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The Flat Earth

Cobalt
Posts: 991
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6/20/2016 4:29:37 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
I recently had a few debates with a member here who very strongly believes the Earth is Flat. I decided to try and make arguments *for* the spherical earth with the following constraints:

1. No photographs taken by any governments, government funded agencies or government officials.

2. No arguments based upon science that it not easily confirmed.

3. No assuming that local phenomena necessarily exist on a universal scale. (Ie, gravity)

Given these limits, I actually found it somewhat hard to prove a spherical earth. What's YOUR argument for a spherical earth, given these constraints?

[I know these constraints are unfair. That's not the point of this exercise.]
KthulhuHimself
Posts: 993
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6/20/2016 4:33:59 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/20/2016 4:29:37 PM, Cobalt wrote:
I recently had a few debates with a member here who very strongly believes the Earth is Flat. I decided to try and make arguments *for* the spherical earth with the following constraints:

1. No photographs taken by any governments, government funded agencies or government officials.

2. No arguments based upon science that it not easily confirmed.

3. No assuming that local phenomena necessarily exist on a universal scale. (Ie, gravity)

Given these limits, I actually found it somewhat hard to prove a spherical earth. What's YOUR argument for a spherical earth, given these constraints?

[I know these constraints are unfair. That's not the point of this exercise.]

Well, the fact that every single shred of long-distance navigation relies entirely on spherical geometry instead euclidean geometry should be more than enough to prove that the world is indeed round.

I'm too lazy to put any citations just yet (well, I have; here: http://www.debate.org...), but if you'd insist, I could.
Stronn
Posts: 314
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6/20/2016 10:16:05 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/20/2016 4:29:37 PM, Cobalt wrote:
I recently had a few debates with a member here who very strongly believes the Earth is Flat. I decided to try and make arguments *for* the spherical earth with the following constraints:

1. No photographs taken by any governments, government funded agencies or government officials.

2. No arguments based upon science that it not easily confirmed.

3. No assuming that local phenomena necessarily exist on a universal scale. (Ie, gravity)

Given these limits, I actually found it somewhat hard to prove a spherical earth. What's YOUR argument for a spherical earth, given these constraints?

[I know these constraints are unfair. That's not the point of this exercise.]

Here are a few experiments/observations anyone can try.

1. Observe the shadow of the Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse. it is curved. The next lunar eclipse is Sep. 16/17, 2016, visible in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The next lunar eclipse visible in North and South America will be Feb 10/11, 2017. (http://www.timeanddate.com....) As a side note, these eclipse predictions are based on modelling the Earth as a round planet in orbit around the Sun.

2. Get a trusted friend to travel to a city at least 50 miles to the east or west of you. Each of you report over the phone, or in a chat room, the moment you see the Sun rise or set. There will be about 4 minutes difference for each degree of longitude difference in your locations. At 38 degrees latitude, one degree of longitude is 54.6 miles.

3. On the summer solstice (which happens to be today!) draw a line on a west-facing windowsill pointing at the spot where the Sun sets. Six months later, on the winter solstice, do the same thing. The angle formed by the two lines will match your latitude.

4. Observe the different constellations visible when one travels north or south.

5. On a clear, calm day take a good pair of binoculars or a telescope to a busy port and watch ships appear and disappear over the horizon. Better yet, find a port with a tall building. Ships that have disappeared over the horizon from the ground will be visible again when you climb to the top of the building.

6. Look out the window on a trans-Atlantic flight.

7. Take time-lapse photographs with a camera pointed at Polaris, the north star. Watch the sky spin. (https://www.youtube.com...) To counter the argument that all the stars are actually spinning around Polaris, head south and do the same thing with a camera pointing at the celestial south pole. (There is no "south star", or star aligned with the celestial south pole).

8. Build a Foucault pendulum at home (https://www.youtube.com...). or visit one in a science museum (https://www.youtube.com..., https://www.youtube.com...).

9. On a clear, calm day, shine a laser across the surface of a large body of water, at least 4 or 5 miles across.
Stronn
Posts: 314
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6/20/2016 10:23:30 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/20/2016 10:16:05 PM, Stronn wrote:
At 6/20/2016 4:29:37 PM, Cobalt wrote:
I recently had a few debates with a member here who very strongly believes the Earth is Flat. I decided to try and make arguments *for* the spherical earth with the following constraints:

1. No photographs taken by any governments, government funded agencies or government officials.

2. No arguments based upon science that it not easily confirmed.

3. No assuming that local phenomena necessarily exist on a universal scale. (Ie, gravity)

Given these limits, I actually found it somewhat hard to prove a spherical earth. What's YOUR argument for a spherical earth, given these constraints?

[I know these constraints are unfair. That's not the point of this exercise.]

Here are a few experiments/observations anyone can try.

1. Observe the shadow of the Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse. it is curved. The next lunar eclipse is Sep. 16/17, 2016, visible in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The next lunar eclipse visible in North and South America will be Feb 10/11, 2017. (http://www.timeanddate.com....) As a side note, these eclipse predictions are based on modelling the Earth as a round planet in orbit around the Sun.

2. Get a trusted friend to travel to a city at least 50 miles to the east or west of you. Each of you report over the phone, or in a chat room, the moment you see the Sun rise or set. There will be about 4 minutes difference for each degree of longitude difference in your locations. At 38 degrees latitude, one degree of longitude is 54.6 miles.

3. On the summer solstice (which happens to be today!) draw a line on a west-facing windowsill pointing at the spot where the Sun sets. Six months later, on the winter solstice, do the same thing. The angle formed by the two lines will match your latitude.

4. Observe the different constellations visible when one travels north or south.

5. On a clear, calm day take a good pair of binoculars or a telescope to a busy port and watch ships appear and disappear over the horizon. Better yet, find a port with a tall building. Ships that have disappeared over the horizon from the ground will be visible again when you climb to the top of the building.

6. Look out the window on a trans-Atlantic flight.

7. Take time-lapse photographs with a camera pointed at Polaris, the north star. Watch the sky spin. (https://www.youtube.com...) To counter the argument that all the stars are actually spinning around Polaris, head south and do the same thing with a camera pointing at the celestial south pole. (There is no "south star", or star aligned with the celestial south pole).

8. Build a Foucault pendulum at home (https://www.youtube.com...). or visit one in a science museum (https://www.youtube.com..., https://www.youtube.com...).

9. On a clear, calm day, shine a laser across the surface of a large body of water, at least 4 or 5 miles across.

I thought of another.

10. Travel north of the arctic circle. Observe the Sun moving 360 degrees around the horizon near the summer solstice, but never setting. Or watch the Sun never rise near the winter solstice.
Axonly
Posts: 1,801
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6/22/2016 1:21:29 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/20/2016 4:33:59 PM, KthulhuHimself wrote:
At 6/20/2016 4:29:37 PM, Cobalt wrote:
I recently had a few debates with a member here who very strongly believes the Earth is Flat. I decided to try and make arguments *for* the spherical earth with the following constraints:

1. No photographs taken by any governments, government funded agencies or government officials.

2. No arguments based upon science that it not easily confirmed.

3. No assuming that local phenomena necessarily exist on a universal scale. (Ie, gravity)

Given these limits, I actually found it somewhat hard to prove a spherical earth. What's YOUR argument for a spherical earth, given these constraints?

[I know these constraints are unfair. That's not the point of this exercise.]

Well, the fact that every single shred of long-distance navigation relies entirely on spherical geometry instead euclidean geometry should be more than enough to prove that the world is indeed round.

I'm too lazy to put any citations just yet (well, I have; here: http://www.debate.org...), but if you'd insist, I could.

+1
Meh!