I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far

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I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« on: November 03, 2008, 02:58:13 AM »
Okay, I definitely argue pro Round Earth, but honestly, I can't prove it.  I can't even say I know it for myself.  But I want to look at this as objectively as possible, so this is what I propose:

One, lets say, you are talking to someone who honestly can't say either way, and is looking into the discussion.  We have two sides being debated here, there could be other theories we have no need to touch upon.  We give the layman two distinct options:

Round Earth:
  • Maps apparently show locations of places and land masses, taking curvature into account, and appear to be self consistent within that model
  • Daylight patterns cover various locations throughout a 24 hr period, which are apparently self consistent to a spherical Earth
  • The motion of the sun appears to be self consistent with a RE, throughout the seasons, 3D graphical models show the solstice etc in the correct places via simple formulas
  • Society seems to believe we have satellites that orbit at varying periods, based on height up to geosynchronous, which appear to work with RE models of gravity and shape
  • Society seems to benefit from the above
  • The movement of all planets and stars can be described by RE and gravity models, using a single, simple formula that can be used render our solar system in a working 3D model
  • Society apparently has many photographs of the Earth from space, other planets, from manned and unmanned space missions
  • Still cannot describe what actually causes gravity, just it's relationship to mass and distance

Flat Earth:
  • Does not have a consistent map, and considers contemporary maps sponsored by a Conspiracy.  Cannot fully explain circumnavigation distances around the Southern Hemisphere
  • Does not fully explain daylight patterns, uses 'circular patterns' of the sun/moon hovering over the Earth, and Bendy Light to say it 'could be' explained once the formulas are known
  • Does not fully reconcile seasonal shifts in the sun's position but explains it through a 'wobble' that does not add up with regional measurements (Though conspiracy or bendy light may help)
  • Claims there is no gravity on Earth - that it is under constant acceleration (which would produce the effect) but cannot describe this Unknown Source of acceleration
  • Claims Antarctica is a giant Ice Wall, beyond which is the Edge of the Earth Disk, but it is guarded by Conspirators and cannot be verified
  • Claims Dark Energy of unknown principles and source, cause Bendy Light and/or prevent space travel beyond the upper atmosphere
  • Claims all photographic evidence is produced by Conspiracy, and all navigational systems compensate to make Flat Earth appear to be a Round Earth, with unknown mechanisms to account for the increasing discrepancies in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Satellites are actually stratollites or pseudollites created by Conspirators to deceive us regarding the true nature of the Earth

Now, I definitely have a personal bias - I'll admit that.  I also can't prove the Earth is Round, or disprove the Earth is Flat.  I can ask, however, if a random "Joe Layman" was to come here, and compare the two models to determine which is more likely to be true, what do you honestly think Joe decide?

Joe isn't concerned with conspiracies, or even knowing "for sure" what is the true shape of the planet.  New evidence could come up in the future, he could travel to Mars for a vacation in 40 years, or he could witness a giant conspiracy be uncovered in the news next week.  He wants to assume for now one of the models is the best to run with for the time being, maybe invest in an up and coming private satellite deployment company, maybe not, and go along with his daily grind. 


So with that given, do you think Flat Earth is a compelling theory, along side Round Earth?  Do you think it is equally strong? 

Do you not really care if you win over Joe, or just want ROers to try and disprove you or "bugger off" and leave you alone so you can work on your theory?

Do you believe a truly objective "Debate Judge" would decide Flat Earth Theory has equal or more veracity as Round Earth Theory?


Please note, even if you feel your theory is "weaker" that doesn't disprove it of course - and should there be a conspiracy that well funded, it would be understandable why your theory would be harder to defend... I am just curious where you find it to be on the strength/weak scale.  At the same time, can you understand why you'd have a hard time winning "Joe" over?  Are there any "lightening rod" points that you feel would compel Joe?

I am just curious how everyone here frames the debate, it seems 90% of the details discussed on this site arises from both sides either taking information for granted or not fully understanding the underlying mechanisms behind their arguments.  How do you feel about how I framed the debate - how would you frame it differently?

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 05:19:42 PM »
Excellent post. 

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trig

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 05:31:22 PM »
Just as a matter of scientific precision, you should talk about "evidence", not about "proof". The latter refers to absolute, philosophical truth or to mathematical conclusions based on axioms. The former (evidence) refers to observed phenomena from a study.

You cannot "prove" anything, except the "I think, therefore I am" assertion from Kant, but you can show overwhelming scientific evidence towards a spherical Earth.

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Tom Bishop

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 05:33:06 PM »
Quote
You cannot "prove" anything, except the "I think, therefore I am" assertion from Kant, but you can show overwhelming scientific evidence towards a spherical Earth.

So where's your evidence?

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2008, 06:25:23 PM »
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You cannot "prove" anything, except the "I think, therefore I am" assertion from Kant, but you can show overwhelming scientific evidence towards a spherical Earth.

So where's your evidence?

You have yet to refute any of the evidence ever posted for Round Earth on the entire website, so I suggest you start with that.

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Tom Bishop

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2008, 06:27:42 PM »
Quote
You have yet to refute any of the evidence ever posted for Round Earth on the entire website,

I've never seen any of your guys collect and demonstrate evidence for a Round Earth on this website.

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 07:00:53 PM »
Quote
You have yet to refute any of the evidence ever posted for Round Earth on the entire website,

I've never seen any of your guys collect and demonstrate evidence for a Round Earth on this website.

If possible, I'd like to focus more on the perceived veracity of the two sides of the debate, as many other threads boil down to specific instances of evidential claims, then get mired in the technical nuances and sliding scales of "evidence to proof" - though if anyone takes issue with the points I bulletted above, feel free to of course.

One of the main things I am trying to assess with this thread is the "value level" of each competing model to a potential adopter.  We cannot "prove" one or the other, but we rarely need proof in life. 


When I go buy ibuprofen at the store, I don't know it's actually ibuprofen.  I could claim "I think ibuprofen works best" yet I could never prove that is what I am actually taking.  It could be counterfeit, or even poisoned.  I've heard stories on the news about counterfeit cancer drugs or watered down versions, but never any medication as cheap as ibuprofen, I buy from reputable stores, so I am not worried.  In fact, I stake my life on it that it is not poisonous, every time I pop one of those suckers.

Similarly, I find that "the Earth is round" to be a similarly viable assumption when compared to the alternative, so much so that if I had the money, I would stake my life on it and take a trip to space.  But I know others do not feel that way, which makes me curious how they perceive the veracity of the two arguments. 

Do the FEers here feel that FET holds the veracity to be "the most viable option" for people to adopt when they have no preconceptions?  Do you feel it's an uphill battle when pitted against ROT? 

This is what I am most curious about.

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008, 07:06:26 PM »
You cannot "prove" anything, except the "I think, therefore I am" assertion from Kant...
Descartes, not Kant.
"Philosophy wasn't the same. The school had to be completely changed, but it could be changed because we had learned our lesson."
- Michelle Vian

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2008, 07:25:45 PM »
Quote
You cannot "prove" anything, except the "I think, therefore I am" assertion from Kant, but you can show overwhelming scientific evidence towards a spherical Earth.

So where's your evidence?
You may be confusing 'conclusive evidence' for evidence.

(I worded the above bullet points as I did to describe the circumstantial evidence distilled by both sides as to the best of my knowledge - I avoided absolute terms on purpose. )

Every topic that is debated will probably have a different level of 'encumbrance' due to the nature, but in any given debate between two sides, the least encumbered side usually is considered to hold a higher degree of veracity.  Round Earth is encumbered by one key issue:  We do not know the source of gravity, only it's relationship regarding mass and distance.

Flat Earth seems encumbered by a great number of unknowns (source of constant acceleration, DE, etc) and supporting assumptions (conspiracy, decades old stratellite tech, etc) which from an objective viewpoint tends towards lower relative veracity between it and it's leading competitor.  When I say "Objective viewpoint" I mean the view of anyone who is honestly trying to figure out which theory is better to "run with" for the time being.  Humans cannot survive without making assumptions and cannot prove everything as absolute, so we tend to have fairly simple processes for deciding what to run with in these situations. 

1) Veracity, which is already explained,
2) Urgency - the time limit to make the decision and and act
3) Cost/Reward - we often take action when the cost is low, and the reward, however unlikely, is high.

In a scientific debate, the veracity is generally given the most weight by far.  Lotto players can worry about pure Cost/Reward, and Colonists hearing "The British Are Coming!" can play the Urgency/Cost/Reward/Veracity card, and get their guns instead of waiting for a "peer review of the claim" to be made.

Tom, since this is a scientifically minded discussion regarding the comparisons of each competing theory, how do you feel about the bullet points? 

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Tom Bishop

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2008, 07:33:06 PM »
Quote
Do the FEers here feel that FET holds the veracity to be "the most viable option" for people to adopt when they have no preconceptions?

Yep. A person with no preconceptions would look out his window and see for himself that the earth exists as a plane.

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2008, 07:38:50 PM »
Quote
Do the FEers here feel that FET holds the veracity to be "the most viable option" for people to adopt when they have no preconceptions?

Yep. A person with no preconceptions would look out his window and see for himself that the earth exists as a plane.

They could also look out through a telescope and see the ISS, many satellites, and see the moon do this:



They can also watch a ship go over the horizon, climb a hill, and even though the ship is getting farther away, see more of it by the time they reach the top of the hill.  RET also calls for seeing a "flat" plane when they look out the window. 

Without preconceptions, is the simplest explanation for all of these observations from outside your window, or out in your yard? 

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markjo

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2008, 07:40:16 PM »
When I go buy ibuprofen at the store, I don't know it's actually ibuprofen.  I could claim "I think ibuprofen works best" yet I could never prove that is what I am actually taking.  It could be counterfeit, or even poisoned.  I've heard stories on the news about counterfeit cancer drugs or watered down versions, but never any medication as cheap as ibuprofen, I buy from reputable stores, so I am not worried.  In fact, I stake my life on it that it is not poisonous, every time I pop one of those suckers.

You must be too young to remember the Tylenol scare back in the early '80s.
Quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Chicago_Tylenol_murders
Seven fatal Tylenol poisonings, code-named TYMURS by the FBI, took place in the autumn of 1982 in the Chicago area in the United States. These poisonings involved Extra-Strength Tylenol medicine capsules which had been laced with potassium cyanide.[1] The perpetrator was never caught, but the incident has led to reforms in the packaging of over-the-counter substances and to federal anti-tampering laws.
Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.
Quote from: Robosteve
Besides, perhaps FET is a conspiracy too.
Quote from: bullhorn
It is just the way it is, you understanding it doesn't concern me.

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Tom Bishop

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2008, 07:45:49 PM »
Quote
They could also look out through a telescope and see the ISS, many satellites, and see the moon do this:

What does the moon or a stratellite tell us about the shape of the earth?

Quote
They can also watch a ship go over the horizon, climb a hill, and even though the ship is getting farther away, see more of it by the time they reach the top of the hill.  RET also calls for seeing a "flat" plane when they look out the window.

That's called perspective. You can better see things in the distance when you stand on a hill because you've changed your vanishing point. The horizon is always at eye level with the horizon. When you increase your altitude the horizon line rises with the level of your eye and you can see lands and objects which were once squished and obscured at the horizon with indiscernity. The higher you rise, the broader the perspective lines become, the farther you can see.

An ant has a horizon a few inches away.
A mouse has a horizon 30 feet away.
A man has a horizon about 30 miles away.
An eagle has a horizon over a hundred miles away.

When you increase your altitude you are changing your perspective lines in relation to the earth, pushing the vanishing point backwards. The higher up you go, the father you can see due to broadening perspective lines.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 07:57:20 PM by Tom Bishop »

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2008, 07:48:05 PM »
When I go buy ibuprofen at the store, I don't know it's actually ibuprofen.  I could claim "I think ibuprofen works best" yet I could never prove that is what I am actually taking.  It could be counterfeit, or even poisoned.  I've heard stories on the news about counterfeit cancer drugs or watered down versions, but never any medication as cheap as ibuprofen, I buy from reputable stores, so I am not worried.  In fact, I stake my life on it that it is not poisonous, every time I pop one of those suckers.

You must be too young to remember the Tylenol scare back in the early '80s.
Quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Chicago_Tylenol_murders
Seven fatal Tylenol poisonings, code-named TYMURS by the FBI, took place in the autumn of 1982 in the Chicago area in the United States. These poisonings involved Extra-Strength Tylenol medicine capsules which had been laced with potassium cyanide.[1] The perpetrator was never caught, but the incident has led to reforms in the packaging of over-the-counter substances and to federal anti-tampering laws.

I'll still bet my life on taking Tylenol 26 years later to reduce a potentially bad fever, considering the number of deaths vs the number of Tylenol consumed.    I am not saying it's impossible to be poisoned by making such an assumption, just improbable based on the imprecise observations I can make regarding the world around me.

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markjo

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2008, 07:58:08 PM »
Quote
They can also watch a ship go over the horizon, climb a hill, and even though the ship is getting farther away, see more of it by the time they reach the top of the hill.  RET also calls for seeing a "flat" plane when they look out the window.

That's called perspective. You can better see things in the distance when you stand on a hill because you've changed your vanishing point. The horizon is always at eye level with the horizon. When you increase your altitude the horizon line rises with the level of your eye and you can see lands and objects which were once squished and obscured at the horizon with indiscernity below you. The higher you rise, the broader the perspective lines become, the farther you can see.

An ant has a horizon a few inches away.
A mouse has a horizon 30 feet away.
A man has a horizon about 30 miles away.
An eagle has a horizon over a hundred miles away.

When you increase your altitude you are changing your perspective lines in relation to the earth, pushing the vanishing point backwards. The higher up you go, the father you can see due to broadening perspective lines.

Tom, you keep confusing the vanishing point with the horizon.  They are not the same thing.  The vanishing point is related to perspective, the horizon is not.
Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.
Quote from: Robosteve
Besides, perhaps FET is a conspiracy too.
Quote from: bullhorn
It is just the way it is, you understanding it doesn't concern me.

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2008, 08:10:05 PM »
Quote
They could also look out through a telescope and see the ISS, many satellites, and see the moon do this:

What does the moon or a stratellite tell us about the shape of the earth?
If we have no preconceptions, and we examine just "what we can see around us" (the outdoors, media, etc) as I have listed in those bullet points above (and note I use 'seems to' and 'apparently' a lot on purpose, as we can not be sure about information that comes from third parties) what can we learn from 'those man made sky objects' and 'the moon' that we see above us?

First, we have two explanations for satellite/stratellite observations:  
A) the media is telling us they are in orbit, for which any 10th grader can calculate the math for, and they are the basis of our GPS, earth photography and communication systems.
B) they are a lie created by a conspiracy, and 'high atmo objects' that need to be swapped out every 18 months.

Which is the simpler explanation?

Regarding the moon:  
A) RE calls for the moon to be a sphere, which should naturally 'wobble' like that without further explanation
B) FE calls the moon a disk, which has no explanation for the wobble.  

Should one be explained, its worth noting it's a "follow up" explanation, and unless it fits into the base core model, adds to its encumbrance relative to the RE model which needs none.  

Which is the simpler explanation?

Quote
They can also watch a ship go over the horizon, climb a hill, and even though the ship is getting farther away, see more of it by the time they reach the top of the hill.  RET also calls for seeing a "flat" plane when they look out the window.

That's called perspective. You can better see things in the distance when you stand on a hill because you've changed your vanishing point. The horizon is always at eye level with the horizon. When you increase your altitude the horizon line rises with the level of your eye and you can see lands and objects which were once squished and obscured at the horizon with indiscernity below you. The higher you rise, the broader the perspective lines become, the farther you can see.

An ant has a horizon a few inches away.
A mouse has a horizon 30 feet away.
A man has a horizon about 30 miles away.
An eagle has a horizon over a hundred miles away.

When you increase your altitude you are changing your perspective lines in relation to the earth, pushing the vanishing point backwards. The higher up you go, the father you can see due to broadening perspective lines.


You have proposed conjecture without a basis, other than perhaps an assumption based on what you have experienced seeing yourself.  

Those observations only holds true mathematically based on "line of sight" when there are imperfections in the plane greater than the height of the observer over some distance.  Ray tracing rendering software will demonstrate this.  A human has an eye line of about 5 1/2 feet, so only when the terrain rises over  5 1/2  feet before dropping again, will the horizon be obscured on a flat plane.  Five miles out, it can be hard to differentiate a 5 1/2 foot variation.  Only "haze" can cause further obscuring of the horizon, and does so in a uniform pattern on the distant object - haze does not account for crisp objects viewed in the distance, with only the base fully obscured.  Only variations in the plane's height, or a curvature of the plane, can account for this.  

The explanation that includes the curvature of the Earth can explain all this far more simply and consistently than subjective vanishing points that do not reconcile with any mathematical model.

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Dr Matrix

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2008, 02:47:26 AM »
Quote
You cannot "prove" anything, except the "I think, therefore I am" assertion from Kant, but you can show overwhelming scientific evidence towards a spherical Earth.

So where's your evidence?

lol ;D
Quote from: Arthur Schopenhauer
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

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MadDogX

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2008, 03:52:04 AM »
Even through a powerful telescope, ships can clearly be seen to "sink" below the horizon.
Quote from: Professor Gaypenguin
I want an Orion slave woman :(
Okay, I admit it.  The earth isn't flat.

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2008, 08:32:30 AM »
Quote
They could also look out through a telescope and see the ISS, many satellites, and see the moon do this:

What does the moon or a stratellite tell us about the shape of the earth?

Any person without preconcieved notions would see the ISS really does orbit the Earth. Of course, you could also use reason, logic and evidence.

The fact that only ~50% of the moon is visible from Earth (instead of ~100%) shows that the moon is very distant, in direct contradiction to FE celestial mechanics.

Quote
They can also watch a ship go over the horizon, climb a hill, and even though the ship is getting farther away, see more of it by the time they reach the top of the hill.  RET also calls for seeing a "flat" plane when they look out the window.

That's called perspective. You can better see things in the distance when you stand on a hill because you've changed your vanishing point. The horizon is always at eye level with the horizon. When you increase your altitude the horizon line rises with the level of your eye and you can see lands and objects which were once squished and obscured at the horizon with indiscernity. The higher you rise, the broader the perspective lines become, the farther you can see.

An ant has a horizon a few inches away.
A mouse has a horizon 30 feet away.
A man has a horizon about 30 miles away.
An eagle has a horizon over a hundred miles away.

When you increase your altitude you are changing your perspective lines in relation to the earth, pushing the vanishing point backwards. The higher up you go, the father you can see due to broadening perspective lines.

Again, you display gross ignorance of perspective. You are confusing perspective lines (which are an aid to drawing) with physically meaningful objects. Please provide an explanation for the perspective sinking effect based on angular resolution.

NB: The argument that the hull of a boat becomes indistinguishable from the horizon is clearly flawed, as it contradicts evidence: 1,2,3.

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2008, 02:59:15 PM »
The horizon issue really has been discussed to death, but lets look at it from the perspective of argument veracity:

Round Earth:
  • Does not require light to bend inconsistently from well known well established physics (exceptionally high mass)
  • Observations are known to match mathematical (proven basic trig) formulas regarding distance, observer height, target height, and diameter of a Round Earth

Flat Earth:
  • Requires light to bend inconsistently from well known well established physics, incorporates unknown factors such as Dark Engery
  • Observations are known to match mathematical (proven basic trig) formulas regarding distance, observer height, target height, and diameter of a Round Earth, but are explained by a Flat Earth with Bendy Light (or are misinterpreted and horizon/vanishing points get confused)

Round Earth uses known trig formulas that work for all other manner of uses, as such, does not add encumbrance to the theory, and does not require any new concepts regarding behavior of light. 

Flat Earth must admit the observations match known trig formulas for Round Earth, but claim Light is Bending instead, encumbering theory with more unknown causes for isolated phenomena that are not observed elsewhere in nature.

The result:  Perspective Argument is not an example of a strength of FET over RET, as it is more, not less encumbered than the alternative. 

What other components of FET do you feel are stronger than RET?  Those can be vetted too.

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Parsifal

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2008, 02:47:36 AM »
Yes, except that light doesn't bend in the way that FE'ers would wish it.

Prove it.
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2008, 04:47:43 AM »
Flat Earth must admit the observations match known trig formulas for Round Earth, but claim Light is Bending instead, encumbering theory with more unknown causes for isolated phenomena that are not observed elsewhere in nature.

Yes, except that light doesn't bend in the way that FE'ers would wish it.

Well, they claim it bends that way due to "mysterious forces" due to factors dubbed "Dark Energy" etc (which, even though physicists have their own definition of DE, has nothing to do with the FE version) and you can't really prove that is wrong.  You can however, point out it makes their theory far less elegant, and RE has no such problems.

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Dr Matrix

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2008, 09:47:25 AM »
Fabry-Perot interferometers disprove bendy light.
Quote from: Arthur Schopenhauer
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

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trig

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2008, 12:42:27 PM »
Yes, except that light doesn't bend in the way that FE'ers would wish it.

Prove it.
"Bendy light" takes care of the apparent altitude (angle from the horizon) where celestial objects seem to be while they should be a lot higher, according to FE "theories". But it does not take care of the errors in azimuth (angle from the true North) where objects appear to be while FE says they really are further North.

And I am being very generous with the "bendy light" hypothesis. I am not even asking, again, for the formulas that define bendy light or why the objects are seen with the same apparent size and brightness, whether it is near the zenith or near the horizon.

As many of us have said many times, there are no proofs in science. But evidence against "bendy light" is overwhelming.

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Dr Matrix

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2008, 02:34:34 PM »
I built a Fabry-Perot interferometer the other day which worked very nicely.  Bendy light would have made it almost impossible to achieve a good Q-factor without some pretty funky optics.  It would have made for a decent chapter of my thesis if I had found that bendy light was real though :D
Quote from: Arthur Schopenhauer
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2008, 03:37:27 PM »
I built a Fabry-Perot interferometer the other day which worked very nicely.  Bendy light would have made it almost impossible to achieve a good Q-factor without some pretty funky optics.  It would have made for a decent chapter of my thesis if I had found that bendy light was real though :D

Well, I don't think you can "disprove" bendy light by posting a forum post... anymore than you can "prove" a bus is coming to some guy who should get out of the street, who opts to cover his ears and close his eyes so you can't.

Personally, I don't think it's worth while to try to 'prove' the arguments, especially in this thread as it's not about whether a given piece of either theory is 'true' or 'false' proof wise, but really about comparing the 'viability' of any given explanation for a given piece of either theory, and how they stack up against each other.

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Tom Bishop

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Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2008, 04:43:21 PM »
Quote
Personally, I don't think it's worth while to try to 'prove' the arguments,

If you refuse to try and prove your arguments, why should we need to prove ours?

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2008, 06:06:00 PM »
Quote
Personally, I don't think it's worth while to try to 'prove' the arguments,

If you refuse to try and prove your arguments, why should we need to prove ours?

I am not asking you to prove yours - not in this thread at least.  I am only asking for honest assessments of the elegance of each solution to any given problem in a FE vs RE framework. 

If you want to decide on a model to use as a basis of your decisions, and don't know which is right, you evaluate the two models, and choose the best, most robust theory of the two.  Hence, we are comparing the "robustness" of the two theories, not proving one or the other in this thread.

Btw Tom, do you feel FET is the more elegant, less encumbered of the two theories being discussed?  You mentioned the perspective stuff, but haven't commented on the responses yet. 

This thread is about evaluating the discussion for the objective newcomer, who has no preconceptions afterall.

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Tom Bishop

  • Flat Earth Believer
  • 17720
Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2008, 11:05:19 PM »
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Btw Tom, do you feel FET is the more elegant, less encumbered of the two theories being discussed?  You mentioned the perspective stuff, but haven't commented on the responses yet.

Of course FET is the most elegant and observable model of our earth. Just look out your window or walk off the edge of a chair sometime.

Re: I can't prove the Earth is round or flat: the debate so far
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2008, 11:19:07 PM »
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Btw Tom, do you feel FET is the more elegant, less encumbered of the two theories being discussed?  You mentioned the perspective stuff, but haven't commented on the responses yet.

Of course FET is the most elegant and observable model of our earth. Just look out your window or walk off the edge of a chair sometime.

Why don't we have the 'facepalm' emoticon in the editor? 

You are correct if your window is your only source of information in the world, don't see any objects moving below the horizon, and don't pay attention to any patterns that occur outside your window over time.

But we all have access to a lot more information.  Please refer to the bullet lists at the beginning of this thread. I tried to be thorough there for a reason - dispute them if you want but don't ignore them please. 

Just with what is outside your window:  FET could be right about objects over the horizon due to bendy light, but it is inelegant whereas a curvature is elegant.  It is inelegant because it adds a bunch of unknowns (nature of source, nature of isolated effects) whereas ROT works without ever introducing a new element, let alone an unknown. 

ROT also explains the seasons and the motion of the sun throughout the year, and relative location vs the equator perfectly and is simple enough a 7 year old could understand it.  (I did, in second grade.)  Can you say the same for the FET explanation of all these things that can be seen from your window?