Zeteticism
« on: July 14, 2017, 11:41:17 AM »
Good afternoon folks!

I don't know if this is the right forum for this post, but it's the one I usually hang out in. Apologies if it belongs somewhere else.

I'm interested in learning a bit about the zetetic method. I hadn't ever heard of zeteticism before discovering this website, and research around it hasn't been super fruitful for me, so the only information I have about it is what I've read on the front page and wiki.

What I gather, then, is that it's different from science in that it postulates no hypotheses, merely makes observations and then seeks to explain those observations. So the great Rowbotham observed that the surfaces of bodies of water are flat, and concluded that therefore the Earth must be flat.
Dandy.
But beyond that, I don't see the principles of zeteticism being applied. I observe the sun sinking towards, and then gradually disappearing behind, the horizon every evening. It then rises from behind the (roughly) opposite horizon the next morning.These observations would lead me to conclude that the sun travels around the Earth on a daily cycle, or else that the Earth itself revolves. The fine minds on this forum and elsewhere have worked out the mechanics of refraction, and the magnification of light through dense media, which is commendable work, but isn't postulating the existence of such phenomena a scientific, rather than a zeteticism, practice?

What am I missing?

PS. Sorry if my spelling is a bit mad, I'm typing this on a phone and am at the mercy of autocorrect

Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2017, 12:13:19 AM »
What I gather, then, is that it's different from science in that it postulates no hypotheses, merely makes observations and then seeks to explain those observations. So the great Rowbotham observed that the surfaces of bodies of water are flat, and concluded that therefore the Earth must be flat.
Hi there!
great Rowbotham also failed to see his own brain and therefore concluded he doesn't have it. A pure zetetic approach.
Flat Earth is one of the following:
- nonsense
- bullshit
- garbage
- trash
- junk
- crap

Choose to your liking.

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Offline Roundy

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2017, 02:04:59 AM »
Good afternoon folks!

I don't know if this is the right forum for this post, but it's the one I usually hang out in. Apologies if it belongs somewhere else.

I'm interested in learning a bit about the zetetic method. I hadn't ever heard of zeteticism before discovering this website, and research around it hasn't been super fruitful for me, so the only information I have about it is what I've read on the front page and wiki.

What I gather, then, is that it's different from science in that it postulates no hypotheses, merely makes observations and then seeks to explain those observations. So the great Rowbotham observed that the surfaces of bodies of water are flat, and concluded that therefore the Earth must be flat.
Dandy.
But beyond that, I don't see the principles of zeteticism being applied. I observe the sun sinking towards, and then gradually disappearing behind, the horizon every evening. It then rises from behind the (roughly) opposite horizon the next morning.These observations would lead me to conclude that the sun travels around the Earth on a daily cycle, or else that the Earth itself revolves. The fine minds on this forum and elsewhere have worked out the mechanics of refraction, and the magnification of light through dense media, which is commendable work, but isn't postulating the existence of such phenomena a scientific, rather than a zeteticism, practice?

What am I missing?

PS. Sorry if my spelling is a bit mad, I'm typing this on a phone and am at the mercy of autocorrect

Well, once it's been proven that the Earth is flat, it remains to be explained why the sun behaves as you describe, which Rowbotham did. Perhaps you should read Earth Not a Globe.
Electro-Theologist, Poet, Philosopher, Musician, Etymologist, Egyptologist, Astro-Theologist, Geocentrist, Flat Earther, and Collector of Rare Books.

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2017, 02:57:34 PM »
Quote
Well, once it's been proven that the Earth is flat, it remains to be explained why the sun behaves as you describe, which Rowbotham did. Perhaps you should read Earth Not a Globe.

I have no problem with the Zetetic method - and the comment above, perfectly demonstrates why it's broken.

The problem isn't the core idea behind Zeteticism - it's with how it's applied.    What seems to happen is this:

  • Some phenomenon is observed.
  • Some explanation is devised
  • A second phenomenon is observed - that does not fit with the explanation for the first phenomenon
  • An additional explanation is added to explain the second phenomenon that layers onto - but does not change - the first explanation.
  • ...and so the cycle continues...
  • Because everything that's "decided" stays "decided" forever - if someone goes to the moon and takes a photograph of the Earth and demonstrated that it's round - instead of using this observation to make new explanations - you simply call him (and an awful lot of other people) a liar.

So the original observations of what seemed to Rowbotham to be a perfectly flat area of water, resulted in the  explanation that the earth must be flat.  But when it is subsequently realized that this is incompatible with the fact that sunrise and sunset happens at different times in different places, instead of saying "Hmmm - perhaps there is something wrong with our first explanation for the water surface?" - the Zetetics instead say that the sun must be a small orb that casts a circular patch of light onto the flat earth.

When it's then realised that this is incompatible with the idea of sunrises and sunsets - then instead of going back to the idea that the sun is a small orb - the Zetetics then add another layer of "explanation" - that light from the sun curves down towards the surface in order to create the illusion of a sunset.

Then, when it's understood that this explanation would cause other optical phenomenon, another explanation (which, incidentally isn't covered by the "Bishop Equation/Constant") requires that only very bright light sources are subject to this behavior.

...and so on and so forth.

The result is a very 'wobbly' pile of largely incoherent explanations that get more and more dubious.   (Remind me again about what causes the phases of the moon?)

The Zetetic method is really the scientific method - but with the cart put before the horse.

In the scientific method - you do indeed start with an observation...and let's suppose Rowbotham's experiment on that canal is that first explanation.
  • We observe that Rowbotham has seen an unreasonably flat piece of water.
  • We might make a hypothesis (a TENTATIVE explanation) that perhaps this is due to the flatness of the Earth.
  • Now we're tasked with proving the hypothesis.  We have to come up with a prediction - something that would only be true if the Earth were flat.
  • Next we seek evidence that the prediction is correct - perhaps we can look at way the sun behaves - or perhaps we think of an experiment like the Focault Pendulum which could decide the issue.
  • Observing that the sun sets - we now have to consider whether there was something about our hypothesis that was incorrect.
  • Reproducing an experimental result (preferably by a third party) is the key here.  Nothing in science is accepted unless the experiment or observation has been repeated many times.
  • And when that is done (which, in the Rowbotham canal experiment, it actually has) - we discover that when the temperature of water and air is just right, and the evaporation from the surface of the water has added just enough humidity into the air within a few inches of the surface - then the changing refractive index of the layers of air can bend the light rays through exactly the right amount to cancel out the curvature of the Earth.
  • Now, we come up with a new hypothesis from Rowbotham's experiment...which is that the earth may instead be round.
  • We make hundreds of predictions from that (the motion of the stars, sunrises and sunsets, phases of the moon, that the moon looks to be upside down in Australia, that you can travel to the south pole, that a focault pendulum will gradually change it's swing plane through the day...and on and on).
  • ...and 100% of those predictions come perfectly and beautifully true.
  • ...and everyone who checks those observations gets the same exact results
  • ...and when we send a man to the moon, he takes a photograph of our planet and...IT'S ROUND!
  • That the earth is round is (almost) universally accepted as a LAW OF PHYSICS.
  • (but if contrary evidence is found, we're open to change)

What is most dishonest about the way that the Zetetic method is applied here is that whenever there is an observation that doesn't fit your wobbly pile of incoherent theories - you call that person a liar.

This is the nastiest part of the method.   NASA pull off an incredible feat of engineering and get to the point where it's possible to take a photograph of the Earth from the Moon - and because your pathetic pile of "explanations" finally can no longer bear the weight of evidence - you simply say "It's all lies and conspiracies".    When more observations are made by the Russians, then the Chinese, then the Indians - you call them liars too.

This is cowardly and intellectually dishonest.   It truly is.

A reasoning person has to realise that the point has come when the evidence against the flat earth is TOTALLY overwhelming...and it's time to give it up and seek a better explanation...which, conveniently, we have.

The RET explanation is a PERFECT fit for the observational facts.   There is not one single aspect of the world as we can observe it that conflicts with it and which cannot be explained.  Not one!

Now - tell me again how the phases of the moon work?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 03:05:31 PM by 3DGeek »

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Offline TomInAustin

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Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2017, 03:03:33 PM »
Good afternoon folks!

I don't know if this is the right forum for this post, but it's the one I usually hang out in. Apologies if it belongs somewhere else.

I'm interested in learning a bit about the zetetic method. I hadn't ever heard of zeteticism before discovering this website, and research around it hasn't been super fruitful for me, so the only information I have about it is what I've read on the front page and wiki.

What I gather, then, is that it's different from science in that it postulates no hypotheses, merely makes observations and then seeks to explain those observations. So the great Rowbotham observed that the surfaces of bodies of water are flat, and concluded that therefore the Earth must be flat.
Dandy.
But beyond that, I don't see the principles of zeteticism being applied. I observe the sun sinking towards, and then gradually disappearing behind, the horizon every evening. It then rises from behind the (roughly) opposite horizon the next morning.These observations would lead me to conclude that the sun travels around the Earth on a daily cycle, or else that the Earth itself revolves. The fine minds on this forum and elsewhere have worked out the mechanics of refraction, and the magnification of light through dense media, which is commendable work, but isn't postulating the existence of such phenomena a scientific, rather than a zeteticism, practice?

What am I missing?

PS. Sorry if my spelling is a bit mad, I'm typing this on a phone and am at the mercy of autocorrect


This is the same method the ancients used to determine that the sun and the moon where chariots that raced across the sky every day.  And that volcanos and lightning were angry gods speaking out.   Let's face it, you could have ruled ancient Egypt with a Bic lighter and a good laser pointer.

The distance from New York to Paris is unknown.

Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2017, 07:10:58 AM »
That last sentence made it.  ;D ;D ;D
Flat Earth is one of the following:
- nonsense
- bullshit
- garbage
- trash
- junk
- crap

Choose to your liking.

Re: Zeteticism
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2017, 07:58:30 PM »
...it's with how it's applied. What seems to happen is this...

Well-put criticisms. It expresses problems I too have with the Zetetic method, but have never put into words. I think it's important enough to make more concise and less inflammatory. Here's a quick attempt:

The Zetetic method in a nutshell seems to be:
  • Some phenomenon is observed.
  • Some explanation is devised
  • A second phenomenon is observed - that does not fit with the explanation for the first phenomenon
  • An additional explanation is added to explain the second phenomenon that layers onto - but does not change - the first explanation.
  • ...and so the cycle continues...
  • Because everything that's "decided" stays "decided" forever - if someone goes to the moon and takes a photograph of the Earth and demonstrated that it's round - instead of using this observation to make new explanations - you simply call him (and an awful lot of other people) a liar.
So the original observations of what seemed to Rowbotham to be a perfectly flat area of water, resulted in the  explanation that the earth must be flat.  But when it is subsequently realized that this is incompatible with the fact that sunrise and sunset happens at different times in different places, instead of saying "Hmmm - perhaps there is something wrong with our first explanation for the water surface?" - the Zetetics instead say that the sun must be a small orb that casts a circular patch of light onto the flat earth.

When it's then realised that this is incompatible with the idea of sunrises and sunsets - then instead of going back to the idea that the sun is a small orb - the Zetetics then add another layer of "explanation" - that light from the sun curves down towards the surface in order to create the illusion of a sunset.

Then, when it's understood that this explanation would cause other optical phenomenon, another explanation (which, incidentally isn't covered by the "Bishop Equation/Constant") requires that only very bright light sources are subject to this behavior.

...and so on and so forth.

The result is a very 'wobbly' pile of largely incoherent explanations that get more and more dubious.

What is most dishonest about the way that the Zetetic method is applied here is that whenever there is an observation that doesn't fit your wobbly pile of incoherent and inconsistent theories - you call that person a liar, stupid, brainwashed, and/or part of an improbably massive conspiracy.

This is the nastiest and most intellectually dishonest part of the method. NASA pull off an incredible feat of engineering and get to the point where it's possible to take a photograph of the Earth from the Moon - and when your pile of "explanations" can no longer bear the weight of evidence - you simply say "It's all lies and conspiracies". When more observations are made by the Russians, then the Chinese, then the Indians - you call them liars too.

The FET explanation is highly inconsistent (and mutually exclusive) among FE believers, and explains away many major observable phenomenon, with shockingly casual hand-wavy explanations or branded phrases - like "Celestial Gears" or "Firmament" (as if those magic words somehow should settle the matter). It requires constantly varying, ad-hoc explanation on top of ad-hoc explanation. (What causes moon phases? What causes tides?)

The RET requires the least amount of self-contradictory, ad-hoc hypotheses; the fewest hand-wavy magical explanations; the least reliance on a perfect and massive global conspiracy involving millions of people; is the most self-consistent; is better supported by multiple converging lines of evidence; and is the only theory that has been open to change and improvement with new and better evidence. (E.g. geocentric to heliocentric based on better telescopes and more rigorous observations of planetary motion.)

FE'ers rely heavily on an ancient text written in inscrutable language and amounts to a long series of unsupported, unreferenced assertions and laughably childish logical "connections" - many of which are blatantly false or betray an astonishingly primitive understanding of basic geometry and logic, prima facie.

Robotham couldn't even get the concepts of "perspective" right - a horrible mangling of which he based much of his wobbly pile of ad-hoc explanations on. He used the concept of converging lines of perspective, in illustrations involving "side" views" (i.e. projecting first-person perspective lines onto side elevations), to explain how ships somehow disappear bottom-first over the horizon on a flat Earth. (In a completely incoherent explanation that no FE'er has been able to rationally deconstruct or explain rationally in a different way.) Here's the thing - perspective lines are only relevant from a "first-person" perspective, and have nothing necessarily to do with a "horizon" - perspective lines can converge at any point in space (imagine drawing a first-person view of a cube oriented randomly in space). You can't project perspective lines onto a side elevation, and claim to be making a rational argument.

The FEers in this forum, themselves, are literally looking for a "messiah" for their self-professed "cult" (https://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=2386.0). Which is exactly what the Flat Earth hypothesis is - a cult. And like all cults, they have factions and splinters which believe wildly diverging, mutually exclusive things.

In the end, FE theory comes down to not defending their own hypothesis, but attacking strawmen arguments they concoct on behalf of RE theory. (E.g. that famous "satellite photo" [they allege] that shows North America as covering too much of the globe for even their own RE theory.)

Being a "Free Thinker" is not simply being iconoclastic. It means being willing to change your mind when newer and better evidence comes in.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 08:19:06 PM by JoeTheToe »