Can White Swans exist?

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MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
Maybe not quite right.

I think there's two sides of then fence you can sit on.

If you want to accept the 9 miles to the oil rigs you HAVE to accept there is something else at play that can move physical objects in the field of view.

Or you reject all measurements and have to consider the possibility that earth can move.

The oil rig photograph has no proof the horizon isn't as far as it should be unless you want the oil rigs to be 9 miles away. That's gotta be a fallacy?
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I quite like that way of thinking: given the possibility of footage of those oil rigs showing the effects of refraction it's quite a clever question to ask the flat earther "what is causing them to move?"

If they say refraction they shoot themselves in the foot, no?

Is there footage of those oil rigs? Or similar footage?

The only thing that springs to mind are Joshua Nowicki's timelapses of Chicago.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
I quite like that way of thinking: given the possibility of footage of those oil rigs showing the effects of refraction it's quite a clever question to ask the flat earther "what is causing them to move?"

If they say refraction they shoot themselves in the foot, no?

Is there footage of those oil rigs? Or similar footage?

The only thing that springs to mind are Joshua Nowicki's timelapses of Chicago.
Here's the photo off a flat earth site ( https://flatearth.ws/horizon-distance )
677829B1-3A39-4629-9732-345E8D2C8E70.png

If all the bent protrusions don't persuade FE people of the reality of the effects of refraction, I don't know what else would!
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
You know about refraction right?
Indeed I do. And presumably I use that to rationalise how physical objects attached to earth can apparently move. But that could be indoctrination.

But how does the black swan photograph prove that the oil rigs are 9 miles away without the preconceived notion that earth doesn't move? Isn't that a begging the question fallacy? Maybe the earth moves and tricks our other senses that it isn't moving. I can watch it move. I've seen it wobble loads of times.

It seems preposterous but it's something the modus tollens has to consider with the level it's at. It can't debunk r because it hasn't confirmed 9 miles.

And if 9 miles is accepted then it doesn't debunk r because something can move physical objects in the field of view and therefore horizons don't always have to be where the geometry dictates.

The argument uses the glober's "belief" that the earth doesn't move against them while offering no evidence that it actually doesn't.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Indeed I do. And presumably I use that to rationalise how physical objects attached to earth can apparently move. But that could be indoctrination.

Before we get any further, it would be helpful for us to learn if you come from a background of indoctrinated FE belief and have only recently begun to doubt? That would explain some of your questions which appear peculiar for many of us.

No shame admitting either way. Just be real with us.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
FatMendel, settle down boys. Your mathematical di*k-waving derails our otherwise perfectly topical foray into metaphorical ornithology. :)
if you don't understand what a discussion is about, the polite thing would be to ask, instead of accusing the participants of showing off.

It's about this claim:
If you see *anything* non-black that's not a not a raven, such as a bus or the sun, it should strengthen your belief that all ravens are black.
The core of this claim is that you can apply statistics to learn something about singular events that have never been observed. There's a similar line of reasoning with regard to flying saucers. It ties directly to the black swan/white swan discussion.

I maintain it can't be done, Phil says it can, but has seemingly given up on defending?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Lots of long distance photographs show things in the distance that weren't there before and so must've physically moved somehow? If I stay still, for something to enter my field of view that I couldn't see before then that something must've moved.
Heath Carmody has spent the past few years taking time lapses of a mountain lake, sometimes from multiple camera positions simultaneously. The mountains in the background are not much affected by refraction (they don't "move") and allow an assessment of the refraction effects.

Here's a summary:
Source: https://youtu.be/B8Q1FdX98_g


And here's a recent time lapse:
Source: https://youtu.be/k_2n3W2I5Yo


This means that anyone who picks a single picture taken low over water and proclaims, "this is the true state of affairs", has proven nothing—a large part of the observation can be due to refraction.

A photograph taken on a windy, overcast day (no atmospheric layers, not so much uneven energy input) is likely to exhibit standard refraction (making Earth look 7/6 as big as it is), especially if it's taken somewhat high off the ground. Anything else is suspect.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
Before we get any further, it would be helpful for us to learn if you come from a background of indoctrinated FE belief and have only recently begun to doubt? That would explain some of your questions which appear peculiar for many of us.

No shame admitting either way. Just be real with us.
I've always believed in the globe, never believed anything else or doubted it, but I'm not afraid to use globe denier arguments to make a point or to look at it from their point of view.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Indeed I do. And presumably I use that to rationalise how physical objects attached to earth can apparently move. But that could be indoctrination.

But how does the black swan photograph prove that the oil rigs are 9 miles away without the preconceived notion that earth doesn't move? Isn't that a begging the question fallacy? Maybe the earth moves and tricks our other senses that it isn't moving. I can watch it move. I've seen it wobble loads of times.

It seems preposterous but it's something the modus tollens has to consider with the level it's at. It can't debunk r because it hasn't confirmed 9 miles.

And if 9 miles is accepted then it doesn't debunk r because something can move physical objects in the field of view and therefore horizons don't always have to be where the geometry dictates.

The argument uses the glober's "belief" that the earth doesn't move against them while offering no evidence that it actually doesn't.

Could you clarify your points in the above. I'm thrown off by the vocabulary and the relevance of 'moving objects'. What does the measurement of the distance of the horizon from the camera in the oil rig photo have to do with moving objects?
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
Could you clarify your points in the above. I'm thrown off by the vocabulary and the relevance of 'moving objects'. What does the measurement of the distance of the horizon from the camera in the oil rig photo have to do with moving objects?
For all I (we) know, the horizon in the photograph of the oil rigs is exactly where it should be for a globe of 3959 miles and an observer height of 1 foot.

The person taking the photo did not measure how far away the horizon is.

The oil rigs could be in front of THAT horizon if they moved. The person taking the photograph did not measure how far away the oil rigs were.

There's nothing in the photograph to prove that that isn't what is happening.

The modus tollens can shamelessly suggest that earth doesn't have a fixed radius but it seems that admitting that physical objects attached to earth can move is a step too far.

There are two different possible conclusions to the modus tollens. The one it makes and this one. It has to consider it with the evidence it presents.

And if you were to actually observe it then, again, it would look like these physical objects attached to the earth are moving.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
if you don't understand what a discussion is about, the polite thing would be to ask, instead of accusing the participants of showing off.

Humour is risky on the interweb.

It's about this claim:

The core of this claim is that you can apply statistics to learn something about singular events that have never been observed.

@FatPhil interpreted the 3rd and 4th lemmas of the Raven paradox in a Bayesian way which is possible but unnecessary. The original formulation of the paradox doesn't logically imply a Bayesian interpretation. To interpret lemma 3 ("My pet raven is black") and lemma 4 ("This green apple is not black, and it is not a raven") to "strengthen the belief" (FatPhil's words) that "All ravens are black" (lemma 1) is Bayesian thinking in terms of priors strengthening probability. Whereas in first-order logic lemmas 3 and 4 are nothing less and nothing more than statements that are logically consistent with lemma 1.

From the perspective of scientific reasoning, an observation (of a black raven) can be logically consistent with a theory while the theory remains false (all ravens are black). This highlights (1) the multivariate character of the scientific process as compared to straightforward mathematical algorithms and (2) the problem of both (a) naive generalizations and (b) naive applications of Bayesian reasoning which -- when employed in a manner where other relevant variables do not factor in -- statistically strengthens false beliefs.

If you scroll down to Carnap's Bayesian interpretation of the paradox on the linked Wikipedia entry, he essentially points out that the:

Article:
. . . observation of a non-raven does not tell us anything about the color of ravens, but it tells us about the prevalence of ravens, and supports "All ravens are black" by reducing our estimate of the number of ravens that might not be black.


This is due to the ontological assumption that the set of all observable things is far greater than the set of ravens. Carnap's Bayesian interpretation clarifies that the sense in which an observation of a non-raven supports the statement "All ravens are black" is merely by reducing the number of counter-examples ("non-black ravens") amongst the superset of observable things. In other words, if interpreted in a statistical Bayesian way, the paradox is hereby solved and unproblematic.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
For all I (we) know, the horizon in the photograph of the oil rigs is exactly where it should be for a globe of 3959 miles and an observer height of 1 foot.

Incorrect. The horizon in the photo (or in any photo or eyeball observation for that matter) is never exactly where it should be for an r of 3959 miles. That's because of atmospheric refraction which we've gone at length to explain. Light bends due to the atmosphere. Therefore, the photograph (and our eyes) show us a horizon that's further away than the geometric horizon corresponding to the r of 3959 miles. We would see the geometric horizon if there was no refraction. Oakley ignores refraction (in addition to the glober's hypothesis of a spheroid rather than a perfect sphere) and thereby concludes r is wrong and globe is wrong (modus tollens).

To repeat, geometric horizon (r of 3959 miles) does not match the picture - the picture is a black swan. Geometric horizon can never perfectly match any picture taken through the atmosphere. Indeed, if there was no refraction effect in all the existing photographs showing the earth's horizon, the r of 3959 miles would be wrong according to all photographs. And that's what Oakley's trying to demonstrate.

The person taking the photo did not measure how far away the horizon is.

Correct.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
Incorrect. The horizon in the photo (or in any photo or eyeball observation for that matter) is never exactly where it should be for an r of 3959 miles. That's because of atmospheric refraction which we've gone at length to explain. Light bends due to the atmosphere. Therefore, the photograph (and our eyes) show us a horizon that's further away than the geometric horizon corresponding to the r of 3959 miles. We would see the geometric horizon if there was no refraction. Oakley ignores refraction (in addition to the glober's hypothesis of a spheroid rather than a perfect sphere) and thereby concludes r is wrong and globe is wrong (modus tollens).
These are the little details globe deniers want you to get lost in.

I know what you've posted there is what happens, lots of people know it, even globe deniers know it.

Just pretend that refraction doesn't exist for the time being and that the horizon for an earth of radius 3959 miles MUST have a radius of 1.225 the square root of observer height blah blah blah. I don't know the exact number for the oil rig photo but lets say the horizon must be x.y miles away.

If the horizon MUST be x.y miles away then maybe the horizon in the photograph IS x.y miles away and the oil rigs are closer than x.y miles away when the photograph was taken.

That is a possibility. There is nothing in the photograph that proves that isn't the case. The conclusion of the modus tollens incorrectly ignores that possibility and therefore doesn't debunk r.
 
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LilWabbit

Senior Member
These are the little details globe deniers want you to get lost in.

I know what you've posted there is what happens, lots of people know it, even globe deniers know it.

Just pretend that refraction doesn't exist for the time being and that the horizon for an earth of radius 3959 miles MUST have a radius of 1.225 the square root of observer height blah blah blah. I don't know the exact number for the oil rig photo but lets say the horizon must be x.y miles away.

If the horizon MUST be x.y miles away then maybe the horizon in the photograph IS x.y miles away and the oil rigs are closer than x.y miles away when the photograph was taken.

That is a possibility. There is nothing in the photograph that proves that isn't the case. The conclusion of the modus tollens incorrectly ignores that possibility and therefore doesn't debunk r.

I just don't see the point of arguing against a falsity (flat earth theory) with another falsity (a photograph shows the exact geometric horizon until you the FEer prove me otherwise). The 'glober' may gain a cheap 'win' for one round in the debate but not because he's being more scientific and truthful.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
I just don't see the point of arguing against a falsity (flat earth theory) with another falsity (a photograph shows the exact geometric horizon until you the FEer prove me otherwise). The 'glober' may gain a cheap 'win' for one round in the debate but not because he's being more scientific and truthful.
I don't fell like I'm arguing against a falsity with another falsity. I just feel like I'm completing the modus tollens on the level that it's at.

There's two numbers in it and if you are saying one number can change you have to consider the possibility that the other could change.

It's kind of interesting how for one group it's preposterous that either number could change, one group it's fine that one number can change but it's preposterous the other can change, whereas a true flat earther at the level of the modus tollens HAS to consider that either could change.

And as already discussed, depending on which values you accept has certain implications.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
For something to be in front of a horizon it MUST be closer than the horizon.

If the Earth is a sphere with radius 3959 then EVERY horizon distance measurement MUST BE NO MORE THAN 1.225 x square root of observers height in feet.

The oil rig photograph is taken at a height of 1 foot and therefore the distance to the horizon MUST be 1.22 miles (refraction ignored in calculation).

Therefore the oil rigs MUST be closer than 1.22 miles.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
I don't fell like I'm arguing against a falsity with another falsity. I just feel like I'm completing the modus tollens on the level that it's at.

You're accepting for the sake of argument that the geometric horizon shows accurately in the photograph and then assigning the burden to the FEer to prove the distance to the horizon based on a photograph. He will surely provide you with a calculation showing it's further than it should be to be a geometric horizon on a globe. And he would be right. You are falling into his trap.

I still don't see the point.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
You're accepting for the sake of argument that the geometric horizon shows accurately in the photograph and then assigning the burden to the FEer to prove the distance to the horizon based on a photograph.
Instead of begging the question? (I doubt that's the correct fallacy but I'm not an expert on fallacies and there's definitely one being done in the modus tollens).

Seems fair to me.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Which takes us right back to square one (post #1):

If a photograph of a refracted horizon is a "black swan" then surely every photograph ever taken is a "black swan".

Has flat earth ever found a "white swan"?

Nobody has if by "white swan" is meant a photograph that shows accurately the geometric horizon on a globe. It always shows only the apparent horizon which, due to refraction, is further away than the geometric horizon.

As to your response in post #142, falling into the FEers trap instead of 'begging the question' makes little sense to me.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
Nobody has if by "white swan" is meant a photograph that shows accurately the geometric horizon on a globe. It always shows only the apparent horizon which, due to refraction, is further away than the geometric horizon.
I know.

We all know.

I've dropped refraction for the time being.

All I'm saying (now) is the modus tollens cannot differentiate between if 3959 miles is changing or if the distance to the oil rigs is changing. Obviously neither are. You don't need to tell me that.

It can't debunk r (like it claims to) until it confirms 9 miles.

It itself doesn't confirm 9 miles, nor would globe deniers ever make a positive claim, it just uses the glober's rejection of such a possibility to hide it from the modus tollens.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
All I'm saying (now) is the modus tollens cannot differentiate between if 3959 miles is changing or if the distance to the oil rigs is changing. Obviously neither are. You don't need to tell me that.

It can't debunk r (like it claims to) until it confirms 9 miles.

Correct. It can't debunk r until it confirms the observer's distance to a presumed geometric horizon shown in the photo (ignoring refraction for the sake of argument) being inconsistent with r being 3959 miles. In order to confirm the distance to contradict the glober's geometric horizon, the FEer has a burden to accomplish the said distance measurement using the photograph.

If he choses to decline from his burden of proof, end of conversation. But if he provides you with said measurement amounting to 9 miles (which he actually might be able to pull off roughly), the glober would have to introduce refraction and other variables to explain that the photograph does actually not show the real geometric horizon. At that point the glober appears as the bigger fool as he could have pulled the refraction card from the start by not accepting any photograph as demonstrating geometric horizon, and now he's moving goal posts in desparation.

I think my problem with this line of argumentation is accepting 'photograph never showing the real horizon' as a weakness in the glober's argument. It is a strength. And does not demonstrate the slightest fault in the truth that earth is spherical.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
But if he provides you with said measurement amounting to 9 miles (which he actually might be able to pull off roughly), the glober would have to introduce refraction and other variables to explain that the photograph does actually not show the real geometric horizon.
If a measurement of 9 miles is provided then the globe denier would have to consider how physical things attached to the earth (and earth itself) can move in the field of view without physically moving.

They could say it's flerfspective for all I care.

But if flerfspective can move physical objects in the field of view without physically moving them then the horizon doesn't have to be blah blah blah far away.

No measurements, could be oil rigs moving.

With measurements, how are the oil rigs apparently moving without physically moving.

Note that the globe deniers are in the no measurements camp and would tell you 9 miles isn't their claim if pressed on it. It's not their claim. It's plucked from google. It's a glober number. Globers have to defend it. It's weird. It's devious.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I've always believed in the globe, never believed anything else or doubted it, but I'm not afraid to use globe denier arguments to make a point or to look at it from their point of view.

It seems to me that you might be playing "devil's advocate" somewhat - ie, voicing the flat earther's argument, even if it's not something you believe.

The problem there is that can be confusing for people, since the words used do actually make it sound like your own personal assertions and beliefs.

I'm not exactly sure but I don't think playing devil's advocate is approved of on metabunk. It's probably better if you say when you're doing that - ie, write "flat earthers would say" or, even better, find quotes of them arguing with the points that are being made.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
For something to be in front of a horizon it MUST be closer than the horizon.

Ok.

If the Earth is a sphere with radius 3959 then EVERY horizon distance measurement MUST BE NO MORE THAN 1.225 x square root of observers height in feet.

Not so. You're ignoring refraction.

The oil rig photograph is taken at a height of 1 foot and therefore the distance to the horizon MUST be 1.22 miles (refraction ignored in calculation).

You can't ignore refraction.

Therefore the oil rigs MUST be closer than 1.22 miles.

Incorrect.

I've dropped refraction for the time being.

You can't just drop refraction. That would be like insisting a swan weighs x kilos and when challenged on that saying "well I only included the feathers". You haven't weighed the whole bird. You've missed out an intrinsic and very important part.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
It seems to me that you might be playing "devil's advocate" somewhat - ie, voicing the flat earther's argument, even if it's not something you believe.

The problem there is that can be confusing for people, since the words used do actually make it sound like your own personal assertions and beliefs.

I'm not exactly sure but I don't think playing devil's advocate is approved of on metabunk. It's probably better if you say when you're doing that - ie, write "flat earthers would say" or, even better, find quotes of them arguing with the points that are being made.
I apologise cos it never occurred to me that people might think I'm a globe denier.

You can't just drop refraction.
"flat earthers would say" you can :)

My moving oil rigs modus tollens ignores refraction like QE's modus tollens does.

Yes, refraction busts them both.

But if I was a globe denier I would reject refraction.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
Why do they need to consider anything 'moving'?
Because if the earth has a radius of whatever and the horizon must be wherever then those oil rigs that everyone thinks are 9 miles away must be closer than 1.2 miles away when the photogram was taken.

Getting from 9 miles to 1.2 miles requires movement.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Because if the earth has a radius of whatever and the horizon must be wherever then those oil rigs that everyone thinks are 9 miles away must be closer than 1.2 miles away when the photogram was taken.

Getting from 9 miles to 1.2 miles requires movement.

I don't get it. Why would the FEer need to account for any movement? The FEer is perfectly happy if both sides to the argument can ignore refraction while accepting the rig is 9 miles away. He would have thereby proven, by appeal to modus tollens, that the globe theory is bunk since an object 9 miles away from the observer could not have been photographed without refraction whilst it could have if the earth was flat.

Obviously the glober would never ignore refraction while simultaneously accepting the rig is 9 miles away. Like Rory said, measuring the swan's weight by measuring only its feathers is equivalent to not measuring the swan's weight at all.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Carnap's Bayesian interpretation clarifies that the sense in which an observation of a non-raven supports the statement "All ravens are black" is merely by reducing the number of counter-examples ("non-black ravens") amongst the superset of observable things.
That's exactly the "support" I'm having issues with.

"reducing the number of counterexamples" only affects the truth of "all ravens are black" if you can reduce it to zero with some confidence. Reducing it from "potentially 30" to "potentially 5" is useless, and doesn't support anything.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
That's exactly the "support" I'm having issues with.

"reducing the number of counterexamples" only affects the truth of "all ravens are black" if you can reduce it to zero with some confidence. Reducing it from "potentially 30" to "potentially 5" is useless, and doesn't support anything.

Sure. That's because just 1 counterexample is enough to falsify "all ravens are black".
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
I don't get it. Why would the FEer need to account for any movement? The FEer is perfectly happy if both sides to the argument can ignore refraction while accepting the rig is 9 miles away.
The acceptance of 9 miles away is a fallacy. I don't know which one. Appeal to authority fallacy?

But it's not an appeal to authority for the globe denier using the argument. It's not their number. They don't have to accept it if they don't want to.

It's clever.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
The acceptance of 9 miles away is a fallacy. I don't know which one. Appeal to authority fallacy?

But it's not an appeal to authority for the globe denier using the argument. It's not their number. They don't have to accept it if they don't want to.

It's clever.

It's really not.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
This is the best illustration I've ever seen of what happens with refraction. Looking out at a featureless expanse of ocean is a terrible way to try to understand it, because there is nothing to point at that tells you where the horizon is. But looking across a lake at a fixed and immobile shoreline and seeing how its appearance is definitely changing gives a much clearer explanation of the effect.

I know, there are undoubtedly FE people who would come up with "reasons", but no honest observer could fail to acknowledge the changes.
 
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