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Is the Earth Flat? Options
Bedells
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 9:14:31 PM

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The question on the title of this thread may seem stupid, but I couldn't believe it: there are still people who think the earth is flat. Do you want to know the arguments?

1. The crazy flight routes: For example, why, in order to travel from South America to Australia, do you go to the US and then you go to Australia? Or, to go to South Africa from South America, why do you go to Europe first and then you travel down to South Africa?
2.- People say that the Antarctica and the north pole are covering the edge of the earth and that's why nobody falls out of the planet.
3.- If the earth is flat, why doesn't it have a slope?

That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard! That's like saying that man never went to the moon, the Holocaust didn't exist, that vaccines provoke autism or that Michelle Obama is an alien. Anxious

And I wonder where they got that thinking from since at the school you're always taught that the earth is round. Maybe there's someone out there brainwashing people's minds...........
BobShilling
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 2:51:29 PM
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Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
I find the idea that a tiny number of clearly intellectually-impaired people still believe in a flat earth far less disturbing than the fact:

- that between 25% and 40% (depending on your source) of Americans still believe that 'God' created the universe less than 10,000 years ago,
- that the pope, 'leader' of umpteen million Christians, still proclaims as divine truth the belief that contraception is wrong/immoral/a sin/whatever.
- that millions of muslims throughout the world believe that what they arbitrarily believe to be an insult to their prophet is a crime deserving death,
- that millions of christians/muslims/jews/hindus, etc, believe that love between two people of the same sex is immoral/sinful/disgusting/ punishable (by death in some places),
- that a believer in a 'religion' invented by a convicted conman should stand a moderately realistic chance in 2012 of being elected vice-president of supposedly one of the most advanced nations on earth,
- that a large minority of Americans still believe that a liar/hypocrite/tax-avoider/racist/misogynist/petulant narcissist/groper/slanderer/self-promoter is the person they want to lead their country.

Be realistic, Bedells. Belief in a flat earth is pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things.
thar
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 3:45:45 PM

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I have no problem with the Earth being flat. It seems an eminently sensible deduction from the fact I am not walking uphill all the time and things don't roll around (if you can find something flat to put them on).

My problem is where the edges are. They clearly move. If you climb a hill or go up a mast, you can see a certain distance, and then it stops. That is not because things get to small to see, but because they hit sky. So clearly that must be the end of the world. But if I climb another hill, the edges have moved. The only conclusion I can draw from that is that the world only exists around me. Like an old computer game when a place only materialised when you entered it. That brings up profound questions of why the world should only exist around me. Is everybody else just in my imagination? Or do we each have our own worlds - in which case how do we interact? Or am I just god? My senses tell me one thing, and no amount of education will entirely convince me the Earth is round until I have been all the way around it myself. Without falling off anything or being eaten by dragons.
I remain equally unconvinced by both blue marbles and flat Earths - it is the magically moving edges which are so intriguing. Whistle




I will avoid the politics, but it does scare me that a large proportion of people are taught that evolutionary theory is dangerous to their masters' conceptions of the world and blindly toe that line. But they still expect to be given antibiotics when they get ill. When these people get hold of public policy around the world, flat or oblate spheroid - god help us all!
Flat-Earthers, on the other hand... I think if there is only one flat Earth, you might want to take more care of it. So it seems quite an environmentally-friendly camp, and I am all in favour of that!
L.Rai
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 5:58:08 PM

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I don't want to comment on the actual earth being flat but here is a good book that explains how the world is flat:

https://www.amazon.com/World-Flat-Thomas-Friedman/dp/1598954814

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman was one of the better books I bothered to read in the last few months. It will give you some food for thought about how our "world" is changing.

As for the physical planet, well I am not so worried about it being flat or round, but I think we all should be concerned about it sustaining us in the near future.

One more thing, the earth is actually a flattened sphere according to some: https://www.universetoday.com/66515/how-many-miles-around-the-earth/

Check out the link and read the article from Universe Today a site written by scientists (I believe astronomers) who have a lot to say about this subject, if you want to learn more.

"Your life matters more than you will ever know, so live it well"
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 7:59:02 AM

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Joined: 9/21/2009
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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Structure of the world, according to Finnish mythology.




"The world was believed to have been formed out of a pochard egg. The sky was believed to be the upper cover of the egg, alternately it was seen as a tent, which was supported by a column at the north pole, below the north star.

The movement of the stars was explained to be caused by the sky-dome's rotation around the North Star and itself. A great whirl was caused at the north pole by the rotation of column of sky. Through this whirl souls could go to the outside of the world to the land of dead, Tuonela.

Earth was believed to be flat. At the edges of Earth was Lintukoto, "the home of the birds", a warm region in which birds lived during the winter. The Milky Way is called Linnunrata, "the path of the birds", because the birds were believed to move along it to Lintukoto and back. In Modern Finnish usage, the word lintukoto means an imaginary happy, warm and peaceful paradise-like place.

Birds had also other significance. Birds brought a human's soul to him at the moment of birth, and took it away at the moment of death. In some areas, it was necessary to have a wooden bird-figure nearby to prevent the soul from escaping during sleep. This Sielulintu, "the soul-bird", protected the soul from being lost in the paths of dreams.

Waterfowl are very common in tales, and also in stone paintings and carvings, indicating their great significance in the beliefs of ancient Finns."



In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 11:15:28 AM

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Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 6:37:29 AM
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I look at the whole question differently. Rather than ask "When did people stop believing the earth was flat." I'm intrigues by which group, when, actually thought it was flat?

Long before even the Egyptians, the Babylonians knew that the earth was round. Cave art going back further proves that even 10,000 years ago human beings considered the earth a spheroid.

That, to me, is the bigger question: how did beings with no telescopes, or mathematical/scientific knowledge such as ours, know that the earth wasn't flat.

I've heard many young Americans talk about how Christopher Columbus thought he's sail off the edge of the land. A visit to any scholarly data-base about Columbus will show that he possessed a collection of maps - some ancient, some newer, - which prove that falling off the edge was not a problem which weighed him down!

Yeah, sure, there have always been groups of uneducated people through the ages banging on about a flat earth. If any of them happened to be a Monarch or a leader everyone would have had to pay lip-service to this idea - while keeping quiet about what they really thought. As Bob acknowledged, there are still people who believe in supernatural entities like gods, angels, devils even now. That some of them believe too that the earth is flat is just a result of human nature being what it is: some people believe things which seem strange - and often risible - to others.

Until such time as public education is overhauled there always will be.
Islami
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:19:20 AM
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CHARLES JOHNSON was for almost 30 years president of the Flat Earth Society, an American organisation that dissented from the widely held belief that the earth is round.
As a boy he had examined a globe at school and learnt about gravity from his teachers but, notwithstanding the work of Copernicus (whom he dubbed Copernicious), Galileo, Newton et al, Johnson had grave misgivings. From his ranch in the Californian desert - where, admittedly, the world does at times look flat - he published a quarterly newsletter packed with "proof" that mankind has been duped by a scientific conspiracy.
The earth, he claimed, is a flat disc floating on primordial waters, with the North Pole at its centre and Antarctica its circumference; the sun and the moon are each 32 miles in diameter and hover some 3,000 miles overhead - with heaven a further 1,000 miles in the distance; and Australians, he maintained with unassailable logic, "do not hang by their feet underneath the world" - as his antipodean wife was only too happy to testify. According to the Flat Earth Society's teaching, sunrises and sunsets are optical illusions and Nasa's space programme is a hoax.
Numerous historical documents and contemporary studies were called upon to support Johnson's thesis. Even Christ's ascension to heaven purportedly lent the Flat Earth Society credibility: if the earth was in fact a ball spinning in space, there would be neither up nor down. According to detailed and complex calculations undertaken by Johnson and his followers, a round world would throw up a 1,700ft-high hump in the Suez Canal, while the Mediterranean Sea would be 60 miles deep towards the middle. "Obviously water's flat," he told one interviewer. "They're trying to tell you water's bent?"
The society's literature pulls no punches. Its aims are to carefully observe, think freely, rediscover forgotten fact, and oppose theoretical dogmatic assumptions; to help establish the United States of the World on this flat earth; and to replace the religion of science with sanity.
Charles Kenneth Johnson, who dubbed himself "the last iconoclast", was born in San Angelo, Texas, in 1924. For 25 years he served as an aeroplane mechanic in San Francisco. During that time he was in contact with an Englishman, Samuel Shenton, who was president of the Flat Earth Society, previously known as the Universal Zetetic Society. Before his death in 1972, Shenton decreed that Johnson should inherit his work. Entrusted with this lonely task, Johnson moved to a remote ranch near Edwards Air Force Base and picked up the mantle with enthusiasm. At one time the society could boast some 3,500 members, each paying an annual membership fee of $25.
Although the world at large was slow to accept his work, Johnson remained cheerful and unruffled. He enjoyed smoking a cigar while watching the sun set over the flat desert. He was regularly interviewed by curious journalists and was often invited to speak about his subject. He received large quantities of mail, not all of it ridiculing his work, and on one occasion he starred in an ice-cream advertisement.
In 1995 Johnson's home burnt down, destroying most of his records. His wife died the following year and the society became a shadow of its former self. But his work continues both in America and also in Australia, where a local society, run by people standing upright, has been in existence for 14 years.
Source :Obituary of Charles Kenneth Johnson, mechanic and campaigner; President, International Flat Earth Society 1972-2001; published in The Independent on 30th March 2001













Just because the writer of an article is British doesn't mean that they use English correctly-DragOnspeaker.
leonAzul
Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2018 1:09:28 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,536
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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Romany wrote:

I look at the whole question differently. Rather than ask "When did people stop believing the earth was flat." I'm intrigues by which group, when, actually thought it was flat?

Long before even the Egyptians, the Babylonians knew that the earth was round. Cave art going back further proves that even 10,000 years ago human beings considered the earth a spheroid.

That, to me, is the bigger question: how did beings with no telescopes, or mathematical/scientific knowledge such as ours, know that the earth wasn't flat.

I've heard many young Americans talk about how Christopher Columbus thought he's sail off the edge of the land. A visit to any scholarly data-base about Columbus will show that he possessed a collection of maps - some ancient, some newer, - which prove that falling off the edge was not a problem which weighed him down!

Yeah, sure, there have always been groups of uneducated people through the ages banging on about a flat earth. If any of them happened to be a Monarch or a leader everyone would have had to pay lip-service to this idea - while keeping quiet about what they really thought. As Bob acknowledged, there are still people who believe in supernatural entities like gods, angels, devils even now. That some of them believe too that the earth is flat is just a result of human nature being what it is: some people believe things which seem strange - and often risible - to others.

Until such time as public education is overhauled there always will be.


For any carpenter who frames a house, the Earth is practically flat with local elevations. For any navigator who sails the oceans, the Earth is practically a sphere with differing seas. Point of view, perspective, and context each influence which model is more useful.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
early_apex
Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2018 1:44:55 PM

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I met one of those guys! I had the most fascinating, if not enlightening conversation with him. Some of his claims were absurd, as you would expect, but the common thread seemed to be that whenever I challenged his assertions with observable fact, he brushed it all away as a conspiracy perpetuated by the government/NASA/the FAA, et cetera.

This gave me some insight into the sort of thinking that denies the moon landing and the holocaust, along with other events. Once you start to believe that a deception is taking place, it is easy to filter out any non-confirming information that comes your way.

What I find interesting about the moon landing is that you could (somewhat) reasonably argue that for the money spent over 6 trips, NASA could have created a convincing sound stage and save a lot of risk. The problem with that theory is the incredibly simple yet incredibly complicated task of walking. To simulate walking in 1/6 gravity, some sort of cables would be needed to slow the astronaut's return to the surface with each step. It could be done, but probably not convincingly. When I questioned my new friend about the famous "blue marble" picture, he brushed that off as an obvious forgery. The thing is, how would anyone know what a spherical earth would look like from space?

If you want to make an argument about the relative sanity of Americans, based on our last presidential election, you should keep in mind that we are always confronted with a binary choice. Will we make it 250 years or not? I like our chances, based on history.

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
will
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2018 11:50:43 AM
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Joined: 6/29/2009
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Isn’t it fairly well acknowledged that a sizeable number of flat Earth arguments are actually making an ironic point about the value of critical thinking. There are some very sophisticated arguments made that apparently support the clearly flawed conclusion that the Earth is flat; it’s not always easy to uncover exactly where the line of reasoning fails. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of the (already very small) Flat Earth Society membership were not also purely ironic. You can get a lovely membership certificate for the price of a postage stamp; what better gift could a science nerd wish for?

No doubt there will be some who are simply ignorant of the facts (probably very few) and there will be some religious nuts who feel obliged by their faith to deny reality – if one can deny the age of the Earth (there are plenty who do, particularly in the US) then it’s not a huge leap to also deny it’s true shape.

What early_apex says about disappearing down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories makes sense, but interestingly the current head of the flat Earth society is apparently not a subscriber to the usual conspiracy favourites; he accepts evolution and the age of the Earth, he agrees with the consensus on climate change, he thinks homeopathy is bunkum and supports vaccinations... but is still convinced the Earth is flat Eh?


.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 5:17:53 AM

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Joined: 9/21/2009
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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Flat Earth Society always reminds me of a Finnish club called

Kohtuullisen Hutikan Pyhä Veljeskunta - The Holy Brotherhood of Moderate Intoxication, Die Heilige Bruderschaft des Maßvollen Schwips’


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
leonAzul
Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2018 12:09:08 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
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Location: Miami, Florida, United States
will wrote:
Isn’t it fairly well acknowledged that a sizeable number of flat Earth arguments are actually making an ironic point about the value of critical thinking. There are some very sophisticated arguments made that apparently support the clearly flawed conclusion that the Earth is flat; it’s not always easy to uncover exactly where the line of reasoning fails. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of the (already very small) Flat Earth Society membership were not also purely ironic. You can get a lovely membership certificate for the price of a postage stamp; what better gift could a science nerd wish for?



:-"


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
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