The Instigator
1337Hal
Pro (for)
Winning
86 Points
The Contender
weather
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

It is possible to see an image of Earth's past.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/13/2009 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,632 times Debate No: 7382
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (30)
Votes (14)

 

1337Hal

Pro

Thanks in advance to my opponent for accepting the debate.

This is something I've been thinking about for a while now. I believe this is a possibility due to the finite velocity of light. I have taken the liberty of drawing my scenario to give my opponent a better idea of what I'm talking about here:

http://img365.imageshack.us...

To the right of the picture is Earth now, Earth at this present moment. The Earth goes on its journey at a velocity of about 30km/s, and does so for 100,000,000,000km, which takes about 106.5 years.

All this while, Earth's image (the reflected light rays from present day Earth) will continue indefinitely in all directions at the speed of light, until it strikes a large parabola mirror. The mirror reflects the image, making it possible for humans in 106.5 years to use a telescope and see the Earth as it was a century ago.

I believe this scenario is possible (obviously very, very difficult and not worth the effort, but we are debating its theoretical possibility here). I will leave my first round here. Thanks.
weather

Con

It is physically imposable, your wrong.

if you could send something into space at +299 792 458 m / s you would only see the earth as it was when you left, why not just take pictures? the image will not be frozen in the mirror. and you would have to send it far far away, look at our distance from the son and there is only about a 8 second delay there, we would loose track and it would become expensive space junk. So why don't we stick to printing pictures from Google earth and putting then into time capsules or into a building where we keep it under protection like the declaration of independence. Also, who cares about the past because you neck will get sour if you look back to long, so lets just figure out how to cure the common cold or stop this "global warming/ second ice age/ climate change" and stop caring about what your great great great grandpa's house looked like.
Debate Round No. 1
1337Hal

Pro

My opponent has not even addressed the resolution. This is very disappointing, and I wonder why he even bothered to accept the debate seeing as he clearly doesn't care about the physics of the problem at hand.

In case the voters need to be reminded (as my opponent clearly does!), we are debating the POSSIBILITY of this happening, nothing more. My opponent has provided nothing to say this isn't possible, and in fact pretty much conceded the debate when he said "if you could send something into space at +299 792 458 m / s you would only see the earth as it was when you left."

I ask that my opponent please attempt to prove the impossibility of the problem at hand in his next round rather than just say what a waste of time it would be. Thanks.

P.S. Just for future reference, the sun is 8 light-minutes from Earth, not 8 light-seconds. If we were 8 light-seconds from the sun we'd all be on fire right now.
weather

Con

I'm glad to disappoint for you do the same to me by believing in this theory. Your right I don't care about the physics, but you are wrong, it is impossible. Here is a wee bit of Science 7 for you, for something to be true it muse be observed, measured, and repeated, thus making your mirror thingimabobber as much of a theory as the big bang, evolution, creation, only to be accepted by faith.

If you really want to see into the past just look at your grandma's scrapbook.

I like it warm, lets go.
Debate Round No. 2
1337Hal

Pro

Thanks for ruining what could have been an interesting debate. I will be reposting this and I ask that you don't take it again because you seem to lack the intellect required to sit still for 20 minutes and think of an argument.

"I'm glad to disappoint for you do the same to me by believing in this theory. Your right I don't care about the physics, but you are wrong, it is impossible."

Proof? Nah.

"Here is a wee bit of Science 7 for you, for something to be true it muse be observed, measured, and repeated, thus making your mirror thingimabobber as much of a theory as the big bang, evolution, creation, only to be accepted by faith."

I'm not asking you to accept anything by faith, I'm asking you for one piece of scientific theory which will quash my idea. You have not even attempted to find one.

"If you really want to see into the past just look at your grandma's scrapbook."

Or to a big parabolic mirror situated 50-odd light-years away! Prove me wrong.

"I like it warm, lets go."

I don't know what this means, but considering the rest of your argument I'm going to assume it's pointless.

Please try your hardest not to ruin any more of my debates. I realize (from memory) that it's hard being a Christian and having a bunch of beliefs which science has shown are certainly wrong. But it's not my fault you're a Christian, and I'm not here to waste time. Thanks.
weather

Con

science has not disproved 1 Christian theory, and its not my fault you're going to Hell.
Debate Round No. 3
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JP 7 years ago
JP
Con, don't lose your cool man. I can understand you being frustrated but you gotta think about what you're saying.
Posted by Colucci 7 years ago
Colucci
I think that Pro was the winner of the argument, but dont let the Con be an example of all christians the Con is only 15 he was just trying way to hard and hopefully when he is older he will learn to think before he speaks. I am a christian and i dont think science has actually disproved Christianity actually its quite the contrary, if it is looked at the right way it only shows God's glory. Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Posted by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
Con's behavior was appalling. It was so bad, that it's not enough to award just Conduct to Pro. I voted Pro a straight ticket on this one. I also reported Con's final round.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Brian, Are we all agreed that it is not possible to build a mirror in order to view events prior to today, in March 2009? Right? If that is agreed, then what is your point?
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
I can't believe that debate! The response was so outrageous that I suspect Con must be a troll.

Either way, it's a great shame, as the theory is imaginative and well-worth exploring further - a proper debate on the idea might even prove to be the basis for a future academic paper, if not for Pro, for someone else (they could even pinch Pro's excellent diagram from R1!)

It's a real pity Con didn't engage in the discussion properly and it is most regrettable that he felt the need to be so discourteous. If Con is a typical representative of the Christian faith, I am happy to remain an "unenlightened" atheist!
Posted by Yraelz 7 years ago
Yraelz
I'm not so sure 7337hal.... It seems to me that you could calculate where that light would be an attempt to intersect if from some point in the past.
Posted by euphorio 7 years ago
euphorio
I couldn't even believe what happened here.
The Contender was ridiculous. It is possible,
not feasible though. Also, light like all electro-
magnetic radiation dissipates, so you couldn't
see with very good quality, let alone far back
in time.
Posted by 1337Hal 7 years ago
1337Hal
I realize there's no need for it and that it wouldn't be worth doing, and I mentioned so in Round 1 of the debate. I merely wanted to debate the physical possibility of the problem I posed.

"The question is whether it's possible to recover images of times prior to today, in March 2009. That is not possible by building a mirror."

This is true and I think if you took the debate and argued this you would have won. I should have made the resolution a lot more specific.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
There is no need to place a mirror for future humans to see what the earth is like today, or in times later than today. Just take photos and save them. The photos will then be in the past with respect to anyone seeing them after today. The question is whether it's possible to recover images of times prior to today, in March 2009. That is not possible by building a mirror.
Posted by 1337Hal 7 years ago
1337Hal
Relying on a distant civilization to construct the mirror for us is pretty much the same thing as relying on ourselves to travel a far enough distance and placing the mirror for future humans. Whether or not a crew of humans could ever reach a far enough distance from Earth to place the mirror effectively is another thing altogether.
14 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by dsager112 7 years ago
dsager112
1337HalweatherTied
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