Tales Of A Flat Earth

INT21

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How does your average flat-Earther account for it being midday in the UK while being midnight in Fiji ?
 

Xanatic*

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I'm still a bit baffled by the concept of a flat earth shop. Are they a regular fixture over in Scotland?
 

gordonrutter

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How does your average flat-Earther account for it being midday in the UK while being midnight in Fiji ?
The sun orbits around the North Pole and it is 3 000 miles away and light has a limited range so the light shines only on the area it is close to.
 

Peripart

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Cover of a leaflet from the Flat Earth shop View attachment 14700
A wonderful disregard for centuries of scientific learning on that front page alone - I dread to think what the rest of the leaflet contains. "Water always finds its level". We'll, yes, but the idea that that is going to be a flat level is naive at best, wilfully ignorant at worst.

The main idea (which is a grander term than it deserves) seems to rest on the Earth looking quite flat, and therefore it must be. It is almost as if Flat Earthers literally cannot see beyond the end of their own noses.
 

Sharon Hill

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I am very curious as to what is behind this recent revival. :tfoil:
Well, it is particularly prevalent in America, going hand in hand with climate change denialism and populism. So, I say general anti-authoritarianism is driving it. The hate is strong against cultural experts and institutions by this portion of the population who feel disenfranchised and are prone to extreme beliefs. Scientific consensus is an easy target as people are generally uneducated about how science works. Plus, scientists do a bad job of fighting back in public (with some exceptions).

Anti-globular convictions: Flat Earth belief explodes in popularity
 

Peripart

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The sun orbits around the North Pole and it is 3 000 miles away and light has a limited range so the light shines only on the area it is close to.
Funny, that. Around here (probably just a local phenomenon...), the sun actually appears the dip below the horizon at the end of the day, rather than just fade away.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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All aboard the Flat Earth cruise – just don’t tell them about nautical navigation
Flat earthers, who believe the Earth is a large disk, may be shocked to find the ship’s navigation is based on a spherical planet

A group of people who believe the Earth is flat have announced their “biggest, boldest, best adventure yet”: a Flat Earth cruise scheduled for 2020.

The cruise, organized by the Flat Earth International Conference, promises to be a lovely time. Flat earthers – who include the rapper B.o.B. and reality television person Tila Tequila – will be able to enjoy restaurants, swimming pools and perhaps even an artificial surf wave.

There’s just one problem for those seeking to celebrate the flatness of the Earth. The navigational systems cruise ships, and other vessels, use rely on the fact that the Earth is not flat: theoretically puncturing the beliefs of the flat Earth crowd.

“Ships navigate based on the principle that the Earth is round,” said Henk Keijer, a former cruise ship captain who sailed all over the globe during a 23-year career.

“Nautical charts are designed with that in mind: that the Earth is round.”
The thing that disturbs me the most is that there is a "reality television person" called "Tila Tequila".

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jan/09/flat-earth-cruise-nautical-navigation
 
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mugsy67

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The flat earthers will do anything except go out and prove their theories. How hard can it be? It seems fairly easy to prove that it's round.
 

INT21

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So, it's round and flat. A bit like a pizza.

What's on the other side ?

(Don't say 'Australians asking the same question')
 

AlchoPwn

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1) There is no logical reason why people who disagree with the globe hypothesis should agree about on an alternative. If we set aside that the globe hypothesis is proven, and apply the principle to something as yet unproven: people who reject the idea that the Loch Ness monster is a relict plesiosaur can still disagree about whether sightings are explained by unusual waves, hoaxes, a large species of eel, seals, etc. etc.

2) Flat Earth belief is a sort of cult. Cults thrive on being marginalised minorities and it is in the nature of cults that they divide and fragment. If there are enough small pools, everyone can be the big fish.
Lets handle this by starting with 2). Yes the Flat Earth society is a cult but my issue is with statement 1) Most cults have a consistent dogma. It is pretty sick and sad when the Flat Earthers can't even agree on the flat earth they believe in. I could see a pair of flat earthers getting into a heated argument of pure nonsense-science as they try to wrangle the non-existent facts of their argument into multiple theories that are all complete bollocks, they they each know just enough real science to shoot down.
 

Mikefule

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Most cults have a consistent dogma. It is pretty sick and sad when the Flat Earthers can't even agree on the flat earth they believe in.
We may just be chewing over fine points of definition here. I see a cult as a minority and subversive fringe group and therefore the natural home of people who feel themselves to be outsiders for one reason or another.

If the cult gets too big or strong for an individual member's taste, then they need to become outsiders of the cult — often by forming a new one or joining a smaller and more exclusive one, and so on ad infinitum.

Cultists seem to need not only something to follow, but also something to oppose. Several small cults may oppose the same thing without necessarily agreeing about what they are for.

We may lump all Flat Earthers together, but I'm sure that on the inside, like any "movement" they have factions, wings, tendencies, offshoots, rebels and heretics.
 

EnolaGaia

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... We may lump all Flat Earthers together, but I'm sure that on the inside, like any "movement" they have factions, wings, tendencies, offshoots, rebels and heretics.
Not to mention the facile social media airheads who flaunt an association with the belief merely as a tactic for garnering more attention ...
 

INT21

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On a globe, the lines of Longitude come together at the South Pole, as they do at the North Pole.

If the flat-Earthers believe the South Pole is a continuous ring of ice, where do the lines meet ?

INT21.
 

EnolaGaia

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On a globe, the lines of Longitude come together at the South Pole, as they do at the North Pole.
If the flat-Earthers believe the South Pole is a continuous ring of ice, where do the lines meet ?
I suppose the counter-argument is that longitude is an abstract construct overlaid onto a concrete landscape - a construct that exists only as a set of relative measurements among imaginary lines projected onto the landscape as orientational conveniences.

However ...

It is only within the 3D / globe interpretation that one would predict the physical / traveled distances between any two lines of ascribed longitude converge identically when approaching the North Pole (flat earth center) and Antarctica (flat earth perimeter).

The flat earth adherents need to account for longer distances traveled in moving between two lines of ascribed longitude as one approaches this Antarctic perimeter. In other words, they'd have to explain how no one's noticed an east-west course near Antarctica should take a lot more time / cover a lot more miles than a longitudinally-equivalent east-west movement near the Arctic.

(NOTE: I admit I don't know whether this issue has already been beaten to death, because I don't really care ... )
 

Min Bannister

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Well, it is particularly prevalent in America, going hand in hand with climate change denialism and populism. So, I say general anti-authoritarianism is driving it. The hate is strong against cultural experts and institutions by this portion of the population who feel disenfranchised and are prone to extreme beliefs. Scientific consensus is an easy target as people are generally uneducated about how science works. Plus, scientists do a bad job of fighting back in public (with some exceptions).

Anti-globular convictions: Flat Earth belief explodes in popularity
There certainly seems to be a fundamentalist Christian thing going on in it from what I have read so far (The Bible suggests Earth is flat therefore it is). I just can't help feeling that this sort of spread of an idea requires funding, even or perhaps especially on social media. Although thinking that some sort of shadowy cabal is behind something is a conspiracy theory in itself... :thought:

I might see if I can look out the Christine Garwood book mentioned in the article, it sounds interesting.
 

Xanatic*

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The koran also mentions the Earth being flat. I'm guessing there's some gulf state money behind this.
 

INT21

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I responded to Sharon Hill's link with 'Interesting link'; which it is.

But I've been thinking.

Why do we even waste our time considering the flat Earth phenomena ?

Why don't we simply say to anyone who indicates that they truly believe it, 'Give up that rubbish. If you believe it against all the evidence, then you are an idiot and not even worth conversing with'.

'Shape up or shut up'.

Or are we just too polite ? Maybe see these people much the way people see puppies. 'Oh, how cute'.

They are spouting bollocks, and they need to know it.

INT21.
 

INT21

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I don't doubt you are correct in many cases. They are just wind-up merchants. It is the believers who are a worry.
 

Sharon Hill

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I responded to Sharon Hill's link with 'Interesting link'; which it is.

Why do we even waste our time considering the flat Earth phenomena ?

Why don't we simply say to anyone who indicates that they truly believe it, 'Give up that rubbish. If you believe it against all the evidence, then you are an idiot and not even worth conversing with'.

'Shape up or shut up'.

Or are we just too polite ? Maybe see these people much the way people see puppies. 'Oh, how cute'.

They are spouting bollocks, and they need to know it.

INT21.
Hmm. Card-carrying Skeptics say the same about those who believe in alien-piloted UFOs, Bigfoot, and spirits of the dead, among other things. There is a spectrum of weird beliefs, obviously. Flat earth, vaccine denial, climate change denial, 9/11 Truthers, Biblical literalism... they all are rejecting modern reality for an ideological reason. (I'll stick to the claims that can be literally proved wrong.) To me, it's that underlying reason that is interesting. And dangerous. There is no doubt that this stuff is at least a little bit contagious. And it can turn into a fad - to be cool to believe in it. I see it almost like a cult mentality - you become wrapped into the whole vision of it and lose touch. That can be dangerous because you make decisions about some things in that frame of vision - like vote or make choices for your children, for example. (Or worse, threaten people who are experts in the claim you hate - I'm thinking Michael Mann (climate sci) and Paul Offit (vaccine inventer).) So generally, it's harmless but it can turn into something bigger and uglier if, like bacteria on a petri dish, (or a slippery slope) the growth media is there. People are odd and quite scary sometimes.

Recommend Christine Garwood's book. Really good read.

OTOH, I refuse to argue with ideologically based extremists. You can't gain any ground. If you don't share the same ground rules, there is no talking to them. Even being rude just won't work. Even I've been called a disinformation agent by yahoos who just don't like what I have to say.
 

Sharon Hill

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I don't doubt you are correct in many cases. They are just wind-up merchants. It is the believers who are a worry.
That guy, Mad Mike Hughes, who built his own rocket to launch so he could take a picture of the flat earth - he was what I think you mean by a "wind-up merchant". He knew he could get money and publicity by banking on the flat-earthers. Ulterior motives abound, for sure. Some people do just want to be contrarians. Some are conspiracists. Some are just too gullible. And many are all of the above + attention whores (I put the rappers and "sportsball" players into this category.)
 

mugsy67

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I haven't trawled through all the pages here, but I can say that the YouTube channel COOL HARD LOGIC does a magnificent and amusing job of deflating all and any flat earth arguments. Bonus point for CHL using the magic roundabout music at one point.
 

INT21

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Sharon Hill,

..Hmm. Card-carrying Skeptics say the same about those who believe in alien-piloted UFOs, Bigfoot, and spirits of the dead, among other things. There is a spectrum of weird beliefs, obviously. Flat earth, vaccine denial, climate change denial, 9/11 Truthers, Biblical literalism.. ..

The one item that stands out in that list is Flat Earth.

All the others are, according to some, extremely unlikely. But not necessaily impossible in the light of modern knowledge.

Flat Earth is in a class of it's own as there is incontrovertible proof against it.

Flat Earthers, or at least the real ones, simply have some serious mental defect.

INT21.
 

Min Bannister

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The koran also mentions the Earth being flat. I'm guessing there's some gulf state money behind this.
That doesn't sound too far fetched.

Why do we even waste our time considering the flat Earth phenomena ?
I am considering it because I find it interesting. Partly because I am curious as to whether there will be anything in the reasoning that might make me think (nothing wrong with being made to think). Nothing so far by the way. I am also interested in why people believe it and why it has spread rather suddenly in the last few years. It is nothing, or at least not necessarily, to do with being mad or stupid.
 

Frideswide

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I am considering it because I find it interesting. Partly because I am curious as to whether there will be anything in the reasoning that might make me think (nothing wrong with being made to think). Nothing so far by the way. I am also interested in why people believe it and why it has spread rather suddenly in the last few years. It is nothing, or at least not necessarily, to do with being mad or stupid.
:agree:
 
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