Flat Earth

So I was tagged in a facebook post that said:

Are the 100 mile long salt flats with an inch of rain not enough proof? Lol obviously not for y’all. Keep researching. They can’t even explain gravity but I’m supposed to just go with it?

Along with the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ7_9eIAlT4&feature=youtu.be

I tried to post a response, but my reply is gone now… so I thought I’d post it here since I didn’t want all of my time wasted…

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First some questions. I tend to type a lot, so sorry. If you read what all I write, I appreciate it.

1) Would anything change your mind on this? If so, what?

2) Can you devise any experiments that would be able to disprove your worldview on this? (It really is a worldview, haha!) Do you think you could perform any of these experiments? You are looking for experiments that could possibly *disprove* your beliefs. Confirmation bias is something humans are good at. Avoid it at all costs!

– We enjoy modern convenience today so experiments today are easier than before. For example, you could collaborate with someone else across the world, write down your observations during an agreed upon time period, then send each other the results before viewing the other’s finding. Did your expectations measure up to reality? Why not?

3) Why do you think there’s some conspiracy that the Earth is a sphere?

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At any rate I did watch a bit of the video and its reasoning is spread all over the place. The argument is not very well structured at all. Some responses to some of your comments:

Comment: “Why should I believe nasa? Cause they have enough money to try and change my mind? Yall getting your information from people you’ve never met or possibly met but take their word on it?”

Response: It’s not just NASA doing these sort of experiments. There’s many physicists who as part of their training will conduct classic experiments. What you see is all of these physics students becoming convinced at the current understanding of the universe. There is a reason. The experiments work and the students do them themselves. I have a B.S. degree in physics (working on my Ph.D. in mathematics now). We did many experiments in undergrad without really the professor even supervising us. We did things normal people wouldn’t do such as measure the speed of light and such.

On top of this, this is one reason why tenure is important. Everyone always complains about these tenured professors that are so difficult to fire. But the entire point of tenure is that these professors have proven their academic work and tenure allows them to publish on what they want. This is a safeguard against people feeling pressured to go against the common held beliefs and publish their honest to goodness findings. If you don’t want to believe in NASA, okay I suppose. But you’re making a far wider claim than just NASA fyi.

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Comment: “Remember planet is just another name for moving star. Notice all planet pics are CG.”

Response: Huh………..?

Sorry but the term star has a very specific meaning. A star undergoes nuclear fusion. Planets do not undergo fusion. The reason that we don’t have picture of planets from other solar systems is because we can basically only really detect 2 things: (1) There is a planet there and (2) the composition of elements of the planet. Better techniques are being implemented all of the time though, so we’ll see.

If you’d like for me to explain how we know these things, I can explain that, but it is a bit complicated. Point (1) relies on typically observing the nearby star as a reference and point (2) relies on our understanding of Quantum Mechanics. Both are kind of a bit complicated.

But we can easily take pictures of planets from our solar system… In fact anyone can go do it if they really wanted to. I went and took images of Jupiter and used them for some computations before.

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Comment: “Who’s to say they’re spot on with everything they’ve explained? Cause I know you don’t know nor do I.” and “Quit letting others think and speak for you and do your own research.”

Response: There’s plenty of classes you can take on astronomy or even tutorials of these things available online nowadays. Have you gone and looked at any of them and tried to see the experiments involved?

Do your own research huh? Have you done your own experiments? Have you done ones that would prove you wrong? Try to prove yourself wrong. When you struggle to do that, maybe you’re onto something. Avoid confirmation bias. Relevant video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKA4w2O61Xo

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Comment: “You mean to tell me gravity this magical force is holding in water and everything else but we have enough power from rocket boosters to break that and go to space? What?! I’ve taken to many pics myself to believe in flat earth.”

Response: The first sentence, huh…? The water doesn’t have a force on it pushing up (other than the equal and opposite reaction)… the rocket does though…

The second sentence… so what…? That doesn’t prove *anything*. Any smooth object is *locally flat*. Key word here is *local*. This is the *entire* concept behind multivariable calculus: That “well-shaped” objects appear flat when you zoom into them. It’s the same idea that a smooth curve looks like a line when you zoom in at a particular point.

You’re going to have to find some other way to illustrate your point, because it doesn’t prove what you think it does.

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Comment: “They tell me it’s 93 million miles away?! Wtf how you even measure that?”

Response: There are numerous ways to measure the distances to objects. Remember trigonometry?

Parallax: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax

A historical explanation of the computation: http://www.exploratorium.edu/venus/question4.html

Here are some general methods mostly for objects far away:

General List of Methods: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_distance_ladder

Standard Candles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_distance_ladder#Standard_candles

What’s also important here is that there are many methods. We can use these different methods to cross-check our answers. Do you not believe one computation? What about 2 or 3 that use different ideas but give a very similar number? Starting to become more convinced now?

But that’s still a good question on how they measure it. It’s nontrivial, so it’s understandable it’s not entirely clear. If you look at all I posted, there’s a lot of complicated methods used!

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Comment: “Why me? Lol If your mind hasn’t changed by now I’m not gonna be able to do it. You can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink.”

Response: We’re all subject to confirmation bias. How do you know you’re not the horse refusing to drink? In some way, we all are normally like that. So that’s why I said earlier that trying to disprove what you believe is important.

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General points:

1) We know more about gravity than you seem to think we do. General relativity is our current understanding of gravity which I doubt many even know what it really says:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_relativity

The problem is, modern physics has made amazing predictions which have turned out to be true. All of these predictions could have torn down our current understanding of the universe, but to this day, our experiments confirm what we find about General Relativity. These theories could have been torn apart time and time again, but they haven’t. You know why? Because they predicted outcomes with amazing accuracy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity

All of this is from physicists working independently from each other and publishing their findings and experiments / methods for others to check. You have physicists who are tenured, you have students taking part in this process, etc. You really have to believe in some super large conspiracy where people devote their entire lives to participate in this kind of conspiracy if you really want to doubt these people’s hard work. I only mention this since you may doubt the intentions of everyone working on this. But seriously that’s really kind of bull. The pay is less than you’d expect and people do the profession because they love the work and they love the thrill of discovery.

2) To go with point (1), what’s interesting is just how well our current model of the universe lines up with reality. As we measure objects further and further away, we see a progression of *what* is happening. This makes sense though. As we look further out, we are looking backwards in time. We should see an evolution of the universe as we look at more distant objects. And indeed, this is what we find.

What’s also interesting is that we still observe the same physical laws appearing to hold when we observe light from distant galaxies. They still have structures that make sense based on the physics we recognize today from what we observe near us.

3) I hope you don’t mind me commenting and I hope you re-evaluate your views on that video…

Best wishes.