At least some of you flat-Earthers seem to want to be taken seriously, as if you have some great truth to offer, some insight that the rest of the world is missing, some revelation that is going to save us from, well, whatever it’s going to save us from. But there are several reasons why none of you should be taken seriously.
I’ve just got to put that out there first. You’re just plain wrong. The Earth is approximately a sphere, about 7900 miles in diameter, orbiting the sun at a mean distance of roughly 93 million miles. That’s not indoctrination; it’s fact, proven and verified by the process of science over the past couple of millennia. Not only do we have overwhelming evidence that the Earth is a globe, but we’ve used that knowledge in the creation of all sorts of incredibly useful technologies. Yes, satellite communications, weather monitoring, and global positioning systems, but also such ancient wonders as international navigation and the practice of making war at sea. Humankind put the idea of a flat Earth behind them at least several hundred years ago, and in most of the world, thousands of years before that. Get over it.
Instead of trying to come up with any serious evidence, you quote-mine, attribute all science to some vast conspiracy involving the Masons or the Jesuits or the Illuminati, and accuse everyone involved in science of belonging to those groups. You try to claim that famous thinkers from the past would support your ridiculous notion, and you cite experiments that actually show the very opposite of what you claim they show. You post photos that you claim are official NASA photos, when in fact they are just random pictures found in Wikimedia Commons.
You lay claim to knowledge you simply do not have, sometimes to the point of claiming to have worked as a professional in a field you obviously know nothing about.
You dismiss all contrary evidence as fake. You put words in people’s mouths, say you’ve answered questions you haven’t actually answered (while changing the subject to avoid answering), and use tactics in the place of reasonable discourse. And then, to top it all off, you call anyone who disagrees with you a liar, a troll, a shill, and/or a sheep. Why should anyone believe anything you say?
This is assuming that what you’re saying is actually what you believe, which, I am increasingly convinced, is a stretch. In most cases, the argument for a flat Earth boils down to: “I have no idea what I’m looking at, therefore the Earth is flat." And here, for the benefit of those who run across the flat-Earthers and think there is anything in what they have to say, is the meat of the matter.
Some of these people who are posting tweets and videos and memes may actually believe that what they are posting has some real significance, but in general those who do are not the people who created the ideas in the first place. In most cases, those ideas were created by dishonest people trying either to earn a little cash (which is relatively rare, because there isn’t that much to be made from the flat Earth) or to gain some notoriety to inflate their egos or leverage into some kind of advantage at a later date. And I will take that all the way back, over 150 years, to none other than Samuel Birley Rowbotham, itinerant lecturer and snake-oil salesman who eked out a living selling patent medicines and the flat Earth to unwitting suckers.
You see the sun and the moon at the same time, and you think they should not be sharing the sky, or that they should point at each other as if they were the same distance from Earth. You think the moon should be full whenever the sun is out, because you think the Earth’s shadow causes the phases of the moon. You think that there should be a lunar eclipse every time the moon is full because you can’t be bothered to research the orbits of the Earth and the moon.
You watch a YouTube video and think that photographs of Earth taken from space are CGI, or taken out of a round window in a spacecraft that had no round windows. You think a map projection used by several global organizations for its ability to show all the world’s nations on a single flat page is proof that the Earth is actually flat. You blindly invoke perspective to explain sunsets on a flat Earth without finding out what perspective is, and why it works, and that there truly is mathematics behind it.
You claim that video shot aboard the International Space Station is made using green-screens, zero-G airplane flights and even (I kid you not) vertical wind tunnels. And yet you have no knowledge of how that would be accomplished on the scale of output transmitted from ISS each day.
You claim that satellites don’t exist, and that dish tv systems use ground antennae, without exploring just a little to see how ludicrous that notion is. Like creationists, you cite scientific laws like the Second Law of Thermodynamics, without even the slightest understanding of thermodynamics, and you misuse the word “theory,” ignorant of its scientific meaning to the point where you apply it to the flat-Earth hypothesis with no sense of irony.
You eat up every word that Eric DuBay and Brian Mullins say, without studying further to discern whether or not they have any idea what they are talking about. You claim that rockets can’t work in a vacuum, that gravity is a myth, that Antarctica is an ice ring guarded by UN troops, that water is always flat, that Southern Hemisphere flight routes do not exist, that the midnight sun in Antartica, circumpolar navigation, and space flights are all faked. You don’t say any of these things because you have proof. You saw them on YouTube, or in a tweet, or on a website, and you just parrot them, again and again, because, perhaps, it makes you feel smart.
But you’re even ignorant of your own flat Earth model. You point out that sometimes it appears that the moon seems to be in front of the clouds, without considering that the clouds are at most 10 miles up (which you know if you’ve ever flown) and that the flat-Earth moon is supposed to be 3000 miles up. The same can be said of using crepuscular rays as proof of a close sun. And then there’s the GoFast amateur rocket launch, which many flat-Earthers claim “hit the dome.” The GoFast rose to an altitude of 73 miles, and the dome is supposed to be higher than the sun and the moon. Which fanciful story are you going to tell?
You’ll claim that the sun is at an altitude of 3000 miles and post memes purporting to prove this as fact, without bothering to check to see if the information in the meme is even factual, nor to think out how measuring the distance to the sun would work from different locations on Earth. You claim that the moon shines by its own light, without even trying to figure out how moon phases and the shadows of craters would work on such a moon.
In short, you have no facts, no theory, no evidence to back up the silly notion that the Earth is flat—yes, I do mean silly, for it is an idea that has earned no respect. And yet, you continue to put it forth, not even as a hypothesis, but as fact, and more than that, as “truth."
Not every one of you, but far more than any of you will admit. You keep telling me that flat-Earthers are nice people looking for answers. But nice people don’t call heroic explorers liars. Nice people don’t call brilliant scientists stupid. Nice people don’t mount personal attacks on someone for publicly disagreeing with them. Nice people don’t troll the accounts of astronauts telling them that all their pictures are fake, and that they never left the Earth. Nice people don’t block users on Twitter, only to talk about them behind their backs, using terms like “Globetard,” “Fuckwit,” “Godless Trash,” and “Atheist Garbage.” Nice people don’t make veiled threats against people who disagree with them, and against their families.
Yes, this is all true. I’ve read all of this from regular contributors to the flat-Earth noise on the Internet.
Want To Prove Me Wrong?
You can’t, and I know it, but if you want to give it a shot, start with this: give up the stupid memes, the uncontrolled “experiments” with thermometers in the shade from the “cold moonlight,” the model rocket engines in vacuum chambers, the zoom shots of ships on the horizon with no data, the computer models that aren’t rendered from the ground so that they can be matched with ground-based observations, and the panning shots of the horizon.
Learn some textbook science. You don’t have to believe it, but if you really want to debunk it, then learn it backwards and forwards. If you’re going to overturn 2600 years of scientific investigation, you have to know it better than anyone. Isn’t it worth that to reveal “the truth”?
Then, do what real scientists would do. Put together a solid hypothesis, make predictions, and then go try to disprove your hypothesis. Flat-Earthers keep telling me that they have tried to debunk the flat-Earth, but they’re lying. All they’ve done is capitalize on their own (and their audience’s) misunderstanding of the science involved. Go measure the curvature as Wallace did in 1871. Take a trip to Antarctica from Australia, take a supply plane to the other side, and fly to Chile. Drive the breadth of Australia and check your mileage against your model. Hell, make it easy on yourself and learn to aim a satellite dish, then install one in London, and another in Quito. Explain the difference. Calculate the distance to the sun assuming a flat plane, from five pairs of locations at different latitudes and explain the discrepancy. Get out there in the field and prove something.
And while you’re laying the groundwork for this startling revelation, keep your mouth shut. Until you have something of substance to present, hold your tongue. Otherwise there is no, nil, nada, not a ghost of a reason for anyone, anywhere on this quite spherical Earth, to take you seriously.