag you into the gutter with him.

Imagine we did that. Imagine we said "RE'ers assert that there is a teapot orbiting the Earth. No such teapot can be seen, therefore the Earth cannot be round. BTW please donate :)" It's the lowest form of profiteering.

Unsurprisingly, it's very ineffective - there are only 4 people foolish enough to donate, and even Twitter made it clear they want nothing to do with the guy. Sometimes, getting with the program is not such a bad thing.

flat earthers do say those things (from what I've seen).
Overwhelmingly, this is not the case. It's possible that I missed a case or two. If so, you are welcome to address specific individuals and their claims. You'll notice that your Indonesian friend does not do that. If you did find some commonality, it is likely one he's not aware of. He hasn't researched the subject thoughly enough to be able to.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 08:06:21 PM by Pete Svarrior »
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Offline JSS

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2020, 08:31:00 PM »
I actually thought of that website as more a hub for all the kinds of arguments flat earthers have actually made. If he's making up more arguments that only means he's going out of his way to think about it and respond to possible arguments, surely? I mean, I've seen so many of those flat earth arguments used by flat earthers, even if not yourself. Like, you'll see a flat earther make that argument, go to the website and find why that argument is incorrect.

I never visited their site before, although I've seen some of their infographis.  Figured I'd do a spot-check of their front page articles with my personal experience to verify.

Pareidolia - I've been involved in a discussion about this recently, gophers on Mars. It's certainly something I've seen Flat Earthers use as evidence.

South Star - Yes, plenty of Flat Earthers deny there is such a thing as a south pole, and deny the motion of the stars themselves. Been involved in those discussions too.

Richard Garriott’s “Pocket of Gravity” Magic Trick - New one to me, have not personally had anyone bring this up.

The Impossible Eclipse - Haven't heard of this one.

Missions to the Moon, Post-Apollo - The moon missions being a hoax are common, argued about this plenty of times.

Angular Resolution - Oh yeah, math is fun. This gets brought up a lot.

2001 Mars Odyssey Launch Video - "Give me a full, unedited video" is certainly something I hear a lot.

Flight Dynamics: the Assumption of Flat & Non-Rotating Earth for Simplification - I've seen this one, and plenty of others about aircraft and their supposed failure to correct for curvature.

Selenelion: The Phenomenon Where Both the Sun and Moon Are Visible During a Total Lunar Eclipse - Never heard of this.

Oblate Spheroid Shape of the Earth - The earth is not a sphere, you guys can't agree on the shape, yeah, heard this one.

Simulation and Observation - Currently involved in a discussion about simulations and the math behind it, so seen this one.

So I have personally witnessed a lot of these arguments. The ones I haven't I can't say if he made them up or saw them on a YouTube channel or elsewhere. The site seems legit to me, and if I haven't spotted every single one of their points in the wild, I really only visit two sites, and never watch YouTube videos, so I'm not surprised.

As to how accurate the site is? No clue. Spot checking doesn't show any obvious errors, but I'm not going to spend hours combing through it looking for errors. If I ever use one of their info-graphics as a visual aid, I'll be sure to verify everything it says carefully.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2020, 08:52:00 PM »
Be specific. If you're addressing a specific person, reference their claim. "Oh yeah I've totally seen this before" is useless here.
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Offline JSS

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2020, 09:27:49 PM »
Be specific. If you're addressing a specific person, reference their claim. "Oh yeah I've totally seen this before" is useless here.

I'm not writing a scientific paper here, I'm simply relating my experiences.  I could have just said "I recognize a lot of those" but wanted to be more thorough. But going back combing through months of posts seems excessive.

I was also deliberately not addressing people by name, as to not sound like it was a call-out post. 

But as requested, I can point some out.

Moon landing hoax - https://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=15702.0  "More fake moon landing proof."

Angular Resolution - https://wiki.tfes.org/Sinking_Ship_Effect_Caused_by_Limits_to_Optical_Resolution  "the hull is hidden by the angular limits of perception"

Pareidolia - https://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=2042.msg48747#msg48747  "A rodent on Mars was recently spotted."

It certainly looks to me like he is addressing claims made by Flat Earthers.  I can't of course verify every single one is, but he isn't making up the whole site for sure.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2020, 09:35:32 PM »
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. You were able to point out a handful of claims which are tangentially related, but which are not actually represented by our strawman profiteering friend - that's why you had to rely on keyword matches. You're unwilling to back up your own claims, which is fair enough. Nonetheless, my position stands.
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Offline JSS

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2020, 10:06:46 PM »
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. You were able to point out a handful of claims which are tangentially related, but which are not actually represented by our strawman profiteering friend - that's why you had to rely on keyword matches. You're unwilling to back up your own claims, which is fair enough. Nonetheless, my position stands.

I think I backed my claims pretty well, an entire thread devoted to the moon landing being a hoax surely shows that it's an argument Flat Earthers use.  The web site objectively is referencing real views.  I'm not sure how someone claiming a rodent was seen on Mars is tangential to Pareidolia, it's exactly what it is. And the wiki claiming we can't see over the horizon because of the limits of angular resolution is directly related to the article on, angular resolution. It's not possible to claim that Flat Earth community doesn't use it.

If you think I didn't provide enough evidence, now many matches would be enough?

But if we can't even agree on those three claims being a match, I suppose agreeing to disagree is the way to go.  My position stands as well.


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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2020, 06:20:17 AM »
If you think I didn't provide enough evidence, now many matches would be enough?
You haven't provided much. Most of your claims are unreferenced, and the few references you did provide (a total of 3!) aren't actual matches. Even you had to admit their tangential relation in the middle of defending your position.

So, in a test sample of 11 subjects, you were able to argue that 3 were not immediate strawmen. If we cross-check the claims more thoroughly, this drops to 0-1.

The web site objectively is referencing real views.
Objectively, the website fails to ever provide any references for its claims on FE beliefs. You know this, because you've looked at their articles. @febunk provides no references, just assertions.

What you mean is that the claims sound real enough to you. Sadly, that wont make us take the king of strawmen seriously.

Think really hard about what you're fighting here. I'm suggesting that, if his claims are grounded in FE thinking, he should be able to attribute them to a person/group and provide a reference. I cannot fathom why you'd try to dance around that.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 06:22:53 AM by Pete Svarrior »
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Offline Tumeni

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2020, 07:30:04 AM »
The Selenelion Eclipse, travel of solar eclipse shadow, and direction of eclipse shadow across the face of the Moon have all, at various times, been cited by YouTube flat-earthers as disproof of the "globe model". The (semi-)prominent ones include The Potter's Clay, MrThriveandSurvive, Ron Hagberg, Paul on the Plane, and Mike Boll, but there's a host of others that I've seen.

The Flight Dynamics quotes (instances in volumes discussing such dynamics in theoretical terms, on the explicitly-stated assumption of a flat plane) have likewise been seized upon by numerous YouTubers as proof of "NASA states the Earth is Flat", including Vincent Rhodes, Trevor Mishler, FlatSmackers Playlists, and others.

Maybe get to the rest later.
=============================
Not Flat. Happy to prove this, if you ask me.
=============================

Nearly all flat earthers agree the earth is not a globe.

Nearly?

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2020, 08:50:21 AM »
I have no idea who any of these people are. Then again, I don't waste my time on YouTube ('tis a silly place). I think I spoke to PotP on Twitter some time ago, but he was just madly raving about "face diapers", so I didn't get a good glimpse of his outlook on FET. Very well, I will assume that you're telling me the truth and revise my answers:

The claims addressed by @febunk appear to be spread only in the YouTube echo chamber, which should not be treated particularly seriously. In addition, their claims often contradict our own. With that in mind, it's completely not our battle to "debunk" people who chose to "debunk" other people we disagree with.

This does not affect my assessment of his website altogether - expressly avoiding to cite your sources and getting aggressive when someone points it out is terrible form. Defending this as a practice just makes you inherit some of the nastiness. Choosing the most convenient arguments to "debunk" also stinks of premeditation.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 08:59:46 AM by Pete Svarrior »
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Offline JSS

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2020, 10:54:12 AM »
If you think I didn't provide enough evidence, now many matches would be enough?
You haven't provided much. Most of your claims are unreferenced, and the few references you did provide (a total of 3!) aren't actual matches. Even you had to admit their tangential relation in the middle of defending your position.

So, in a test sample of 11 subjects, you were able to argue that 3 were not immediate strawmen. If we cross-check the claims more thoroughly, this drops to 0-1.

The web site objectively is referencing real views.
Objectively, the website fails to ever provide any references for its claims on FE beliefs. You know this, because you've looked at their articles. @febunk provides no references, just assertions.

What you mean is that the claims sound real enough to you. Sadly, that wont make us take the king of strawmen seriously.

Think really hard about what you're fighting here. I'm suggesting that, if his claims are grounded in FE thinking, he should be able to attribute them to a person/group and provide a reference. I cannot fathom why you'd try to dance around that.

I didn't agree they were tangential. I pointed out how the discussions directly related to the debunking posts on the site.  The Moon Hoax, Pareidolia, Angular Resolution. I even provided quotes, and if you don't agree those were directly related, we will have to continue to agree to disagree I suppose.

I'm thinking pretty hard about this, and I don't think he has to provide references. He's debunking the arguments, it doesn't matter which YouTuber made them or what Wiki they come off of or what discussion board.  I'm not sure why you are making such a big deal about him not putting out detailed references.  Plenty of Flat Earth debunking YouTube channels provide references, even showing clips of them, this guy seems to just stick to the facts and there isn't anything wrong with that.

It's very hard for me to see your point of view here, I've pointed out plenty of places where you can see Flat Earthers making the claims he is debunking, and others in this thread has made them too for other points.  Your argument seems to be you don't know who these YouTubers are and somehow that makes them not real Flat Earthers and so he's using strawman arguments. But YouTube Flat Earthers are just as valid as targets to debunk as your site. They reach more people, so are probably even more of a focus.

Maybe you could provide an example yourself? Which of his debunks can you show to be a strawman argument that no Flat Earther has ever said? Then at least we can agree that he has a mix of real and fake arguments. But so far I see no evidence he's making them up. Can you provide some?

Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2020, 11:08:03 AM »
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. You were able to point out a handful of claims which are tangentially related, but which are not actually represented by our strawman profiteering friend - that's why you had to rely on keyword matches. You're unwilling to back up your own claims, which is fair enough. Nonetheless, my position stands.

I think I backed my claims pretty well, an entire thread devoted to the moon landing being a hoax surely shows that it's an argument Flat Earthers use.
Not in regard to the earth being flat, correct?

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Offline JSS

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2020, 11:41:51 AM »
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. You were able to point out a handful of claims which are tangentially related, but which are not actually represented by our strawman profiteering friend - that's why you had to rely on keyword matches. You're unwilling to back up your own claims, which is fair enough. Nonetheless, my position stands.

I think I backed my claims pretty well, an entire thread devoted to the moon landing being a hoax surely shows that it's an argument Flat Earthers use.
Not in regard to the earth being flat, correct?

Yes, in regards to a Flat Earth.  One of the common debunks to the Earth being flat is that we could SEE the Earth was round when we went to the Moon and it's a large body, not a small one. The equally common retort to that is the Moon landings were not real, a hoax.  So yes, it's an argument Flat Earthers use pretty commonly to argue that the world is flat.

It's very easy to find plenty of references to the Moon landings being a hoax.

Quotes from the TFES Wiki:

"You are the one making all of these fantastic claims. You are the one claiming that space ships exist, that the government can land man on the moon, send robots to mars, and that we can do all of these amazing never before done things. The burden is on you to prove these things. You are the one making the claim. The simplest explanation is that NASA really cannot do all of that stuff."

"Anyone who thinks that this landed and launched from the surface of the moon and that grown men lived in it with their space car is sadly deluded."

"NASA's early rocket research is well documented to have been a complete failure, plagued by one disaster after another. At some point, perhaps after the Apollo 1 disaster, it was decided to fake the space program outright and use rockets which only needed to fly into the air until they disappeared from sight. NASA went from nearly every launch being a failure to a near flawless track record, able to land man on the moon multiple times without error, and with only two public spectacles of failure in 45 years."

Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2020, 11:57:06 AM »
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. You were able to point out a handful of claims which are tangentially related, but which are not actually represented by our strawman profiteering friend - that's why you had to rely on keyword matches. You're unwilling to back up your own claims, which is fair enough. Nonetheless, my position stands.

I think I backed my claims pretty well, an entire thread devoted to the moon landing being a hoax surely shows that it's an argument Flat Earthers use.
Not in regard to the earth being flat, correct?

Yes, in regards to a Flat Earth.  One of the common debunks to the Earth being flat is that we could SEE the Earth was round when we went to the Moon and it's a large body, not a small one. The equally common retort to that is the Moon landings were not real, a hoax.  So yes, it's an argument Flat Earthers use pretty commonly to argue that the world is flat.

It's very easy to find plenty of references to the Moon landings being a hoax.

Quotes from the TFES Wiki:

"You are the one making all of these fantastic claims. You are the one claiming that space ships exist, that the government can land man on the moon, send robots to mars, and that we can do all of these amazing never before done things. The burden is on you to prove these things. You are the one making the claim. The simplest explanation is that NASA really cannot do all of that stuff."

"Anyone who thinks that this landed and launched from the surface of the moon and that grown men lived in it with their space car is sadly deluded."

"NASA's early rocket research is well documented to have been a complete failure, plagued by one disaster after another. At some point, perhaps after the Apollo 1 disaster, it was decided to fake the space program outright and use rockets which only needed to fly into the air until they disappeared from sight. NASA went from nearly every launch being a failure to a near flawless track record, able to land man on the moon multiple times without error, and with only two public spectacles of failure in 45 years."

I don't get it.

How does an argument against the moon landings being legitimate equal an argument for or against the particular form or shape of the earth?

The statements you quote from the Wiki make no mention of the form or shape of the earth.

Are you making some kind of fantastical connection where none exists?

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2020, 12:18:21 PM »
this guy seems to just stick to the facts and there isn't anything wrong with that.
Well, that's the thing. He doesn't seem to stick to the facts. All I have is Tumeni's claim that he knows some YouTubers who say this stuff. People I've never heard about, and who, for all I know, might be pretty obvious trolls.

The issue with not attributing your claims is that it provides the original claimant with no chance of defending himself. Questions end up being sent our way as the biggest FE channel, and our response is "Well, we don't claim this, so we won't be defending it."

It's very hard for me to see your point of view here, I've pointed out plenty of places where you can see Flat Earthers making the claims he is debunking
You did so for less than a third of the claims investigated, and I am not convinced by the connection you've made in some cases. Indeed, I'm very disappointed with how much you've been grasping at straws.

But YouTube Flat Earthers are just as valid as targets to debunk as your site.
So target them. Say you're debunking BestVideos420's claim, and not the nebulous "flat earthers". It brings unnecessary confusion to the mix. Of course, in this particular case, I know the individual involved, and my assessment of his character is not hypothetical. I know what his goals are, and I disapprove wholeheartedly.

They reach more people
Unlikely.

Maybe you could provide an example yourself? Which of his debunks can you show to be a strawman argument that no Flat Earther has ever said?
I was hoping to find some of my previous posts dismissing @febunk, but a cursory search did not turn up much. I'll try and dig deeper later.

In the absence of old posts, let's go through the first 10 in real time:

  • Pareidolia - this isn't even a claim. It's just an ad hominem. "FE'ers like to experience a cognitive bias that everyone experiences." This is somehow a step down from his usual low quality.
  • South Star - does not make a claim about FE'ers. Skipping.
  • Pocket of Gravity - "Flat-Earthers were unaware it was a mere magic trick and wrongly assume it demonstrates things are falling in the ISS, despite other objects in the scene that float." - I consider this to be a blatant strawman. I'm sure you can find some idiot who claimed that, but it should not be attributable to the entire community. I'm sure you could similarly find a RE-believing space conspiracy theorist who might have been tricked, but you wouldn't be happy with me saying that "Round Earthers believe this".
  • Selenelion - I can confirm that this subject has been discussed on this forum, brought up by Tom in 2014. Not a strawman.
  • Moon Landings post-Apollo - "Flat-Earthers claim that there have not been any missions to the moon after the Apollo missions" - This is a blatant strawman, and one you tried defending, much to my disappointment. Some FE'ers claim that the moon landings have been faked, and many (accurately) claim that there haven't been any manned moon landings after the Apollo missions. This is an obvious attempt at generating clickbait.
  • Angular Resolution - Blatant strawman, and you didn't even try to read the claim before rushing to its defence. @febunk claims that FE'ers "like to demand images of the lunar landers taken with a telescope as proof that the Apollo Moon landings did occur. In reality, no optical telescope on Earth is large enough to resolve the landers." You provided a link to a Wiki article which acknowledges the problems associated with limited angular resolution. This does the opposite of supporting your position.
  • 2001 Mars Oddysey footage demands - I am willing to accept that this might be a demand FE'ers make.
  • Flight Dynamics - "Flat-Earthers claimed to have exposed ‘a secret document’ from NASA, saying that Earth is flat & non-rotating." Amazing. This is a satirical post that @febunk chose to present as factual. Flatearth.ws is now the top search result for this claim, precisely because it isn't made.
  • Oblate Spheroid - "Flat-Earthers claim that in photos taken from space, Earth appears as a perfect sphere, unlike what science tells us, and they use it to discredit science." - I have not seen this one, but it smacks of blatant satire. If you've found someone who makes this claim seriously, you have my blessing to dismiss them just as rapidly as flatearth.ws
  • Simulations - "Flat-Earthers like to reject the results of simulation as being unreal, not real-world observation." - This is just a truism. Anyone who asks for direct observation and received a simulation should point out that it doesn't answer their question. There is nothing FE specific here

A truly terrible track record. This is precisely why @febunk doesn't see much discussion.

While looking for any old posts that may be useful, I was reminded of another hilarious case of flatearth.ws failing to follow even the most basic of facts. This does not answer your question, but may be noteworthy nonetheless:

In his Lake Pontchartrain (which can be found at https://flatearth.ws/pontchartrain#but_the_pictures_are_fake but which I will not grace with a dofollow link), @febunk argues that There is no off the shelf software who can output a CR2 file. If someone wants to fake a CR2 file, they need to create their own software. It is going to be a massive undertaking to fake this picture. This is laughable. The CR2 file format is not encrypted nor protected from manipulation in any way, and even basic tools like Lightroom can manipulate it. The author has no regard for even the most basic of facts, and should be treated accordingly.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 12:38:25 PM by Pete Svarrior »
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Offline JSS

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2020, 01:02:33 PM »

I'll reply to each of these.

  • Pareidolia - this isn't even a claim. It's just an ad hominem. "FE'ers like to experience a cognitive bias that everyone experiences." This is somehow a step down from his usual low quality.

I can pull up multiple quotes from this site where a Flat Earther claims a space picture is fake because they see a squirrel in some rocks.

Pareidolia is real, our brains are indeed wired to see patterns, especially faces and animals that may be hiding in the brush.

So Pareidolia is a very plausible explanation why people look at a rock and insist it's a squirrel.  Or swear that sliding chunks of ice are mice.  Or that Mars has a face.

  • South Star - does not make a claim about FE'ers. Skipping.

I can't find any Flat Earther claiming there should be a South Pole Star.  I'll give this one strawman status, I can't find anything like this despite a lot of looking.

  • Pocket of Gravity - "Flat-Earthers were unaware it was a mere magic trick and wrongly assume it demonstrates things are falling in the ISS, despite other objects in the scene that float." - I consider this to be a blatant strawman. I'm sure you can find some idiot who claimed that, but it should not be attributable to the entire community. I'm sure you could similarly find a RE-believing space conspiracy theorist who might have been tricked, but you wouldn't be happy with me saying that "Round Earthers believe this".

You are using the "No True Scotsman" argument here.  Saying that anyone who said such a thing couldn't be a real Flat Earther.

Here is one Flat Earther post about it.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2542890946022065

  • Selenelion - I can confirm that this subject has been discussed on this forum, brought up by Tom in 2014. Not a strawman.

Ok.

  • Moon Landings post-Apollo - "Flat-Earthers claim that there have not been any missions to the moon after the Apollo missions" - This is a blatant strawman, and one you tried defending, much to my disappointment. Some FE'ers claim that the moon landings have been faked, and many (accurately) claim that there haven't been any manned moon landings after the Apollo missions. This is an obvious attempt at generating clickbait.

How is this a strawman? I can find countless discussions about the Moon landings being a hoax just on this site.  And since many Flat Earth theories rely on the Moon being close and small, the Moon landings contradict that and are attacked as hoaxes or lies.

Your Wiki states: "The Moon is a revolving sphere. It has a diameter of 32 miles and is located approximately 3000 miles above the surface of the earth."

The Moon landings happened 250,000 miles away on a Moon with a diameter of 2,000 miles. It's a very clear link between the discrepancy of these two claims, and the many claims of the Moon landings being a hoax.

  • Angular Resolution - Blatant strawman, and you didn't even try to read the claim before rushing to its defence. @febunk claims that FE'ers "like to demand images of the lunar landers taken with a telescope as proof that the Apollo Moon landings did occur. In reality, no optical telescope on Earth is large enough to resolve the landers." You provided a link to a Wiki article which acknowledges the problems associated with limited angular resolution. This does the opposite of supporting your position.

Not a strawman at all, this is an argument I've seen. Here is one example. Flat Earthers do indeed claim we should be able to see the landers from Earth, and use it as evidence the landings were fake.

Do you have any evidence that we landed on the Moon? We have telescopes that can make out a single star called Icarus, 5 billion light years away. That's roughly 4.73x1022 kilometres away. That's an insane amount of distance. Yet we cant get a telescope to resolve any man made junk supposedly left behind on the Moon?
We have satellites orbiting the moon yeah? Why no happy snaps of the rover? The satellites here on Earth can get a pretty clear picture of my car in my driveway afterall....

  • 2001 Mars Oddysey footage demands - I am willing to accept that this might be a demand FE'ers make.

Skipping since we agree.

  • Flight Dynamics - "Flat-Earthers claimed to have exposed ‘a secret document’ from NASA, saying that Earth is flat & non-rotating." Amazing. This is a satirical post that @febunk chose to present as factual. Flatearth.ws is now the top search result for this claim, precisely because it isn't made.

It seems to be taken quite seriously here.

https://www.galileolied.com/post/15-nasa-research-papers-admit-flat-nonrotating

And yuou can find many questions people are asking about this.  It seems quite valid that they debunk it as people ARE talking about it.

https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/319909/why-does-nasa-need-an-aircraft-model-flying-over-a-flat-and-nonrotating-earth

  • Oblate Spheroid - "Flat-Earthers claim that in photos taken from space, Earth appears as a perfect sphere, unlike what science tells us, and they use it to discredit science." - I have not seen this one, but it smacks of blatant satire. If you've found someone who makes this claim seriously, you have my blessing to dismiss them just as rapidly as flatearth.ws

There are people who wonder this, and I agree it's a silly argument.

https://www.quora.com/If-the-Earth-is-an-oblate-spheroid-why-do-we-not-have-photos-of-it-looking-this-way

But again, remember the title of the site.  "Debunking Flat Earth Misconceptions"

This includes both "true" Flat Earther arguments as well as people who are just confused or curious or don't understand something.

It's certainly not a strawman, it's a question that real people ask.

  • Simulations - "Flat-Earthers like to reject the results of simulation as being unreal, not real-world observation." - This is just a truism. Anyone who asks for direct observation and received a simulation should point out that it doesn't answer their question. There is nothing FE specific here

That's not what he is saying.  He is saying that we create simulations to verify our assumptions, to provide more evidence that our reasoning is correct.  Flat Earthers do indeed dismiss such things, Tom for instance claims that n-body simulations are not possible or accurate.

We observe the motion of the planets, come up with a theory for how they move, and run simulations of that theory to see if they match. These simulations themselves are not proof, the simulations are always matched up with real world observations.

There are also physical processes it's currently impossible to observe, and for these we use simulations.

In Summary:

It looks to me like most of these are valid. I found a few (two) that I can't verify, but in no way is this site some massive straw man argument. They are things people say and ask about, so are quite appropriate to respond to.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2020, 01:19:01 PM »
You are using the "No True Scotsman" argument here.  Saying that anyone who said such a thing couldn't be a real Flat Earther.
No, I am not. Please feel free to quote me saying this about this specific subject. What I did say is that falling for a magic trick is not exclusively the domain of FE'ers, and that you would be unhappy if I found some idiot and attributed him to all RE'ers.

How is this a strawman? I can find countless discussions about the Moon landings being a hoax just on this site.
This is neither the claim made, nor the claim being disputed. I already quoted the specific claim and my objection to it. I don't know how I could answer your question other than by suggesting you read my reply.

Not a strawman at all, this is an argument I've seen. Here is one example.
Shifter is a self-declared troll. You also already provided evidence of us acknowledging the opposite. If you're going to argue in bad faith, I'm going to leave you to your own thoughts.

It seems quite valid that they debunk it as people ARE talking about it.
It would seem sensible to flag the satirical claim as satirical, not to attribute it to the FE community at large and address as a serious position, or to spread it further (again, note that his website is the biggest source of that claim). This is an attempt at character assassination, and one which backfired horrendously (ask the author about that one, he'll love to tell you all about it!)

There are people who wonder this, and I agree it's a silly argument.

https://www.quora.com/If-the-Earth-is-an-oblate-spheroid-why-do-we-not-have-photos-of-it-looking-this-way
Quora? Really? What are you hoping to achieve by showing us a person most likely to be an RE'er asking a question that I suggest is not FE-specific?

Flat Earthers do indeed dismiss such things
We're going to have to agree to disagree. I just finished explaining the FE position, and your response is "nuh uh". I have no way of responding.

Tom for instance claims that n-body simulations are not possible or accurate.
Entirely irrelevant to the matter at hand. Tom points out that n-body simulations are not the same as a complete mathematical model. This has absolutely nothing to do with RE'ers willingness to substitute simulations in place of observation.

But again, remember the title of the site.  "Debunking Flat Earth Misconceptions"

This includes both "true" Flat Earther arguments as well as people who are just confused or curious or don't understand something.
Disgusting revisionism. Don't forget that we're discussing very specific claims, with very specific wordings behind them. I have quoted them all for you. There is no room for creative interpretation there.

It looks to me like most of these are valid.
I'm extremely disappointed in you. You have ignored evidence and pretended not to understand simple sentences, purely to satisfy your prejudice. Perhaps I was wrong to give you another chance.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 01:25:17 PM by Pete Svarrior »
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Offline ChrisTP

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Re: Debunking the debunkers
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2020, 01:36:27 PM »
@pete, theres at the very least 200 claims from Eric Dubay that the website addresses, which is already a pretty substantial amount that has in fact been claimed by flat earthers.

https://flatearth.ws/eric-dubay [EDIT: Sorry, not gonna let @febunk get a backlink out of this ~pete]

Of course, I don't know the person running the website so I can't really make a judgement of his character like you can, so maybe his motives are bad but all I see on the website is a list of arguments used by flat earthers with an explanation of it. If I choose at random (you'll have to trust that I did in fact choose at random), Buoyancy for example. Flat earthers (maybe not you but some) claim that this explains why things fall, and on the website is this infographic;



Quote
Buoyancy is an upward force exerted by a fluid (liquid or gas) that opposes the weight of an immersed object. Buoyancy happens because the fluid has a pressure gradient. Pressure gradient occurs because the fluid is affected by acceleration, such as the Earth’s gravitational acceleration.

Flat-Earthers makes buoyancy as an “explanations” on how things fall. They are wrong. Without Earth’s gravitational acceleration, buoyancy will not occur.

Now, here's a random flat earther on youtube saying exactly this argument (just searched flat earth buoyancy and looked for the first seemingly legit flat earther since I know there's a ton of people on youtube making their own "debunk" videos);



So to me, that's all I see the website doing. Making a list of common claims from flat earthers and information on why it's considered incorrect. Would you disagree with this assessment Pete? Obviously you have your own beliefs about the earth but there are a lot of flat earthers out there with their own ideas so it's kind of hard to make a structured argument against flat earth with such a fractured set of communities so I'll give the benefit of the doubt that not every flat earth thinks all those flat earth claims are correct but they are claims from flat earthers.

Could you point out one in particular from the website you think is a purposeful strawman that no flat earther has claimed? Just so I can get an idea. EDIT: you may have done this already, I posted late and missed a lot of conversation apologies
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 01:46:39 PM by Pete Svarrior »
Tom is wrong most of the time. Hardly big news, don't you think?