I must add that this thread was utterly fascinating for a number of reasons.

The sheer willpower and effort to derail the thread, and to try to discredit every statement made to support 3Dgeeks logical approach.

The sheer audacity of some of the statements made by Tom (and also i must add the amount of times he made me crack up with laughter!)

The very reasonable and easy to follow mathematics laid out.

And the real insight i got into the FEers arguments, and tactics to discredit logical science and rational thinking.

Part of the argument that was of particular interest to me was some of the statements made about positions, and co ordinates.

Tom asserted that Lat Long is based on a global model, and he does not recognise any data, measurements or technology that is based on the global model.

He must truly be a defence lawyer as his arguments, turning words around, and attempts to shift focus are certainly indicative of what one might encounter in a lawyer.

Anyway, there was a lot of discussion regarding GPS accuracy etc, and it got me thinking off any way to show that the distances calculated by GPS are to be relied upon.

We use GPS, differential GPS and a host of other ways to define our position, but all are global in origin, however we do have a way of measuring accurately the distance between 2 points.

We use GPS and DGPS primarily for our positions, our position is projected onto electronic charts these days, but we have a way of measuring distances which are line of sight, and accurate and proven. RADAR.

Radar waves travel at a known speed (near the speed of light) and travel in straight lines with known values for distortion. They travel back in straight lines, and it is the time taken to be received that determines the distance of the object returning the pulse. All very flat earth i am sure you will agree.

We can overlay our radar picture onto our chart, so that we can see the shape of the land, and see that objects that are plotted with GPS co ordinates are at the expected distance away, which CONFIRMS the GPS calculated distance.

As for the ridiculous statement that the direction and range of every coordinate on earth should be tabulated and “known” from every other is clearly ridiculous. If every second of every minute of every degree of longitude was plotted (approx accuracy 30metres) it would need 216,000 data points for every degree of longitude, or 77,760,000 to plot every second around the earth, for 1 second of latitude, and then there are the 180 degrees of latitude to do the same with so you have 77.76 million times 38.8 million, which would have over 3 billion data points, each with its stored bearing and distance! It uses a lot less memory and power to calculate the bearing and distance, and people (mariners) have been doing it successfully for hundreds of years.

Lorraine was mentioned, but is no longer in use, as is Decca, and Omega, all hyperbolic navigational navigation systems, using radio waves, and not based on round earth models. You were able to accurately plot a position and and then cross reference your position on a chart which confirmed with the lat long co ordinates.

As for distances, we use logs to measure distance, basically a Doppler shift type of radar, which Tom did not dispute the accuracy of. They use Doppler shift to measure the relative speeds of 2 objects, in our case the sea bed, where it is shallow enough (less than 200M deep( and as the sea bed does not move it calculates our velocity. Twin axis Doppler are very accurate and give velocity athwartships (sideways) as well as fore and aft. They are so accurate they can determine our speed to within 0.1 knot, or 1/10th miles an hour.

We also have a GPS log that calculates our speed. Now we dont use your run of the mill $100 GPS from wallmart here, and guess what that speed coincides with our speed from our Doppler radar, so we know how fast we are moving.

We cross check and calibrate our logs against each other, so we KNOW fast we are travelling.

We also use celestial observations to cross reference our positions, and surely we must believe that astronomical position fixing is accurate? It has been so for hundreds of years. Even EnaG says it is accurate.

So all that taken we calculate, yes yes, using a global model, distances from point a to point b across oceans, but this is the clever part, our speed logs were checked and calibrated using the non moving sea bed, so it does not make a difference if the earth is flat or round for our speed logs to be accurate, they were calibrated for the shape of the earth we are on, flat or global, but this is the clever bit,

the distances we get by the time taken and speed steamed, agree with the distances calculated (using the global model of lat/long) so if they match does that not follow the distances we use are correct.

Finally i saw a classic few statements regarding the mapping of the world, that we dont know the shapes of land and sea etc in the Southern Hemisphere.

Land masses have been surveyed, driven, walked steamed by railroads, cycled and mapped extensively, so i am guessing there is not much discussion regarding them, but to fit them in the proper places, the oceans would need to be squashed, but we find that they are not squashed, they are the right size, the distances we calculate them to be.

There was also made the statement that the distances are only historical, and shipping companies just use distances they have gained before. What a load of rubbish!

When my ship gets orders to proceed to a port we have never been before do you think my office phones other companies asking what the distance is as we have not done it before? They would die of shame and embarrassment.

What really happens is they ask me to calculate it, which i do, and then they ask me how much fuel, food i need, and how long it will take.

I can promise you, no matter how appealing i dont stop off on an island for a couple of weeks for a bit of shore leave to make it look like the journey is longer than it is in reality!