2001 Mars Odyssey Launch Video

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Flat-Earthers often challenge us to provide a video of a rocket launch that was taken from the rocket itself, without interruption from launch to reaching space, as if it would convince them to accept that it is real and the Earth is a sphere.

The launch video of the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission easily fulfills their demand. But whether they can manage to accept the reality that Earth is a sphere is entirely another matter.

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Simulation and Observation

To determine if an observation is consistent with the spherical Earth model, we can create simulations to understand the expected result, and then see if they match the actual observation.

Flat-Earthers like to reject the results of simulation as being unreal, not real-world observation. In reality, the simulations are presented not to dispute their observation, but to demonstrate that their observation is consistent with expectation if Earth is a sphere.

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Subjectivist or Relativist Fallacy

The subjectivist fallacy occurs when someone claims that something is true for some people but not for someone else, when, in fact, it is true for everyone, as demonstrated by empirical evidence.

The shape of Earth is not a matter of belief or preference, but an objective truth from observations that applies to everyone. It is impossible Earth is both spherical and flat at the same time, depending on what we prefer or believe.

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Human Senses

Human senses have limitations and cannot detect beyond a certain threshold of external stimuli. However, we humans possess intelligence that enables us to create instruments and allow us to perceive beyond the limitations of our senses.

Flat-Earthers argue if our senses cannot perceive a thing, then it does not exist. In reality, the instruments we made enable us to detect many things that our senses cannot.

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Conditions in School vs Science & Professional World

In an exam in school, students are expected to solve problems with limited references and tools to assess their knowledge. On the other hand, in the science & professional world, there are no such limitations. We are free to use any resources available to us to solve the problems at hand.

Some flat-Earthers become annoyed every time we use some things like computer simulations and other tools to solve problems, especially when they help us prove spherical Earth. They would proclaim because they feel they can solve their own specific problem with pen and paper, they think they are more right than these “cheaters” with computers and other technology. In reality, the tools being used do not decide which one is more right. These flat-Earthers are merely unfamiliar with real-world cases beyond school.

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Coriolis Effect Misconception & Strawman Argument

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The Coriolis effect acts on an object that is launched to another location closer to or farther from Earth’s axis of rotation. The object retains the inertia from the surface it was launched from, but it no longer matches what is required to keep it moving in a straight line, according to an observer on the surface.

On the equator, Earth’s surface is moving at a speed of 465 m/s. Flat-Earthers assert that if that is the case, then an object launched upward should move away from the observer at the same speed. It does not happen, and they use it to disprove the Coriolis effect and Earth’s rotation in general. In reality, the Coriolis effect is not what they describe.

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Global Conspiracy Smoke and Mirrors

Some flat-Earthers use the so-called global conspiracy as an ‘escape hatch’ to abandon a losing argument. When being cornered, some flat-Earthers will tell us that flat Earth is a work in progress; it is normal for it to be incomplete, for now. “But the most important thing is to uncover the global conspiracy and save the world from these unscrupulous few!”

In reality, the global conspiracy theory is only one of so many concepts invented to prevent flat Earth from being falsified.

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Fiber-Optic vs Satellite Communication

Fiber-optic communication is a method of transmitting data by sending pulses of light through an optical fiber. These days, the majority of data communication involves a fiber-optic connection. However, other methods of transmitting data exist, including satellites.

Flat-Earthers use the prominence of fiber-optic communication as “proof” of the nonexistence of satellites. Such reasoning is a fallacy of hasty generalization. By the same “logic,” we can “prove” trains do not exist just by showing the existence of cars.

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Big Lie

The big lie is the propaganda method where an outrageous lie —like flat Earth— is said and repeated as if it is true, hoping people will assume it is true for granted rather than critically questioning it.

Even though anyone can easily verify that Earth is a sphere from simple personal observations, many still fall for the notion of a flat Earth. The reason is that it is such a big lie and does not fit their model of modest deception, so they think “it must be true.”

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Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest major galaxy. It is visible to the naked eye on dark nights and the easiest deep-sky object to capture even without special equipment.

There are many images of Andromeda on the Internet because it is not that hard to capture it. Flat-Earthers assumed the pictures are the Milky Way and immediately claimed those pictures as fakes. In reality, the galaxy in the photographs is the Andromeda, and it is not hard for anyone to take a picture of it. The “you are here” sign on some pictures of the Andromeda Galaxy is silly and an obvious spoof. It was merely an attempt on a joke.

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Teaching Aid

Teaching aids are used by teachers to help students learn a subject more easily. A scale model of an eclipse is a teaching aid. It is not presented as evidence about how an eclipse can occur, but to help students to understand the mechanism of an eclipse.

Flat-Earthers often incorrectly consider a teaching aid is presented as if it is evidence of a phenomenon, then demand a similar thing as “evidence” of another phenomenon. In reality, a natural phenomenon is studied from the observation of the phenomenon itself. A teaching aid is there merely to help students learn.

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Reification Fallacy

We often abstract complicated things into simpler models by removing unimportant and superfluous details so that we can focus on the aspects of greater importance. The abstraction of real things into models makes it possible and easier to work with. But they are still models and do not possess every single attribute of the real things they represent.

Flat-Earthers often commit the reification fallacy, where they treat models as if they are the real things and attack the tiniest discrepancy to discredit science. However, a model is not reality; it can never perfectly represent an actual thing.

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7 Reasons Why These Uncritical Flat-Earthers Cannot Recognize a Clickbait Headline

Clickbait is a form of false advertisement which uses hyperlink that is designed to attract attention and entice users to follow that link and read to the linked article, with a defining characteristic of being deceptive, typically sensationalized or misleading.

Flat-Earthers fall into clickbait headlines rather too easily. They rarely bother reading the article contents, let alone verifying the primary sources — many clickbait headlines spread in flat Earth communities as hoaxes.

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Appeal to Ridicule

Appeal to ridicule is a fallacy that presents opponents’ arguments as absurd, ridiculous, or humorous, making the opponent and their arguments the object of a joke.

Flat Earth lacks a scientific basis, and flat-Earthers have no choice and will usually end up committing the appeal to ridicule at some point. On the other hand, real scientific arguments are done without ridiculing arguments from others.

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Stolen Concept Fallacy

The stolen concept fallacy is committed when someone requires the truth of something that they are at the same time trying to disprove. In other words, concept A is used to deny concept B, although A depends on B.

Many conspiracy theories are the results of a stolen concept, including many flat Earth claims. Usually, flat-Earthers would use a scientific concept to disprove science itself. On the other hand, the concept itself depends on science.

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Jumping to Conclusions

Jumping to conclusions (also called the JTC bias or inference-observation confusion) is a psychological term referring to the failure to distinguish between observation and inference. In other words, “when I fail to distinguish between what I observed first hand from what I have only inferred or assumed.”

Many flat Earth “facts” are simply the results of jumping to conclusions. They judged something without having all the facts, to reach unwarranted conclusions.

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