Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sunrise, Sunset

One of the biggest problems with the whole flat-Earth idea is the lack of any model which comes close to explaining how we see the sun and moon appear to rise and set at the horizon.

Not the the flat-Earthers haven't tried. They present computer models that look like this:

It's almost plausible. The disc world is part in darkness and part in light. Some versions even show the disc exactly half lit, though how the sun manages that is never made clear.

But it's never rendered from the ground. Well, I've seen it done once, and it completely blew the disc world model to bits, which was more-or-less the point.

So how do flat-Earthers explain sunsets? Perspective. They say the sun just gets smaller and lower in the sky as it moves away from you, creating the illusion that it is being blocked by a horizon.

And that, too, sounds plausible. As long as you don't actually know anything about perspective.

Perspective is a set of techniques employed by artists to simulate a three-dimensional world using a two-dimensional medium, like a drawing. It's all based on one real-world observation: things appear smaller when they are farther away from you. That's the whole thing.

This means that everything appears smaller, not only objects, but the spaces between objects. And they all shrink at the same rate.

So, for example, if you hold a one-foot-diameter ball one foot above a table, and then walk away from it until the ball looks about half its actual size, then the space between the table and the ball will appear to be half the diameter of the ball. Simple.

So, why, then, are we asked to believe that the sun on a flat Earth, which is supposed to be 36 miles in diameter and 3000 miles above the ground, could ever appear to even touch the ground, much less sink beneath it?

When I bring this up, flat-Earthers tell me that I don't understand perspective. But they can never explain perspective in any way that coincides with any of the principles of perspective that artists have developed over the past 600 years.

And their attempts to demonstrate perspective and sunsets are laughable. Like this video showing a hand sliding a coin on a table, as if the sun is actually touching the ground.

Like pictures of railroad tracks and telephone poles from an art book, as if the size relationship between the sun and it's altitude above a plane could compare with the distance between two railroad tracks.

If they want to sell this idea (and make no mistake, they are pushing it hard), they have to come up with, at minimum, a model that explains this one simple thing.

Or, and this is just a thought, they could just give up on this crazy idea altogether. 


  1. How is it that Chicago sky line is visible from Warren Dunes State park [52 miles away]?

    1. You're off-topic, but let me ask you: why is the Chicago skyline not visible, with any power of telescope, from South Manitou Island, also in Michigan, from 230 miles away? You can't just pick and choose marginal examples to make your case.

      And you haven't done anything to rebut this post.

  2. Hahahaha. As a professional surveyor with experience in several countries, understand practical methods of measuring land, water, levels, angles, sun and stars, and every day has access to some of the best equipment and mathematical software in the industry, I have really had a great laugh while reading at this blog. I'm not going to bother to explain my understanding which is both theoretical and observed in practice as I don't see any point.
    The word salads have dampened the comedy a bit, but any plausible attempts at presenting an argument have been entertaining!


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