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Emerald Specter 127: Flat Earth… Uh, No

I’ve been laughing a lot recently, and that’s because I’ve been watching a YouTube channel that has been thoroughly debunking flat Earth YouTubers left and right. The debunking has been completely shutting their arguments down with minimal effort because, and I’m start to see patterns here, flat Earthers don’t really do anything to prove their hypotheses.

The word hypothesis was chosen instead of theory because a hypothesis is “a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation” whereas a theory is “a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.” A hypothesis has a vaguely evident starting point from which to begin experiment while a theory has several systems of ideas already supporting that thing.

Science.

All of the flat Earth videos that get debunked have the same general messages they try to put in them to get across their messages. They all throw in an enormous amount of fuzzy math (i.e. math that is so rapidly thrown at the viewer that unless you paused, you would be completely unable to do said math on your own or even be able to find out that the numbers they are referencing aren’t even the right numbers) to bolster claims that aren’t even remotely accurate. They all proceed from the assumption that there isn’t such a thing as gravity, yeah you read that right… gravity. Every one of them assumes that rather than the “vacuum of space” being just a void of nothing it’s instead like a vacuum cleaner, which must obviously be then trying to suck the atmosphere off the planet. (Yep, keep reading.) Lastly, they all assume that Antarctica is a barrier that protects the oceans from falling off the edge of their flat Earth.

If you look at the cover image for my column you’ll see the white ring around it… that’s supposed to be “Antarctica” holding all the water in.

One of their biggest arguments is that the water they see on the ocean is “a straight line,” so since they can’t perceive a curve then that means the Earth is flat. But, if you’re standing right up against a sky scraper and you look up, you’re not going to be able to see the top of the building, so doesn’t that then mean it has no top (using that logic)? Another fun one on this ocean thing is their constant zooming in on oil rigs from miles away while they’re on shore and pointing out that the curvature of the Earth should prevent them from seeing these oil rigs (mainly because they don’t understand how refraction works). By this logic, if you’re standing on the Jersey shore and you look dead east with, let’s say a telescope, there shouldn’t be anything preventing you from seeing Portugal if the flat Earth model was correct. Right? Can they do that? Nope.

We in the science world understand this to be because the Earth is a globe. And I’m not even a scientist! I’m just a guy who realizes that smarter people than myself have figured these things out.

Another flat Earth claim is that we’re living in a bubble. No, not a metaphorical one, a literal bubble. There is a dome over the Earth where all the “fake stars” and “sun” and “moon” are going around on the inside to give us the illusion of the galaxy and universe. What’s the point of a bubble around the Earth? I mean, we have evidence of moon landings (they don’t believe those happened), spacecraft have visited and photographed other planets (they believed these were faked), and people have actually crossed Antarctica (which they contend no one can do because it’s a ring around the planet, yet, it’s happened). No plastic bubble.

Private industry is now sending up spacecraft into orbit. Different countries, with which the United States and other countries have had wars with, are sending up spacecraft into orbit. Flat Earthers keep hammering that NASA is the one propagating this giant cover up but NASA doesn’t have control over Musk, Russia, and China.

I’ve seen a video where a guy claimed that the orange booster tank on the space shuttle launch assembly was nothing more than a “helium bouncy house.” What?

The funny thing is that if one of them actually gets to go up in a orbital space mission, they’ll write if off as propaganda. “Yeah, they said they’d take me into space but all they did was show me a ‘window’ which was probably just a HD TV and showed me some of their globe Earth propaganda footage.”

No one in the flat Earth movement has provided any proof of their claims. One reason is that they can’t. In a documentary about the flat Earth movement, an experiment was done using lasers over a large body of water and using two measuring sticks. Their experiment worked perfectly and proved the curvature of the Earth, but they kept trying to get the result that they wanted rather than the one that was accurate because they wanted to be right.

Proof was the answer, they didn’t like the answer.

There are more flat Earth believers out there than I’m actually comfortable with knowing about. Educated people are starting to fall into the category and they should know better. Why is it easier to believe in a conspiracy about nothing than to just believe that a thousand plus years of science has figured out what we know today is accurate? What’s more appealing about being an uneducated and repressed citizen forced to believe what a religious governing body tells you to believe just because it’s convenient for their own means? That is what the flat Earth was about in the time of the Dark Ages, folks. It had nothing to do with science.

The flat Earth model is wrong. It has been disproven and is inaccurate. It’s false. Nothing about it is correct. A conspiracy about something that doesn’t exist. You can take your tinfoil hats and go.

You’ll have to do more than a YouTube video full of fuzzy math and incoherent ranting to get me to turn on over a thousand years of solid science.

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