The amount of curvature that appears in a photograph of a sphere depends on 1. The radius of the sphere, 2. Camera distance from the sphere, 3. Field of view of the camera, and 4. The distortion characteristic of the camera being used.
The ‘curvature fitting game’ has been flat-Earthers’ favorite pastime. They would try to fit a photograph of Earth’s curvature with another. If they find the result is not proportionally correct, they will make fun of it. They are wrong. Two different photos of a sphere can be taken differently and would show a different curve, even if the object being photographed is the same object.
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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.
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The fact that the Earth is spherical was known since at least 3rd century BC, or about 24 centuries ago, far before we can send anything to space. We knew the fact from countless observations, and not merely from photos and videos taken from space, or that “NASA told us so.”
On the other hand, flat-Earthers often mention NASA or other space agencies because they don’t have a choice. If they insist on the wrong notion that the Earth is flat, then they would need to invent various excuses why there are photos and videos taken from space.
Continue reading “The Earth is Really Spherical, Not Because “NASA Told Us So””
Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs.
Cognitive dissonance often happens with devoted flat-Earthers when they are confronted with facts and evidence showing that the Earth is spherical. Continue reading “Cognitive Dissonance”
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.
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The argument from incredulity occurs if someone refuses to accept an argument simply because he cannot personally understand it. This is a logical fallacy very frequently used by flat-Earthers.
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The film ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ is a mockumentary. It is fictional but presented as if it is a real documentary. The film features guests like Donald Rumsfield, Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Vernon Walters, Buzz Aldrin, and Stanley Kubrick’s wife. In the film, they all pretend that the Moon landings are faked, and created in a studio by Stanley Kubrick.
There are many cut versions of the film circulated on the Internet. Usually, the ‘giveaways’ are cut to make the film more believable. Then, the film is presented as ‘evidence’ that Moon landings did not happen. Unfortunately, many believe these unfaithful versions of the film and don’t realize the events in the film are completely fictional.
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Why do we believe in conspiracy theories? According to research, one reason is the so-called ‘psychological projection’.
‘Psychological projection’ is a phenomenon where someone denies their own attitude or traits and assumes instead that others are doing so. They see their own negative traits in others, even when the negative traits are not present in the others being accused.
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