1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I was just perusing the welcome thread, and I noticed Dubay actually signed up here in December 2013, @ericdubay (he just made that one post, and never returned).
    On his blog the oldest post tagged with Flat Earth is also in Nov 2014, coinciding with the
    Before that he had a passing familiarity with the topic, and willing to consider it. Aug 2009:
    Later he rejects the Heliocentric model of the solar system in favor of the geocentric, but does not explicitly say the earth is flat: Nov 2011
    In the comments on that post, a year later (Aug 2012), he's getting closer to Flat Eartherism.
    The links he gives there are to the 1881 book "Zetetic Astronomy", a section on perspective that seems to have been written by someone with poor eyesight who is unfamiliar with telescopes. The argument there is that a "hull down" ship does not have the hull below the horizon, but instead just has the hull too small to see, because as it's smaller than the sails, it vanishes first because of perspective. It's interesting that Dubay presents this obviously wrong explanation as a good challenge.

    But it seems like at some point after 2012 he decided to go entirely flat-earth, presumably he felt it fit well with his large scale, long term, "Atlantean" conspiracy.

    Here's a recent video he made, adding illustrations to a radio interview he gave:

    It seems at first like an endless stream of trolling, correction-bait, but then it seems like he really does believe it.

    His book contains things that are inarguably false:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=effuBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq="eric+dubay"+"hull+down"&source=bl&ots=0hh2zPclum&sig=_XRBVAQgIQA6NXIx2fh3xpxZ4uo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjqltO9gtfKAhUT9GMKHSV9C1MQ6AEIMjAE#v=onepage&q="eric dubay" "hull down"&f=false

    Could it be that all the Flat Earthers share this misunderstanding of perspective? There's a real dissonance here, because clearly there are multiple examples of the bottoms of ships NOT "zooming into view" when viewed through a telescope. This is particularly clear with large liners, such as in the comic on the right above. An excellent example is in this album:
    Looking through a telescope (a zoom lens) on the left, half the ship is still below the horizon.

    It would seem that presenting evidence such as this should be undeniable evidence that the earth is not flat. Do people reject this? Are they simply unaware of this? Does this evidence just need publicizing more? Is it worth pointing out just how incredibly wrong Dubay is on this point? I'd certainly not want to waste time debunking every single point in his book - but I'd really like to hear how he explains these telescopic photos of ships that directly violate what he claims in his book.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
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  2. Galan

    Galan New Member

    I think everyone time can be better spent on other things.

    The forum has this thread.
    It's interesting study of human behaviour and it is neat to see people work the science for the benefit of others.

    If anyone is sitting on the fence there is lots of material here and on the web to help someone make an informed choice.

    Many other things to debunk. :)

    Hope it does not turn into troll bait. :confused:
  3. JD Jenkins

    JD Jenkins New Member

    When I first heard about the flat earth conspiracy I really didn't think it had such a big following. I tried to think of it as a critical thinking project by throwing out pretty much everything I learned in school and prove the earth is round. I kept an open mind, watched a few videos, and took note of some of the curious observations people made. Though interesting, many people that follow this movement are basing their new view of the world being flat by evidence that is being presented to them by other people, which is ironically the same way they are taught in school. Most are not going out and doing any experiments themselves and are just parroting other people.

    One of the things I initially found interesting was the example of being able to see past the horizon. How could it be so, if the Earth has a curvature? First I basically used the flat earther model of 8" per mile squared which they present until I came across the illustration on this site for the line of sight based on the bulge height, which clarified things greatly.

    I really don't understand the map that most of them cling to so dearly either. If I were in a boat or plane traveling around Antarctica (you know, far enough away from the death squad zone but close enough to get a good picture of the coastline), couldn't that really put an end to this for them? Wouldn't that be easy enough for them to tell whether they are traveling inside a ring of ice, or around an area of ice?
  4. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    That is the case with most conspiracies, not just flat earth.
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  5. Greg Parrott

    Greg Parrott New Member

    Many people, I believe including this website moderator as well as myself have suggested to FE believers that they voyage around Antarctica. We've even posted links to companies offering such trips. The response has been that either the trips are staged and won't truly go where they tell you they're going and/or that the advertised trips will never be allowed due to a UN conspiracy and the militarization of Antarctica (therefore it's futile to even ATTEMPT to book a trip to Antarctica).
  6. Hama Neggs

    Hama Neggs Senior Member

    Yes. The FE conspiracy theory is a GREAT example of how total nonsense can be promoted in a "believable" manner to people who are susceptible to that sort of thing. You can "prove" just about ANYTHING if you cherry-pick data and use all the other methods of skewing data.
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  7. Inti

    Inti Active Member

    I agree that there are more pressing issues. To be honest, I got into Flat Earth is debunking as a relief from debating with climate change deniers. The contrast is interesting, to say the least.

    Climate change deniers are clearly major motivated reasoners, but they at least make a show of locating their arguments within scientific debate, on the whole.And many of them are willing to argue it out, even if their evidence comes more from dodgy blogs than peer reviewed journals.

    Well, I've got a blog debunking every one of Eric Dubay's "200 proof" , I've posted links and extracts on youtube, his blog and so on. Result; zero. FE people just don't do debate, it seems.
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  8. guyonearth

    guyonearth New Member

    I've had some of these arguments with Dubay, I think he's opaque. He mostly ignores criticism. I suspect that he may, along with a few others, just be trolling for laughs. There's no point arguing with them to change their minds, you won't. They have religious and philosophical reasons for believing what they do, and won't change, anymore than you'll make a devout Christian into a Buddhist. The only reason I engage is to warn off the truly ignorant and misguided young people who it seems are automatically attracted to absurd ideas, because they're "cool", and seemingly anti-establishment. Most of the flat Earth promoters have very specific agendas and are not prone to argue any facts once it's clear that you're not a potential believer.
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  9. Inti

    Inti Active Member

    I agree, the audience is the uncommitted or wavering lurker. He may be trolling; it's an elaborate joke if so, but it's possible. On his blog he goes from a defense of Hitler to an appeal for vegans and kindness to animals..Make of that what you will!
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  10. tadaaa

    tadaaa Active Member

    A forum that I have contributed to for the past 6 years only last week had a thread about "Flat Earth"

    flat earth.PNG

    the Forum is a "car" forum (focusing on a specific make of car) but this section is for non car related stuff

    I had already mentioned (on the forum) in another topic that belief in "flat earthism" was on the rise, so was quite interested when this popped up (last week!!)

    my overall thesis is that all this "anti-knowledge" is related to a general malaise and distrust in Authority and so called scientific elitism - driven, I have to say from some parts of the media and politicians

    and related to "science denial" in general, reaching its zenith in "climate science denial" - that seems to permeate right to the top
  11. TEEJ

    TEEJ Senior Member

    At first I thought that this was satire but she is for real. :)

    Watch on 2x speed as it is even funnier and cuter!

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  12. Hama Neggs

    Hama Neggs Senior Member

    I want to see here explain chemtrails. I'd probably believe it. ;)
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  13. Henk001

    Henk001 Active Member

    It's like "I don't understand it, so it can't be true".
    She proves another conspiracy though: The american school system must be a hoax.
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  14. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Update (if not already updated): the guy who made this video has done a St Paul and is now anti-flat earth and back with his feet on terra orbis.
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  15. Rogerpenna

    Rogerpenna New Member

    Just to point out, it´s a common misconception to say we did not actually evolve from monkeys. We did. No current species living species, true. But certainly if a biologist went back in time and found several of our ancestors, they would be classified as monkeys.

    ANYWAY, in the topic of Flat Earth... I think they are getting back to being active. There is a huge spamming going on every space-related Youtube video.

    And trying to debunk them in several different videos, has led me to believe a MAJORITY of them are not simply trolls, but real creationists. They posit that a Flat Earth model not only is in the Bible, but also destroys other scientific "assumptions" like evolution, age of the universe, etc.
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  16. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    What to do about flat earthers, eh? Now that I've been through a few stages with it, that's where I'm at.

    Stages in no particular order:

    - Disbelief that anyone could believe such a thing
    - Incredulity that some of them actually seem quite smart (and are eloquent, likeable, etc)
    - Interest at some of the points put forward
    - Fun researching said points and finding out why they don't work
    - Fun learning new things about science and space, and revisiting geometry
    - A desire to address obviously mistaken youtube videos and comments with 'proper explanations'
    - Exasperation that even the blindingly obvious and undeniable is met with...well, you know... ;)
    - A desire to get angry and, rather than reason, just call them bleep bleep bleep bleeps
    - A desire to forget the whole thing and wish I was still ignorant that people believed such a thing
    - Renewed interest in research and learning
    - More interaction with believers, but in a more gentle, questioning, respectful way (which actually feels really nice and like progress)
    - Looking forward to the day when I get tired of the whole thing and forget all about it

    Ok, well I guess that turned out to be in a pretty particular order. ;)

    Anyway, lately I've started to think, beyond the enjoyment of learning about a subject - could there be better uses of my time? Probably. But time isn't much of an issue for me at the moment - is it really right to seek to dismantle someone else's belief?

    I dunno...it feels a bit like barging into a pre-school and lecturing all the kids on why Santa doesn't exist: the spoil-sport grinch pooh-poohing all the fun.

    Despite how bonkers it is, I've actually developed quite a fondness for some of the flat earthers, and seeing how excited they get with their new discoveries and ideas, fallacious though they may be...well, who am I to take that away from them?

    It reminds me of being a kid. Finding something I could lose myself in, true or not. Being part of a group, unified and on the edge of discovering something wonderful, us against the world.

    That must be nice, and you see it writ on their strange, fantasy-land faces. Whereas debunking - for all the positives and level-headedness, that I wouldn't trade for anything - is, let's face it, not quite as joyful and exciting and carefree happy youthfulness. We're party poopers, right? We read an inspirational quote by the Dalai Lama and the first thing we think is, the Dalai Lama never said that; let me find the real source, tell all my friends, and, while I'm at it, point out the mistake in the possessive apostrophe too.

    (There's a wink and a bit of tongue-in-cheek there, just in case it doesn't come across.)

    I guess the question I'm leading to is: why spoil their fun? Who are they hurting? Why poop on their party?

    And then maybe the answer is: no reason. I don't have to. But it doesn't mean I have to stop researching either.

    I guess perhaps my further answer is: stop walking into their house (comments section, forum), and wait for them to come into yours. I don't stroll into church every Sunday and argue Biblical inconsistency. I don't go into primary schools and argue Father Christmas. So why am I doing this? Especially when it doesn't really work.

    I guess they'll find their way out/here/to the good blog posts and videos eventually.

    Is this the realisation all CT debunkers come to? That we just leave 'em to it, unless called upon explicitly?

    But, oh, the debates can be so juicy and fun. And it does feel genuinely sad to see others - certain others - winding their way down such strange, convoluted paths...

    What to do about flat earthers? Today, I think: leave 'em to it - but have a good store house of information waiting for them when they're finally ready to look at things from another side.

    Plus, if we must debate 'em, debate 'em nicely, 'cos being mean isn't good for anyone, and if we oppose too stridently, it may only entrench them further.

    That's what I think today.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
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  17. TWCobra

    TWCobra Senior Member

    My thoughts are pretty much the same. The Flat Earthers seem generally harmless. If they started to push for their beliefs to be taught in schools then I would strenuously object but until then, there are more worrisome conspiracy theories out there.
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  18. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    The only thing that really gets to me - apart from the incomprehension (mine) - is the way they denigrate and dismiss so many amazing human achievements in the realms of space, science, exploration, thought, etc. People devoted and risked their lives in some pretty amazing ways - sometimes even for the benefit of others (wink) - and it's all brushed away with a casual "fake!"

    But, I guess that's something you have to get used to, eh? ;)

    I just had a look at the latest google trend stats, and flat earth's still on the up:


    Also, one of the leading flat earthers, Dave Murphy - he actually talked about it on TV once (Macedonian TV) - has submitted a petition to the White House "requesting that NASA or government-funded science agencies respond to the 12 flat earth questions."

    The "12 flat earth questions" were originally posed, ostensibly, to Neil DeGrasse Tyson. One of them is, "How are we breathing right now?"

    Anyway, he posted the petition on June 1st and received just under 3,000 signatures before it closed 30 days later - a little shy of the 100,000 required. I have no idea whether that's a measure of anything or not.

    A brief exploration of some answers to those questions is posted here.

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson has thus far neglected to respond.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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  19. Bill Statler

    Bill Statler Member

    I've been involved in flat-Earth discussions on two different "prepper" forums. One forum is geared towards very practical stuff and attracts practical-minded people; we ended up with a very interesting thread about how we know the Earth is round, with people posting their own diagrams and calculations and photos. The other forum contains many conspiracy-oriented people, and the discussion slowly degenerated. Eventually we got to hollow-Earth theories. I pointed out the "no gravity inside a hollow shell" problem, and gave links to both simple and calculus-requiring explanations; this was dismissed because there might be unknown principles of physics that would explain everything. Argh.

    Anyway, I have two thoughts:

    1. Know your audience. If the only people paying attention to you are true believers, don't bother. If there are people around who are seriously questioning how we know stuff, and who really want the truth, go for it -- you're writing for their benefit, not for the person you are arguing with. For that reason, I think the "Flat Earth" secction on Metabunk is a good idea: many of the people who come here are looking for the truth.

    2. I am dismayed by the widespread disrespect for experts. I don't mean self-proclaimed "experts" who are good at getting publicity, I mean people with years of college education and more years of experience in their field. If it takes a knowledge of calculus or quantum physics or genetics to explain a theory, why do so many people think they can deflate that theory without themselves understanding calculus or quantum physics or genetics? I think this is where Metabunk's policy of having one claim or one experiment per thread is a really good idea. Visitors can usually find something that is compatible with their own level of education. If they end up having a little more respect for actual experts, all the better.
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  20. Barcs

    Barcs New Member

    I saw this thread, and couldn't resist signing up. This seems like a great community.

    I am a skeptic, and have been debunking things for nearly a decade now. I have spent a good amount of that time defending science from irrational attacks based on misunderstandings of the science itself. These attacks mostly come from young earth creationists and their war on evolution. I have heard pretty much every argument in the book and I'm sure most of you have as well.

    When I saw the resurgence of the flat earth movement over the past few years I was surprised. Then I began watching the youtube videos, and arguing with many of the followers. I have no doubt in my mind that these are the same people as young earth creationists, and that they are infested by trolls just as the YEC movement has been for the last 6 years or so. I do not think it's a coincidence in the least that this movement started making a comeback just as YEC was dying down.

    They use the same exact arguing style, which is always full of fallacies and the moment anybody presents evidence or a conflicting fact, they disregard it without explanation or rebuttal, change the subject or disappear. This is true for virtually ALL of them. There is a large amount of satire out there as well (ie Orphan Red above, she is hilarious). With flat earth and YEC these days, it can be very difficult to tell the difference. Sure, I can understand why people like to make fun of creationists and FEers, but the trolling needs to stop. It's making people dumber. You have 2 different types of people. Religious fundamentalists hellbent on proving their belief system and satirical trolls. Right now it seems to be 80% troll.

    Just my 2 cents. If FEers should be ignored by debunkers, so should YECers.

    PS. I suspect climate change deniers and chemtrail people are in the same boat as well, but I haven't spent as much time debating them, so I can't really say for sure if that's the case. With FEers and YECers, there is no doubt in my mind that it is the same group(s) of people.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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  21. Gui

    Gui New Member

    This Flat Earth thing arrived here in Brazil too and it's a little worse cause the bad educational system we have and the low attention is given to the scientific area. I follow a page that is devoted to debunk it claims and from the ones FErs who stood in the page to engage discussions, I could notice a pattern in their argumentation:

    - They normally starts with effect phrases like "more and more people are becoming flatearthers eachday", "The globalist model is with it days counted, the people is acknowledging the truth". Ah, and never forget to call of alienated, manipulated or any other names those who don't agree with you.

    -When presented with a rebuttal to their claims or have it questioned, they'll evade of many possible ways, resort to ad hominem or invert the burden of proof (by saying things like "Research by yourself" or "Take a way by yourself how I did"). They'll too simply discard the argument only because the person who made it has a contrary view type "Ahh, but the astronomers (or insert any professional here) are globalists too" or "These guys were indoctrinated for centuries to believe so, so your point is invalid". Not exactly by this words, but it's the style. And they'll clame too that their statements weren't refuted.

    - Then they'll repeat all the process above, till they finally get out of the discussion claiming victory.

    A tactic I perceived being used by two FErs recently is says that their comments are being deleted. Certainly, an appeal to the ones who views the discussion much later it started in a effort to convince people that they posses the truth and are being silenced. That's another discursive routine that I perceived too in some FErs that commented in the page I follow: initially portray themselves as only a curious person investigating the two sides to then gradually defend the Flat Earth idea.

    FErs englobe not only religious people, but too subscribers of any other conspiracy theories, like chemtrails, climate change denial and world mass depopulation. I think that if someone is already a believer of any conspiracy theory (except for the Planet X ones, because this and the Flat Earth are mutual excludents), it gonna be easy to believe in the Flat Earth.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
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  22. Hama Neggs

    Hama Neggs Senior Member

    I think it's important to realize that. You end up arguing with people who are there for no other reason than to argue and attract attention to themselves.
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  23. Bill Statler

    Bill Statler Member

    This is a good point. It becomes a complete worldview. This is why our insistence that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" doesn't work. Once somebody is convinced that the last 4 or 5 mass-shootings were false-flag or crisis-actor events, your claim that the latest shooting is real becomes (in their mind) the extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence. Once they believe that the moon landings were faked, and global climate change is a hoax, and scientists in general are evil conspirators, it's easy to take the next step and reject even round-Earth theory as part of the great deception.
  24. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Could you say something more about the link between flat earthers and young earth creationists? I've been debating some flat earthers for a little while - sometimes against my better judgement - and would quite like to stop soon, get it out of my head. But I think one reason I carry on is that it seems so elementary and obvious to point out the fallacies in this belief, whereas I don't think I would bother with young earth creationists. I guess with them I know that it's almost certain to go nowhere, given a lot of it is ancient history rather than present day - therefore very difficult to prove/disprove - and that it involves the Bible, which comes with a whole other set of baggage.

    But maybe I should be looking at flat earthers the same way? Maybe there's more of a crossover and religious thing - which would give them much more reason to maintain a stringent defence - than I realise. The ones I've interacted with have never mentioned the Bible, though I know others so (I give them a wide berth).

    So you think for nearly all of them it's religious? That would certainly change things for me...
    Alas, I'm 99% sure she's for real.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
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  25. tadaaa

    tadaaa Active Member

    Agreed, the point is we have common ancestors
  26. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Double alas: the woman in this video is Canadian! o_O

    I know, I know...as a Brit I'm much more comfortable with the idea that all flat earthers are American. It's so dispiriting when I come across one who speaks with the same accent I do. ;)

    I've had some brief dialogue with Orphan Red, and watched her being interviewed by another flat earther. She's definitely a true believer.

    And, relevant to this thread, in the interview she talks about getting into flat earth during quite a lonely period in her life. Now she has friends who share her beliefs and something to keep her occupied and get excited about.

    I think taking that away from someone would be cruel. I think I have my answer about "what to do about flat earthers" - at least as far as 'missionary work' goes. ;)
  27. Gui

    Gui New Member

    I know the question is not adressed for me, but if this helps: flat earthers also denies the Evolution and the Big Bang Theory arguing that their proponents were all members of secret societies involved in the conspiration to deceive the humanity, that all this theories doesn't follow the scientific method and so cannot be proved, the same being said to the Newtonian Mechanic, Einstein Relativity and Heliocentrism. They too often uses Bible's versicles as proof that the Earth is flat, plus arguing that heliocentrism is some kind of solar cult and all this theories above are part of a malevolent plan to make people be away from God.
  28. Barcs

    Barcs New Member

    Originally, the YEC movement was all religious. Kent Hovind, Ken Ham and plenty of others deceived religious folk for financial gain. Many bought into it at first and vehemently defended it. But their claims got utterly destroyed, and then Hovind went to jail for tax fraud. At that point, the movement started slowly getting replaced by trolls while Ken Ham made money off his museum. Debates with them became just as pointless as the flat earther ones.

    It also seems that almost all the flat earth videos throw in a little something about the creator or mention the bible. Some even claim space is water, which is based on the literal bible translation that says the firmament separates the waters from the waters. This is where they get the dome idea from.

    So essentially it's a mix of trolls and bible literalists, just like YEC. You can usually tell when it's a troll because the discussion goes absolutely nowhere, every point ignored, and it's always catch phrases like "wake up" or "ignore the truth!", sometimes technobabble. I do think some of the trolls are funded by people like Ham. Others probably do it for fun or as a social experiment.

    The YEC movement today is a shell of it's former self. Like flat earth delusion, it is mostly trolls, which is why I feel it should also be largely ignored. I've been trying to hold back lately and ignore those topics and themes when brought up but it is hard to resist. I couldn't believe it a few day ago when I saw a new thread pop up called "If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?" I wanted to pull my hair out. Religious people gave up that argument like a decade ago. Predictably, the author posted a few one liners, defended them briefly with generalizations and then vanished after a page or so. Unfortunately that opened the flood gates and all the trolls came running. The fun never ends :)

    I do feel that flat earth is creationism rebranded, but yeah it's mostly trolls.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  29. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Thanks for that. Interestingly, I'd just seen a video where Kent Hovind said a belief in flat earth was "dumb" and "stupid" and that flat earthers were "gonna make people think [they're] nuts".

    Go Kent! ;-)
    Do you and I have a different definition of 'trolls'? To me, a troll is someone who is consciously taking an opposing position, or being abusive, for the fun of it, whereas most of those debating on flat earth threads just seem uneducated, gullible, and repeating what they saw in some video and made sense to them at the time.

    I mean, I've never met a flat earther in real life - as far as I know - but I have met young earth creationists, chemtrail and 9/11 conspiracy believers, and people who were both smart and thought the first part of the Zeitgeist movie was convincing, and I know they weren't trolling me.

    To me, most of the youtube commenters seem like that, and therefore 'genuine'. Though I doubt whether they really care all that much either way.
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  30. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    It's understandable that people are having a hard time accepting that FE believers are "real." Without saying any more about this right now, look at the comments section to this video. You don't have to watch the video. Just carefully read the entire comments section.

    Here's just one comment:
  31. Chew

    Chew Senior Member

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  32. Bass In Your Face

    Bass In Your Face Active Member

  33. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    For those of you wondering what FE believers think is behind the ball earth conspiracy, I've collected some comments from YT videos.

    Walt Disney is getting heat because he produced a number of TV shows circa 1959 featuring Werhner von Braun and his plan for a manned mission to the moon; and about space travel in general. Nikola Tesla is becoming almost a deity - a Jesus to the devil Einstein, who was a charlatan and fool. Electromagnetic world because it's their alternative to the "magical" and laughable thing called "gravity" that ball earthers believe in.

    Much of the passion comes from biblical literalism. It's causing a split among the biblical literalists (young earth creationist types). They're running into a problem. They've created this whole model that says that the Bible is literally true in every way and science is an anti-God cult. More and more they've taken to calling this cult "Scientism."

    If you want to picture what they think Scientism is, think of how we see Scientology. A cult started by a crazy conman who half believes the madness, and followers who are either junior conmen or duped, brainwashed sheep.

    Up until now the attack has been against evolution. In their model Scientism, the mad cult, has concocted this mad theory, evolution, out of simple fallacies and brainwashing.

    They, in turn, have used their own simple fallacies and mistakes to prove that evolution is false and stupid.

    The problem is that the Bible most certainly does portray the earth as flat, because that was the cosmology at the time it was written. So now the anti-science culture... a culture in which there is a generation of home schooled younger adults, which has this picture of Us against the mad cult of Scientism, is not content with the half measure of tearing down evolution. They want to go all the way and tear Scientism down to bedrock and start over again. Scientism is a lie from the ground up.

    The tremendously exciting thing to them about FE is that now they have simple, undeniable physical proof. There is absolutely no ambiguity about it. The earth is flat. Scientism has been lying to us. Scientism is a mad cult. The cult lied to us about the sphere earth for the same reason it lied to us about evolution: to separate us from God. And Satan is undoubtedly the prime mover of this cult - the father of all lies.

    The rest of the young earth biblical literalists are stuck in this trap they've made. Flat earth is simply a logical extension of the mindset and culture they've created.

    We've gotten used to the idea that 40 percent plus of the population rejects evolution. Think of how crazy that is. But we got used to it. Now flat earth is coming in. It won't be as big as classic Young Earth Creationism, but it will be much bigger than it is now. It will eventually reach its natural limit and stop. What is the natural limit? I wouldn't be surprised if were about 15 percent of the population.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
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  34. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    This is not to say that all FE believers have come out of this Creationist culture. There are a significant number who have a personal psychology that makes the FE model both believable and seductive.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
  35. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Thanks for that, interesting read. What always strikes me about these things - about most things, really - is the mind behind the belief. For many conspiracy theorists, beyond whatever the theory, it seems there's generally a person who lacks trust in others, is maybe paranoid (upbringing? too much pot?) while in this one, there's a great deal of insecurity, of unwillingness to accept that each individual is ultimately insignificant. I guess that's a symptom of the deep-down ego fear of death and mortality those of us in middle-age know only too well (unless we're masters of distraction). ;)

    Do you mean 40% of the population, or 40% of the American population? Big difference there: remember, America is the only first-world nation in which religion is growing, while in all others it is shrinking.

    This article puts the figure for Britons at about 4%:

    Of course, there are other studies that put the figure higher, but I prefer this one. ;)
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  36. Inti

    Inti Active Member

    I really can't decide, as a British sceptic who reads lots of US debates, whether it is worth trying too refute FE ideas online.

    I started out doing so for the sake of uncommitted lurkers, with no expectations that hardcore advocates would change. I put together a blog at Roundearthsense as a way to show diagrams to support my points in places like YouTube comments. That's had about 2600 views so far, but to my surprise, nor attracted many comments from FE believers, not even abuse. I could update it in places, and make key arguments more accessible, but I'm not sure whether it is worth it. Initially I found it an interesting puzzle, too, finding ways to undercut FE claims using only arguments that anyone could follow without much science or mats. I don't know how far I succeeded, though.

    Is it worth trying to create some innoculation amongst potential converts. Can it promote critical thinking and informed scepticism, or are those who are susceptible to FE just too unreceptive to reasoning?
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
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  37. Hama Neggs

    Hama Neggs Senior Member

    I have noticed, over the year, that a lot of conspiracy theories require some fairly deep inquiry and a certain amount of understanding of the scientific method in order to see through them. Take the "Planet X" CT, for example. I learned quite a lot about astronomy in studying why the "PX" people were wrong. On the other hand, those who don't have the will or the time or inclination to understand what they were looking at in sky photos could just as easily accept the fear-mongering "explanation" of the leaders of that movement, because they SOUNDED so very sincere.

    Science is hard, and people just don't want to admit that they might not be smart or learned enough to understand things like astrophotography. It's very seductive for the average guy to think he can easily "figure stuff out" on his own.
  38. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    I read that article. I think that poll would be negatively criticized by experts. Was it designed and conducted by a biased person? In those detailed interviews did she brow beat people into an answer? Were the poll questions designed properly to be as neutral as possible?

    Granted there have been questions about the methodology of polls that find a high number of Creationists. Belief is delicate thing. When psychology experiments - or polls - are designed and conducted, the issue of "demand characteristics" is important.


    When someone is separated from their normal social environment and being "manipulated" by an authority figure, are they influenced? Or in the case of this poll did they give answers the poll taker was "demanding"? Humans are tribal animals and are highly influenceable by higher ranking people. Polls are designed to minimize demand characteristics. I suspect this poll was not.

    Which opens another issue. How much is FE belief motivated by the desire to be part of an in-group? I would say, "highly." People naturally desire to be part of tightknit group that is distinct from other groups. That's also a part of our evolutionary heritage.

    Between-group competition and within-group cohesion: In this world of seven billion plus humans there are plenty of us who want to belong to very tight knit group. So, how does a group gain a separate identity in such a populous world? One very common way is through belief. The group defines itself by its beliefs, which have to be in some way unique. Bland beliefs don't separate the group from the rest of us. In a way, non-credible beliefs are mandatory because they act as a rallying point. The group gets attacked or at least challenged for the non-credible belief and the group circles the wagons in defense. The old outside threat trick.

    Within-group competition: There are always members of a group that want higher status within the group. In a group that separates itself from the general population by its extreme beliefs, that can only mean a more extreme belief, never a move to a more mainstream belief. The leaders are always the biggest firebrands. And it's a red queen's race, because the new beliefs always become the standard in time, so more extreme beliefs are in order to push the envelope. No one wants to be left behind, so the group as a whole must adopt the new more extreme beliefs of the leaders.

    Thus the move is always toward increasing extremism. I think the radical move to FE is a tactic to put energy back into the flagging Creationist culture. And a move to take higher prestige within the group.

    If there were no opposition to FE would it wither on the vine? I think it would be much less attractive. Part of the fun is being combative with "ballheads" and counting coup against the enemy. Much like sports fans. So the more opposition to FE the faster it will grow. I'll also cite the "when prophecy fails" syndrome to support that. It's when the belief is threatened that the in-group starts to believe it harder. To be radicalized.


    Once again, FE is not restricted to the YEC culture. A major amount of energy is coming into it from that culture, but it's taking on a life of its own. Especially outside of America. Don't make the mistake of thinking FE is a solely American phenomenon.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  39. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    So, do I think we should ignore FE?

    FE believers often have a psychology that is prone to "crank magnetism" - the propensity to hold multiple irrational, unsupported or ludicrous beliefs that are often unrelated to one another.

    While FE is harmless, things like vaccine denial are not. The more energy these people are putting into recreating Rowbotham's Bedford Level experiment or shooting lasers across lakes is that much less energy they can put into vaccine denial.

    So go out there and debunk FE and make it grow!
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
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  40. Bass In Your Face

    Bass In Your Face Active Member

    I agree.

    While I think discussions with absolute crazy people is worthless.. (usually because they turn into shouting matches about the other being stupid, crazy or a shill) .. as long as the discussion is held together with straight objectivity, patience, restraint, and of course actual facts, I think it is worth it. Its about challenging the fire (not fueling the fire), and hoping those who have the ability to think beyond the belief/any belief will do so if presented ideas in a rational way, and without insult. Anybody else is lost in their own head, and that's ok. Discussions aren't necessarily about convincing anybody of anything, its more about presenting all sides of an argument in the most objective way, and challenging them with knowledge/experiments. That's the only way believers of anything will accept something. They have to make the connection on their own.

    One thing that should be addressed to all Flat Earthers during a discussion, is how the FE community does not challenge *itself*: allowing contradictions to be presented and repeated all over without scrutiny or fixing. AiG's website has a section explaining to it's creation believers which arguments to NOT use against evolution, as these specific arguments are proven wrong without the idea of creationism in mind. I feel like the same should apply to Flat Earthers, but they are much less organized in terms of debate or having just 1 consistent model to argue from. I think this point should be brought up to any FEer who is willing to listen. In the end, rational discussion will win. It doesn't matter the subjects.
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