Yes, Flat-Earthers Really Do Exist

Discussion in 'Science, Tech, & Space Exploration' started by nivek, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Yes, Flat-Earthers Really Do Exist

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    With the sphericity of the Earth empirically established by the ancient Greeks more than 2,000 years ago, it is difficult to believe that there are still holdouts. Yet, as a reporter for Vice recently observed, “If a flat Earth conference in Edmonton, Alberta, of all places, can pull in over 200 people … I think we may be underestimating the size of the movement.”


    How prevalent is flat-Earthery?

    In a previous column, we examined what seems to have been the first systematic attempt to assess the American population’s views on the shape of the Earth, a YouGov poll conducted in February 2018. According to YouGov’s report, when asked, “Do you believe that the world is round or flat,” 2 percent of the 8,215 respondents chose “I have always believed the world is flat.”

    When we asked YouGov for the data, however, we received a spreadsheet reflecting data for 10,374 respondents, of whom only 1.28 percent preferred the always-a-flat-earther response. Unfortunately, YouGov was unable or unwilling to resolve the discrepancy, making it impossible for us to reach a firm conclusion about the actual size of the flat-Earth movement on the basis of the poll.

    Whether 2 percent or 1.28 percent, it’s still disturbingly high. So it’s not surprising that readers of our previous column were skeptical of the poll’s results—suspicious about the way in which the participants were selected, critical of the question used to assess belief about the shape of the Earth, and speculating about the possibility of insincerity skewing the outcome. So let’s take a look.

    First, because YouGov’s poll was conducted online, a number of commentators expressed concern that a poll open to all comers would be vulnerable to a selection effect: flat-Earthers would be more likely to notice and answer the poll and to recruit allies to respond to it. That is a reasonable concern, but not applicable. YouGov’s polls are only administered to members of a prescreened panel of respondents.

    Second, a lot of the skepticism centered, naturally, on the wording of the possible responses that YouGov offered to the respondents:




      • I have always believed the world is round.
      • I always thought the world is round, but more recently I am skeptical/have doubts.
      • I always thought the world is flat, but more recently I am skeptical/have doubts.
      • I have always believed the world is flat.
    Responses that did not fall into those categories (7 percent in the report; 5.19 percent in the spreadsheet) were recorded in the Other/Not Sure category.

    It is a serious flaw that the offered responses combine two questions: what respondents have thought in the past about the shape of the Earth (about which they may be unsure or unreliable) and whether they have recently entertained doubts. So it isn’t entirely clear what the responses indicate about the current beliefs of the respondents with doubts.

    It is not a serious flaw, however, that the offered responses assume the only relevant views are that the Earth is round and that the Earth is flat. Other views (such as the view that Earth is cubical, à la Scotland L. Moore’s planet of Aoicicinori) are probably not prevalent enough in the American population to be worth recording in their own category distinct from the Other/Not Sure responses.

    It is a flaw, but probably not a serious flaw, that “round” and “flat” are imprecise. Technically, the Earth is not round, but rather a bumpy oblate spheroid. But it is unclear to what extent YouGov’s respondents were deterred from expressing acceptance of a round Earth by such considerations; it is likely that they generally discerned the pollster’s intention and selected the response closest to their view.

    Third, in light of reports that younger people were less likely to prefer the always-a-round-Earther response, it was widely speculated that their responses were frivolous or ironic. Perhaps, but no evidence for it is apparent. Moreover, the most flagrantly insincere response would have been always-a-flat-Earther, while younger people were instead more likely to offer a response categorized as Other/Not Sure.

    Perhaps it’s easier to admit the existence of flat-Earthers in light of a 2016 survey finding that 27 percent of Americans don’t accept heliocentrism, 48 percent don’t accept common ancestry of humans and non-human animals, and 61 percent don’t accept the big bang. Clearly, whether due to ignorance or ideology, the scientific consensus is not always accepted—so why not about the shape of the Earth?

    If it’s difficult to believe that people embrace a flat Earth, it’s going to be difficult to trust a poll that claims to validate that belief. There were genuine flaws in YouGov’s poll, and there is clearly room for improvement. Still, along with the evidence from such events as Edmonton’s, the poll credibly indicates that—to parody the famous editorial about Santa Claus—yes, Alberta, there are flat-Earthers.

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  2. michael59

    michael59 Noble

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    So, I guess that solves all those missing person cases.

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  3. wwkirk

    wwkirk Noble

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    Because of the sheer stupidity of the belief, I wonder if many of the flat-earthers are really just trolls.
     
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  4. spacecase0

    spacecase0 earth human

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    I watched science get broken in the nightly news
    long ago reality was what science could prove
    then things shifted to what scientists "believed"
    use to be that no one cared what they thought, only what they could prove

    proof is in short supply with flat earth
     
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  5. wwkirk

    wwkirk Noble

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    How to Determine the Earth’s Circumference
    You can figure out the earth’s circumference using a geometric formula that’s over 2,000 years old! Contrary to popular belief, Christopher Columbus did not discover that the Earth is round. Eratosthenes (276–194 B.C.) made that discovery about 1,700 years before Columbus.

    Eratosthenes was the head librarian in Alexandria, Egypt, the center of learning in the ancient world. He estimated the circumference of the Earth with the following method: He knew that on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the angle of the sun above Syene, Egypt, would be 0°, in other words, the sun would be directly overhead. So on the summer solstice, he measured the angle of the sun above Alexandria by measuring the shadow cast by a pole and got a 7.2° angle.

    The following figure shows how Eratosthenes’s earth measurement worked.
    [​IMG]


    Eratosthenes divided 360° by 7.2° and got 50, which told him that the distance between Alexandria and Syene (500 miles) was 1/50 of the total distance around the Earth. So he multiplied 500 by 50 to arrive at his estimate of the Earth’s circumference: 25,000 miles. This estimate was only 100 miles off the actual circumference of 24,900 miles!
     
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  6. Kilburn

    Kilburn reee

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    326
    None of us have been high enough in the air to see for ourselves, have we? It could be a ball, sure. it could also be a torus. Or, it could very well be a flat landmass floating in the void, with the entirety of our civilisation taking place under a great domed firmament. We just don't know unless we see for ourselves; and who has the resources? Liars. We are ruled by the least of us, this we know. An interesting hypothesis I saw was that the Earth IS a globe, but a much, much bigger one than we are led to believe, with many continents kept secret from us, we being some kind of quarantined control civilisation while everything outside is so much more advanced, like our own ancient civilisations. Perhaps they were not ours, but theirs. Maybe our creators are closer than we think.

    Maybe it's just turtles all the way down and nobody knows anything.

    Perhaps we're simply not meant to know these answers in life, perhaps we're missing the point.

    Who knows?
     
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  7. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Do you have any more information on these hidden continents?...

    ...
     
  8. Kilburn

    Kilburn reee

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    [​IMG]

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  9. Kilburn

    Kilburn reee

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  10. michael59

    michael59 Noble

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    When I was in my mid 20's, I was searching for a reason for these "ghosts" that I had been dealing with for the better part of my life so, I decided to check out different religions and test out this demon theory, that several different people had offered up to me as an explanation/alternative for ghosts. I had already read the King James version of the bible when I was 21 and I had tons of questions.

    I met this woman at work who was a few years younger than me and was a born again christian. She also believed that these "ghost" were the devil and his demons trying to sway me from God and offered to accompany me to her church and bible study classes. I agreed to start with a bible study class.

    I can't remember the exact amount of people in attendance at this class. There were at least a dozen others from her church. The class was at someone's home. Like I said, I had a ton of questions..

    I also don't recall how this topic arose but, I was asking about what they thought of the possibility of life on other planets, such as mars. My co-worker turned to me and said with all sincerity that there is no mars. There are no other planets. All there is is what you can see with your eyes. The sky, the sun, the moon, and the earth. When I said that we were all taught about the solar system in school, she said that everything we were taught is a lie. Genesis tells us that. Everything else is a rues by the devil to turn your attention away from God.

    Everyone in that room believed that statement. I wish I had thought to ask if they believed the earth was flat.

    I was in Edmonton, Alberta.
     
  11. Standingstones

    Standingstones See you in heaven, if you make the list.

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    1AE81DB3-7BC4-4BE4-8EEA-A24994B1B230.jpeg F5A6D83E-3303-409C-BC8D-51618E0D4832.jpeg 9685AB2A-288B-4D20-8B99-1C1C7B4C2292.jpeg

    I dug up three photos for the next time I heard any nonsense about the Earth being flat. Of course when you present evidence there will be some moron who claims that photos can be faked. Oh well, you can lead the horse to water...
     
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  12. Double Nought Spy

    Double Nought Spy Honorable

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    Yep. Droolers gonna drool.
     
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  13. Captain Tinkle

    Captain Tinkle Honorable

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    I have been up in a plane. I can confirm there is a curvature of the Earth.
     
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  14. Kilburn

    Kilburn reee

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    I've been in quite a few planes myself. They don't fly high enough to show curvature of the horizon.
     
  15. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    I refuse to believe this article. Until someone produces a flat-earther before my very eyes, I will never believe they exist.
     
  16. wwkirk

    wwkirk Noble

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    Kilburn is right above you. He or she is a flat-earther.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
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  17. Standingstones

    Standingstones See you in heaven, if you make the list.

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    D934072B-075A-4BBB-B1F2-52731FAE3D3C.jpeg Here’s a guy who professed believing in the flat earth theory: Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics. He was shamed so much he sort of backtracked on his beliefs.

    I guess he didn’t learn too much while at college.
     
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  18. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    105
    He's being ironic. No person qualified to operate a mouse and keyboard is that imbecilic.
     
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  19. APIGuy

    APIGuy Independent Field Investigator

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    175
    I thought that too, but apparently not. Ross and Carrie did quite a long sequence of episodes on Flat Earth. I don't think the troll hypothesis works for many of the people they met. They are by necessity massive conspiracy theorists, and they believe in a large range of conspiracies. Most are religious.
     
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  20. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

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    The problem with the use of this image to prove your point is that it is taken with a wide-field, or fish-eye, lens. The edges of the solar panels in the picture are in actuality straight, but if you hold a straight edge up to this image you see that these straight edges evidence a pronounced curvature, thus the curvature of the earth's limb is greatly exaggerated.

    upload_2018-10-23_22-29-0.png

    This opens up a can of worms about the apparent straightness of lines. Although we can readily perceive straight lines in our surroundings, the actual projection of a straight line in three dimensions onto our visual field is curved, except in special circumstances, but the brain compensates for this and we perceive that a straight line is straight. It is also the case with straight lines projected onto photographic images. The image above demonstrates this in an exaggerated form.

    Thus, you can show a curved horizon from an altitude which is too low to perceive such an effect:

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    And if you orientate your camera so that you have sky in the centre of the image and the horizon and ground towards the edge, you can get the horizon to apparently curve the wrong way:

    [​IMG]
     
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