How to debate a flat-Earther

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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LijeBaley, consider the space.com report on QM universe I cited in post #2 where apparently there is no objective reality. Your proposed evidence for the flat earther to see, assumes that there exist in nature an objective reality that can be clearly defined. Yet space.com report undermines such a concept in science. Applying QM universe rules to the ISS and view from the ISS, that suggest the ISS may not be real and what is seen below may not be real too. A flat earther could simply cite this now and ask that the flat earth be taught in sciences classes now in public schools as an example. Also the Sun could be moving above the flat disk earth too, a form of geocentric astronomy that can be valid because there is no objective reality now in science, apparently.
 
Feb 19, 2020
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Oh please, enough with the quantum voodoo. I read the same article and it’s just another possible theory put forth by theoretical physicists, no different than the theory that the universe is a digital simulation. Creative thinking at best. I’ll stick with the “I think therefore I am” version of reality that says the Earth is a sphere.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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LijeBaley, I point out the *quantum voodoo* as a philosophy of interpreting nature, seems to appear more and more in QM reports. If I apply this approach to the macro universe, the cat is dead or alive also leads to the earth is flat and round too. Your version of reality is yours, flat earth folks will have another version of reality and no one can define a standard of verification that works for all to accept it seems. In my opinion, the scientific method breaks down and replaced with a different definition of reality, based upon different views and needs. I see this as the direction that science is taking today - my opinion. I do not agree with this but it looks like that to me---Rod
 
Jun 1, 2020
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QM describes the sub-micro world. Extrapolating by factors of billions doesn't work, else GR would look a lot different, and so would we.

The Flat Earth belief seems to me another case of solipsism. Perhaps it's that our tendency to believe what we want to believe and, in this case believing in excess, that appearances are deemed satisfactory, whereby objective evidence becomes dismissed.

Apparently, those that hold the flat earth view aren't all conspiracy advocates. That's a little surprising.
 
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rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Helio, in your post #7, I know some flat earth folks. Conspiracy can play a role but for many, flat earth is empirical too. I have studied flat earth videos on measuring the distance to the Moon using telescopes, angles obtained, and plane trigonometry vs. spherical trigonometry. FE folks are correct like the Flat Earth Society. The Moon will always be much closer to the flat disk earth using plane trigonometry. At most the Moon is about 3400 miles away and about 0.5 degrees angular size, so much smaller in size too.

However, I stand by what I said about QM philosophy interpretation of nature. Applying to the macro universe leads to no objective reality and the space.com report does suggest this to me.
 

COLGeek

Moderator
Apr 3, 2020
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Never let science, or facts, get in the way of a good argument. :rolleyes:

Some folks' opinions will never be swayed, regardless of the facts before them. Many in the FE camp are of this ilk.
 
Jun 1, 2020
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Helio, in your post #7, I know some flat earth folks. Conspiracy can play a role but for many, flat earth is empirical too. I have studied flat earth videos on measuring the distance to the Moon using telescopes, angles obtained, and plane trigonometry vs. spherical trigonometry. FE folks are correct like the Flat Earth Society. The Moon will always be much closer to the flat disk earth using plane trigonometry. At most the Moon is about 3400 miles away and about 0.5 degrees angular size, so much smaller in size too.
I don't know the trig approach they use, nor care to spend time on it, but the parallax would be 75x greater for a 3400 mile distance than actual. Two telescopes relatively close together could see this. Only one falsification is needed to debunk their model, but hundreds exist. Finding one element to be correct and hundreds false is not a scientific model, even if one element is found.

It won't shock me if most flat earthers are nice folks. But when worldviews allow the scrutiny of science due to an overlap with it, then it is subject to the test of science.

However, I stand by what I said about QM philosophy interpretation of nature. Applying to the macro universe leads to no objective reality and the space.com report does suggest this to me.
If you remove the teeth from a dog then it won't bite. Redefining objectivity changes things. Objectivity is simply repeating tests by many others and agreeing on the results. And it helps to remember that not agreeing on results for clearly understood reasons, is what scientists look forward to, unlike many philosophies and religions.
 
Sep 8, 2020
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Probably the best way to debate a flat-Earther would be to send one up to the ISS and let them tell you what they see with their own eyes.
I like the idea of letting them build their own rockets instead like Mike Hughes did:


The people who are incapable of critical thinking (like anti-vaxers and supporters of lying politicians) and believe what they want to believe are a danger to society.
 
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Feb 6, 2020
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There aren't any 'flat-earthers', Sutter. They do it for the lulz, and you know it.
Why do you keep writing so much frivolous crapola these days?
 
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Jan 2, 2020
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A basic observation about physics is that some areas of speculation are more like pseudoscience than solid science. This includes some interpretations of quantum mechanics like the many worlds hypothesis. - Certain parts of relativity are pretty uncertain too, like a physical universal time dimension or the relativity of simultaneity..

The flatness or otherwise of the Earth are completely on the other side of that. If some of the films made by spacecraft don't convince them nothing will. You can observe the curvature of the Earth directly simply by taking a long haul flight which cruises at say 50,000 feet - 15 Km above the ground.

Like many others on the internet I have debated with Flat Earthers myself and its an impossible task. If you have an open mind you basically can't be a Flat Earther, if your mind is closed then arguments attempting reason or logic simply aren't going to work. Some argue that most Flat Earthers are simply pranksters and 30 or 40 years ago that was probably true, but today it definitely isn't true. They exist.
 
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Sep 9, 2020
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Another aspect is that many people who "follow the science" do so as a matter of belief, rather than a matter of command of the details and the arguments. And so folks like the flat-earthers enjoy exposing the lack of real knowledge amongst the sphericals! I recent sat with a group of people who laughingly denouced flat-earthers: though none of them had a secure grasp on the visible evidence for a sphere. Most even thought that, at sea level, gazing out to sea, the horizon is clearly curved from side to side...... This gives plenty of opportunites for the contrarians.
 
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Jun 4, 2020
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I have a simple one. I live in Los Angeles, in 2015 I had a trip to Japan, then India, Italy, New York and finally back to Los Angeles. I bough a small portable GPS, I personally test it going from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica the GPS signed going West. On my first trip to Japan (from LA) I went West the whole time. On the second trip to India and Italy again always West. From Italy to New York again West, and finally back to Los Angeles always going West. If the Earth was flat, how did I travel ONLY WEST and went back home??? The GPS records the trips you do, so I can send the trip I did to anybody.
 
Jan 26, 2020
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I have a simple one. I live in Los Angeles, in 2015 I had a trip to Japan, then India, Italy, New York and finally back to Los Angeles. I bough a small portable GPS, I personally test it going from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica the GPS signed going West. On my first trip to Japan (from LA) I went West the whole time. On the second trip to India and Italy again always West. From Italy to New York again West, and finally back to Los Angeles always going West. If the Earth was flat, how did I travel ONLY WEST and went back home??? The GPS records the trips you do, so I can send the trip I did to anybody.
Our earth is both flat and curving like boat to swim in the space
 
Jun 1, 2020
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I thought this might be the case, but what little I found suggests these are very few in number. Most seem to be independent from a religious argument.

This reminds me of an account, apparently from Eddington, where an older person spoke to him after his speech and said that the Earth sat on a turtle. Eddington, being highly intelligent, asked what the turtle sat on and the reply was something like, "Don't be silly; it's turtles all the way down". :) Reason only can go so far, and I think it fits with the Flat Earthers, perhaps some thinking we sit on a turtle.
 
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Jan 2, 2020
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How could you respond to a FE argument that the spherical earth pictures are of a flat area, but appear spherical due to Snell's law? An observer viewing through an area of a higher refractive index into an adjacent one they are peering into, sees a cone of light from the area above and a reflection from below or next to the observer that appears around that optical manhole. The implication is astronauts see a round earth similar to a Snell Window scuba divers see at the water-air boundary above, but this would have a superfluid involved due to the sharp edges seemingly lacking friction because of low viscosity of the superfluid. Is there a way to prove that the ISS photos and other of earth are NOT a Snell Window view?
 
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Dec 2, 2019
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I have debated many Flat Earther's, usually on-line. I often point out that the communication device they are using works on the principle of line of sight. Radio frequencies travel in straight lines. I understand that gravity has an effect on this theory, but it requires much more than the Earth generates to have a noticeable effect that is easily observable. For the sake of simplicity let's just be simple.

I usually point out that no less than three satellites are required for world wide transmission and reception of these frequencies that make the entire electronic debate of the Flat Earth theory possible. The only way for that to work is if the Earth was round. If the Earth was flat, only one satellite would be needed. However, the idea of a satellite itself is based upon it's ability to orbit an object of sufficient gravity that it can hold it in perpetual free fall as the object travels through space. These things can only happen if the Earth is round.

Usually, the Flat Earther decides that they are not going to convince me that they know better and leaves the conversation shortly after.
 
Jan 2, 2020
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LijeBaley, I point out the *quantum voodoo* as a philosophy of interpreting nature, seems to appear more and more in QM reports. If I apply this approach to the macro universe, the cat is dead or alive also leads to the earth is flat and round too. Your version of reality is yours, flat earth folks will have another version of reality and no one can define a standard of verification that works for all to accept it seems. In my opinion, the scientific method breaks down and replaced with a different definition of reality, based upon different views and needs. I see this as the direction that science is taking today - my opinion. I do not agree with this but it looks like that to me---Rod
Does QM imply as in your cat example that ALL available outcomes are to exist as options. I'm not sure if its even an applicable point, but I can count using cardinal numbers from 1 to infinity or I can count from 1000 to infinity. In both case I have the potential to go to infinity but in the latter 1-999 never existed.
 
Nov 21, 2019
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It's best to not engage Flat Earthers, anti-evolutionists, etc. They believe what they believe and are impervious to reason, supporting data, or anything like that. It's futile to try. Your time and efforts are better spent elsewhere.
 
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LijeBaley, consider the space.com report on QM universe I cited in post #2 where apparently there is no objective reality. Your proposed evidence for the flat earther to see, assumes that there exist in nature an objective reality that can be clearly defined. Yet space.com report undermines such a concept in science. Applying QM universe rules to the ISS and view from the ISS, that suggest the ISS may not be real and what is seen below may not be real too. A flat earther could simply cite this now and ask that the flat earth be taught in sciences classes now in public schools as an example. Also the Sun could be moving above the flat disk earth too, a form of geocentric astronomy that can be valid because there is no objective reality now in science, apparently.
I actually think there could be a way to use a flat earth class practically at a school. It doesnt have to be about anything being real or not, classes use fiction and fact both often. For many of these FEs its the most they have ever studied science and enjoyed doing it to boot. Surely not for everyone, but there would be plenty to learn about real science using this like a detective game. Not everyone likes to learn the former way and in the long run you may just discover something regardless. Many great discoveries are by accident in some ways so think of the new chances looking into new ideas, whatever it may be. EDIT ADD: ex. An alternate idea for a sun could be more like a "fiber optic" one where you can use a model of a water light pipe and focus on total internal reflection-perhaps set it up as a relay to make it appear to go full circle. Many genuine concepts there to work with. Throw them another loop even with a new VEST idea Vortex Earth Street Theory where it is more about fluid mechanics.
 
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Jan 4, 2020
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We have no statistics saying that it works with tackling conspiracy theory in an isolated discussion as a trust building exercise. And it is demeaning. I'll rather laugh at them, so the demeaning is happening on the side of the social offender.

Some folks' opinions will never be swayed, regardless of the facts before them.
Your time and efforts are better spent elsewhere.
Yes, but some are which is what makes it useful to argue facts, besides that it is hard to distinguish what people know or believe from discussions. That people can be swayed by facts is of course not only shown by the existence of science, but by the fact that years of education and science correlates with less conspiracy and other superstitious views.

Our earth is both flat and curving like boat to swim in the space
I have trouble reading this, but I think that it is better to observe that Earth appears locally flat but is a ball on the scale of Earth. C.f. how you can trick an insect to run around a branch by turning it over, it appears as a flat surface for it.

Is there a way to prove that the ISS photos and other of earth are NOT a Snell Window view?
Snell's law of refraction describes that happen when light passes between two different isotropic media [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snell's_law ]. You can see it in a drinking glass by standing a spoon in it.

All windows are "Snell" windows in that sense, but since they are planar the effect appears as a linear translation up close - easily seen in double window shadows. Astronaut images are taken under such conditions.

The Snell window of an optical cone delimited by total internal reflection only happens - as every swimming kid knows - if you have a situation of a highly refractive index material such as water and starts out at depth distances of meters. "At a depth of 10 feet, you will probably be a little too deep for a perfect window, but slowly ascend and keep looking up. Between three and six feet, the entire surface, from horizon to horizon, will be clearly visible!" It is a groovy feeling to jump from a high trampoline, stay deep while the bubbles dilute, and look up at the optical effect.

There is no swimming pool on ISS.
 
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We have no statistics saying that it works with tackling conspiracy theory in an isolated discussion as a trust building exercise. And it is demeaning. I'll rather laugh at them, so the demeaning is happening on the side of the social offender.




Yes, but some are which is what makes it useful to argue facts, besides that it is hard to distinguish what people know or believe from discussions. That people can be swayed by facts is of course not only shown by the existence of science, but by the fact that years of education and science correlates with less conspiracy and other superstitious views.



I have trouble reading this, but I think that it is better to observe that Earth appears locally flat but is a ball on the scale of Earth. C.f. how you can trick an insect to run around a branch by turning it over, it appears as a flat surface for it.



Snell's law of refraction describes that happen when light passes between two different isotropic media [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snell's_law ]. You can see it in a drinking glass by standing a spoon in it.

All windows are "Snell" windows in that sense, but since they are planar the effect appears as a linear translation up close - easily seen in double window shadows. Astronaut images are taken under such conditions.

The Snell window of an optical cone delimited by total internal reflection only happens - as every swimming kid knows - if you have a situation of a highly refractive index material such as water and starts out at depth distances of meters. "At a depth of 10 feet, you will probably be a little too deep for a perfect window, but slowly ascend and keep looking up. Between three and six feet, the entire surface, from horizon to horizon, will be clearly visible!" It is a groovy feeling to jump from a high trampoline, stay deep while the bubbles dilute, and look up at the optical effect.

There is no swimming pool on ISS.
yes, I am aware of how it works, and it isn't isolated to the mediums of a water-air boundary. Not too much about superfluids I see available online w/Snell's law in mind, mostly in line w/ these kind of studies. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1811.02110.pdf Perhaps if they ever test out those LEO debris programs like SpaDE and other surface air cannons in higher orbit somehow... excitation of superfluids having their critical velocity manipulated by vortex rings has had many studies. Certainly it would need the distance of deeper space where the -2K temp of space is also close to the same temp as the lambda point of liquid Helium to act as a superfluid. Seeing as many FE tend to make up wild hypothesis' though, they may just claim a new concept like "matter-time" that would allow the superfluid effect closer either way or within some kind of meniscus boundary. I think most of their raw data is from Youtube not journals though.
 

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