The Instigator
CosmoJarvis
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
QueenDaisy
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Earth is Flat

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 619 times Debate No: 101195
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

CosmoJarvis

Pro

This debate will be an argument on whether or not the Earth is flat. Pro will advocate for the Flat-Earth theory while con will defend the theory of the Earth being round.

Though I, pro, strongly believe in the Earth being round, I would like to challenge myself.

Rounds:
R1: Acceptance
R2: Main Argument
R3: Rebuttals
QueenDaisy

Con

I accept, and oppose the claim that "The Earth is flat".

Please use "she/her" pronouns for me. I will default to using "they" pronouns unless I'm told otherwise.

I would like to thank my opponent for proposing this motion, and wish them the best of luck in the debate and in the voting procedure.
Debate Round No. 1
CosmoJarvis

Pro

Outline:
I) Introduction
II) Biblical Evidence
III) Scientific Evidence
IV) Sources

I) Introduction

I thank my opponent, QueenDaisy, for accepting this debate. I do ask though, that when she annihilates me in this debate that she sheds mercy on me.


I, pro, will advocate for the flat-Earth theory by using both Biblical and Scientific evidence to support this. While counter-arguments are acceptable, I ask that my opponent refrains from making any specific rebuttals to my argument in the second round.

The Flat-Earth Theory is the belief that the Earth is flat. Many religions, including Christianity, strongly believe in this theory [1].

II) Biblical Evidence

The Bible firmly establishes the belief that the Earth is flat. While there is not substantial evidence for these claims in the Holy Texts, many believe that the Bible and its laws and supposed "facts" should be accepted because the Bible is believed by many theists to have been written by prophets and God's people to communicate the "word of God."


There are subtle allusions to the idea that the Earth does not rotate on an axis such as: Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable,” Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm,” and Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken,” [2].

There are also verses which clearly establish the belief that the Earth is flat: Isaiah 11:12 "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth," Revelation 7:1 "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree," and Revelation 20:8 "He will go out to deceive Gog and Magog, the nations at the four corners of the earth, and gather them for war. They are as numerous as the sands of the seashore," [3].

To assume that the Bible is round, you must also assume that the Holy Bible and Christianity is false, and that the "Word of God" is fallible.


III) Scientific Evidence

Some, including my opponent (according to her profile, she is an atheist), do not believe in religion. Instead, agnostics, atheists and other secular people rather rely on science, which brings me to my next few points.


There has been, according to the Alaskan Flat Earth Society, "experimental confirmation of the Earth's rigidity in space." In 1887, two American scientists, Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley, conducted an experiment to prove whether or not the Earth was moving in Space. In this experiment, the objective was to try and calculate the absolute speed of the Earth relative to the fixed ether. They would emit a light pulse and calculate how far it "trailed" behind the Earth. If the ether existed, the light pulse would fall back in one direction. Their calculated speed turned out to be zero. This experiment supported the theory of the Earth being immobile and flat [4].

Eric Dubay is a writer and prominent Flat-Earth theorist. He has written many publications regarding a flat-Earth, and has made many provocative statements which provide some support for the flat-Earth theory. He has argued many things such as "If Earth really was a globe, rivers such as the Mississipi would have to flow uphill to each the sea - flowing uphill 11 miles in its 3,000-mile length," and "If Earth really is spinning, bullets fired upwards would land hundreds of feet Westwards. They don't," [5].

Another experiment was conducted which provides more leverage to the Flat-Earth Theory: the Bishop Experiment. According to the Flat Earth Wikia, "If the earth is a globe, and is 24,900 English statute miles in circumference, the surface of all standing water must have a certain degree of convexity--every part must be an arc of a circle. From the summit of any such arc there will exist a curvature or declination of 8 inches in the first statute mile. In the second mile the fall will be 32 inches; in the third mile, 72 inches, or 6 feet, as shown in this chart. Ergo; looking at the opposite beach over 23 miles away there should be a bulge of water over 350 feet tall blocking my view. There isn't. Suppose that the earth is a sphere with a radius of 3,963 miles. If you are at a point P on the earth's surface and move tangent to the surface a distance of 1 mile then you can form a right angled triangle as in the diagram... Looking over a distance of 1 mile, we can use the theorem of Pythagoras: a2 = 3,9632 + 12 = 15,705,370 and when we square root that figure we get a = 3,963.000126 miles. Thus your position is 3,963.000126 - 3,963 = 0.000126 miles above the surface of the earth. 0.000126 miles = 12 in * 5,280 ft * 0.000126 mi = 7.98 inches. Hence after one mile the earth drops approximately 8 inches. Ergo, looking across 23 miles the Pythagorean theorem becomes: a2 = 39632 +232 = 15,705,898. Thus your position is 3,963.06674 - 3,963 = 0.06674 miles above the surface of the earthand when we square root that figure we get a = 3,963.06674 miles. 0.06674 miles = 5,280 ft/mi * 0.6674 mi = 352.3872 feet. Hence after 23 miles the earth drops approximately 352 feet." This experiment demonstrates that, every mile, the Earth's surface will drop approximately 15.3 feet [6]. This is clearly, according to the Bishop Experiment, utter nonsense.
QueenDaisy

Con

I read my opponent's R2 speech as far as "While counter-arguments are acceptable, I ask that my opponent refrains from making any specific rebuttals to my argument in the second round", and stopped reading there. I will construct the rest of my R2 argument based solely on what I have read up until this point, so as to respect my opponent's wishes to keep rebuttal to the final round, and as such will not have read my opponent's R2 argument until the beginning of R3.
I would suggest, however, that next time my opponent should make such a desire clear in R1, before the acceptance, as someone may prefer to have rebuttals as the debate goes along and I don't think it would be fair to them to not allow this having not made that clear before the acceptance.

Before I begin arguing, I would like to point out that for the duration of the debate, I will use the term "round" to mean "approximately spherical"; I recognise the Earth is not a perfect sphere.

My arguments will be as follows:

1) The motion is not clearly defined, and therefore may not be considered true.
2) Photographic evidence indicates that the Earth is round.
3) Navigation indicates that the Earth is round.
4) The absence of an edge indicates that the Earth is round.
5) The apparent position of the sun indicates that the Earth is round.

The motion asserts that "The Earth is flat", but does not make it clear what is meant by this; we would surely all agree that in smaller sub-areas, the Earth is approximately flat. Likewise, we would all agree that in some areas, the Earth is clearly not flat, for instance, near sheer cliffs. Ambiguity in the motion is usually considered to work in con's favour, and there is certainly ambiguity in this motion.

Photographic evidence indicates that the Earth is round (See sources 1:3). Little more really needs to be said about this; just look- it's round!

Navigation also indicates that the Earth is round because it is possible to circumnavigate the globe by travelling due East or due West continuously- were the Earth flat, this would not be possible. Indeed, individuals have circumnavigated the globe, and specific details of this can be seen under sources 4 and 5.

If the Earth were flat, it would either have to continue on indefinitely and be infinitely large, or it would have to have a clear edge, beyond which there would be no Earth. Clearly, the Earth is finitely large, as we have successfully sent probes far away enough that they can no longer view the Earth, and an infinitely large Earth would always be within the probe's field of view. Therefore, a flat Earth would have to have an edge, and such an edge has never been detected (See source 6), but would have been were such an edge to exist.

Day and night are caused by the Earth rotating on its axis such that the sun is no longer visible on one side of the Earth (See sources 7 & 8). Though a similar phenomenon would occur were the Earth a flat disc that flipped in a direction perpendicular to its own plane, the patterns such a process would produce would look different; light and dark would occur almost instantaneously on either side of the Earth, and sunrise and sunset would take a matter of minutes. The sun would also move in a continuous vertical line from one horizon to the other, with no curvature, and would appear perfectly perpendicular to the Earth's plane at mid-day.
In reality, neither of these predictions are shown to be true; sunrise and sunset lines move continuously across the Earth's surface with an angular frequency of exactly 7.2921159 " 10W22;5 radians/second, and these lines are curved and not flat. This is exactly as predicted by a round-Earth model. The sun's apparent position also does not follow an infinite straight line, but rather an "n" shape as it arcs across the sky, and only appears to be directly overhead at midday on the equator. Once again; the predictions more closely match that of a round-Earth model than a flat-Earth model.

So, in conclusion:

1) The motion is not clearly defined, and therefore may not be considered true.
2) Photographic evidence indicates that the Earth is round.
3) Navigation indicates that the Earth is round.
4) The absence of an edge indicates that the Earth is round.
5) The apparent position of the sun indicates that the Earth is round.

Sources 9:12 are further evidence one can use to demonstrate that the Earth is round, and not flat.

Sources and further evidence:
1: https://www.google.co.uk...;*&imgrc=hn9QEoxVgXzaRM:
2: https://www.google.co.uk...;*&imgrc=VkwHFoyDcBysxM:
3: https://www.google.co.uk...;*&imgrc=ccWADxn-RiOvFM:
4: https://en.wikipedia.org...
5: https://en.wikipedia.org...
6: https://www.google.co.uk...;*&imgrc=dkd6YVq_CP1fZM:
7: http://sciencing.com...
8: https://www.dkfindout.com...
9: http://www.popsci.com...
10: http://www.smarterthanthat.com...
11: http://www.physlink.com...
12: https://futurism.com...
Debate Round No. 2
CosmoJarvis

Pro

The motion asserts that "The Earth is flat", but does not make it clear what is meant by this; we would surely all agree that in smaller sub-areas, the Earth is approximately flat. Likewise, we would all agree that in some areas, the Earth is clearly not flat, for instance, near sheer cliffs.
I apologize for not properly defining the Flat-Earth Theory and what is implied when calling the Earth "flat." The Flat-Earth Theory states that the Earth is neither spherical nor rotates on an axis. The Flat-Earth Theory is in agreement with the fact of how different regions have different elevations and other geological features.

Photographic evidence indicates that the Earth is round (See sources 1:3). Little more really needs to be said about this; just look- it's round!
A fair amount of people (such as Flat-Earth theorists)
question the credibility of NASA and other services which use and provide satellite images of "Earth." Many people even question the famous Moon Landing.
However, there may be good reason to question these services' reliability and honesty. According to the website, Real Climate Science, NASA's climate data is completely false. Projections of the land and ocean temperatures on Earth during December of 2016 were proven to be fallible. The website claims that NASA went as far as to "make up the record temperatures." The website proceed to provide a real projection of the land and ocean temperatures during December of 2016 [1].

Day and night are caused by the Earth rotating on its axis such that the sun is no longer visible on one side of the Earth.
According to the Flat-Earth theory, it is not the Earth that is rotating or moving, but the Sun and Moon that are. It is believed that the Earth is in the center of the Universe. The Bible defends this belief, claiming that we are in the center of the Universe because we are the focal point of "God's work."

There has been a fair amount of evidence supporting Geocentrism. For example, researchers of the website, Evidence Press, explain that the Red Shift provides leverage to these claims because, as evidenced by the Red Shift, or electromagnetic energy of other planets, "the galaxies are bunched into groups and the groups are arranged into concentric circles around the Earth," [2].

Sources:
[1] https://realclimatescience.com...

[2] http://evidencepress.com...
QueenDaisy

Con

Since no new arguments are allowed in this round, I will focus entirely on rebuttal.

OP's claim that "The Bible firmly establishes the belief that the Earth is flat" is sketchy at best; most Bible scholars would agree that while aspects of the Bible can be quoted out of context and interpreted as implying the Earth is flat, there's pretty much a consensus that whoever wrote the Bible was not trying to convey this as literally true.
There's also the fact that this is a secular forum, and so any argument presented ought to be convincing to members of any or no religion- the vast majority of people will not be convinced by the claim that because the Bible asserts that the Earth is flat, the Earth therefore is flat, even if we make the rather large leap of faith to the premise that the Bible does so.

"To assume that the Bible is round, you must also assume that the Holy Bible and Christianity is false, and that the "Word of God" is fallible. "

I disagree with your premise, and even were I to grant you it, you've only argued that either the Bible must be untrue or the idea that the Earth is round must be; in order to convince us the Earth is flat, you would then have to convince us that the Bible is all true, and that you've not come close to doing so.

"In this experiment, the objective was to try and calculate the absolute speed of the Earth relative to the fixed ether."

The idea of an "ether" is outdated and has been refuted repeatedly, and is void as a scientific concept. The closest we can get is an inertial relativistic frame based on the centre of momentum of the sun, or something similar, and relative to that, the Earth has been shown to travel at a speed of approximately 465 metres per second. That experiment also neglects relativistic effects and the fact that the speed of light is ~3x10^8 m/s; way too fast for the equipment they had in 1887 to detect.

"If Earth really was a globe, rivers such as the Mississipi would have to flow uphill to each the sea - flowing uphill 11 miles in its 3,000-mile length,"

That is a nonsense claim. They'd have to flow uphill relative to a flat plane, but the assumption that therefore this can't happen already presupposes that the Earth is flat. As such, this argument is a classic circular reasoning fallacy.

"If Earth really is spinning, bullets fired upwards would land hundreds of feet Westwards. They don't,"

Clearly, the person OP is quoting has absolutely no idea what they're talking about. All motion is relative. Imagine you're on a train which is travelling horizontally at a constant velocity relative to the ground. If you throw a ball upwards while on this train, it rises, then slows, then accelerates downwards and lands in your hand again. The motion of the train has no effect on the trajectory of the ball relative to you, as you are also on the train. By analogy, the motion of the Earth has no effect on the trajectory of the bullet relative to you, as you are both on the Earth.
In short, that's just not how physics works.

"In the second mile the fall will be 32 inches; in the third mile, 72 inches, or 6 feet, as shown in this chart. Ergo; looking at the opposite beach over 23 miles away there should be a bulge of water over 350 feet tall blocking my view"

This is a nonsequitir fallacy- how does the Earth being *convex* suggest there should be a 350 foot tall bulge? The water is *dropping* as you go away from your own position, not rising. Assuming the maths Pro provided is correct (it is not), you would see a 350 foot *drop*, not bulge, and you do see the effect of a drop; hence the horizon exists; if no curvature were present, you would be able to see as far as your eyes would allow you until the atmosphere blocks your view; the horizon would be a continuous haze rather than a thick line. The thick line indicates that there is a 350 foot *drop* at that distance, not a rise. Incidentally, you can't see 23 miles away; the horizon is typically about 3 miles away (see source 1), and that is precisely because the dip caused by the Earth's curvature obscures everything else from your view beyond that point.

The "scientific evidence" provided by Pro is simply various different misunderstandings of physics and mathematics.

Now, on to refutation of Pro's refutation, as it were:

I'm glad we've clarified what is actually meant by a flat Earth. Has this been clearly defined from the beginning, I would have provided evidence that the Earth rotates on an axis, as this would contradict the flat-Earth model that Pro provided.

"A fair amount of people (such as Flat-Earth theorists) question the credibility of NASA and other services which use and provide satellite images of "Earth." Many people even question the famous Moon Landing. "

This is an Argumentum ad populum (or "bandwagon") fallacy (see source 2). A fair amount of people think that the Earth is 6,000 years old. "A fair amount of people" can be wrong.

"Many people even question the famous Moon Landing."

There is overwhelming evidence that the moon landing happened. You can even detect mirrors left on the moon by NASA by using lasers.

"Real climate science" is a conspiracy theorist website, and nothing more. They are hilariously unreliable as a source.

"For example, researchers of the website, Evidence Press, explain that the Red Shift provides leverage to these claims because, as evidenced by the Red Shift, or electromagnetic energy of other planets, "the galaxies are bunched into groups and the groups are arranged into concentric circles around the Earth,""

This shows a clear misunderstanding of redshift (see source 3). Redshift is an example of the doppler effect (see source 4), and the fact that redshift appears to be centred around the observer is always true, regardless of where one is; if we were on Mars, it would look as though redshift is centred around Mars. If we were in the Andromeda galaxy, it would look like redshift is centred around the Andromeda galaxy, and so on.

Refutation complete. The evidence is clear- to quote Neil DeGrasse Tyson: "The Earth isn't f**king flat" (See source 5).

Sources:
1: https://www.google.co.uk...;*
2: https://en.wikipedia.org...
3: https://en.wikipedia.org...
4: https://en.wikipedia.org...
5: https://www.youtube.com...
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by KostasT.1526 1 year ago
KostasT.1526
@CosmJarvis
R.I.P. Michelson and Morley experiment. Why does everyone have to completely misinterpret it in order to fit their hypotheses? Just study a little more about it.
Posted by Sensorfire 1 year ago
Sensorfire
I feel like I should get a notification when my vote is removed. Also, isn't 1000 characters a bit short to assess specific arguments in-depth?
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Sensorfire// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Con (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Neither debater stood out as particularly rude or particularly courteous, nor did either have specifically superior spelling and grammar. Ultimately, the more convincing arguments were made by Con. She used photographic evidence and mathematical proofs. Pro used Biblical proof and incorrect mathematics later refuted by Con. Additionally, Con used more reliable science websites, while Pro mainly used Flat-Earth resources that are generally considered less trustworthy.

[*Reason for removal*] Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter is required to specifically assess arguments made by both sides. That requires more than just pointing to the sources each side used to back up their claims " it must be clear how the substance of each side"s arguments was considered. Support may factor into that assessment, but it cannot be the sole means of assessment.
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Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
CosmoJarvis
Stop.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
CosmoJarvis
Yo fight me
Posted by Sensorfire 1 year ago
Sensorfire
Okay, pretty good so far, but you did make this amusing typo: "To assume that the Bible is round[...]" Whoops!
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
CosmoJarvis
Yo, I'm a pro debater. I got dis.
:^)
Posted by Sensorfire 1 year ago
Sensorfire
I imagine this will be hard for CosmoJarvis, seeing as all the real evidence points to the earth being round, and, unlike real flat-earthers, it will be harder to default to calling sources such as NASA fake.
No votes have been placed for this debate.