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Old 09-01-2019, 11:15 AM
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Flat Earthers looking for converts in Milton Keynes


Any one else come across these people in real life?
These nutters had a display up and were handing out flyers outside McD's where the 'Jesus Saves!' preacher guy often does his thing.

I will check these out just in case it's a joke...(broken links) www globelie.co.uk www festart.co.uk

I stopped to pick up a flyer, and to gawp at their display/wall (which included a portrait of Newton - I didn't notice how he fitted in to their arguments).While I was staring one of the believers asked me what I thought and if I'd seen "this"(the Flat-Earth concept) before, I said "Of course, I think its hilarious". This seemed to piss him off a little (actually, quite a lot), I think his (brief) rant included "Haven't you seen the internet?" "We're being lied to", "the world is not a spinning globe" and something about "water is flat".

Thing is, I hadn't said anything to "defend" the scientific consensus, I'd just said that I found their display amusing (if it was an absurdist piece of public art, it would count as a success).

But he immediately took an angry tone, got in my face and started to bring up some ridiculous arguments as to why the Earth is (obviously) flat. (If this was performance art he was a frigging good actor).

I walked away.
Here is some of the why the Earth must be flat reasoning from the flyer:
  • Large bodies of water are always level
  • Earth rotation (sic) cannot be scientifically detected
  • Scientists have never proven the existence of gravity, and still remains a theory
  • How can you prove the distance to the sun, moon, planets or stars
  • Gyroscopes prove planes fly level and do not dip their nose to maintain level flight

Bloody obvious explanations left as a exercise for the reader (though feel free to post any cleverer ones here).

Last edited by Small Clanger; 09-01-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:52 PM
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"large bodies of water are always flat"?

Take 1 telescope, 1 large body of water with moving ships, 1 clear day.

Observe which parts of the ships you can see and how that changes with distance and relative motion.

draw sensible conclusions.
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:07 PM
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Large bodies of water are always level
For certain values of "large", "water", and "level", I'll agree.
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:24 PM
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Large bodies of water are always level.
Yes, if level is defined as being equal distant from the center of mass of the earth.
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:25 PM
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nvm

Last edited by Skywatcher; 09-01-2019 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:31 PM
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[*]Earth rotation (sic) cannot be scientifically detected
Well, I guess those Foucault pendulums I've seen are hallucinations then.
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:55 PM
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[*]Scientists have never proven the existence of gravity, and still remains a theory
You might encourage them to try jumping out of an upper-story window. Gravity might just be a theory but the broken bones won't be.
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:57 PM
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Well, I guess those Foucault pendulums I've seen are hallucinations then.
And this is fake, too.
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Old 09-01-2019, 03:06 PM
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Viral misinformation is one of the worst 21st Century diseases humans suffer from. It's often resistant to treatment, and is even somewhat contagious.
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:38 AM
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Modern-day Flat Eartherism is basically just Young Earth Creationism with a new coat of paint on it. The common thread amongst most Flat Earther arguments is that round-earth model was created by Evil Atheists who run the world and hate God (you see, they do believe in God, they're just mad at him because they want to be able to sin whenever they want) in order to convince people that the Earth is just one of many worlds like it and it doesn't have a special place in the cosmos, so that they'll lose faith and not rebel against their evil atheist masters.

There are a good number of YouTube channels that exist mainly for the purpose of taking the piss out of flat-earthers. Sci Man Dan and Sir Sic, for example, are among the more amusing ones.
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:42 AM
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This feels like it should be a Pythons sketch.

It might be the words "Milton Keynes" that are having this Pavlovian effect on me...
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:16 AM
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There are a good number of YouTube channels that exist mainly for the purpose of taking the piss out of flat-earthers. Sci Man Dan and Sir Sic, for example, are among the more amusing ones.
I must say I don't quite get the runaway popularity of Sci Man Dan. He's OK and quite personable, but there are funnier and more informative flat-earth debunkers out there. Like his content, his editing and delivery lack polish. I do enjoy the flerfers barely disguised jealousy at his > 200k subscribers however.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:02 AM
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And this is fake, too.
Eh, motion is relative so there is no reason to believe the Earth is rotating as opposed to the celestial spheres moving above us.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:06 AM
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At first I thought the flat earthers were trying to convert John Maynard Keynes, not an easy task.

I would've responded to them with a variation on Sherlock Holmes' retort when chided by Watson for failing to know that the earth revolved around the sun.

"What the deuce is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently; “you say that the earth is flat. If it was a sphere or a trapezoid it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:27 AM
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Viral misinformation is one of the worst 21st Century diseases humans suffer from. It's often resistant to treatment, and is even somewhat contagious.
The internet managed to connect a person who wanted to eat someone with a person who wanted to be eaten. Connecting a few people to form a Flat Earth Society seems tame by comparison.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:43 AM
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This feels like it should be a Pythons sketch.
It certainly could have made for a pointless (deranged) argument, but debating with Flat-Earthers is surely pretty much the definition of futile. A friend of ranty-man was standing by with a video camera on his shoulder (what's that about?), and I didn't want to end up on youtube associated with these wakadoos.

Quote:
It might be the words "Milton Keynes" that are having this Pavlovian effect on me...
Sigh. Yup, we have concrete cows and hundreds and hundreds of roundabouts, but it's a nice place to live*

By the way, for anyone who hasn't (for sanity's sake) looked at the website(s). The Earth is really a flat disc with the North Pole in the middle - and the South Pole all around the perimeter (smilie -> rabbit caught in headlights of stupid).


* Cite: Footnote from Good Omens
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:16 AM
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There is only one remedy for these imbeciles; Carry a high school physics book in your bag, take it out and use it to beat them with it.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:21 AM
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While there are doubtless some crazies that actually believe it, we're up against Poe's Law, here. I'd wager that at least 90% of the people who profess to be "flat Earthers" are just saying it for the lulz.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:29 AM
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There is only one remedy for these imbeciles; Carry a high school physics book in your bag, take it out and use it to beat them with it.
Heh. Yah.

I think and hope that most of them are just trolling for a response. But some do really believe for whatever value of belief. Well, it's not so much belief, as an acceptance that what the don't see, doesn't exist. A very comfortable position when you think about it. If they can't wrap their head around facts, just shoo them away.

It is ignorance, but it's more. It's the inability to think beyond the horizon. Literally in this case.

They really don't deserve any attention at all. I have already given them too much with this post.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:42 AM
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I think rational people unwittingly help these jamokes by using the colloquial theory in random conversation, where it's synonymous with hypothesis or conjecture. Scientific theory is almost antonymous with that; it doesn't prove anything, but is a predictive model based on what could be considered proof.

It's like deliberately inferring "black lives matter" means black lives matter more than others when it means black lives matter just as much as anyones (which is true). It's insidious how these sorts of people thrive on innocent ambiguity.

I know I'm the last person who should criticise other's grammar, but like I have a cognitive problem, what's y'alls?

Last edited by Trancephalic; 09-02-2019 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:12 AM
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Well, I guess those Foucault pendulums I've seen are hallucinations then.
That's why they removed the one at the Smithsonian!!
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:49 PM
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I think the Flat Earthers and the Moon Landing Deniers and even the Anti-Vaxxers and Climate Change Liers (and effectively all conspiracy folks) all know that they need to be oppressed to be successful. They are all taking a page from teh playbook of the Westboro Baptist Church- start angry and get your opposition to attack so that you can be oppressed.

That to me is why your "guide" to the artwork got hostile first is that they need to feel oppressed to demonstrate they have the truth and the world is against them- that builds their internal community. I suspect that we will continue to see this strategy of wall building to create these isolated belief systems- Facebook groups was just the tip of the iceberg. <Now on my soapbox> I personally believe that this strategy works well with people pre-disposed for religion and religious persecution. The next step toward persecution for other beliefs is a very easy one.
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:25 PM
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Modern-day Flat Eartherism is basically just Young Earth Creationism with a new coat of paint on it. The common thread amongst most Flat Earther arguments is that round-earth model was created by Evil Atheists who run the world and hate God (you see, they do believe in God, they're just mad at him because they want to be able to sin whenever they want) in order to convince people that the Earth is just one of many worlds like it and it doesn't have a special place in the cosmos, so that they'll lose faith and not rebel against their evil atheist masters.
I'm irresistibly reminded of a -- fictional -- episode set about a century ago, involving ultra-religious Flat Earthers. It's in The Emperor's Coloured Coat, one of John Biggins's splendid series of novels featuring an officer in the navy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in that entity's last years (when it had an Adriatic Sea coast). The hero, caught in the Far East by the outbreak of World War I, is trying -- by whatever means come to hand -- to get back to his homeland and his naval duties.

In the Dutch East Indies, he manages to get passage on a Dutch ship taking Muslim pilgrims to Jeddah, the port for Mecca. All the ship's officers are extremely fundamentalist and uncompromising Calvinists of the most strict and severe kind; they are convinced that the earth is flat -- whether because of the sort of reasoning laid out above, or because they read Scripture as asserting that it's flat, or a bit of both. The hero is initially concerned as to -- with people of such a persuasion doing the navigating -- where on the planet they are actually likely to fetch up. However, something of an anti-climax is revealed: it turns out that Flat-Earther navigational data and techniques are, rather boringly, not as far removed from conventional ditto as one might imagine. Jeddah is reached on schedule and without trouble.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:38 AM
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... Sigh. Yup, we have concrete cows and hundreds and hundreds of roundabouts, but it's a nice place to live* ...
Don't you mean flatabouts?
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:58 AM
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Flat earth. I don't see how anyone can actually believe it. We've seen the earth from the moon. You can see some of it, not all of it. if I'm looking at the earth from the moon and I can see North America but not Africa, where's Africa? On Side 2 like a record? I just can't see how anyone genuinely believes this stuff.
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Old 09-03-2019, 07:32 AM
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I'm still planning to pitch the TV idea taking flat earthers go on an expedition to the edge of the world.

Last edited by Fiendish Astronaut; 09-03-2019 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 09-03-2019, 07:48 AM
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draw sensible conclusions.
Ha, good luck with that.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:12 AM
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Flat earth. I don't see how anyone can actually believe it. We've seen the earth from the moon. You can see some of it, not all of it. if I'm looking at the earth from the moon and I can see North America but not Africa, where's Africa? On Side 2 like a record? I just can't see how anyone genuinely believes this stuff.
Well, if you don't believe in a space program or that we went to the moon, it's easy to dismiss all that evidence...

The last time I bet money was 35 years ago with a friend that didn't believe the Flat Earth Society existed. Brought him an application and other evidence and won $1.

Last edited by The Stainless Steel Rat; 09-03-2019 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:20 AM
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I've recently been thinking about my days of dabbling in celestial navigation (now a good while back).

The thought occurred to me that it would be interesting to hear a Flat Earther explain how so many people managed to do so well navigating their way all over the flat Earth using a theory about its shape that is so wildly at variance with "reality".
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:25 AM
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  • Large bodies of water are always level
  • Earth rotation (sic) cannot be scientifically detected
  • Scientists have never proven the existence of gravity, and still remains a theory
  • How can you prove the distance to the sun, moon, planets or stars
  • Gyroscopes prove planes fly level and do not dip their nose to maintain level flight
Translation: "We're not smart enough to figure any of this out, so we just assume that nobody can, therefore the proof for our conclusions is literally our own ignorance."
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:28 AM
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I have to believe that, for the most part, most of those "Flat Earthers" are just bullshitting for the sake of humor. Sure, you're going to have some mentally unbalanced people who might actually believe that stuff, but I find it incredible that any sane person could possibly believe that nonsense. All you have to do is look at the sun and the moon to see that they are ROUND.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:36 AM
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I enjoy engaging with Flat-Earthers by countering their “proof” with even dumber counter-arguments. First off, the earth isn’t flat. I’ve been on mountains, and the earth is hilly AF. Can’t fool me! The bottom of clouds being flat is countered by the links in my chainsaw being flat, but they go around anyway. And the no-spinning stuff is easily adressed by he observation that every globe I have ever seen, spins - so there. I’ve done this a couple times - both times the progression seemed to be from being seen as a likely possible convert to being too unreasonable/dumb to talk to.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:39 AM
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Carry a high school physics book in your bag, take it out and use it to beat them with it.
Excellent idea.
I'd back up the physics book with astronomy, seismology, meteorology... etc. The heavier the better.

A still don't know where good old Newton fits in with their "reasoning". His work definitely assumed the world was a spheroid, and in any case his Theory of Gravity (unproven!) is a bit old hat these days. I bet they don't have time for Galileo and Jupiter's so-called "moons" either.

If they're there next week I will ask them if a Star Turtle is involved, or else to follow bobot's idea. What the frack in on the other side?
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:53 AM
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Translation: "We're not smart enough to figure any of this out, so we just assume that nobody can, therefore the proof for our conclusions is literally our own ignorance."
I run into this a lot with the climate change denial and anti-vax crowd: "We don't understand the science, therefore the scientists are stupid."

My default response to the gibberish these sort of people espouse: "I like how you think that's an argument."
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:57 AM
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Interesting that they would bring up Newton who famously depicted the world as round in the cannonball diagram in his famous Principia.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:13 AM
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Carry a high school physics book in your bag, take it out and use it to beat them with it.
I'll pass on this one, based on having seen a high school physics book that showed a picture of an astronaut doing a spacewalk over this caption:

"As you get further from the center of the Earth, gravity decreases - until, in outer space, you're weightless!"


Not quite as bad as embracing a flat Earth, but still pretty freaking bad.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:57 AM
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A good case for beating the editors with the book to make sure it's fixed it in the next edition.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:26 AM
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There is only one remedy for these imbeciles; Carry a high school physics book in your bag, take it out and use it to beat them with it.
No, you drop it on their head. Then when they say "Ow, you dropped a book on my head" you reply "That's just your theory."
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:32 PM
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:35 PM
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Yes, if level is defined as being equal distant from the center of mass of the earth.
Go on now, git outta here with your Dr Xavier science and bein' smart and all that.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:27 PM
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I had to 'defriend' myself from an old university mate who, with the assistance of twenty years of weed-smoking in idyllic Bali, had taken on every conspiracy theory out there - and his contempt for science or even common sense was too much for me to bear. But his weird Earth-shape belief was that the Earth was a hollow sphere, with an opening at the North Pole which some pilot had once flown over (just the once presumably, very hush-hush).

It makes me wonder whether he's 'graduated' onto Flat Earth thinking with its recent resurgence. And what happens when a Flat-Earther meets a Hollow-Earther?
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:39 PM
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The thought occurred to me that it would be interesting to hear a Flat Earther explain how so many people managed to do so well navigating their way all over the flat Earth using a theory about its shape that is so wildly at variance with "reality".
It's actually quite easy to navigate if you assume the Earth is flat (provided you don't need to go over the edge. If you have a Mercator projection map, you only need to measure the heading you need to take, then stick to that heading. (You might need to do that several times if you need to navigate around land or something, but that's true with any map.) You won't go on the shortest route which, ignoring currents, would be the great circle route, but the navigation to get there works fine. It's actually easier to plot a course than on a sphere.

In the days before longitude could be measured accurately, it was common to sail to teh right latitude, then just sail due east or west.
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:45 PM
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I had to 'defriend' myself from an old university mate who, with the assistance of twenty years of weed-smoking in idyllic Bali, had taken on every conspiracy theory out there - and his contempt for science or even common sense was too much for me to bear. But his weird Earth-shape belief was that the Earth was a hollow sphere, with an opening at the North Pole which some pilot had once flown over (just the once presumably, very hush-hush).

It makes me wonder whether he's 'graduated' onto Flat Earth thinking with its recent resurgence. And what happens when a Flat-Earther meets a Hollow-Earther?
You've heard about flat Earth. You've heard about hollow Earth. But have you heard about... expanding Earth?
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:00 PM
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It's actually quite easy to navigate if you assume the Earth is flat ...
Right.

But what if you assume the earth is round - as huge numbers of celestial navigators have done? This ought to fail badly on a flat earth - but it appears to have consistently worked well.
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:14 AM
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I'll pass on this one, based on having seen a high school physics book that showed a picture of an astronaut doing a spacewalk over this caption:

"As you get further from the center of the Earth, gravity decreases - until, in outer space, you're weightless!"

Not quite as bad as embracing a flat Earth, but still pretty freaking bad.
There's nothing wrong with that sentence as a general description. It is not even in the same ballpark as a Flat Earth. Of course it is incomplete and without going into orbital mechanics and the inverse square law of gravity it is never going to be a full explanation but I guess that's what the rest of the text book is for.

Which part do you think is bad or wrong and why?
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:23 AM
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If I lived in Milton Keynes, I'd probably start believing strange shit
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:54 AM
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You've heard about flat Earth. You've heard about hollow Earth. But have you heard about... expanding Earth?
Yes. I once engaged with one of those idiots who had a YouTube video and asked him whether the Earth was adding mass from the outside, adding mass from the inside, or becoming less dense. He said it was adding mass from the inside. I asked how that worked. He deleted the whole exchange. Tsk.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:02 AM
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Which part do you think is bad or wrong and why?
Couple of problems with that caption:
1. On the surface of the earth, around 6400 km from its center, gravity is strong enough to give weight to everything that has mass. Is it plausible that increasing the distance by around 6% (low earth orbit) renders this negligible?

2. The weightlessness experienced in low-earth orbit has exactly nothing to do with any reduction in the earth's gravity there. It's a consequence of the fact that orbital motion is essentially "freefall".
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:46 AM
Novelty Bobble is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xema View Post
Couple of problems with that caption:
1. On the surface of the earth, around 6400 km from its center, gravity is strong enough to give weight to everything that has mass. Is it plausible that increasing the distance by around 6% (low earth orbit) renders this negligible?

2. The weightlessness experienced in low-earth orbit has exactly nothing to do with any reduction in the earth's gravity there. It's a consequence of the fact that orbital motion is essentially "freefall".
But it didn't say anything about an orbit did it? That gravity decreases with distance is an absolute fact and I would read "outer space" as meaning interstellar space rather than a low earth orbit.
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Last edited by Novelty Bobble; 09-04-2019 at 08:47 AM.
  #50  
Old 09-04-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
But it didn't say anything about an orbit did it?
It showed a picture of an astronaut in low-earth orbit.
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