You may have noticed a common theme on this blog is my fascination with belief despite no evidence to back up that belief, or belief in spite of evidence to the contrary – which comes to the same thing really. So imagine how baffling a time of year Easter is… when nearly everyone around me believes that around 2000 years ago some dude came back from the dead after three days, complete with his wounds but somehow alive, and then flew up into the sky to his deity daddy. But today I’ll rather write about something else that most, but sadly not all of us… do not believe: the flat earth.
I’ve argued with a few flat earthers over the past couple of years, and in the process picked up a few points worth mentioning…
- When approached by a flat earther, you don’t have to prove the earth is not flat. You have made no claim. If someone claims the earth is flat, the burden of proof lies on them to back up their claim.
- If you point out to them that the ancient Greeks calculated the approximate circumference of the Earth using shadow lengths, a known distance, and geometry, they simply assert this did not happen.
- Every image shared by a flat earther to prove the earth is flat actually proves it is spherical. For example, images taken out of passenger planes… Perspective would work differently on a flat earth. Imagine an ant suspended one millimeter above a chess board… depending on its eyesight, it would be able to see quite a long way. Likewise, perspective on a flat plane would allow us to see all the way to the blurry edge, or at least pretty damn far. Aerial photos would look completely different to the way they do.
- Gravity on a flat plane would be weird. Since it pulls us towards the center of mass, it would only work the way we know it in the middle. As we move away from the middle towards the edge, it would be like traversing a gradient that gets steeper as you go, until the very edge would be like a 90° angle and we’d fall sideways. Of course flat earthers get around this by asserting that gravity does not exist.
- GPS would not work and all the science they taught us would be wrong. Of course flat earthers insist that satellites don’t exist so presumably GPS works using magic.
- if the stars are mere twinkly lights on the dome as they believe, that does not explain why people living in the southern hemisphere like myself see different constellations to the northern hemisphere. Of course flat earthers simply assert that this is not so.
- Come to think of it, there should be some fucked up kind of refraction and reflection going on in the dome when you look towards the edge.
- All navigation systems are a lie, apparently.
- If you manage to get a flat earther to reluctantly answer, “Where is the edge?”, they will normally tell you something about it being controlled by the government, or NASA, or something. In other words, the entire edge is being policed, right around the circumference of the Earth. Never mind the size of the conspiracy required (excuse me for ignoring the conspiracies required for earlier points), but policing the entire edge would require the cooperation of all governments, more ships than I can imagine, and probably more people than the entire population of the planet.
That’s just a few points off the top of my head. So, next time somebody tells you the earth is flat, don’t argue. Just politely remind them that they are an idiot and tell them to fuck off.