The Instigator
Cobalt
Pro (for)
The Contender
Edlvsjd
Con (against)

The Earth is spherical in shape.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 838 times Debate No: 102692
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (0)

 

Cobalt

Pro

This is a challenge specifically for Edlvsjd. No user except him should have the ability to accept this debate. If for whatever reason you aren't Edl and are capable of accepting, I ask that you don't.

This debate will take a small step away from the traditional "flat earth" debate with Edl, as he will no longer have an obligation to present a case for a flat earth, or any shape earth. Instead, I will be arguing that the Earth is spherical and Edl will attempt to show that my arguments are wrong or otherwise insufficient.

Burdens

The burden of proof rests on Pro (me). As this is a scientific topic, my burden is satisfied should my arguments leave no room for reasonable doubt concerning the spherical shape of the Earth.

While my opponent has no history of making this type of philosophical argument, it should be recognized here that there are epistemological limits in place that make it impossible to prove the existence of any physical system in an absolute way. (See Brain In a Vat.) As such, it is not my burden to absolutely prove a spherical Earth, but instead to provide enough evidence for it that it is considered far more likely than any other alternative.

Round Structure

R1: Acceptance
R2-3: Argumentation
R4-5: Argumentation/Rebuttals (No new arguments.)

This is fairly standard.

I'd like to thank Edlvsjd in advance for accepting. Should you require any changes, just tell me in the comments and I'll make said changes.
Edlvsjd

Con

I accept. It should be noted that if the heliocentric model were true, getting the average Joe far enough away from the earth to see it as a ball should have long been done.

Good luck to my opponent in our tie breaker.
Debate Round No. 1
Cobalt

Pro

Thanks to Edl for accepting. I'll be presenting three arguments this round in support of a round earth. Should I deem it necessary, I may present additional arguments in the next round. I'll jump right in.

Photographic Evidence

This is no doubt a much-belabored point with this particular topic, but nonetheless, it is an important argument. The idea is straightforward -- there exists sufficient photographic evidence of a round earth to warrant belief in it.

Importantly, most images of the entire Earth from space are computer generated images; manned satellites are too close to the Earth to capture this sort of image. However, orbiting satellites are far enough from the planet to capture large enough sections of the earth to clearly see curvature.

1. NASA - Images 1, 2, 4, 13, 15. [1]
2. ROSCOSMOS (Russian Space Agency) - Several Images [2]
3. CMS (Chinese Space Agency) - Image 1.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of images from space are provided by NASA as, regardless of the shape of the planet, it is the most active space agency in history.

The common response to this argument is in the vein of "all of those images are fake". This is undoubtedly *possible*, but we will analyze how likely this is.

Consider that at least three governments have images of the Earth from space, all of which demonstrate clear curvature. (These were sourced.) The probability that all of these are faked is the probability that the U.S. is lying to us, times the likelihood that the Chinese government is lying to us, times the likelihood that the Russian government is lying to us.

The only reasonable scenario in which all of these governments would agree to lie to us is one in which there is an international conspiracy. But this doesn't make sense for the following reasons:

(a) There is no benefit to spreading this lie. The governments involved do not spend great amounts of money (relative to the total budget) on these programs, so it clearly isn't some ploy to steal taxpayer dollars. Additionally, the habits of the "average human" would not change greatly if they thought the Earth was one shape or the other, so there is clearly no controlling benefit here. The only explanation would be that these governments are maintaining this conspiracy, simply for fun. And this conclusion is obviously unreasonable -- no government in history has ever wasted millions of dollars to delude its citizens in the name of "lulz".

(b) There are political disincentives for this conspiracy. It's easy to imagine how, if Russia were to suddenly publish proof that the Earth was flat (or any non-round shape), it would erode American trust in the government to a significant and impactful degree. In recent months, Russia has made it clear that it's interested in messing with American democratic processes, and what better way to do this than to prove that the government has been lying about this *literally massive* thing for so long. If Russia could do this, it clearly would. As would China. As would the U.S. But none of these countries have done this, leading one to believe that there isn't an international conspiracy concerning the shape of the planet.

Unless my opponent can reasonably explain political motivations for keeping this secret, it is difficult to regard the photographic evidence as anything but fact.

Gravity

I'm particularly attracted to this argument because I believe it's the strongest argument for the spherical shape of the planet.

We know the following things to be true:

1. There exists some force which pulls (or pushes) physical objects toward the planet.
2. There exists some force which pushes (or pulls) any object to another. [4]

We will call this force gravity. We also know a few more things are true:

1. The earth is at least 3 billion years old. [5]
2. The earth is mostly composed of disconnected solids/liquids. (Dirt, rocks, molten liquids, sheeted/fractured beds.)

Putting all of these things together we can reason that the Earth should already have settled into a fairly low energy state, as far as its shape is concerned. This low energy shape is necessarily spheroid. I'll explain.

When you have disconnected solids and liquids, they will attempt to settle into a configuration in which the entire system has as little potential energy as possible. Imagine pouring sand into an empty box such that it creates a mound. If then gently shake this box back and forth, the sand will become fairly level. Even if you left the box alone, after a long enough time it would become level, as the particles themselves have a vibration.

The sand is now in a state of low potential energy. Now, consider that the entire earth is a sandbox in the vast emptiness of space. Regardless of the initial configuration of the sand, it will still attempt to enter a state of low potential energy. However, there is no longer a downward force on the sand (it's no longer on a planet). Instead, the only strong gravitational force the sand experiences are with the other sand particles.

The particles will all be drawn toward the "point of average mass", or the point within the mass of particles which describes the average location of all the particles.

This can be more easily seen by considering a 2-dimensional geometry problem. Consider any closed geometric shape and calculate its center of mass. This will be the center of gravitation and all points along the edge of the shape will attempt to minimize their distance to the center of gravitation, while maintaining the area of the shape.

For example, picture a square, with the center of mass marked at O (at the center of the circle), a point A on a vertex and a point B directly vertical from the CoM. This shape does a pretty poor job of minimizing the distance of its edges to the O. Point A is about 1.4 times further from O than is point B.

Now imagine a circle. This shape is much better at minimizing the distance from the center of mass. Any point A is as close to O as any point B.

Thus, we can see that in 2-dimesions, the shape which is in the lowest energy state is a circle. It is trivial to see that this is true for a sphere in 3-dimensions.

In summary, gravity, the composition of the planet and the age of the planet all work together to necessitate that the earth is spherical in shape. After 4 billion years, our particle slushy of a planet would have largely settled into a low energy state.

There are some interesting responses to this argument which I have heard in the past, but I'm going to respond to them as they come; attempting to preempt all of them would be a waste of characters.

Local Changes in Daylight

While this isn't my favorite argument for a round earth, it is compelling -- and more importantly, it's easy to test if you have a group of international friends.

If it is noon in America and you FaceTime a friend in China, it will be dark there. This immediately disqualifies a flat Earth from being possible. On a flat earth, if it is light in one place, it should be light in all places -- as light does not significantly bend in short distances. (Except in very severe gravitational fields, which don't exist near Earth.)

What about other shapes? If we lived on, say, a cubic planet, one still might expect darkness in China during a bright America. However, if this were the case, we would expect large swaths of the planet to suddenly go dark as the entire face rotated out of the sun's rays. We can experimentally verify (with enough people) that the light hitting the earth at any time makes the shape referenced here: [6]

Note that the transition from dark to light is smooth at any given point (except near the poles). This implies that the shape of the Earth is smooth, eliminating the possibility of any shapes with straight edges. Finally, note that the amount of lightness and darkness are approximately equal. This eliminates the possibility of a significant ellipse. This leaves us with only one remaining possible shape -- a sphere.

Summary

To summarize:

1. Photographic evidence sufficiently proves a round earth. There are no reasonable justifications for the international conspiracy required for all the photographic evidence to be fake.

2. Gravity necessitates a spherical Earth. No other shape could physically form other than a sphere.

3. A spherical earth is the only model which adequately explains the day/night cycles experienced on Earth.

I look forward to my opponent's response; I know he's a big fan of gravity.

Sources:

1. https://www.nasa.gov...
2. http://en.roscosmos.ru...
3. http://en.cmse.gov.cn...
4. http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu...
5. http://www.talkorigins.org...
6. http://i209.photobucket.com...
Edlvsjd

Con

My opponent has the burden of proving that we live on a spinning ball. I will show that this burden has not been met. Let's go over these arguments.

Photographic Evidence

Logical Fallacy Alert

Firstly, photographic evidence shouldn't be considered evidence at all. I can show my opponent images of a 200 foot gorilla, I could even bring a video of this gorilla kidnapping white chicks and climbing buildings. Is this evidence that 200 foot gorillas exist? Of course not, this is evidence that you saw an image or video of King Kong. So my opponent's claim that this is an important argument is invalid. He, and NASA even admit(1)(2) that "most images of the entire Earth from space are computer generated images", so why should we consider any images from the same source as real?

Pro gives us a few images as supposed evidence of curvature of the earth, none of which show the earth to be a sphere. These images could easily be completely computer animated, or shot with a fisheye lens they used in NASA/Red Bull sponsored "stratosphere dive". (4)


To be clear, NASA receives almost $20,000,000,000 (BILLION) per year. Which is over $50,000,000 (MILLION)per day. In comparison, one can go to Netflix and see the the Death Star which cost producers $114,000,000 (MILLION). Just two days of NASA' s income.


My opponent may feel that indeed, images on a computer may be valid as scientific evidence, bit it is not irrefutable, therefore does not meet his burden. He even admits this in his statement:

"The common response to this argument is in the vein of "all of those images are fake". This is undoubtedly *possible*, but we will analyze how likely this is." -Cobalt Rd. 2


(Motives)

His doubts are understandable, it's hard to believe a few people control the earth, it's government's and their people, but it is not impossible. It is also entirely possible that those people are hiding some things by perpetuating this lie. While some things may not be clear, some things are easily comprehensible as a reason to hide this. I'll quickly outline a few obvious reasons below.

1. Resources

What if (considering a flat earth) things like gold, oil, land, water, food etc. were not rare? What if there was plenty of everything for anyone willing to go get it? A flat, infinite plane may have more earths. What if there are more people? Giants? Something even more amazing?(3)

"What if the lost city of Atlantis was not a fictional place, but, I don't know, 200,000 miles to your left?"-FEA

2. The Creator

A flat, geocentric earth covered by a firmament 100% beyond a doubt takes a giant steaming dump on one of the most widely accepted theories in the scientific community, Big Bangism. Instead of our ancestors being just "dummies", this means just the opposite, that we are the less intelligent ones, being tricked into such an obvious lie. People would turn their attention to the idea of a creator, and instead of the idea that we're just an insignificant speck in a godless, infinite universe, will learn to act by morality, instead of impulse, greed, and materialism. We would spend our energy finding out why we're here, and for what purpose.

Gravity

Pro is again basing his belief system on shaky ground, this time in a theory. One that was fully discussed in our first debate. His first statement is a false one.

"We know the following things to be true:

1. There exists some force which pulls (or pushes) physical objects toward the planet."

This is assuming the conclusion, one can easily substitute this statement for "what goes up, must come down", which actually contradicts his position. People knew the earth was flat for thousands of years. When Aristotle first postulated that the earth was round, they probably didn't think that someone would be living on the underside of it. Then, when that was realized, some magical "force" was needed to explain how this could be. Enter Newton and his answer with his theory, that supported Aristotle's initial theory, which had since graduated to an assumption. My opponent, and many more globe earth proponents now comically use this theory to somehow prove the assumption! Maybe it's just because I'm looking at this with a more skeptical eye than my opponent, but this argument, again, seems highly illogical, and in no way supports his burden here in my honest opinion. It certainly doesn't convince me anyways.

"2. There exists some force which pushes (or pulls) any object to another. [4]"

This is another false statement. My opponent links us to an experiment where two lead balls seem to be attracting each other, but this does not mean that any object is attracted to another, based on some undetectable, magical theory. If any object is attracted to another, as my opponent assumes is fact, then I should be able to drop a wadded piece of paper off of a sheer cliff and see that paper stick to the side of it, instead of fall to the ground as common sense will tell me. This is not reality, it is pseudoscience.

Pro makes a few more assumptions after this. One being the age of the earth, which is not the subject of this debate, and the other, what materials the ground beneath his feet is comprised of, despite the fact that humans have not even gone past 8 miles deep.

He provides an interesting experiment involving some sand and water, interestingly enough coming to the conclusion that, in a real world experiment and everyday observations, proves that the ground is level. When he or I get to go to space, we can then test the other imaginary experiments and observations he proposes, under the assumptions that earth is a ball, space is real, anyone has reached a point far enough away from the earth to just "float around", and gravity being real (the theory) is the basis for every one of them.

Local Changes in Daylight

My opponent ends the first round with the classic observation round earthers make when they've done no research into other cosmological theories. In the flat and hollow earth theories, the sun is not a ridiculous 93,000,000 miles away. It is closer and smaller, and sheds it's light locally which adequately explains each of his arguments.



A smaller, closer sun is far more likely, considering crepuscular rays, and a growing sun in some balloon videos, not to mention the hotspot, and perfectly explains the problems with daylight that pro infers is exclusive to a ball earth. (5)




(1) http://thecoincidencetheorist.com...

(2) https://www.nasa.gov...

(3) https://youtu.be...

(4) https://www.youtube.com...

(5) https://youtu.be...

Debate Round No. 2
Cobalt

Pro

I thank the opponent for his hasty response. Edl's responses are much the same as they have been in the past, which is good -- because it allows us to now get into the fun part of the debate. I chose each of these arguments not because they are bar-none the best possible arguments for a round earth, but because they are by far the easiest to understand. Because of this, we can more quickly approach the truth than with complicated and dense arguments.

Burdens

Before we get into the arguments, I'll again discuss burdens. As I mentioned in the first round, it is not my burden to absolutely prove a spherical earth, but rather present such evidence that it is extremely likely. This way stated in round 1 and I even offered to Edl that I would make changes to the initial round if he wanted. No changes were requested, so my burden remains the same.

The reason why I won't and indeed can't provide absolutely irrefutable evidence that the earth is round is because there are certain epistemological limits in place that make absolutely proving almost all things impossible. The "brain in a vat" argument excellently illustrates this idea. [1] While that could be an entire discussion in itself, suffice it to say that it's technically possible that everything we experience is false, thus nothing can be proven absolutely.

Again, I stated in the initial round that my burden isn't absolute proof; it's to present sufficient proof. I stated that sufficient to mean there is no reasonable probabilistic alternative to the round earth.

Photographic Evidence

In paragraph 1, the opponent makes reference to computer generated images and ends with the following statement: "[Me] and NASA even admit that [most images of the earth from space are computer generated], so why should we consider any images from the same source as real?" This is a fair question.

If an entity is (a) capable of creating CGI images and (b) *has* created CGI images, how can we trust that other images by that entity are not CGI? There are a few things to consider when making this judgment. Can the entity be trusted? Can the entity get away with lying to us?

The answer to the first question is seen in the fact that, when NASA releases CGI images, it makes a disclaimer that the image is a visualization. Note on the following "Earth Images" page of NASA that when a suspect picture of the entire earth is shown, they clearly mark in the description that it is a visualization. [2] NASA does more than this -- they also note when the image is a panorama and when the image is a composite. It makes sense that they do this, NASA's entire budget relies upon whether or not the public has faith in the program. If NASA is capable of rendering perfect and believable CGI images, there is no reason they'd release some CGI images and call them such, while also releasing other CGI images and claiming they're real.

The second question, however, is the more powerful one. Could NASA get away with releasing CGI photos labeled as real? I have already analyzed the diplomatic incentives for other countries (Ie, Russia) to release any proof of a non-round earth as quickly as possible.

As a brief recap, at least Russia, China and the US have claimed to be in space. (This was sourced.) As such, each country should know the shape of the earth and they should have minimally photographic evidence of this. If one country, such as the US, started lying to their citizens about the shape of the other, another country, like Russia, would have a massive incentive to release the details regarding the Earth's actual size. This would create massive distrust in our government, damaging our democracy and thus strengthening Russia's political position.

The only thing stopping this power play by another country would be a global international conspiracy and I stated that there was no reasonable justification for this. The opponent offers two possible justifications.

The first is the resources argument. The opponent asks, "what if things like gold, oil, land, water, food etc. were not rare?" This argument doesn't seem to do much but offer a "what if", without any sort of evidence based justification for it. I mentioned earlier that my burden is to show the earth has a very high probability of being round and this argument does little to thwart that. Simply offering alternatives that are only possible in the technical sense does nothing if these alternatives aren't analyzed and found to be of any reasonable likelihood.

The Earth has many resources and most resource disputes are between countries. Maintaining an international conspiracy does not somehow alleviate the fact that the US wants the Middle East's plentiful oil. Oil is not suddenly easier to get if citizens are misinformed about how much oil there is. Beyond this, there does not need to exist an international conspiracy regarding the shape of the earth in order to lie about the amount of resources on the planet. In short, this "alternative" doesn't make sense at a fundamental level and, thus, does little to affect the probabilities involved in the shape of our planet.

His second argument is more interesting, but even less concrete. He suggests that our ancestors were super intelligent beings who want us to continue to believe in the Big Bang theory so that we don't develop into moral creatures and try to find out "why we're here, and for what purpose." There is absolutely no evidence or application of logic that suggests this possibility should be considered reasonable. Beyond that, it fundamentally doesn't make sense. Humans already try to be moral and we have been searching for our purpose and origin for well over 2,000 years.

In summary, the opponent believes that merely proposing unsupported alternatives somehow invalidates the logic and accompanying evidence I've provided. We clearly see that it doesn't; probability still heavily suggests that photographic evidence is sufficient for belief in a round earth.

Gravity

I'm running short on characters, so I'm going to skip the rant regarding what the word "theory" means in the context of science. I direct readers to Google "what is a scientific theory".

The opponent rebuts my claim that "some force pulls physical objects toward the planet" by claiming that "people knew the earth was flat for thousands of years" until Aristotle suggested the Earth was round and simply made up a "magical force" to explain how this was possible.

I'll point out that gravity is easily observed on Earth. Hold something up. Let go. It falls. We call the force that causes the object to fall "gravity". It should be noted that objects did not start to fall only when Newton formalized the idea of gravity -- they've been falling for a long time.

My second claim, which suggested that all pairs of objects mutually attract one another, is rebutted by my opponent who says that "[he] should be able to drop a wadded piece of paper off a sheer cliff and see that paper stick to the side". Since it instead falls to the ground, he argues, there must not be an attraction between the paper and the cliff wall.

Let's recall from Physics I that the strength of a gravitational force between two objects is a function of distance and mass. Bigger distance, less attraction. Smaller average mass, less attraction. A simple force diagram clearly shows why a piece of paper falling from a cliff is dominated by the downward force of G(paper, earth) than the sideways force of G(paper, cliff). The mass of the earth is some 6e24 kg, while the mass of a cliff the size of Mt. Everest is less than 3e14 kg. In other words, the Earth has 10,000,000,000 times more mass, resulting in a significantly stronger downward force.

Importantly, gravity is the only scientific theory that accounts for the behavior of falling objects. Mathematically speaking, it perfectly explains the regularly observed behaviors of moving objects. It explains why paper falls down, why planets orbit the sun, and why satellites orbit the earth. The opponent is free to call this force whatever he likes, but if he were to personally look at the behavior of moving objects and do calculations involved -- he would find that there is some force that acts on objects in a way that is *precisely* the same as how gravity is claimed to work on objects.

As a final note on this point -- gravitational force is a function of mass and distance. The drawing of force diagrams shows what objects in a vacuum would experience, causing precisely what I described in the previous round to happen regarding the formation of a sphere in a vacuum.

In summary, gravity is the best mathematical model we currently have for the behavior of objects. All observed evidence conforms to gravity and no existing evidence has been found which contradicts gravity. Therefore, there is sufficient evidence to believe in gravity beyond a reasonable doubt, which further necessitates a round earth, which satisfies my burden.

Local Daylight Patterns

I'm about out of room, but the opponent's argument here isn't well formed. I'll discuss more in the next round.

A "smaller, closer sun" doesn't:

1. account for sunsets.
2. account for the fact that light radiates from the sun in all directions until it hits another object. Ie, the sun cannot "locally light" a flat surface.
3. account for the fact that "small suns" can't exist in a universe that obeys even the basic laws of physics

A "small sun" theory doesn't make physical sense. I'm interested in the opponent's solutions to the above problems.

Summary

I have provided sufficient evidence that the earth is round. The opponent's responses seem to be composed of "what if" questions with no supporting evidence or logic.

Sources

1. http://www.iep.utm.edu...
2. https://www.nasa.gov...
Edlvsjd

Con

My opponent opens the round claiming that he chose these flimsy arguments because they are easiest to understand, but gravity is just the opposite. No one knows what gravity is, not even the smartest of the globe earth proponents, if you can call him that. I know he's just an actor, but I digress.(1) Nobody can adequately explain exactly what gravity is, how it works, or where it comes from. This is probably because it is extremely likely that, along with the ball earth, gravity is just a myth. Similar to someone saying "we know God exists, because we are here!" a blatant logical fallacy. How this is not understood is perplexing.

Burdens

My opponent states his job here is to prove that a spherical, spinning earth is extremely likely. Our senses tell us the earth is flat and motionless, but we're told the opposite. So far he's yet to present any measurements of the earth, or any experiment or observations that prove we are moving at all. So far we've got images, which prove absolutely nothing besides now we've seen images of a curved earth from a government organization, a theory that assumes the conclusion supported by mathematics and more theories, and a misunderstanding about the sun.

Again, I'll reiterate from round one:
"if the heliocentric model were true, getting the average Joe far enough away from the earth to see it as a ball should have long been done."
America has never missed the chance to over commercialize anything. If three guys really went to the moon almost 50 years ago as they claim, we should be able to buy a ticket to a moon orbit trip at the very least by now.

Anyone willing to do even a few minutes of research into NASA's fakery will find air bubbles in space, (2) problems with delays, (3) and many more anomalies. If my opponent would have me believe the earth is a ball, he's certainly pointed at the wrong source. It's similar to a Christian telling an atheist to go to church to prove the existence of God. I'll point my opponent to a former debate because I'm running out of time. (4) China isn't much better (5) Russia has never been an enemy of the state. The entire world, aside from those third world countries whose leaders are still being replaced now, is part of an empire. Take for example the Antarctic treaty. If America and Russia were really enemies, Russia would have never given up rights to claim land in Antarctica in the height of the cold war. Both parties have a hefty income from the space programs, so this wouldn't be of beneficial to either party.

" I mentioned earlier that my burden is to show the earth has a very high probability of being round and this argument does little to thwart that."

This wasn't an argument, it was a probable motive in response to:


"Unless my opponent can reasonably explain political motivations for keeping this secret, it is difficult to regard the photographic evidence as anything but fact." Cobalt round 2

Admiral Byrd's testimony verifies this, the link was in round 2.


Gravity
Yes, please Google what theory means, then research the flat earth theory. After that try compare how much verifiable evidence supports either theory. I'm fast running out of time, so I'll reiterate that my opponent is using a theory to support his burden, and this is pseudoscience. Again the only demonstrable evidence of gravity is that things fall. Up is up down is down, things of higher density that are unsupported fall. No magical force is needed.

Local daylight patterns.

I'm just about out of time, so I'll just quickly go over his objections to a small close sun.

1. Sunsets.

Refraction causes the sun to appear lower in the sky as it goes further away, while retaining it's size. This can be explained here. (6)

2. This is an unfounded assumption that assumes the heliocentric model.

3. My opponent here does not account for electromagnetism. (7)


(1) https://youtu.be...

(2) http://lmgtfy.com...

(3) https://youtu.be...

(4) http://www.debate.org...

(5) https://youtu.be...

(6) https://youtu.be...

(7) https://youtu.be...


Debate Round No. 3
Cobalt

Pro

I thank my opponent for getting a response in, even if time restrictions caused it to be a bit short. There are some issues my opponent has brought up in the past that weren't mentioned explicitly here so, at some points, I will refer to older content by Edl to fill in some blanks.

I'm going to cover burdens, photographic evidence, gravity, and daylight cycles in that order.

Burdens

My opponent doesn't seem to have an issue with my burden being extreme likelihood over absolute proof, as he likely understands the epistemological limits of knowledge. He does, however, somewhat misstate my burden. I'm proving a *spherical earth* is extremely likely -- not that the earth is both spherical and spinning. While some would argue that proving a spinning earth is trivial, I'd point out that generally proving a spherical earth is also trivial. But in debates like these, such trivialities are not taken for granted. So again, I don't have any obligation to prove that the earth is spinning, nor will I attempt to.

The opponent also makes a brief argument: If we went to space nearly 50 years ago, the average person should be able to buy a trip to the moon. First, it doesn't follow that what the government was capable of 50 years ago should be available to the public in the present. Generally speaking, hard things do get easier to do over time -- but traveling to the moon is still very hard to do.

Secondly, such a trip would be enormously expensive. You need a rocket capable of reaching lunar orbit and capable of coming back. Such a cost is greater than most individuals can afford. 50 years doesn't significantly decrease the cost of rocket fuel and rocket fuel doesn't suddenly become more efficient as the decades pass.

Photographic Evidence

My opponent's response to this is an attempt to delegitimize NASA as an agency that is generally honest with the public. The evidence supporting this is in the form of video, which is somewhat ironic considering the opponent believes images and videos aren't to be trusted. While every bone in my body wants to tear apart these goofy videos as nonsensical, that would take the remainder of the round.

Instead, I will merely look at the provided evidence of NASA trickery. Said evidence is a video in which there is a live stream from NASA talking to members of the ISS. The commentator asks a question, waits a few seconds, then notes that there should be an 11-second delay in transmission. Directly after saying there should be a delay, one astronaut smiles and they both nod their heads. The video argues that the astronauts are nodding their head in response to the commentator's statement, "11 seconds".

This seems pretty damning. That is, until you go to the point in the video 11 seconds before the astronauts nod and smile. You'll note that the commentator just finished asking his question. From the perspective of the astronauts, they nod and smile directly after hearing the interviewer ask his question. This is evidently the reason for their reaction. Someone says, "Hi, looks like you're in space. How's orbit?", you nod and smile, then answer their question. If you are trying to pull off trickery, it doesn't even make sense to nod and smile after the commentator notes that there is an 11-second delay.

The remaining evidence is a link to another debate in which the opponent claims that NASA works with Disney to produce fake images and content and that all of this is somehow part of MK Ultra. Actually looking at the evidence linked, there seems to be exactly one source making the claim that any NASA image is fake and it's a guy who thinks he sees the word "sex" in a cloud formation. It looks more like "JFX" to me. Regardless, considering that cloud formations are largely random it is not unreasonable to call this as a coincidence. This is especially true when you consider that, if it was a shopped image, NASA would likely no longer have it on their website. (Why would NASA keep around an image containing a cloud structure that looked like English characters? Wouldn't that "give away" the hoax?)

In summary, the opponent has presented two pieces of evidence that NASA can't be trusted. One is a video interview in which the argument made is easily defeated and the second is a picture of some clouds that look somewhat like a collection of three letters.

-------------

The opponent largely dismisses the main point of my argument, however. If Russia, China, or any other country had evidence that the Earth was flat, it would be in their political interest to publish said information. If Russia came out with proof that the US government has been lying to us for so many years about something so fundamental as the shape of the Earth, the entire US would entire into a riot. We would no longer trust our government and we would no longer trust scientists. But Russia hasn't done this, nor has any other space-faring country.

When I asked for a political motivation to maintain an international hoax of this conspiracy, the opponent pointed me to Admiral Byrd's testimony. Importantly, the video interview linked provides *absolutely no explanation as to why countries would continue to maintain this hoax.* The only thing one can imagine is that my opponent is saying that the resources located in the south pole are reason enough for countries to collude and keep this secret.

I've already addressed that point. All countries involved would still be deeply aware of the resources kept at the south pole. Keeping it from the public serves no purpose, as average citizens aren't going to go to the south pole in search of these resources anyway. It doesn't benefit any one government, as the governments would still need to compete with one another for said resources. An abundance of resources in the South Pole does nothing to demonstrate why an international conspiracy would be maintained. On the other hand, I have explained in detail the advantages of *not* maintaining said conspiracy.

Gravity

The opponent's response here is not strong, likely due to time restrictions. The opponent claims that I am "using a theory to support his burden, and this is pseudoscience".

That argument doesn't make any sense. All scientific statements are theories. If you are attempting to use science to prove a claim, you necessarily must rely on preexisting scientific theory. The only way to prove a scientific fact is by using theory. If it is pseudoscience to use a scientific theory to justify a claim, then all of science is just pseudoscience.

Perhaps the opponent really means that he believes I'm using an *incorrect* theory to fulfill my burden. I clearly demonstrated that there is some force which constantly acts on objects and that it has been experimentally verified that objects mutually attract one another. All that (the macroscopic) theory of gravity says is that things fall toward other things. Demonstrably proving that things fall literally proves gravity, because that's all that gravity claims.

What we don't precisely know is *why* gravity happens. There are some macroscopic theories of gravitation that are explained (spacetime curvature) and some theories of quantum gravitation, but there doesn't yet exist a unified explanation of why gravity works. I don't claim to know why gravity works. What I do claim as that, though we don't know why it works, it's clear how it actually behaves. One can both not know how fire works, while simultaneously knowing that it's hot. My argument doesn't require that you know what causes gravity, merely that you know how gravity behaves. (Things fall.)

The opponent briefly claims that "things of higher density that are unsupported fall. No magical force is needed." This can be restated to "things of higher density that are unsupported have a downward force enacted upon them. No force is necessary." It's easy to see why this doesn't make sense. Things don't begin to move unless a force acts upon them. If an object is still, then starts moving -- some force has been acted upon it. If an object falls off a table, some force was acted upon it. A "magical" force *is* needed to explain this behavior. "Density" isn't the cause of this force, as density is a measurement of mass per cubed unit of space. It's merely a description of mass, not a force itself. 3 grams per cubic centimeter is no more a force than "1 inch" is a force.

To summarize, I proved that there exists some force which acts on all objects and I called this force gravity. I further proved that the existence of gravity necessitates that the Earth is spherical in shape. Thus, I have fulfilled my burden. The opponent seems to claim that a force is not responsible for objects at rest becoming objects in motion. This is nonsense; objects at rest do not suddenly start moving. Some force has to cause them to move.

Local Daylight patterns

Again, I am nearly out of characters. Next round I will start with this argument and work in reverse, that way this gets its time -- as the opponent's response to this argument is likely his most ludicrous response to any argument made thus far.

1. Sunsets

I'll demonstrate in the next round that atmospheric refraction implies the exact *opposite* result that the opponent claims it does. Atmospheric refraction makes objects appear higher in the sky, not lower in the sky. This can be proved mathematically, with the help of a few images. I'll do that next round.

2. No Local Lighting

I argued that emitted light continues to travel in the direction of emission until it hits another object and that this demonstrates that a light cannot locally light something. The idea that light continues to move until it hits an object is not an assumption of the heliocentric model -- it's a property of light.

3. Small sun.

Opponent: please explain.

I'm out of room; will do arguments in reverse order next round.
Edlvsjd

Con

Thanks to my opponent for a third and hopefully not last thought provoking debate about our reality, and whether we should trust our senses, or authority. I hope his views have, or will change about his atheism and scientific evidence for The Creator's probable existence.
I just noticed pro was a devout atheist unfortunately.

I'll just address each of my opponents main points, and give a short summary preceding that. Quotations will be from pro unless otherwise noted.


"I don't have any obligation to prove that the earth is spinning, nor will I attempt to."

I was merely suggesting an alternative means of proving the ball earth. One goes with the other. If the earth isn't spinning, then the sun must be either very fast, going around this stationary earth, or small and close, affirming my third counterargument, and this would create another issue altogether.

Remember, "The burden of proof rests on Pro (me). As this is a scientific topic, my burden is satisfied should my arguments leave no room for reasonable doubt concerning the spherical shape of the Earth." I think I have cast sufficient doubt, to say the least, that pro's evidence is pseudoscience, under the guise of science, and the resolution has been negated.

Pseudoscience is defined as:

pseu·do·sci·ence






noun





















                    1. a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.
While the scientific method is defined as:
sci·en·tif·ic meth·od

noun





















                    1. a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.







My opponent offers only one experiment to prove any of his claims, but it isn't consistent, and doesn't factor in axioms like electromagnetism or frequency and vibrations. So this is a debate based almost entirely on pseudoscience.
"but traveling to the moon is still very hard to do."

They went just fine on the first try in a time when the whole of NASA's computing power, basically, several entire room-size computers would now fit on a modern wristwatch (smartwatch). That's if you believe the entire hoax. Astronauts go back and forth to the ISS all the time. Care packages with musical instruments and even monkey suits are sent there all the time. Not one civilian though. Starting to get the point? Maybe not...

Photographic Evidence

Pro entirely ignores the bubbles in space Google search that I provided and instead watches a few seconds of the delay video I presented. He therefore does not even realize his blunder and misses the point altogether. The inconsistency wasn't meant to be pointed out in the first clip, that was just meant to give an example of how much delay there should be. The real NASA goof is when Chris Hatfield does a duo simultaneously with Barenaked Ladies frontman at the second clip, later in the video. So where is the delay? I have a few sources saying this was recorded simultaneously if my opponent should feel the need to research it, a simple Google search pulls up a few.

My opponent guffaws "...is somewhat ironic considering the opponent believes images and videos aren't to be trusted....

Keep in mind that this is just an analysis of media from his source that he defends like a deacon would his preacher with... media from his source. This is proving the source of one of his arguments unreliable. This is literally the only source that would be able to confirm to us that earth is a ball now, so it is clear why he has decided to discuss it lastly in the coming rounds.

"...While every bone in my body wants to tear apart these goofy videos as nonsensical..."

I await a proper response to this inconsistency in the coming rounds.

He then downplays the word "sex" being photoshopped into clouds on virtually every 3rd graders dictionary by saying it looks like different letters, and blows the whole thing off by claiming that words or letters are common in cloud formations. I trust voters use their head on that one too, it seems that cognitive dissonance has set in on pro.

His judgement of the debate I presented affirms his cognitive dissonance and Stockholm syndrome.

Gravity

My opponent makes the absurd claim that all of science is pseudoscience here in an all in attempt to defend his theory. Maybe his definition of pseudoscience or the scientific method differs from mine. Now that I've clarified that, I'll quickly discuss natural science, and it's difference between pseudoscience, or as some like to call it, formal science.

Natural science is scalable, repeatable, and practical. Formal science is different because it doesn't require empirical observations to make a claim. The math just needs to add up. It can't be falsified in any verifiable way. The claim must just be accepted. Pro gives us one experiment originally performed in the 1700's(which ignores many axioms), and drops a mic, proclaiming this is without a doubt proof that we live on a (spinning) ball. He honestly believes, because he has been told so, that he is a monkey on a spinning ball. I feel the urge to quote the greatest scientist ever here.

"Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality." Nikola Tesla

My opponent ends this argument with a reasonable claim:

"...objects at rest do not suddenly start moving. Some force has to cause them to move."

We may be observing a "force" when we see the Apple or microphone fall, but does this mean that this force is attracting everything to everything else? We can only observe through the scientific method that objects tend to fall down. This inherently negates the resolution by bringing up the question that even 1st graders tend to ask when they are told they live on a ball: "Why don't people in Australia fall off of the bottom of the ball?"


Local Daylight patterns

1. My opponent will, in the next round, prove with his calculator what actual experimentation and empirical observations shows just the opposite. A child can fill up a glass of water and place an object behind it to scale this down. (1) This gives us 3 experiments that anyone can perform that refutes his claim. My opponent asks us to trust his calculator, I ask that we see for ourselves. Please use good judgement when making this call.

2. Local lighting

My opponent does not seem to understand exactly what local illumination is, or think that it is even possible. This again is demonstrably false pseudoscience(2). We are just expected to take his word for it, without question. This also couples with the above point on refraction. His objection that " The idea that light continues to move until it hits an object is not an assumption" can be dismissed when one makes the simple observation that clouds, dust, fog, smog, heat, etc would be obvious blockers of light over the course of thousands of miles. We know these things exist and are always present in the atmosphere, let's not ignore obvious axioms.

3. Small sun

My opponent asks me to explain electromagnetism. This is a possible explanation for how the sun could exist. He again, in his question, assumes the heliocentric model when we see the word "universe". In the flat earth model, there is technically no universe, or more specifically, space is fake. In the flat earth model, well the most probable one, there is a firmament in which all the stars, moon and sun are situated in. Explaining this in detail would require another debate altogether. Maybe we can discuss this in a future debate. I urge him (and anyone else) to research the firmament. Tesla stood by it, as does the Bible, amongst others. So I guess my response is what "basic laws of physics" does he propose a small, close sun does not obey? Keep in mind that it is not empirically known what the sun is. This information has been well hidden for a very long time, so it will take some time and some real science to give a definite answer to this concern.


Summary

My opponent is trying to shift burdens in this debate. I was expected to prove that it was possible for a government agency to lie, which is ridiculous, to falsify and unfalsifiable theory, and to empirically verify an observable refraction effect. I'm not here to prove anything. My job here is to shed some reasonable doubt that we live on a (spinning) ball. Had my opponent offered any scientific evidence beyond pseudo scientific claims and misunderstandings, we would have a valid reason to believe it in the first place. So far we've seen "NASA says so" (an appeal to authority/popularity logical fallacy), "muh gravity" (Affirming the consequent/false premise fallacy), and a misunderstanding about the sun (argument from ignorance fallacy) as arguments from pro, and none of it can be empirically verified. This is far from convincing to say the least.


Bring back the actual scientific method. Vote con.


(1) http://www.debate.org...

(2) https://ak9.picdn.net...(height:160)

Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Edlvsjd 10 months ago
Edlvsjd
We can have a shorter 3 rounder on that
Posted by Edlvsjd 10 months ago
Edlvsjd
Any concerns I can help with? If you want to learn more, I sub to some of stinky cash and p-brain's explanations on YouTube
Posted by Cobalt 10 months ago
Cobalt
I agree, this site is not maintained well -- at a technical level. Perhaps Juggle will fix it when everyone begins to leave. I'm pretty sure I missed this debate by about an hour too; this is very disappointing. I was very excited to discuss the implications of the close sun model.
Posted by Edlvsjd 10 months ago
Edlvsjd
This was probably my last debate for real, afresh turd could run this site better than this
Posted by Edlvsjd 10 months ago
Edlvsjd
The atmosphere that is
Posted by Edlvsjd 10 months ago
Edlvsjd
It's the beauty of intelligent design. The atmosphere causes it to retain it's size as it goes away. Do you still think the Iss is real? Just look at the footage, the star's do not change position or brightness when they pass through it.
Posted by Cobalt 10 months ago
Cobalt
Fack! I'm so sorry, I thought I had another day. My forfeit means this debate is yours.

As a side note, I would love to debate solely the "close sun" argument. I'm not sure where that's coming from, but it's interesting.
Posted by Edlvsjd 10 months ago
Edlvsjd
Aww
Posted by Edlvsjd 10 months ago
Edlvsjd
Cobalt, where are all the other satellites in the ISS videos and pictures?
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