Isaac Newton and The Law of Universal Gravitation

When flat-earth influencers want to ‘educate’ us, most of the time, they would begin by provoking our emotion. After provoked, our ability to rationally judge information diminishes. A common modus operandi is to defame scientists, and one of the most frequent victim is Isaac Newton.

Using selective quoting and alluding narrations, Newton is described as a fraud and his discovery of the law of universal gravitation was a mere hoax.

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Psychological Projection

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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Polaris – The North Star

To most flat-earthers, the Earth is stationary. Stars are light sources attached to the firmament (for some mysterious reason), and they rotate around Polaris (again, for some mysterious reason).

However, they are missing the fact that Polaris is never visible from the southern hemisphere. And furthermore, the southern stars also rotate around the south celestial pole.

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Flight Altitude and Sphericity of the Earth

So, there was a flat-earther who took a spirit level on a flight. His intention was to determine whether the plane periodically adjust its angle in order to make it level in relation to the surface of the Earth. According to him, if the Earth were really spherical, then the plane would need to make these periodic adjustments; otherwise it would fly away straight into space!

His video became viral, and predictably, the plane did not make these periodic adjustments. The conclusion, surely, is not that the Earth is flat. The following are some explanations why the plane doesn’t have to make those periodic adjustments, and still reaches its destination.

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Emergency Landings and Flight Route

It is a mistake to take a straight line between two locations on a map, and consider that line the shortest distance between the two locations. With a very short distance —like within a city— it wouldn’t usually matter. But for long haul flights across continents, then it would matter, a lot.

Flat earthers are known to use this mistake —whether deliberately or not— as a ‘proof’ that the Earth is flat. A common case they would bring are emergency landings.

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Missions to the Moon, Post-Apollo

“After Apollo, there was never another mission to the Moon. It means that the Apollo missions were faked, and we never actually went to the Moon.”

That’s how flat-earth believers think about Apollo missions, and missions to the Moon in general. Because they think there was never any missions to the Moon after Apollo, then they conclude that the Apollo mission was staged, and never happened.

Is that so? Apparently not. Although by the time this article was written, Apollo is still the only mission to the Moon that brought humans up there, doesn’t mean there are no missions to the Moon after that.

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Fisheye Lenses and Earth Curvature

A good majority of pictures of Earth taken from space are being dismissed by flat earthers simply because they are taken using fish-eye lenses. They believe any curvature of Earth shown in these picture are caused by fish-eye effect, and thus, cannot be used as evidence of Earth curvature. They even take a step further: any picture showing curvature of Earth must have been taken by a fish-eye lens.

These claims are, of course, ungrounded. In some cases, we can conclude the curvature is there, even when a fish-eye lens is being used. We can use this useful property of any photographic lens:

A straight line will appear straight as long as it crosses the center point of the image.

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Admiral Byrd: “An Area As Big As The United States on the Other Side of the South Pole”

According most flat earthers, there’s no such thing as the continent of Antarctica. In their imagination, Antarctica is not a continent, but  a long ice wall enclosing the Earth. Without having anything to prove that assumption, they look anywhere for any quote they can mine and stumbled into this quote by Admiral Byrd:

“Strangely enough, there is left in the world today, an area as big as the United States, that’s never been seen by a human being. And that’s beyond the pole, on the other side of the south pole from Little America.”

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