2018-05-31 – I don’t believe (most) flat-earthers believe the Earth is flat. (I qualify this with the word “most” because I’m sure you can find someone who is a true believer. I just don’t think there are many.)
It’s very dope these days to poke fun at conventional wisdom. And what is more conventional, wisdom-wise, than the idea that the Earth is a sphere? If you want to be dope, you’re gonna be a flat-earther. It’s kinda like getting a tattoo. It’s a fashion statement—and a poke in the eye of the “establishment.”
A lot of the debate on this issue is kinda bogus—even from the pro-sphere crowd. Columbus never set sail to prove the world was round. Everyone knew it. This goes back to antiquity. The ancient Greeks were uncomfortable with the idea of a flat Earth. The sphere was a Platonic ideal shape. So, not only did they decide the Earth was a sphere, they measured its size based the differing angles of the sun at noon at different locations.
We can do this ourselves, today. The Greeks did it from north to south. Different latitudes, different sun angles. We can do this ourselves and we do it all the time—but from east to west. They are called time zones. Time zones exist because we live on a sphere, not a flat plane. If you ever worked for a company with business partners in India, you know that you got up at 6 in the morning to call them and that it was the end of the work day for them. Not a flat world.
Another piece of evidence for sphericalness is the old story about watching ships sail out to sea and how they gradually drop below the horizon. I don’t think this happens (except maybe in the rarest cases with binoculars or telescopes) because ships are really too small for this.
But you can see a similar effect on clear days in Chicago. If you stand on Navy Pier on the shore of Lake Michigan, you can’t see the Indiana shore or the Michigan shore because of the curvature of the Earth. You just see water. But if you go up in one of the tall buildings, you can get up high enough to see farther across the lake. We’re still blocked from seeing too far because of the curvature, but the extra height extends our vision enough miles to begin to see the shape of the lake. This would not happen on a flat planet. Nothing would be below the horizon on a flat planet.
Most of the so-called “evidence” of flatness is really evidence of bigness. The Earth is big. I could ride my bike for hours and just get to the Indiana shore (where I can see the tall buildings, but not Navy Pier—no ship is near as tall as the Willis—formerly Sears—Tower).
A couple of months ago, some goofy flat-earther launched himself on a rocket to gather evidence of the Earth’s flatness. He hopes someday to go as high as 62 miles. I don’t think his first trip went as high as the Willis Tower. You can go 20 times as high by going on a long-distance commercial flight. I’ve done that many times. If you look out the window at 40,000 feet, the Earth already starts to look less flat. And we’ve all seen the pictures from NASA.
But NASA lies to us, they say.
And that’s the point of flat-earthism. They aren’t really espousing anything about the shape of the planet. What they are espousing is the idea that everybody lies to us.
But not everybody lies. And not all things are easily lied about.
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