Gobsmacked by Flat Earth Theory – Reflections upon just 2 months of flat earth debunking
I have been actively engaged in debunking flat earth theory arguments for the last couple of months. At this point, we are only 3 days away from the Flat Earth International Conference https://fe2017.com/ to be held in Raleigh North Carolina. The precise location is 201 Harrison Oaks Blvd, Cary, NC at 35.833, -78.772 on the spherical earth map but at a TBD (to be determined) location on the flat earth map. And a trivial point of curiosity is that it happens to be exactly 43.2 miles or 66.6 km, sorry just kidding, 69.5 km (great-circle distance) from Hightowers, North Carolina (36.327, -79.244 on the spherical earth map).
Are we really on the path to the total destruction of the globular earth as so many have come to know and love for so long? In just a few days? I offer some reflections. But first,
Two nights ago I was doing some calculations on this flat earth theory stuff, and I was gob-smacked by the results I got. It showed how obviously ridiculous some of the claims of the flat earth advocates have been. So I have got to share that with you. I am sure I am not the first to have discovered this, but since I had never actually done these exact calculations before, I was surprised to discover how far off from reality some major flat earth promulgations have been. I was gobsmacked.
THE IMMOVABLE BM THAT JUST WON’T FLUSH
I discovered that on the equinox on the flat earth model, from anywhere on the equator the sun will rise exactly in the north-east, and at sunrise it will appear at an angle of 35 degrees up from the horizontal. (On the spherical earth in this case the sun rises exactly east and on the horizon.) Furthermore, from either the north pole or the southern ring the sun will appear at an angle of 45 degrees up from the horizontal. (This is clearly not what is seen from the poles on the spherical earth.) Again, I was gobsmacked. Later in this post I will present the details of how these things were determined, after I give my reflections on my two months of opposition to the flat earth movement, the immovable BM that just won’t flush.
When I first started listening to the current flat earth advocacy movement about one and one half years ago, I have to admit that I was taken in by some of the arguments, even though there were some arguments that seemed immediately and clearly false to me (like the gravity is just buoyancy and density argument), and since I have been a student of conspiracy theories for many years, and many advocating this flat earth theory were also students of conspiracy theories with whom I would probably agree on many things, I kind of wanted the flat earth theory to be true, and was kind of rooting for them at first.
But once I started to do some of my own really serious research a little over two months ago and discovered that there were some truly fatal problems with flat earth theory as it was being promulgated, and especially when I discovered that literalist Bible believing Christians appeared to be a strong force behind this current flat earth movement
I felt compelled that I had to speak out, so I started my blog.
I have concentrated upon doing my own research and coming to my own conclusions rather than taking in a lot of information from others who have been working on debunking flat earth theory for quite some time. I have had some limited communication with other flat earth debunkers, but not much. I am sure that probably most if not all of the conclusions I have come to, are in agreement with these others, as they should be, as math and science and logic form a system that has been proven over hundreds of years to be quite consistent with itself and reality.
So at this point, I have not refuted every single flat earth argument that has been proposed. It is kind of like playing wack-a-mole. If I ever find that I discover a flat earth argument that I either agree with or am not able to refute, I will certainly report my findings, as any good and honest scientist should do.
So here are some of the things I have learned from my serious involvement in the flat earth theory controversy over the last couple of months.
Flat earth advocates have a lot of arguments that seem to make some sense on the surface.
When you refute them, they do not answer back, or if they do it is not in a substantive manner, but instead involves throwing out vague arguments and/or insults.
Most of the time when I have made polite but substantive refutations on flat earther Youtube channels, I have found that my comments are not allowed.
When you point out to flat earth advocates problems with the azimuthal equidistant map that they for the most part have been vigorously using to promulgate their flat earth theory, the more knowledgeable ones will say that they know there are problems with that map, and they are still working on getting an accurate flat earth map.
Well I am sorry, but many if not most of their arguments that they have been putting out to justify flat earth theory have depended upon that map and their acceptance of it. If they now say that there are problems with the map that they are still working on solving, it is really like they are saying that most if not all of their previous arguments have been spurious, but “we are still committed to a flat earth as the Bible clearly teaches us, so please continue listening to us and be patient, and eventually we will prove that the earth really is flat, scientifically.”
And how flat is the flat earth? At least those in the spherical earth camp can tell you how spherical the spherical earth is. It is very close to a perfect sphere, but not quite. It is so close to a perfect sphere that assuming it is a perfect sphere for calculational purposes is plenty accurate for most purposes.
Have those in the flat earth movement not been deceptively raising false expectations in their followers in this flat earth concept for far too long? Have they no shame? How much money are people making off of this movement? Is it a money making scam preying on the gullible, mathematically and scientifically illiterate, and especially on the conspiracy minded population?
I have simply gotten to the point where I will seldom watch flat earther videos anymore. They simply do not deliver what they promise, so for the most part they are click bait.
I have debunked, rockets cannot work in space, the oceans would have been sucked into space, gravity is just buoyancy and density, and you cannot possibly see the planet Mercury from the earth according to spherical earth and solar system theory.
I have heard some of the most ridiculous arguments from flat earth advocates. Like they have special airline planes in the southern hemisphere that can fly 900 miles per hour, and that there is no such thing as a sound barrier.
PROPER ANGER TOWARDS THOSE WHO HAVE DECEIVED US
If one discovers that they have been deceived by someone, I think it is normal to feel some anger toward those who did the deceiving. So to the extent that I bought into some of the flat earth arguments, bought and read some of the books, and spent a lot of time watching their videos, I do have some anger towards these people. The ones who I am the most upset with are those who are knowingly peddling information that they know to be false, for some reason, whether it is for making money off of gullible and scientifically illiterate people, or whether they are paid government agents seeking to infiltrate and destroy legitimate truth movements and students of real conspiracies. For those who have been taken in and have become real believers that the earth is flat I have more sympathy for, for we are all as human beings subject to error and being deceived.
Maybe one of the first things that should be announced at the flat earth conference is an apology for all of the false arguments that they have previously been pushing so hard, but now, finally, are having to abandon, because they just don’t add up.
I have a certain amount of anger toward Christian preachers who have been preaching the “turn or burn” gospel which I grew up hearing and have since after many years of study come to not believe. I realize that probably a large portion of these are people who mean well and truly believe what they are teaching is the truth. But they have been guilty of the sin of claiming to be sure about something that no one could possibly be sure about, and they should have known better, but again, this is what deception does to people.
Flat earth advocates are guilty of a worse sin in that they are claiming to be sure about something that can and has been proven to be false. I feel that they are simultaneously committing blasphemy against God and science, if that is possible.
COULD CURRENT FLAT EARTH MOVEMENT BE A GOVERNMENT HATCHED PSYOP?
Can we imagine the hatching of a plan deep in the bowels of the intelligence agencies prior to the recent resurrection of the flat earth movement? (I say resurrected because there was a flat earth movement 150 years ago uncannily similar to the movement of today as documented in the book “Flat Earth: The History of An Infamous Idea” by historian Christine Garwood.) My review of her book on Amazon is here
Could the hatching of such a plan have possibly been expressed something like this. “We have convinced most people that we went to the moon. We have convinced most people that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone nut assassin of JFK, that 9-11 was a conspiracy of Osama Bin Laden and 19 Arab hijackers and a few more, and countless other cover stories for the gullible masses for operations that we actually planned and carried out. Now we are going to convince a large portion of people that the earth is flat, and the people who for the most part we will convince of this are students of conspiracy theories who have seen through so many of our other lies, such as the moon landings that we faked. Do you believe we can do this? No way. OK, you just watch us.” Could NASA actually be in favor of the flat earth movement because it will somehow help them maintain the lie that we actually went to the moon, once the flat earth movement, that places so much emphasis on the moon landings having been faked, crashes and burns?
IS ALL OF SCIENCE FAKE?
Man may have made some wrong turns in philosophy, science, religion, and theology, and other areas, but that does not nullify large portions of these areas of study that have a large portion of truth in them. Some flat earthers say that because NASA faked the moon landings we know that the entire space program is fake. I am sorry, but this is not sound logic. This would be like saying that because our government lied to us about the JFK assassination, that they lie to us about everything. They lie to us about a lot, but not everything.
DETAILS OF HOW I WAS GOBSMACKED TWO NIGHTS AGO
So I was looking into comparing spherical earth theory to flat earth theory for the equinox, that we just had on September 23, 2017.
And to make it simple I decided to look at this from the standpoint of an observer at the equator. On the equinox, if you are anywhere on the equator, the sun will rise exactly in the east, at solar noon it will be exactly overhead, and it will set exactly in the west. You can view this as either the sun stationary and the earth rotating once every 24 hours, or as the earth stationary and the sun going around the earth once every 24 hours. Geometrically it makes no difference how you view it. So this means that from your point of view on the equator with the sun directly overhead at solar noon, you will see the sun moving or going around at an angular rate of 360 degrees per 24 hours, which works out to 1 degree per every 4 minutes or 0.25 degrees per minute.
Now in order to compare this to what the flat earth model would dictate, I will make it so the sun will be directly overhead at solar noon at every point on the equator. This means that the sun is circling over the flat disk shaped earth (with the north pole at the center and the equator 6218 miles from the north pole) exactly over the equator and making one complete circuit every 24 hours.
The circumference around the equator of the flat earth is 39,071 miles. The sun is therefore traveling at a speed of 39,071/(2460) = 27.1 miles per minute. Equating angular rate of sun movement between spherical and flat models, for they must be the same because this is what an observer on the earth sees, gives this equation 0.25(PI/180) = 27.1/As where As is the altitude of the sun on the flat earth model. Solving for As gives an altitude of the sun of 6218 miles. So on the flat earth from the observer at a point on the equator, if they go back in time 6 hours before solar noon, the sun will be seen rising in exactly the north-east direction. So right here we see that the flat earth model is far removed from the reality of what one actually observes from the equator on the equinox, that the sun rises in exactly the east direction. Since the sun is at the same altitude as the distance from the north pole to the equator, an observer at the north pole would see the sun at an angle of 45 degrees from the horizontal, and an observer at the south pole (southern ring for flat earth model) would also see the sun at the same angle of 45 degrees from the horizontal, both of these predicted observations of the flat earth model being very far removed from reality.
The hypotenuse of the right triangle with two equal sides of 6218 miles is 8794 miles. This means that the equatorial observer will see the sun rising in exactly the north-east direction at an angle of arctan (6218/8794) = 35.3 degrees up from the horizontal. The hypotenuse of this right triangle is calculated to be 10,770 miles, so this would be the distance from the equatorial observer to the sun when it is rising. This again demonstrates how flat earth theory predictions are very far from reality.