Some flat-Earthers discovered images of multiple suns in the sky. They jumped to the conclusion that it proves whatever they want it to confirm. In reality, we can explain them without going for farfetched scenarios.
Making-of or Behind-the-Scenes
In cinema, a making-of or behind-the-scenes is a documentary featuring the production of a film. It describes how the scenes in a movie were created. Some trolls took footage from the behind-the-scenes of various space movies and present them to flat-Earthers as though it is how space agencies “faked” their videos.
Flat-Earthers fail to realize that these footage were just behind-the-scenes of space movies and unrelated to the actual space footage from space agencies. These spread as hoaxes in flat-Earth circles.
Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of computer graphics to create or contribute to images. Some astronomy and Earth images were made with CGI, and flat-Earthers incorrectly use the fact as “evidence” the objects in the images are not real. In reality, it is possible to use CGI to create images of real objects, and therefore, CGI is not evidence that the objects in the images are not real.
For example, most images in IKEA’s catalog were created using CGI. If we were to use the same flat-Earthers’ “logic,” we can conclude that IKEA products do not exist, but we all know they exist.
Usage of Animation to Visualize Space Missions
Many space missions use animations to visualize the state of the missions because it is impossible to record a video of the event. Spacecrafts continuously send telemetry data to Earth informing the status of their mission, and from the data, an animation can be constructed to illustrate the spacecraft’s current situation.
Flat-Earthers accuse that the animations are “proof” that the missions are faked. In reality, the animations are faithful depictions of the missions and are made to visualize the real state of the mission. Animations are used because it is not viable to send another spacecraft only to record a video of the mission. Furthermore, in the cases where the video is available, it is still too difficult for these flat-Earthers to accept reality.
Tim Peake’s Scientific Demonstration on the ISS and the Green Screen Conspiracy Theory
In 2006, astronaut Tim Peake from the UK was tasked to perform some physics demonstration on the ISS for the National Space Academy. Tim performed the demonstrations in front of a gridded background specifically made for the purpose.
One of Tim’s video appeared during the former US president George H.W. Bush’s visit to NASA’s Mission Control Center. Flat-Earthers discovered the footage and quickly claim that it used a green screen background for CGI purposes. Such allegation was only from their ignorance and the eagerness to accuse others of lying. Tim’s videos are published in the National Science Academy’s web site as is, proving the background in the videos was merely an ordinary background, not a green screen for CGI.
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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.
The Starburst Effect is not Evidence of CGI
In photography, the starburst effect gives the illusion of light rays from strong light sources in an image. The effect happens when the lens’ aperture is not a perfect circle, and it gets more pronounced under a narrower aperture.
Flat-Earthers often find themselves looking for any peculiarity —no matter how small or unbelievable— to discredit any picture they deem unacceptable to their misguided causes. One of this peculiarity is the starburst effect.
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Appeal to CGI of the Second Form
Another CGI related fallacy regularly committed by flat-Earthers has the general form of:
- Observation: there’s no photo or video of the object ‘X’ that is not made with CGI.
- Conclusion: ‘X’ does not exist in the real world
This is invalid for two reasons:
- A real object is still real even if nobody has taken a photo of it.
- The premise itself might be invalid because there could be someone who has a photo of the object, and the perpetrator of the fallacy is simply unaware of its existence.
Appeal to CGI of the First Form
A logical fallacy commonly committed by the victims of the flat-Earth ideology is CGI related. CGI —or computer graphics imagery— is the use of computers to produce realistic images or videos.
Because this fallacy is very common within the flat-Earth circles, let’s give it the name ‘appeal to CGI’. Its argument has the general form of:
- Observation: a photo or video of an object ‘X’ is made with CGI
- Conclusion: ‘X’ does not exist in the real world
This is a fallacy because it is definitely possible to create a CGI image or video of a real-world object.
The Philosophy of CGI
When a photo of spherical Earth is pointed out to flat-earthers, they will dismiss it as CGI in the blink of an eye; even if they haven’t done any analysis at all. They do this because their belief in flat-Earth is not evidence-based, and any evidence contrary to their beliefs needs to be invalidated no matter how.
They are so used to doing it, and sometimes they become confused by it themselves, to the point that they would take the slightest hint of digital manipulation of any picture of the Earth as evidence of the flat Earth.