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 a line of thinking is a fallacy of hasty generalization. Using the same “logic,” we can “prove” trains don’t exist just by showing the existence of cars.
Continue reading “Fiber-Optic vs Satellite Communication”
NASA has published several pictures of the Earth that are composites. It means the pictures were the result of combining many images into a single picture. In most cases, the source pictures were taken from low-orbiting satellites to obtain higher resolution pictures of the Earth.
Flat-Earthers discovered the photos are composites and claimed to have exposed “yet another evidence” of wrongdoing. They would publish this “findings” everywhere to turn us emotional. They are wrong. Nobody is covering the fact the pictures are composites, and there is no intention to deceive. Information that the photos are composites can be readily found in NASA’s website, far before the claimed “discovery” by flat-Earthers.
Continue reading “Composite Photos of the Earth”
Gravity is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass or energy are brought toward one another. Today, the phenomenon of gravity is explained by two theories: Newton’s law of universal gravitation and Einstein’s general relativity.
Flat-Earthers take the existence of the two explanations as inconsistency in science and use it as a “proof” of deliberate misconduct. Such allegation is obviously only a result of their prejudice. The two theories are the correct explanations of gravity, and can reliably predict the outcome of the phenomenon.
Continue reading “Theories of Gravity”
Many adherents of flat Earth have spent a lot of effort and money to perform various observations and experiments. They would buy expensive equipment, travel to the other side of the world, painstakingly designed the experiments in minute details, and performed large-scale experiments; all to prove the notion that Earth is flat. However, many of these experiments and observations have actually confirmed the Earth is a sphere beyond any doubt.
In most cases, they would not accept such conclusions, and instead, they misinterpret, refuse to accept, lie, and withhold information. Such behaviors are the results of confirmation bias. However, their results speak louder than their biased conclusions, and these are perfectly valid proofs that Earth is a sphere.
These are some of those observations and experiments, where flat-Earthers have painstakingly and extravagantly performed them, only to come up with the wrong conclusions and spectacularly demonstrating their confirmation biases to the entire world.
Continue reading “Proofs of Spherical Earth Presented by Flat-Earthers”
Some flat-Earthers like to observe celestial phenomena and the positions of celestial objects. Sometimes, they insist such events cannot possibly happen if the Earth is a sphere orbiting the Sun, and took the wrong conclusion that the Earth must be flat.
We can try asking them the time of the occurrence and the position of the observer, then use Stellarium or similar applications to simulate it. If the result matches the observation, then they have nothing to complain about. Their confusion was only the result of their ignorance.
Continue reading “Stellarium”
If we were to magnify the surface of any spherical object with large enough magnification, then at some point, it would appear flat. This can be easily demonstrated using a macro lens as the Redditor ‘Useless-Pickles’ did. He magnified the surface of a basketball using an extreme macro lens as a philosophical demonstration.
This shows that the surface of a spherical object can easily look flat if the object is large enough, or the observer is small enough. And the basis of all flat-Earthers’ belief that the horizon appears flat is insufficient to determine the shape of the Earth. By applying the same “logic” as these flat-Earthers, we can actually “prove” a basketball is flat, which, as we all know, is clearly wrong.
Continue reading “How to “Prove” a Basketball (or any Spherical Object) is Flat”
Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy in which the proposition is supported by the premises, which is supported by the proposition, creating a circle in reasoning where no useful information is being shared.
Flat-Earthers often commit the fallacy of circular reasoning to defend the notion that the Earth is flat. Such reasoning is never useful, and cannot be regarded as evidence of anything, despite what they are claiming.
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The first photo showing the entire Earth was taken in 1966 from the spacecraft Lunar Orbiter 1. Since then, there are too many photos showing the whole earth taken from various missions to space.
The advent of computers in the 80s introduced a new technique of generating such pictures. A satellite can be used to take many photos of the Earth from a low orbit, and computers can be used to assemble those pictures into a single photo of the Earth.
Flat-Earthers ‘discovered’ such technique, then they concluded that all pictures of the Earth taken from space are all composites, the results of manipulation or assembled by computers. They are wrong. Just because there were pictures created using such technique, it doesn’t mean there is no genuine picture showing the entire Earth, not composites, not stitched, and were taken from a single shot.
Continue reading “Real Photos of the Earth”
There are several models explaining the figure of the Earth. These models vary in the way they are used, in their complexity and in the accuracy with which they represent the size and shape of the Earth. These models are sphere, ellipsoid, and geoid.
Flat-Earthers often take the existence of these multiple models as evidence of disagreement among scientists, and that the shape of the Earth is still in contention. They are wrong. All these models are valid models, only with different complexity and accuracy.
Continue reading “The False Dilemma of the Figure of the Earth”
The fallacy of style over substance occurs when one argue the way in which the argument is presented while marginalizing or ignoring the argument itself.
Flat-Earthers are often seen dismissing an argument only because of the way it is presented, and thus, committing the style over substance fallacy.
Continue reading “Style over Substance Fallacy”
We often see flat-Earthers create a ‘miniaturized physical model’ of a real object and present them as ‘proof’ in support of flat-Earth and against spherical Earth. Their M.O. is to observe if the model remotely resembles the actual object in a particular way. If it does, then it is enough for them to conclude the model describe how the real object works.
Conversely, if a real object cannot be miniaturized and still have the same behavior as the original object, they would conclude that the behavior of the original object doesn’t exist.
They would wrongly call creating such models “doing an experiment”.
Continue reading “The so-called “Experiment” Done by Flat-Earthers”
A favorite modus operandi of flat-Earth perpetrators is quote mining, or quoting out of context. They would read statements from scientists and watch their videos, then look for words they can use out of the intended context and spread them.
To some people, these scientists would appear contradicting each other and that there is never a consensus in science. They would even go as far as portraying the scientists as having some evil intentions to deceive us. In reality, the information no longer resembles what the scientists had in mind.
Continue reading “Quote Mining: How They Misrepresent Facts and Attempt to Incite Us”
Kettle logic is making multiple contradicting arguments in an attempt to support a single point or idea.
Kettle logic occurs very frequently in the flat-Earth community. If they meet a natural phenomenon cannot readily be explained using the flat-Earth model, they would often devise ‘experimental models’ to ‘explain’ how the said phenomenon can happen in a flat-Earth.
The problem? These models are in conflict with each other.
Continue reading “Kettle Logic: Conflicting ‘Explanations’ in the Flat-Earth Model”
The Hyman’s Maxim says:
“Do not try to explain something until you are sure there is something to be explained.”
We can apply this maxim to a lot of situations involving flat-Earthers, and avoid wasting our time.
Continue reading “The Hyman’s Maxim”
Something would ‘make sense’ if it appears to be correct according to our personal experience. But common sense can be deceiving. Common sense relies on our own experience which has a very limited scope. For a lot of things, our common sense is not a reliable indicator of truth.
Perpetrators of flat-Earth often exploit the shortcoming of our common sense. They would say something like “It looks flat, so it must be flat!” Some of us fell victim to this scheme and would make the conclusion out of a mere hunch in place of more thorough and exhaustive observations.
Continue reading “Common Sense: Not a Reliable Indication of Truth”
The Earth is spherical, but not perfectly spherical. Its diameter is longer across the equator than between both poles. The shape is called ‘oblate spheroid’. The difference between both diameters is tiny, only about 0.33%. It is perfectly fine to say that the Earth is round or spherical.
Some flat-Earthers take this issue very seriously. They think if that’s the case, then we can’t say the Earth is spherical. They are wrong. If we can’t say the Earth is a sphere, then we can’t describe every other spherical object as spherical, because nothing is perfectly spherical.
Continue reading ““Earth is a Sphere” Semantic Games”
The fallacy of statement of conversion is committed when someone is taking a statement of conversion as valid without actually hearing a reason for the conversion.
Flat-Earthers often tell others that they used to believe the Earth is a globe, but now they ‘know better’ and believe in a flat-Earth. All this only tells us they changed their mind. Accepting this as proof of a flat-Earth would be committing the fallacy of statement of conversion.
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Contextualism is treating what we know as context-sensitive. We can use the epistemic contextualism as a philosophical tool to explain the Earth is spherical, and bypass all the scientific explanations.
Flat-Earthers love to shift the context to where we would no longer function as a normal human being because only in this context, most of us cannot possibly know the shape of the Earth.
But in the context where we all act like normal human beings, there’s no problem to know the Earth is spherical, even if we don’t know all the scientific details.
Continue reading “Contextualism and Flat Earth”
The flat-Earth model survives not because the Earth is flat, but because every time a problem is found, its proponents would quickly invent an ad-hoc hypothesis to explain the problem away. In turn, if they discover another problem in one of these ad-hoc hypotheses, they would be happy to invent another ad-hoc hypothesis to explain the problem away. And so on, and so forth.
These ad-hoc hypotheses are there to save their core belief —that the Earth is flat— from being falsified.
Continue reading “The Long Chains of Ad-Hoc Hypotheses to Defend the Flat-Earth Model”
Humans have cognitive biases that can affect our judgments. One of these cognitive biases is the confirmation bias. Because of the confirmation bias, we tend to seek the information confirming our preexisting beliefs.
Confirmation bias is a fact of life, and all humans have it. Confirmation bias can result in different subjective opinion from a different subject. A characteristic of any pseudoscience —like the concept of flat-Earth— is that they don’t try to minimize the confirmation bias, but they actually encourage it.
Continue reading “Confirmation Bias”