Neil deGrasse Tyson once incorrectly stated that it is still too close to the surface to see Earth’s curvature from the height of Felix Baumgartner’s jump. In reality, we should be able to see it using our eyes.
Flat-Earthers believe people take Neil’s remarks as gospel and use Neil’s incorrect statement to dismiss any observation of Earth’s curvature. However, we have no problem saying that Neil was wrong. It is OK to be wrong as long as we are willing to revise our views when faced with new facts, and we are certain Neil will.
In an interview, Neil held an inflatable globe and stated:
“You don’t see the curvature of the Earth if you’re 2mm above this beach ball! You just don’t! That stuff is flat!”
However, the simulation results show us that the curvature should be visible at the altitude of the jump. And the curvature is also seen in Felix’s jump videos even after removing the fisheye effects. It is even possible to observe the curvature from a much lower altitude, like from a commercial passenger flight, if the conditions are favorable.
Using Neil’s statement to override real-world facts is the fallacy of argument from authority. Real-world observations take precedence over anyone’s words, even experts’. On the other hand, Neil has repeatedly said the Earth is a sphere, and it is a fact that we can easily confirm to be true. But flat-Earthers are not interested in that.