The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

The Earth is flat

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2015 Category: Places-Travel
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 969 times Debate No: 82109
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




I will contend for the resolution.
Con will contend against the resolution.

"the planet on which we live" [1]


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


"Flat-Earth Creationism

Flat-Earth creationism states that the Earth is flat, immobile and the center of the universe. It is covered by a solid, dome-like sky, most likely referring to the second day of creation, when "God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament ... And God called the firmament Heaven" (Genesis 1:7-1:8). The stars, sun and moon are embedded in this rigid dome." [1]

"The metaphor in the anecdote represents a popular notion of the theory that Earth is actually flat and is supported on the back of a World Turtle," [2] Wikipedia.

As you can clearly see the world is flat.


I'll just start with the arguments immediately.

Flat Earth Creationism

My opponent attempts to use the Biblical creation story to support his argument that the Earth is flat.

I will be arguing that science clearly demonstrates the Earth is a sphere and that this scientific explanation of Earth's shape trumps the Bible's implication of Earth's shape.

1. The Earth Is A Sphere

There are many, many scientific observations that both imply and prove the idea that the Earth is spherical in shape.

First, we can look at photographic evidence. [1] Many photographs of the Earth have been taken from satellites orbiting the planet. Regardless of which angle a photo is taken from, the Earth appears to be a circle. If the Earth were flat and circular, photographs of Earth from space would appear circular from only one angle. From others, it would appear to be an ellipse or simply a thin line, if taken from the side view. Clearly these photos would not be possible if the Earth were not spherical.

Next, we can notice that if the Earth were flat, there would be a distinct edge (where one might fall off.) However, Man has created maps of the world that do not indicate a 'falling off', or edge. There are very few unmapped places left, implying that an edge likely does not exist. [2] Additionally, all parts of the globbed have been seen from satellite imagery and an edge has not been found. Given the size the edge must necessarily be if it exists, the fact that we haven't found one implies its non-existence.

Additionally, we can look at the force of gravity and understand why planets are round. As a planet forms, it draws matter toward it. Additionally, the forming planet is rotating. This causes rough edges to be rounded out by new matter being drawn toward the planet. [3] A flat planet cannot form through any scientific means. Additionally, if one did somehow exist (maybe a god created it), it would quickly collapse into a round shape, again due to gravity and rotation.

We can observe that the earth often casts shadows on the moon. These shadows always take the form of an oval shape, no matter what specific orientation the Earth is currently at. This implies that the Earth is round. If it were flat, the shadows on the moon would take a radically different shape dependent upon the orientation of the Earth as it relates to the moon (and sun).

Another observation supporting the idea that the Earth is round was made long ago. People noticed that as ships left a port, they would appear to sink into the ocean as they got further and further away. This was due to the fact that the earth is round, causing the ship to slowly become hidden by the Earth itself. In a flat world, one would be able to get a telescope and watch a ship sail into the ocean infinitely. This is not the case.

Lastly, I'll point out that planes have circumnavigated the globe before. [4] What this means is that they have started at point A, travelled along the circumference of the Earth, and ended up back at point A. This would not have been possible if the world were flat, as the plane would reach a point where the Earth suddenly ended. This did not happen, again showing the Earth to be round.

2. Science vs Bible

So it is quite clear that science shows the Earth to be round. Our next question should be: In this case, does science have more pull than the Bible? The answer is an obvious yes.

The veracity of the Bible is meant to be taken on faith, but said faith is no longer a valid reason for believing something whenever physical observations point to a contrary answer. The topic being discussed here today does not relate to some abstract, unproveable idea (like God), but rather a very physical object that exists. It makes sense, therefore, that we would prefer physical evidence in determining the nature of this physical object.

Additionally, a large portion of the Bible was told in parable, or metaphor. This makes sense, as there are many abstract concepts in the Bible that cannot be explicitly explained. Instead, parables attempt to describe the nature of said abstract ideas. It's quite possible that the Creation story is one such parable, since the majority of it conflicts with known scientific facts. It's likely (if God is real and the Bible is His Word) that Genesis was meant to demonstrate the thought processes God had in creating the circumstances that made the world possible.

One must remember that 2,500 years ago (around the time Genesis was written), Man did not have a deep understanding of science. If the Bible said: "In the beginning, God crafted a Big Bang in such a way that humans would exist 14 billion years later..." and went on to describe the physical proceses he designed to make this happen, Man at that time would be so utterly confused that he would miss the important bits, like why God created the Earth/Man and how he intended the Earth to be. A parable of creation is a much easier way to get his point across.


Scientific evidence clearly shows that the Earth is not flat, but instead round. Furthermore, a literal Biblical explanation does not trump said scientific evidence in terms of reasons for rational belief.


(1) -

(2) -

(3) -

(4) -

Debate Round No. 2


Despite scienfic evidence the Earth could still be flat.

"Perception filters had the effect of directing attention away from the object or its bearer, rendering them unnoticeable." [1]

As seen with optical illusions our sense could be fooling us. [2]

I contend that the Earth is flat.


I'd like to thank my opponent for his quick response. Again, I'll move immediately into the arguments made by the opponent.

Perception Filters

My opponent attempts to use a concept from Dr. Who as evidence that the Earth is flat. The obvious is with using evidence from a fictitious show aside, this in no way indicates that there is a "perception filter" in place that is making us unaware of the Earth's natural shape. In the link provided, a part of the perception filter is that people cannot see something because they ultimately do not wish to see it. This clearly isn't the case with the shape of the Earth, as many people throughout history have desired very badly to know the form of the Earth.

Beyond that, there is no evidence that "perception filters" exist in reality. The only thing similar to this would be optical illusions, which is my opponent's next point.

Optical Illusions

Ape claims that optical illusions have the ability to trick our senses. He goes on to say that our senses could be fooling us into believing the Earth is round. While it is true that our senses are very much fallible, the claim that the roundness of the Earth "could be an optical illusion" is not a claim that should be entertained without evidence.

I'd like to remind the audience that Pro is making a statement that very much goes against current academic thought, meaning his contention must have a great deal of evidence to support it in order for us to take it seriously. This need for evidence is often referred to as the Burden of Proof, a burden the opponent does not meet.

For him to effectively contend that we are under the influence of an optical illusion, he would need to offer some evidence of this. Alas, he has not given us anything except a picture of two cubes. This is not adequate.


The opponent made direct argument as to why the Earth is flat, namely the Biblical argument. I have demonstrated that science has revealed the Earth is round and I have given multiple ways in which science has done this. I even went so far as to explain why, in this case, scientific evidence trumps Biblical claims, in terms of which should be believed as true.

The opponent has said that we cannot be sure that the Earth is round, since our senses are imperfect. While this is true, this must also mean we cannot know if the Earth is flat, defeating his entire claim. Instead, we assume our senses to be mostly accurate and come to the most reasonable conclusion -- that being that the Earth is indeed spherical and not flat, as the opponent claims.

Vote Con and thanks for reading.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by fire_wings 2 years ago
RFD I will give Con this debate by 6 points

Conduct= Con

Spelling/ Grammar= Tied

Arguments= Con

Sources= Con

I think that Con wins in arguments.

Round 2

Pro copy-pasted his argument. There is 3 reasons why this is bad. First he plagiarized which is a loss of an conduct point. Second of all, this is a metaphor. Third of all he copy-paste Wikipedia. This is not a reliable source. That means the argument is not reliable. This means that Con gets the source point.

Now I will go in Con's case.

Con rebuts that, it is really true and a biblical created story. His first argument was about the Earth is a sphere which is a good argument. It completely rejects the resolution. He gave support and evidence of why the earth is round. His second argument is about Science or the Bible. The bible is mostly fake. It is not true. That means that earth is round because that science is correct and the bible is wrong. Con gets and argument point because of this.

3rd round.

Pro copy-pastes. Also he has no arguments. Just a statement. He totally did not rebut Con's case. Con has dropped arguments.

As from Con, has rebutted all of Pro's two points, making the arguments of the opponent defeated.

This shows that Con must win this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: Effffort// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Conduct, Sources), 4 points to Con (S&G, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: logic

[*Reason for removal*] Voter does not explain any of their point allocations.
Posted by MagicAintReal 2 years ago
Conduct and S&G tied.
Sources to Con, because Con's sources were reliable and substantiated his claims, while one of Pro's sources refuted his own claim.

Pro tries to demonstrate that the earth is flat by saying:
1. the bible says so "god made firmament, separated sky + land water"
2. the earth is flat on the back of a turtle
3. observations of a spherical earth are optical illusions

Con refutes with:
1. the bible takes faith, and physical observations trump faith, the bible is highly metaphorical, and observations require no parables/metaphors...Con mentions parables are for abstract ideas, and the earth is not abstract.
2. Con drops the turtle argument, but addressing it is not necessary, because by Con addressing the flat-earth's incongruity with observation negates a turtle's back, and Pro simply asserted the turtle claim, and the source Pro used to prove the turtle claim, rejects the turtle claim outright...Con didn't need to address it, Con's other arguments refute it and Pro refuted himself with his own source.
3. Con points out that the optical illusion claim is not supported by evidence, "except a picture of two cubes" and this is not adequate evidence...Con's winning this point, and Pro never refutes it.

Given that all of Pro's claims are refuted successfully by Con, none of Con's counter claims are ever addressed by Pro, and Con's claims appear legit, and Pro's own source negated Pro's proof of an atlas turtle, arguments to Con.
Posted by Antonio8877 2 years ago
The flat earth theory is still being taken seriously?
Posted by Peepette 2 years ago
Pro immediately contradicts his argument by admitting his source is metaphoric and anecdotal in round 1. Pro also provides a reference on perception filters as it pertains to sci fi fiction television which has no bearing in fact to rebut Con. Con provided solid rebuttal and reputable references to Pros claims
Posted by BenediktAron 2 years ago
This gon be good
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MagicAintReal 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments