The Instigator
Septune
Pro (for)
The Contender
Ski
Con (against)

The earth is a sphere. Best of 2 format.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2018 Category: Science
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 146 times Debate No: 106560
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

Septune

Pro

I've found this is a fun topic to get serious about.

--Summary--

I'm looking for a serious debate on this topic, so trolls need not apply. We'll be shooting for an evidence-based inquiry into the shape of our planet. In the past, I've seen that it can be trying to find the time (or in this case, space) to present all possible arguments on the issue, so we're going to be doing a "best two" format here. See below.

--Rules--

1. This is a "Best Two", traditional format. "Best Two" indicates that both sides will be presenting at most two arguments for their position. (Ideally, the "best two" arguments for your position.) When your position is critiqued it is sometimes necessary to bring in more evidence or explain a related phenomenon. This is fine -- just ensure that your entire argument can be largely separated into no more than two points.

2. Burden of Proof is shared. Regardless of how "silly" this topic is interpreted by most people, both the claim "The world is flat," and the claim "The world is round," are positive claims and so both sides have a burden to prove their claims. Voters are instructed to choose the winner based upon whichever debater presents a more compelling set of arguments (or argument).

3. Semantics arguments need not apply. While arguments based on semantics are important in some areas, particularly philosophy, this is a science-based discussion and arguments which rest entirely upon "defining ones way to victory" are not allowed here. It is difficult to define exactly what one of these arguments looks like, but when you see one, you know what it is.

4. 10k character limit. A debater should post a minimum of 4,000 characters in rounds 2-4. The purpose of this is to ensure that both debaters are actively involved in the conversation.

--Round Structure--

R1: Intro / Con Opening Arguments
R2-4: Normal Debate
R5: Wrap It Up.

The only important thing to note here is that Con will be leading with their opening arguments in their acceptance. No reason to waste space or time with a purely introductory round.

--Last Minute Clarifications--

Even though I said that no semantics based arguments should be made, I will clarify this anyway. When I say "The earth is a sphere," I mean "The planet on which we live is spheroid in shape."

Thanks in advance to my opponent. Let's have fun!
Ski

Con

The earth is not round, it's not flat either, due to it's rotation it's round shape changes. What do you think?
Debate Round No. 1
Septune

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response. It seems that Con has chosen to make one argument, which is completely fine.

I trust that the opponent will be expanding on his argument, as well as combatting mine, in the next round. To my opponent: The rules of this debate include the requirement of hitting 4,000 characters per round (after round 1). A brief glance at your debate record shows you generally post rather abbreviated arguments. Since you accepted this debate, and therefore the terms of this debate, I expect that you'll be up to the task of offering a sufficiently detailed response.

Overview

First, I'll be addressing the opponent's argument. Following this, I will present my own.

Opponent's Argument

The opponent claims that the earth is not round because, "due to its rotation, it's round shape changes". In abroad sense, this is true. The earth's rotation is such that the earth "bulges" somewhat at the center. Indeed the earth is not a perfect sphere.

As I clearly laid out in the "Last Minute Clarifications" section of my opening statement, I'm not arguing that the earth is a perfect sphere, but instead that the earth is spheroid in shape. For those interested, a spheroid is a "solid geometrical figure similar in shape to a sphere, as an ellipsoid". [1] In other words, I am arguing that the earth is very near the shape of a sphere.

The earth bulges slightly at the equator due to the planet's rotation. [2] Specifically, this bulge is approximately 26.5 miles high, which is to say that Earth's diameter across the equatorial plane is 7,927 miles, whereas the diameter when measured between the poles is 7,900 miles. I argue that this is spheroid in shape, as the two measurements differ by about a third of a percent (0.34%). If you had two globes, one modeled in such a way that it includes the equatorial bulge and the other a perfect sphere, it is unlikely that you would be able to tell the difference via inspection. This is about a spheroid as one can get.

To summarize, the opponent points out that the earth is not perfectly spherical, but instead is only mostly spherical. This is exactly what *I'm* supposed to be claiming is true, so the opponent may need to tune this argument a little.

My Arguments

Argument 1: Satellite Imagery

This argument is one of the most important arguments when talking about the shape of the earth and, as such, it is often ignored. The argument is simple: There is a significant amount of satellite imagery of the earth, many of which demonstrate curvature. For instance, in this [3] gallery we see many images which clearly demonstrate the curvature of the earth. When one composites these images together, one sees that the Earth is spherical in shape.

Multiple satellites have accomplished this from various positions in space, indicating that the Earth is "flat and circular" (when seen from the proper viewpoint), but instead is spherical. A look at any one of the composite images of earth or the few non-composite images of the whole earth shows that the earth isn't extremely elliptical, but instead *appears* to be a sphere.

More can be said about this if needed. I imagine this won't be as talked about in a debate that isn't "round earth" v. "flat earth".

I'm not going to present a second argument here and will only do so if needed. If I determine it is needed, it will be in the second or third round.

Summary

We saw that the opponent's argument seemed to be one in favor of the Pro (my) position. I agreed with (a broad interpretation) of his argument and clarified that despite the equatorial bulge, Earth is very much a spheroid. In my opening statement, I was very clear that I would be arguing that Earth is spheroid in shape, not that Earth is perfectly spherical.

I then argued that the litany of satellite imagery demonstrates Earth's spheroidal shape as well. As it stands, the opponent and I have both presented an argument, and both arguments seem to imply my claim is correct. I look forward to my opponent's response and further clarification.

Thanks.

Sources:

[1] - http://www.dictionary.com...
[2] - http://www.cleonis.nl...
[3] - https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov...
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Septune 1 week ago
Septune
As the debate says, both debaters can post a maximum of two arguments supporting their position. This is intended to make sure each argument is of the highest quality and that a good deal of time is spent on each one. That's two per debater, so four arguments for voters to consider.
Posted by canis 1 week ago
canis
What are the 2 format ?
Posted by Septune 1 week ago
Septune
I clarify in the bottom that I'm really claiming earth is a spheroid. Which means nearly spherical. Sphere being the solid described by a collection of points in which every point is within r units of some reference point.

Not going for semantics with this debate.
Posted by Septune 1 week ago
Septune
I clarify in the bottom that I'm really claiming earth is a spheroid. Which means nearly spherical. Sphere being the solid described by a collection of points in which every point is within r units of some reference point.

Not going for semantics with this debate.
Posted by canis 1 week ago
canis
what is your definition of a "sphere" ?
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