Flat Earthers - a few words?
« on: December 24, 2020, 03:44:50 PM »
Hi there! I'm starting a new podcast where we discuss different beliefs and we thought we would look into Flat Earth. At the start of the podcast, me and my co-host were not convinced (and truthfully, after some research, I'm still not) - but I was wondering if anyone in here could tell me why they believe the earth is flat and how you began your journey as a flat earther? I think this is the only place that isn't all trolls.

I read up on The Bedford Level Experiment, and the society itself and if I'm being honest, I don't think it matters if the Earth was flat or not, but I respect that you have your views and I have mine and I should respect them. Thanks for your input.

Re: Flat Earthers - a few words?
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2020, 03:44:43 AM »
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At the start of the podcast, me and my co-host were not convinced

Not convinced of what? What was the podcast about if not the views of flat earth researchers?

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but I was wondering if anyone in here could tell me why they believe the earth is flat and how you began your journey as a flat earther?

I can't speak for anyone but myself - however this subject/topic, like most all of them, is hindered by belief.

Many flat earth researchers make a critical distinction between belief and knowledge.  The earnest ones that I have encountered accept and recognize that no one has the verified and verifiable data to determine the shape of the entire world.  As such, many consider themselves (as I do) to be globe skeptics or globe deniers.  We have evidence that the earth is not spherical, and cannot be, but we do not know the shape of the entire thing.

We (most) ALL start with the indoctrinated belief, a dogma, that the world is round.  The belief is that the world is round (spherical), and it is millennia old.

Ideally, if one is endeavoring to research objectively AND successful, once you become a flat earth researcher your days of believing the world is round, flat, or any other shape are over.  Sadly, this is often not the case and many waft helplessly (understandably) from one belief to another with habitual/characteristic zealotry and fervence.

I began noodling this topic casually after learning about the scourge of scientism.  I began more diligent research when I discovered that the proof I was taught (as a child) was bunk (setting sun/boat/stars illusion).

Most all of the "proofs" that exist, and have ever existed, supporting the globe belief/posit are only effective at (and likely designed for) fooling children. They don't bare critical scrutiny, and it is not coincidence we do not hear or talk about them except for in that classroom as children.

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I read up on The Bedford Level Experiment, and the society itself and if I'm being honest, I don't think it matters if the Earth was flat or not

That is the way most people feel! Because the shape of the world is inconsequential to everyday (i.e. terrestrial) life (including science), it is very easy to feel that it simply doesn't matter.

However, it might be more consequential to everyday life if, for one hypothetical instance of many, there was more land than we have been told there is...  Don't you agree?
« Last Edit: December 25, 2020, 10:35:42 AM by jack44556677 »

Re: Flat Earthers - a few words?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2021, 04:55:49 PM »
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I began more diligent research when I discovered that the proof I was taught (as a child) was bunk (setting sun/boat/stars illusion).

Hello Jack. Out of interest, what precisely were you taught about the setting sun or stars as evidence for RE, and what precisely made you come to the conclusion that it was bunk?

Re: Flat Earthers - a few words?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2021, 09:43:30 AM »
@steelybob

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what precisely were you taught about the setting sun or stars as evidence for RE

The optical illusion known as "setting".

The first "proof" I was ever offered was the setting of boats, the sun, and stars. 

It was explained that because the objects disappear from the bottom up, the earth must be curved and that curve must be blocking our view.  Was that not the way you were (initially) taught? How about yourself?

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and what precisely made you come to the conclusion that it was bunk?

First was simple logical evaluation.  The statement is flawed and based on circular logic.  I see "insert whatever here" therefore the world is spherical / The world is spherical because I see "insert whatever here".

Second was more rigorous evaluation of the claim (and unvalidated assumptions thereof).

Does the curve get in the way? How can we tell that? Has anyone ever verified that, and if so - how did they do it? Could there be other known reasons why the object merely APPEARS to disappear from the bottom up that do not involve a "hill" being in the way?

I asked questions like these, and did research which yielded surprising results!  No globe proofs withstand much critical scrutiny, which in and of itself is interesting.  The RE proponent knows in their heart that this is because the world is much too large to measure or take pictures of, but their undue certainty is derived from faith - not proof or evidence.  Most people go their whole lives without ever seriously critically evaluating these things, and it is little wonder they are unprepared to defend the globe adequately or prevent themselves being swept up in alternative belief-based/religious worldviews.

Re: Flat Earthers - a few words?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2021, 10:23:27 AM »
Thanks for the reply @Jack44556677

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Was that not the way you were (initially) taught? How about yourself?

To be honest, I can't actually remember the first example I was taught. Let's take your setting sun/boats/stars example as a start point though. I certainly wouldn't suggest that the apparent disappearance of these things, bottom up, as they reach the horizon is conclusive proof, in isolation, that the earth is round, however it does strongly suggest that something interesting is happening - somehow, boats, the sun and the stars are disappearing from view in a way that we wouldn't expect on a flat earth - and that deserves closer attention/investigation.

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No globe proofs withstand much critical scrutiny, which in and of itself is interesting.

I would strongly disagree with that. Can I offer a couple up for your critical attention?

1. taking your setting stars example from above. For me, the position and movement of the stars in the night sky is pretty compelling evidence that we are on a globe, and that the stars are extremely distant. The fact that, for example, I can determine my latitude by simply observing the elevation angle of Polaris (in the northern hemisphere) or Sigma Octantis (in the southern) is entirely consistent with a globe-shaped earth. Moreover, if one takes elevation angle measurements of, for example, Polaris from three or more different locations at the same time, the only way the three lines can intersect at one single position of the star is if the earth is round and the star is distant. If you try this on a flat earth, you end up with the star being in different positions depending on where you view it from. So FET has to explain this away by invoking magical light bending (EA), but this just creates more problems - if light bends vertically the closer a source gets to the horizon, why does the vertical distance between stars not change as they get lower?

There are numerous other star-related problems with FET. Why do the stars disappear below the horizon at all? The FET wiki invokes perspective...but if perspective is at work, why doesn't the azimuth or elevation angle between the stars change as they get lower in the sky? If perspective was a factor, and the stars were becoming more distant, they would appear to get closer and closer together, just as distant objects on the surface of the earth do. But they don't.

2. A very technical, niche example, but an interesting one. In aviation, directional gyroscopes are used to provide stabilised heading information. Directional gyroscopes are often fitted with a 'drift nut', which is an adjustable weight mechanism that provides a correcting force to compensate for the rotation of the earth. This adjustment is made for the latitude of the aircraft, as the rotation effect is maximised at the poles, and zero at the equator. Why would instruments designers implement a mechanism that would make the instrument less accurate if the earth was flat?

Interested in your thoughts.

Re: Flat Earthers - a few words?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2021, 05:39:48 PM »
Good luck with the podcast and thank you for bringing up an important experiment I hadn't looked into.  My journey consisted of a few YouTube videos about flat earth which looked interesting at the time.  Honestly, conversing with nature, experiment, and talking with folks I'm more if a believer then not, but always seekngo understand a more accurate view of things.
Oh its happening..