Naked Science Forum

General Science => General Science => Topic started by: neilep on 25/04/2018 14:04:44

Title: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: neilep on 25/04/2018 14:04:44
Dearest Round-Planetologists,

As a sheepy I of course know the Earth is round. Planet Earth was invented in 1873 and has been quite happy plodding along in all its roundness since then. It even got all jolly a fewe  years  later and banged a rather sexy Planetoid and they had  the Moon as a baby. This is all true cos I say so.

Still, as a firm believer in empirical study I wentt for a stroll just moments ago and took this selfie:


* Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 13.42.06.jpg (88.83 kB . 422x563 - viewed 4365 times)
A true bona-fide non doctored piccy of me just moments ago !!




There's this chappie at work who is fundamentally convinced that the Earth is Flat !! Nothing I can say or do convinces him of the fact. The Sun is a lot nearer than it is and he doesn't know what the Moon is and says it's a projection and that the entire World is conspiratorially purporting that the Earth is round to control us. What bothers me is that he has a young son who i'm sure he is educating his delusional theories.

Doesn't matter what I say or do.....he just espouses his ridiculous notion as the truth. Every photo is photoshopped, every camera lens is fish eye etc etc etc

Any suggestions ?   How Can I Change The Mind Of A Flat earther ?

He's even beginning to have an influence on work colleagues !!

How does someone become so susceptible to this  ? weak willed or what ?

If ewe can help me then a hug will be forthcoming big time !!

Hugs and shmishes


mwah mwah mwah

Sheeepy
xxxxxxxx

Just take a look and ewe will see
The Earth is round since 1873
It's not a joke and sad the fact
That others think it's flatty flat !



Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Janus on 25/04/2018 14:56:03
To be honest, I don't think you can.  Some people are just immune to logical argument.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: chiralSPO on 25/04/2018 15:01:42
Unfortunately there is no guaranteed way to treat willful ignorance.

Do they accept that the moon, the sun, and the other planets in the solar system are roughly spherical in shape?
If so, then why, you might ask, is the Earth special? And why do liquid lakes not pour off of Titan?

Do they accept that airplanes fly in Great Circles? And that the airline companies are doing this to minimize their fuel costs, rather than to appease the Round Earthers?

Perhaps they can explain why there are multiple tides per day? Or how it can be broad daylight in London while the Sun has long since set in Hong Kong (do they have any friends or family in other parts of the world they can viedo chat with?)

Experiments are always nice, especially when very low tech. If there is a tall building with an elevator overlooking the sea (facing west) then they can see the sun set multiple times. Watch the sunset at ground floor, then go up 10 floors and watch it again (repeat if possible). If, as they claim, the sea is flat, then how does this work?
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: neilep on 25/04/2018 15:55:51
Thank ewe @chiralSPO and @Janus,


It just astonishes me that people are so susceptible to the point that even when faced with true facts they deny it as conspiracy and have such a firm held belief in their own conviction that it becomes a fundamental stance.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Kryptid on 25/04/2018 16:32:58
I once joined a flat Earth discussion board in an attempt to persuade them that they were wrong. It didn't work. So unless you can actually take them into space and show them that the Earth is round, I doubt you'll succeed.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: chiralSPO on 25/04/2018 16:40:26
unless you can actually take them into space and show them that the Earth is round, I doubt you'll succeed.

Even then, I'm sure many will find some way to challenge the truth before their eyes: "the 'windows' are actually computer screens with filters changing the image!" or "you must have given me mind-altering drugs!" or something equally silly...

The best course of action may just be to identify flat earthers online and sell expensive junk to them to limit their economic power (supposedly there are millions of these morons world-wide!?!)
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Colin2B on 25/04/2018 18:13:54
Even then, I'm sure many will find some way to challenge the truth before their eyes: "the 'windows' are actually computer screens with filters changing the image!" or "you must have given me mind-altering drugs!" or something equally silly...
You are right, judging by some of the flat-earther post weíve had here.
At first I thought it was a joke organisation, a sort of intellectual exercise, but they seem to believe it. Even ancient civilisations had it sussed out.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Bored chemist on 25/04/2018 19:48:15
About 2 min into this
is the clearest explanation I have seen.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: chris on 26/04/2018 14:10:18
Anyone going to pop along:

https://www.flatearthconventionuk.co.uk/
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 26/04/2018 18:13:05
There's different types of flat earthers and you'd probably have to reach them in different ways.

Many of them are religious; it turns out that the early Israelites believed that the Earth was flat, as did most of their contemporaries, and the evidence that it wasn't, only slowly spread across the face of the disk globe. If you know what it's saying the old testament actually explains that, it says the earth is circular and covered by a crystal sphere called the firmament, and many of the other parts imply if you go high enough, you can see the whole Earth, which of course you can't.

So people like that, one technique called is 'street epistemology' you talk to them sympathetically, and try to get them to explain why and how they 'know' what they think they know, and how did the people that told them stuff know what they know, etc.. Eventually you should be able to get them to accept that it's simply held to by faith, and then ask them whether simple faith is enough to believe anything, and point that many, many people believe all kinds of strange things on simple faith.

Another group is the conspiracy theorists, they believe in things for a variety of reasons, they think flat earth is a secret conspiracy by those people. Depending on the reason you'd probably need to use different approaches:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-apes/201801/why-do-people-believe-in-conspiracy-theories
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: David Cooper on 07/05/2018 18:49:56
Einstein was a flat Earther - if you pick an extreme frame of reference, you can show that the Earth is flatter than any pancake.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: RD on 07/05/2018 19:08:58
How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Gravity acts straight-down everywhere on a sphere, not so on a disc.
Gravity would only act straight-down at the center of a disc,
everywhere else on the disc people would have to lean to one side to keep upright.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Kryptid on 07/05/2018 19:18:04
Gravity acts straight-down everywhere on a sphere, not so on a disc.
Gravity would only act straight-down at the center of a disc,
everywhere else on the disc people would have to lean to one side to keep upright.

They don't believe in gravity in the same way that we do. They believe that the Earth is accelerating upwards at 9.8 meters per second squared, thus emulating gravity.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Bored chemist on 07/05/2018 20:01:18
Gravity acts straight-down everywhere on a sphere, not so on a disc.
Gravity would only act straight-down at the center of a disc,
everywhere else on the disc people would have to lean to one side to keep upright.

They don't believe in gravity in the same way that we do. They believe that the Earth is accelerating upwards at 9.8 meters per second squared, thus emulating gravity.
That's... "interesting".
What power source do they postulate?
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Kryptid on 07/05/2018 20:23:14
That's... "interesting".
What power source do they postulate?

They think there is a rocket-like plume shooting from underneath the Earth to propel it upward. I kid you not.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 07/05/2018 21:10:17
With all these people it's always worth asking why there isn't a single picture, not one, of the edge of the Earth and watch them squirm.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Kryptid on 07/05/2018 21:26:24
With all these people it's always worth asking why there isn't a single picture, not one, of the edge of the Earth and watch them squirm.

They think anyone who gets close enough to take a picture is either caught or killed by the guards stationed on the ice wall there.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: jeffreyH on 07/05/2018 22:10:16
Roll the flat earther down a mountain slope.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: RD on 07/05/2018 23:02:20
They don't believe in gravity in the same way that we do. They believe that the Earth is accelerating upwards at 9.8 meters per second squared, thus emulating gravity.
Gravity is not exactly 9.8m/s across the entire Earth ...
(https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GRACE/Images/geoids_sm.jpg)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_of_Earth

If it was a disc accelerating it would be constant across Earth's surface.

BTW after a mere decade accelerating at 9.8m/s2, disc-Earth would be close to the speed of light.
Colliding with interstellar gas at that speed would irradiate Earth : we'd be cooked. (https://www.space.com/8011-warp-speed-kill.html)
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: chiralSPO on 07/05/2018 23:27:08
Ooh! Here's another experiment that any flat earther with a car and a camera capable of long exposure can do if they are willing to take a road trip (works best in flat open country) :

Take a long-exposure shot of the night sky facing due North (in the northern hemisphere, do the opposite in the South), so you can see the stars trailing. Then, the next day, drive South a few hundred miles. Take another exposure at the new location, and repeat a few times, then do the same on the way back, stopping at the same locations. Sure it might take 2 weeks to do a good loop, but it could be an excellent vacation (and hey, if you're committed enough to build your own death rocket, surely you can take the family on a 14-day road trip in the summer.) The return journey will rule out that the angle just changes every day for no reason...

On comparing the shots, one would clearly see Polaris in the center of all the circular trails, and the angle to Polaris will (surprise, surprise) correlate very closely with the latitude of the observer.

When one is very far North, Polaris will be overhead:
 [ Invalid Attachment ]

As one travels South, Polaris will fall towards the horizon:
 [ Invalid Attachment ]

Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: chiralSPO on 07/05/2018 23:28:54
And eventually Polaris will be out of view:

* polaris below.jpg (515.72 kB . 1943x1276 - viewed 1537 times)

Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: chiralSPO on 07/05/2018 23:30:22
If one actually makes it to the equator, the star trails will appear to be straight lines going E-W (this shot is looking East):

* equator star trails.jpg (528.28 kB . 1024x732 - viewed 1546 times)
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Kryptid on 07/05/2018 23:58:50
They don't believe in gravity in the same way that we do. They believe that the Earth is accelerating upwards at 9.8 meters per second squared, thus emulating gravity.
Gravity is not exactly 9.8m/s across the entire Earth ...
(https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GRACE/Images/geoids_sm.jpg)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_of_Earth

If it was a disc accelerating it would be constant across Earth's surface.

I remember someone telling them on that board I used to go to that gravity was weaker on top of mountains than it was at sea level. Their answer? They didn't believe it. That's pretty much their answer to any evidence that they can't see firsthand with their own eyes. NASA is in on the conspiracy, so maps like the ones you posted are just lies to them.

Quote
BTW after a mere decade accelerating at 9.8m/s2, disc-Earth would be close to the speed of light.
Colliding with interstellar gas at that speed would irradiate Earth : we'd be cooked. (https://www.space.com/8011-warp-speed-kill.html)

I want to think that this was brought up as well, and I'm guessing that they either don't believe in interstellar gas, don't believe in the equations showing how much damage it would cause or they believe it was accelerating just as fast as the Earth. Although I did see one of them say that the Earth running into an asteroid could have been what caused the dinosaurs to go extinct.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: alancalverd on 08/05/2018 10:18:16
Ask your local flat earther where the edge is, then get him to drive you there. "Beyond the sea"? No problem, just ask how far, and rent a plane.

However stupid he may be, surely curiosity will impel him to wonder what the edge looks like, or vanity will compel him to show you that he is right.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Zer0 on 05/06/2018 09:41:16
Is it a Crime or Illegal to think that the Earth is Flat?

Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
But why?
Why would you want to waste your time & energy in converting an unwilling religious fanatic into a being with scientific rational thinking?

If an Individual thinks that the whole matter in the Universe is merely a byproduct of poop which came out of the backhole of a Donkey, n the Big Bang expansion was due to the Donkey's Fart, and that Thee Donkey is God.

Isn't that Individual allowed/entitled to hold onto his/her/its Faith?

How Fair is it to Force wisdom down someone's throat in the name of Science?

P.S. - A brief look back in History shows Priests & Saints have been at it for thousands of years, but eventually, in the end, Preaching doesn't work out.
It would be a good thing for scientific intellectuals to not follow the same path.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Colin2B on 05/06/2018 13:25:22
Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
But why?
Why would you want to waste your time & energy in converting an unwilling religious fanatic into a being with scientific rational thinking?.........
...........Isn't that Individual allowed/entitled to hold onto his/her/its Faith?

How Fair is it to Force wisdom down someone's throat in the name of Science?
Well, you could take that view about anyone who posts here with an incorrect view on a science topic.
We donít force anyone to believe correct science, but we do feel it is our duty to explain reality.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: chiralSPO on 05/06/2018 18:11:56
Is it a Crime or Illegal to think that the Earth is Flat?

Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
But why?
Why would you want to waste your time & energy in converting an unwilling religious fanatic into a being with scientific rational thinking?

If an Individual thinks that the whole matter in the Universe is merely a byproduct of poop which came out of the backhole of a Donkey, n the Big Bang expansion was due to the Donkey's Fart, and that Thee Donkey is God.

Isn't that Individual allowed/entitled to hold onto his/her/its Faith?

How Fair is it to Force wisdom down someone's throat in the name of Science?

P.S. - A brief look back in History shows Priests & Saints have been at it for thousands of years, but eventually, in the end, Preaching doesn't work out.
It would be a good thing for scientific intellectuals to not follow the same path.

In a country such as mine (USA), many problems arise when such Donkeyfart believers vote and hold offices (local, state and federal). Unfortunately, preaching is the one of the few ways scientists have to reach these people. I agree it is somewhat distasteful to preach to science-denying adults, but I am horrified at the prospect that we are being actively limited from teaching scientific facts and skeptical thinking to children in some parts of the country because of the interests of religious fanatics and industries that stand to gain from an ignorant public.

Science is not interchangeable with religion, and anyone who confuses the two doesn't understand at least one of those concepts. As so excellently demonstrated in Zer0's allegory of the Donkey, it is easy to come up with wrong ideas, and people can just as easily have absolute faith in incorrect ideas as they can in ones that are correct. I can find you a dozen people who adhere very strongly to different "faiths," and would each confidently assert that their own version of reality is the only one, as established by some old book that they can point to. Each regards the book of the others as works of fraud perpetrated by tricksters (human or supernatural), or as almost correct, but corrupted by interpretation or translation.

What is difficult to do is to find a theory of describing the world around us in a way that withstands test after test against how things are observed to actually work. Theories that fail are modified or and retested, or labeled as failures and kept as an example of a known pitfall, or perhaps to be vindicated later by refined experimental observations. Theories that are experimentally borne out time and time again, and provide the basis for making and using tools, technologies and new inventions, are called good science.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Zer0 on 07/06/2018 14:15:34
Colin2B & chiralSPO I have to say that I'm in total agreement with both your views.

(A brief personal background)
I'm born in a very religious household with both my parents as staunch believers.
Was sort of brainwashed since childhood n pushed into following religious practices n cultural traditional customs.

Until one fine day, when all of a sudden I started questioning my actions n was filled with doubts.
I looked towards Science for answers and all confusion seemingly disappeared.

I took up a role of say Darth Vader n went hunting down religious folks who believed in the crappy Force.

Almost succeeded in converting my own father into an Atheist, but it didn't work out so well for him.
He's been following a regular religious path almost all his life n now seems to question every step of it.
It was as if I pushed him of the sidewalk pavement n deep into the dark woods.
Seemed irritated n confused with himself.

Finally I used the magic spell of ' Quantum Mechanics & Physics ' on him explaining anything is possible n since then dad's supposed soul seems to be at peace with himself.

I tried the same stunt with my mother, time n again trying to jolt her with scientific theories n laws of nature.
Was astonished beyond belief as to how a woman with scientific intellectualism would or could believe in hocus pocus crap.(she's a Ph.D)
Whenever I would debate or try having a meaningful conversation about the universe, she would reply with utmost silence.
She stood her ground, always with a silly grin on her face.(I hated that)

But as time went by I finally decoded her silence n understood what it meant.
She's way to smart for saints & priests but an emotional person.
Believing in hocus pocus crap brings peace n happiness to her heart. Mom dreads of existing in a godforsaken universe where there is no taking care of or one watching over us.
I've stopped debating with her n learned to enjoy that silly grin on her face.

I guess the only point I was trying to make is that if knowing the absolute Truth would turn someone's life into a living hellish nightmare, then that Truth isn't worth spreading, its better to lie instead.

P.S. - Please don't tell kids that Santa Claus ain't real or the ToothFairy is just a figment of their imagination, it would break their little hearts.
(The Earth isn't really Flat, it's a Triangle) 🔺
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Tomassci on 01/07/2018 17:49:02
Dearest Round-Planetologists,

As a sheepy I of course know the Earth is round. Planet Earth was invented in 1873 and has been quite happy plodding along in all its roundness since then. It even got all jolly a fewe  years  later and banged a rather sexy Planetoid and they had  the Moon as a baby. This is all true cos I say so.

Still, as a firm believer in empirical study I wentt for a stroll just moments ago and took this selfie:


* Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 13.42.06.jpg (88.83 kB . 422x563 - viewed 4365 times)
A true bona-fide non doctored piccy of me just moments ago !!




There's this chappie at work who is fundamentally convinced that the Earth is Flat !! Nothing I can say or do convinces him of the fact. The Sun is a lot nearer than it is and he doesn't know what the Moon is and says it's a projection and that the entire World is conspiratorially purporting that the Earth is round to control us. What bothers me is that he has a young son who i'm sure he is educating his delusional theories.

Doesn't matter what I say or do.....he just espouses his ridiculous notion as the truth. Every photo is photoshopped, every camera lens is fish eye etc etc etc

Any suggestions ?   How Can I Change The Mind Of A Flat earther ?

He's even beginning to have an influence on work colleagues !!

How does someone become so susceptible to this  ? weak willed or what ?

If ewe can help me then a hug will be forthcoming big time !!

Hugs and shmishes


mwah mwah mwah

Sheeepy
xxxxxxxx

Just take a look and ewe will see
The Earth is round since 1873
It's not a joke and sad the fact
That others think it's flatty flat !




That image... :-)
Now to the topic. Try to convince them to build a rocket which will snap the earth... Or falsify, falsify, falsify.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Zer0 on 02/07/2018 05:49:51
To be honest, I don't think you can.  Some people are just immune to logical argument.

P.S. - WORD! 👊
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Liz888 on 11/07/2018 19:30:52
The planet Earth is not completely round. It is slightly flattened
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Tomassci on 13/07/2018 10:40:38
Gravity acts straight-down everywhere on a sphere, not so on a disc.
Gravity would only act straight-down at the center of a disc,
everywhere else on the disc people would have to lean to one side to keep upright.

They don't believe in gravity in the same way that we do. They believe that the Earth is accelerating upwards at 9.8 meters per second squared, thus emulating gravity.
Two problems:
1. Why does moon still orbit the Earth? Earth would leave moon?
2. Speed of light. If Earth was accelerating, then it would come into c=the maximal speed.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Tomassci on 13/07/2018 10:41:59
The planet Earth is not completely round. It is slightly flattened
Truth, Liz. The Earth is rotating! And that force...
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: Tomassci on 13/07/2018 10:46:50
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: rami999 on 21/08/2018 22:15:05
Hit him with a flat rock lol
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 22/08/2018 00:18:05
This seems to be a big problem that the Internet has imposed on us. If everything is just 1's and 0's, how do we know which combinations of 1's and 0's correspond to real world facts?

In the 'good old days' the publishers, to some degree, acted as filters on what got published. I mean, there was still a lot of nonsense and propaganda that got published, but not to the same degree. Now anybody can knock together a book with Microsoft Word, or a fake photo with photoshop, or with more effort, manipulate video.

In the long run, it will sort itself out, structures will get emplaced to minimise the effects of people posting bullshit like flerf, but it's going to be painful.
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: PmbPhy on 23/08/2018 22:18:31
Itís rather easy to convince someone with an open mind that the Earth is a sphere. Hereís how:

1.   Explain to them that the seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite than they are in the norther hemisphere. This is impossible for a flat Earth
2.   Explain that the retrograde motion of the planets is explained precisely with the spherical Earth axiom.
3.   If one takes measurements between points all over the earth then those numbers can be used to determine the shape of the surface of the Earth. The results show the Earth is a sphere.
4.   The flatlanders cannot explain why the sun, moon or manmade satellites donít fall. They canít explain how we got satellites to where they are and remain there. They have no idea how the GPS works or direct TV. They cannot explain why the direction objects fall is down because they'd have to first prove that Newtonian and Einsteinian gravity is wrong.
5. People in he Northern Hemisphere see an entirely different set of stars than those in the Southern Hemisphere. It's not possible to explain that with a flat Earth but is done easily with a spherical one.
6. Man has been all over Earth and not one of them has come to an edge,
7. A spherical Earth can have satellites and an ISS. Not so with a flat earth

etc.

Those flat earth people make no effort to confirm their theory with observation.

Thank God engineers are no closed minded. :)
Title: Re: How Can I Change the Mind Of A Flat-Earther ?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 26/08/2018 04:58:29
That's one of the standard strategies: just tell them facts and they will believe!!!!

Unfortunately:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

usually wins