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Offline Tintagel

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On the earth's shape, and what we truly know
« on: December 20, 2013, 06:20:22 PM »
A continuation of the discussion that began in http://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=993.0


And within that time apparently you actually think the earth is flat. That utterly head-scratching to me because I wonder how you can picture how the earth is able to orbit around the sun if it's flat. An what about that other planets? Are they flat too? NASA takers pictures of Mars too, you know. And NASA isn't the only space program out there because they didn't launch the Sputnik. Friggin centuries after 1492 and we still have people thinking the world is flat.

I know that NASA isn't the only alleged space program, I clearly stated that we were in a race against the Soviets.  It is far easier to fake a satellite launch than to fake a moon landing.

The shape of the earth is something I feel pretty passionate about, and is entirely a different topic, so if this discussion is to continue I'd suggest we make a thread in Flat Earth Debate or Flat Earth Q&A to address you more fully.  However, to address your questions here:

That utterly head-scratching to me because I wonder how you can picture how the earth is able to orbit around the sun if it's flat.

The earth does not orbit the sun.  The sun circles above the disc of the earth in a circle whose radius is wider in the winter, and more narrow in the summer (in the northern hemidisc).  The moon also circles above us.

An what about that other planets? Are they flat too?

I've never been to another planet, so I couldn't say for sure.  As for the wandering celestial bodies in our sky, I believe the ancient greeks had many things right in their geocentric solar system model, including the nature of the motion of the heavens (at least in principle), but unfortunately many bought into the spherical earth idea put forth by some of their thinkers, and thus the charade was born.  The reason for this was that many ancient Greeks believed in perfect heavens - all perfect circles and spheres, and they simply assumed that the earth must be the same.  They were wrong.  The earth is not the same as the other celestial bodies, and all one needs to do is look at them to see it.

I do own a telescope and have looked at a few of them, and they appear to be spheres, but again I can't say for sure.  However, just because other celestial bodies are spherical does not mean the earth is.  The earth is special - most notably because life exists on it, but for other reasons as well.

NASA takers pictures of Mars too, you know.

NASA has released many images purporting to be from  mars, yet cannot explain how landers and rovers with an estimated active lifespan of 90 days can still be transmitting data years later.  NASA's funding comes from the federal government, so it's in their favor to keep up the charade.  That said - as mentioned, I'm not a conspiracy expert, so I'll leave off here.

Friggin centuries after 1492 and we still have people thinking the world is flat.

I assume you're referring to Christopher Columbus, but by 1492 the idea of a spherical earth was pretty common.  Columbus himself believed in a spherical earth.  Thanks to the ramblings of the cult leader Pythagoras and the arguably insane Aristotle whose writings were parroted by a later mathematician named Copernicus, the round earth fallacy was unfortunately pretty virulent.  Copernicus also popularized the incorrect notion of a heliocentric solar system in which the earth orbits the sun, but this was largely discredited at the time. 

So you see, one false experimental result, one mistaken calculation, repeated enough times leads to laziness.  Repetition gives way to assumptions that later turn to accepted fact - all based on fallacy.

I don't pretend to have a complete picture of cosmology, because I try to depend upon observable phenomena for my ideas.  Most other Flat Earth Theorists here will say the same.  I do have some pet projects that are purely theoretical, but I would never try to assert those as fact without direct observation and verification. 

I would now ask the same of you - how do you know, with such certainty, that the earth is a sphere?  I'm asking how you yourself know, based on your own experience, separate from any false assumptions that have been taught to you over your life.  If one begins to take stock of what one truly knows to be true, for the overwhelming majority of us, it is sadly little.

This is the realization that opened my eyes to the possibility that everything I thought I knew was wrong.  This is the realization that led me to Zeteticism. 

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Offline markjo

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Re: On the earth's shape, and what we truly know
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 06:43:54 PM »
As for the wandering celestial bodies in our sky, I believe the ancient greeks had many things right in their geocentric solar system model, including the nature of the motion of the heavens (at least in principle), but unfortunately many bought into the spherical earth idea put forth by some of their thinkers, and thus the charade was born.  The reason for this was that many ancient Greeks believed in perfect heavens - all perfect circles and spheres, and they simply assumed that the earth must be the same.
That is only part of the story.  There were a number of real world observations that the Ancient Greeks made that they realized just didn't make sense if the earth were flat.  I guess that they didn't have the savvy to come up with bendy light to explain the sinking ship effect or celestial gears to explain the different appearance of constellations at various latitudes.
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

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Offline Tintagel

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Re: On the earth's shape, and what we truly know
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 06:46:32 PM »
As for the wandering celestial bodies in our sky, I believe the ancient greeks had many things right in their geocentric solar system model, including the nature of the motion of the heavens (at least in principle), but unfortunately many bought into the spherical earth idea put forth by some of their thinkers, and thus the charade was born.  The reason for this was that many ancient Greeks believed in perfect heavens - all perfect circles and spheres, and they simply assumed that the earth must be the same.
That is only part of the story.  There were a number of real world observations that the Ancient Greeks made that they realized just didn't make sense if the earth were flat.  I guess that they didn't have the savvy to come up with bendy light to explain the sinking ship effect or celestial gears to explain the different appearance of constellations at various latitudes.
Though I think you were trying to be ironic, you're right.  They believed that light traveled in straight lines.  It does not.

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Re: On the earth's shape, and what we truly know
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 03:33:47 AM »
An what about that other planets? Are they flat too?

I don't believe so, and I actually question the logic of referring to these celestial bodies as "other planets."  We've always done it in the past because it's what we're used to, but using that term suggests the RE assumption that these bodies are similar enough to the earth to expect similar basic characteristics.  That, of course, leads to the old question, "So why is the earth the only planet that's flat?  Why is it so special?"

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Offline markjo

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Re: On the earth's shape, and what we truly know
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 03:48:03 AM »
They believed that light traveled in straight lines.  It does not.
Then again, that begs the question; if light does not travel in a straight line, then what reference does one use to determine straightness over long distances?
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

Offline Socker

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Re: On the earth's shape, and what we truly know
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 07:41:12 AM »
An what about that other planets? Are they flat too?

I don't believe so, and I actually question the logic of referring to these celestial bodies as "other planets."  We've always done it in the past because it's what we're used to, but using that term suggests the RE assumption that these bodies are similar enough to the earth to expect similar basic characteristics.  That, of course, leads to the old question, "So why is the earth the only planet that's flat?  Why is it so special?"
This is why I find it difficult to believe someone could believe in a flat earth without associating it with religion. It seems odd that this would be the only flat plane in existence without some higher power determining it is so. I'm curious to hear athiest FEers remarks on this, do you think that the flatness of earth, the uniqueness of it, contributed to life forming on our planet? Although since I suppose you believe we have not observed any other planets or moons, you believe there very well could be life on them.

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Offline jroa

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Re: On the earth's shape, and what we truly know
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 09:04:27 AM »
Nobody said that our flat Earth is the only flat object in the universe.  Saddam Said that the "Planets" are not the same as the flat Earth.  There may or may not be other flat Earth like objects accelerating on their own paths, but the celestial objects that we can observe from our flat Earth do not appear to be doing or acting the same as the Earth, and, therefore, are likely not the same type of object as the Earth. 

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Offline Tintagel

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Re: On the earth's shape, and what we truly know
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 03:59:21 PM »
They believed that light traveled in straight lines.  It does not.
Then again, that begs the question; if light does not travel in a straight line, then what reference does one use to determine straightness over long distances?

This is actually an interesting question and one I've done quite a bit of thinking on, but the response is lengthy enough to warrant a new thread which I don't have time to illustrate right now.  I'll have to create some diagrams, and will try to address this later today.