Is their own ignorance. Which by definition is not an insult, Webster defines it as a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education. And in the case of flatearthers, it is indubitably true (even if it is only in science).
Misinformation, lack of critical thinking and conspiracy theories gone from awry to berserk … those are the main reasons for some of the trouble ahead with flatearthers, which have their own society to boot!
“One often contradicts an opinion when what is uncongenial is really the tone in which it was conveyed”. ~ F. Nietzsche.
As an international mountain climber, I know that the higher in altitude you are, the sooner the sun hits you in the morning and the later it drops in the evening on account of the Earth being round.
In the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building (at 828 meters, but with floors up to the 186th floor at 728 meters), the muslims in the floors way below pray minutes before the muslims in the floors way above because the sun goes down for them before, on accoun t of the Earth’s curvature.
And airline pilots know the Earth is round because of the circle routes to reach continents north or south in which, it’s quicker to climb to higher latitudes than to go in to a straight line at lower ones, because the Earth is an oblate spheroid and is thicker near the equator.
And cartographers gave the Earth longitude (east-west) lines because for sailors, the closer to the east or west they are, they will vary how much sun they have left, and that is also how they asses their progress with their sextants.
Latitude (north-south) lines help explain why it’s colder near the poles also. And the sun makes an elongated figure of 8 patterns on our sky, just like some other celestial objects, due to the geodesic (roundness) of all major objects in space (due to gravity).
Even Space-Time is a curvature, as Einstein showed and proved, that’s why it is everywhere in the Universe and in nature.
Now, you do not see any of the aforementioned professionals bring in disripute if the Earth is round, do you? Nor do you see flatearthers working at NASA, SpaceX or ESA do you? There’s a reason for that.
Even long range snipers know that they have to compute the Earth’s curvature to make an accurate hit because of the Coriolis effect. This phenomenon is due to Earth ‘s rotation, and changes according to the hemisphere they are in. In the northern one, the bullet will always drift to the right, in the southern hemisphere to the left, and oh yes, they have to consider gravity as well since it pulls the bullet down in a parabolic action. And such effects can only happen on a large spherical object like the Earth, which rotates because it is ROUND and under the effects of gravity from the Sun (although also gravitationally tugged by Jupiter to remain at the 1 AU * habitable zone).
* 1 AU = 1 astronomical unit = 93 million miles or almost 150 million kilometers = the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun.
And now Elon Musk and Space X have all but laid to rest (buried) all flatearters, because they are dead (at least brain dead):
And if they still repute this, they are not just ignorant, but stubborn in their own ignorance as well which is a much graver problem for them, in their denial-pathology of knowledge and science.
Flatearthers are just “regressed five centuries in reasoning”, as famed astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson put it to a certain rapper.
Now said rapper, wants to raise one million US dollars to send to satellite to review that the Earth is flat (except for some reports claiming that Interorbital Systems, with only $ 8,000 usd, send up to satellite briefly):
The point is that with all that goes on in the human world today like famine, disease, natural disasters, and lack of education, said person, wants to spend a great sum of money for an unnoble cause: to prove that he’s ignorant (on science anyway).
However, I digress from Neil, because to me, it is not due to lack of reasoning that flatearthers exist as such, it’s rather their lack of knowledge, since, if they had the knowledge necessary, they would reason correctly and not regress five centuries.
The real problem is that it doesn’t stop there.
I was talking about this to someone (a school teacher in fact), and I was astounded when she told me that she knew someone with a PhD, who taught (obviously not science), his pupils about flat Earth “because they had a right to know and choose the truth “.
I told her that it was her duty to take action * and report to that school on the grounds that while having a PhD in the big softer humanities subjects, it was and is, clearly unqualified to have that conversation in the classroom with young impressionable minds. Especially when science is neither his subject not his forte.
* “Those with the ability to take action, have the responsibility to take action”. -Thomas Jefferson.
Needless to say she scoffed at me, she also dismissed my remarks and would not give me the name of the ignoramus nor of the school either. She also said that I was too severe in calling him what he is, an ignoramus (which is certainly true if he’sa flatearther, and not PhD saves him from it).
First of all, we have the Shell theorem which Isaac Newton proved and which states that:
- A spherically symmetric body affects external objects gravitationally as though all of its mass were concentrated at a point at its center.
- If the body is a spherically symmetric shell (ie, a hollow ball), no net gravitational force is exerted by the shell on any object inside, regardless of the object’s location within the shell.
I don’t want to go to the complex, mathematics of it, needless to say that does not know this, it doesn’t exculpate an ignorant person from saying that the Earth is flat.
“That which can be ascertained without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens.
“Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence.” – Carl Sagan.
Basically, the Earth has gravity because it is a sphere, if it were flat, it would not exert a gravitational pull on the objects on it (including humans).
A solid, spherically symmetric body body can be modeled as an infinite number of concentric, infinitesimally thin spherical shells. If one of these shells can be treated as a point mass, then a system of shells (ie the sphere), can also be treated as a point mass. Consider one such shell:
More on the source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_theorem
In any case, the Shell theorem (and newtonian mechanics and calculus) also describes, measures and predicts this very familiar concept:
Which just couldn’t happen with flat surfaces facing each other (for reasons already explained, which are not for the weak nor faint-minded).
So, we have this:
Except, that the conical part underneath could not possibly exist, since it would only provide gravity on that upside down area, and not on the flat surface, as proven by the Shell theorem.
So how did all this come about?
It all started some 29 centuries ago (8 BC), when the ancients of Mesopotamia and Egypt (and through Homeric accounts), thought that the “Okeanos” -from which the word Ocean is derived- was a flat body of water from which the confines of the Earth dropped sharply off (which, if they really thought about it, it is an impossibility since then the entire ocean would fall off and empty, unless more silliness kicked in, and they imagined that there would be a wall or a dam or a dyke holding it from dropping off).
So the real question is why some people in the 21st Century are reverting to believing what ancients 29 or more centuries ago when they did not know the vast body of knowledge we now know as a civilization? It boggles the mind, that the minds of those are so boggled …
That’s why a good scientific schooling is of paramount importance early in life: to avoid the pitfalls of organized and utter ignorance.
It was Isaac Newton who wrote in a letter to Robert Hooke that “If I have seen it, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants” (a phrase originally attributed to the first time to Bernard of Chartres).
So what does this mean? That by taking off from where the last one left off, we have been able to advance in the name of science, which only seeks to know the truth by understanding how things work, not by saying something like: so, I don’t understand this, so I’ll invent a fantasy answer and stick by it and force others to believe it by using fear, guilt, violence and coercion.
Thus, enter religion, esoterism, folklore, and irrational fantasy, perhaps due to the laziness of others to think critically.
Nowadays we have space satellites, space shuttles, space telescopes, space probes and space stations, offering unmistakable (unmistakable) views of the Earth as an oblate spheroid (a round object accentuated at the equator).
They say that one image is worth more than 1,000 words, thus, one only needs to look at the following Youtube link with artificial satellite Earth – images from space, to know that the flat Earth is just that (as Earth’s curvature can clearly be appreciated):
You can easily find it in Youtube if you type:
Earth From Space – Nasa Live stream Video From the International Space Station
Or at the many NASA pictures of Earth from the Moon and from space probes:
The Earth (Apollo 11 photo)
The Earth taken from Apollo 8
Pale Blue Dot, a picture of Earth, taken from Voyager 1 as it leaves the solar system at a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers ( 3.7 billion miles, 40.5 Astronomical Units), in february 14, 1990
More on that:
The Earth and the Moon
Or, how about Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking stratospheric jump from over 39,000 meters (over 128,000 feet), where the Earth’s curvature is also appreciated:
Also check out:
Famed Harvard PhD astrophysicist, Director of the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, and science divulgator, Neil deGrasse Tyson, debunking the ignorant flat Earth claim on live TV:
More on Neil debunking the flat Earth non-sense:
So if rappers, politicians, actors, teachers, and laymen believe that the Earth is flat, it speaks of the education system, it speaks of them and that requires that they exert responsibility on their own ignorance (in other words, they should keep it to themselves, why do they say that they are very proud of their own ignorance, which is not something to be proud of at all).
Eratosthenes was the first person to measure the circumference of the Earth quite accurately circa 260-265 BC:
What he did, is that at the same time, the Sun cast shadows of distinct angles on two known places (Alexandria and Syene) which were separated by a known distance. So being the mathematician he was, I calculated the arc (angle) provided by the shadows at exactly the same time of day, and with the measured distance between the two places, I then covered the 360 ° spectrum in the known distance to calculate and rationalize that the Earth was aproximately 40,000 kilometers in diameter, and it was right to a high degree of accuracy!
Needless to say that you can not measure the circumference of a flat surface !!
More on Eratosthenes and his breakthrough Earth-measuring method:
From then on, early scientists began to share the knowledge that the Earth was and is, indeed, round. Many others (the ignorant-uniformed), were still unaware.
It wasn’t until 1492 with Columbus’maiden voyage, and the subsequent circumnavigations of oceanic explorers, (like that of Magellan), that the general public (laymen), began to understand that the Earth was and is spherically shaped (an oblate spheroid to be exact).
What ignorant people thought in those days prior to the trip
We now know that the Earth is actually an oblate spheroid
The Earth as an oblate spheroid with the equator bulging more than at the poles (meaning that around the poles, they have a narrower diameter around the equator), due to the Earth’s rotation on its tilt axis, caused by its mass and its angular momentum (acceleration).
From then on, the mercator scale world map projections began to assume (remove correctly), that the Earth was and is, round.
Early Mercator map projection cartograph:
Current Mercator map projection cartograph:
Enter the ignorance and follyness * of Samuel Shenton (among others) who revived the ancient belief of a flat Earth:
Who believed in 1956 that the Earth was flat and not spherical, this was before the russians launched Sputnik 1 to circle the Earth. It slowly died and was revived by Charles Johnson in 1972, it slowly died and was revived in 2004 by Daniel Shenton (no relation to Samuel), who claims there is no proof that the Earth is round. What do these three have in common? You guessed it! Zero science knowledge and understanding.
* Folly: lack of good sense, lack of understanding, lack of foresight. The greeks called it “scotoma”, meaning lack of vision, in other words, the mind sees what it wants to see, not what is.
So my guess is that this will slowly die until it is again revived by some other ignoramus to suit his personal agenda filled with a few moments of glory by being in the limelight.
Any large object in space or the Universe, because of its great size will pull on itself due to gravity and the only object whose shape is able to exert enough reaction force to the action of the collapse of itself, is a sphere (surface tension vs internal pressure, which is Netwton’s 3rd law of action and reaction).
That’s why all stars and planets of a minimum determined size are spherical (more or less). For the non-belivers in gravity, they are beyond help, so just ask them to take a long walk on a short pier, and when they splash, just yell at them “that’s gravity for you, you science blasphemers!”.
So it’s all QED: “quod erat demonstrandum” (what was demonstrated). A quote very fittingly attributed to the greek mathematician of geometry, Euclid.
And this, not entering into topics like the fabric of space-time (Einstein), and its causality which evinces the geodesic of the Universe (π), meaning more spherical forms of large objects in the Universe:
One can bring knowledge to a group but not intelligence. I rest my case, Elvis has left the building, thank you very much and good night!