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Thread: What makes you more angry? The fact that belief in the Flat Earth is up...

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    or that belief in the idea of Galileo/Columbus discovering the world was round still hasn't gone away?
    Yeah - that should have been taught as "round-ish" from the get go.
    Depending on whom you ask, everything is relative.

  2. #32
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    maybe these two beliefs could be used to discuss the ideas of how theories, and hypothesis work, and the concept of proof.

    How the world being a spherical kind of object being a theory, which has gained more and more evidence, until it has become a bit hard to argue seriously against..how people collected evidence for it over thousands of years, and maybe talk about how one, if one was so inclined, to gather evidence for the hypothesis that the world was flat.
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  3. #33
    The below podcast has an interview with one of the "leaders" of the new flat Earth movement. Mostly no matter what you say he finds a dodge.
    http://ohnopodcast.com/
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotimer View Post
    The below podcast has an interview with one of the "leaders" of the new flat Earth movement. Mostly no matter what you say he finds a dodge.
    http://ohnopodcast.com/
    I suppose that could show that he is a genuine believer in a flat Earth. When you really believe something, you will usually find a way around contradictory arguments.
    Formerly Frog march.

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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    and maybe talk about how one, if one was so inclined, to gather evidence for the hypothesis that the world was flat.
    I thought I read somewhere that most of the "proofs" used by flat earthers were thought up by debaters who thought it would be fun to argue for a clearly wrong position as a rhetorical exercise, and then people who genuinely believed it and missed the nuance latched on to them. In which case, this would be part of how we got into this problem to begin with.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I thought I read somewhere that most of the "proofs" used by flat earthers were thought up by debaters who thought it would be fun to argue for a clearly wrong position as a rhetorical exercise, and then people who genuinely believed it and missed the nuance latched on to them. In which case, this would be part of how we got into this problem to begin with.
    yes, I remember the debating club at school used to like debating ridiculous things, which is why I only went once....why, when there are so many worthwhile things to debate, do they do this? I can sort of see that arguing a case that you don't believe may be a useful exercise...especially if someone wanted to be a lawyer.
    Formerly Frog march.

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    Yes, a skilled debater can frame an argument that is bad in subtle ways in rhetorical razzle dazzle that can be a lot of work to decipher and refute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    yes, I remember the debating club at school used to like debating ridiculous things, which is why I only went once....why, when there are so many worthwhile things to debate, do they do this? I can sort of see that arguing a case that you don't believe may be a useful exercise...especially if someone wanted to be a lawyer.
    Maybe because debating ridiculous things is politically neutral, so avoids that minefield?
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Columbus was a horrible person. Even 15th century Spain said he was horrible.
    I did some reading on the topic, a semester ago. One of the more amusing tidbits was it was felt that if Columbus was more competent, he would have been more horrible, so the Spanish crown took steps to stop that sort of thing. That isn't just a backhanded insult, they gave him the other side of the hand, too.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Maybe because debating ridiculous things is politically neutral, so avoids that minefield?
    I guess that might have been it.

    I was always up for controversial discussions when I was a kid, and I think I was quite interested in developing a more sophisticated world view...so I thought that debating how many invisible unicorns there were on a pin head was pretty pointless.....the trouble with debating useless things, is that it only develops a narrow skill set of thinking skills, I think maybe...like playing chess does; useful, but maybe dangerous as well.
    Formerly Frog march.

    Newscaster: ... But I've just had a report that a representative of Disaster Area met with the environmentalists this morning and had them all shot, so now nothing stands in the way of the concert going ahead this afternoon on this beautiful sunny day.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Perhaps the situation is rather muddled in the current curriculum, I'll bet a lot depends on the teachers you happen to get. Hopefully people are starting to get the iota of cultural awareness required to recognize that Columbus' "discovery" was very fortunate for one population and disastrously unfortunate for another. That's really just a historical fact that even children can be made aware of without destroying Thanksgiving or other cultural holidays. Except Columbus Day, of course.
    Ken G, Ferdinand Magellan's ships performed the first global circumnavigation and proved the earth was round without a shadow of a doubt.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Ken G, Ferdinand Magellan's ships performed the first global circumnavigation and proved the earth was round without a shadow of a doubt.
    yes but he could also have sailed around a circle on a disc, or an hemisphere sputnik 1 was pretty convincing but then I'm a sucker for science stories, I actually believe men walked on the moon and took pictures.
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  13. #43
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    I wonder if anyone in history, before space travel, ever claimed to have gone to the moon...maybe it is some kind of forgotten cultural meme.
    Formerly Frog march.

    Newscaster: ... But I've just had a report that a representative of Disaster Area met with the environmentalists this morning and had them all shot, so now nothing stands in the way of the concert going ahead this afternoon on this beautiful sunny day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Maybe because debating ridiculous things is politically neutral, so avoids that minefield?
    Nah. Ridiculous things are often political. It's all about developing skill to make oneself seem smarter than the opposition, and if a debater can do that with a ridiculous topic, it boosts their ego. That's my observation from a year in collegiate debate.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    I wonder if anyone in history, before space travel, ever claimed to have gone to the moon...maybe it is some kind of forgotten cultural meme.
    Edgar Allan Poe did, kind of: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_...ne_Hans_Pfaall

    (Well, he didn't claim he had, but he wrote a fake newspaper story saying that a European balloonist had.)
    Last edited by KaiYeves; 2017-Dec-11 at 12:37 AM.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    I wonder if anyone in history, before space travel, ever claimed to have gone to the moon...
    Almost certainly, considering how many insane people have existed across history.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Ken G, Ferdinand Magellan's ships performed the first global circumnavigation and proved the earth was round without a shadow of a doubt.
    Don't you know they did that all in a Hollywood studio?
    As above, so below

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    I suppose that could show that he is a genuine believer in a flat Earth. When you really believe something, you will usually find a way around contradictory arguments.
    The Flat Earth Society has been around for decades. One can construct a consistent set of physical laws based around a stationary, flat Earth, but I don't think any of the Flat Earthers bother; their logic seems to be "it looks flat from my vantage point, so it must be flat."

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  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I did some reading on the topic, a semester ago. One of the more amusing tidbits was it was felt that if Columbus was more competent, he would have been more horrible, so the Spanish crown took steps to stop that sort of thing. That isn't just a backhanded insult, they gave him the other side of the hand, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    I guess that might have been it.

    I was always up for controversial discussions when I was a kid, and I think I was quite interested in developing a more sophisticated world view...so I thought that debating how many invisible unicorns there were on a pin head was pretty pointless.....the trouble with debating useless things, is that it only develops a narrow skill set of thinking skills, I think maybe...like playing chess does; useful, but maybe dangerous as well.
    All,

    I pick these two posts as examples, but this is advice to all.

    This entire topic seems kind of questionable, but let's at least stick to the topic of the OP and drop the discussions of how nice or not Columbus was, the workings of debate clubs, and anything else off topic.

    Thanks,
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  20. #50
    This morning I was listening to an old friend on the radio answering astronomy questions. I couple of them sounded like flat earth questions.
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  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Almost certainly, considering how many insane people have existed across history.
    Cyrano claims to have made it, even explaining multiple methods. Of course, he was a notorious prevaricator....

    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudskipper View Post
    I wonder if anyone in history, before space travel, ever claimed to have gone to the moon...maybe it is some kind of forgotten cultural meme.
    Kepler came darn close with a novel he wrote. It used witchcraft to get to the moon, which caused his mother to be investigated for witchcraft. Obviously, that was not a claim of Kepler, as he was writing a work of fiction, but some people took it too far.
    Solfe

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Don't you know they did that all in a Hollywood studio?
    I'm surprised Joshua Slocum didn't go all Buzz Aldrin on the people he met in South Africa who said it was impossible for him to be sailing around the world because it was flat.

  24. #54
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    For the record, the Flat Earthers' answer to Magellan, going all the way back to Robowtham, is that compasses point towards the centre of the disc.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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  25. 2017-Dec-11, 11:28 PM
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  26. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    This isn't even close to an appropriate question for Q&A. I've moved it from Q&A to S&T, for the moment, though I wonder if CT might be a better location.

    I know we tell people that moving threads is not a big deal (it isn't), but I expect established members to give a little more thought to what is appropriate for Q&A.
    OK, I'll tell you all what I'll do....

    I'm moving this thread again; from S&T to OTB, and you all can talk about whatever you like.
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  27. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    Ken G, Ferdinand Magellan's ships performed the first global circumnavigation and proved the earth was round without a shadow of a doubt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Don't you know they did that all in a Hollywood studio?
    With Photoshop!

    I can't get to excited about Flat-Eartherism (Fleartherism?). It's very silly, has few true believers, and does little if any harm to society. It's anti-vaxxers who make my blood boil. They are literally killing children.
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  28. #57
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    It's interesting. I referenced paid NASA disinformation agents in a discussion in my film group yesterday (about how someone was claiming film critics are paid for the opinions they give), and several people assumed I was talking about Flat Earth, except the ones with whom I've already shared some of the stranger HB stories.
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  29. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    or that belief in the idea of Galileo/Columbus discovering the world was round still hasn't gone away?
    Okay, just going on this post, and not the others.

    Here is a situation where the cure would be worse than the problem.

    Digitalize all knowledge, then delete the wrong stuff.

    What could go awry with that solution?
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  30. #59
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    Oh yeah, culture would go away...
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  31. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I remain just as skeptical as ever about your idea that it must be so. I will offer some remarks for the benefit of newer members who may not have seen an earlier thread in which we debated this topic at length.

    First let us consider primitive land dwelling hunters or farmers who never traveled more than a few miles from their birthplaces. They could easily recognize and remember the periodic diurnal and annual motions of the Sun, Moon and stars without it ever occurring to them to contemplate a large-scale shape of the Earth as opposed to local hills and valleys. Traders going long distances north and south might notice the changes in the positions of certain stars in the respective parts of the sky, but they conceivably could misconstrue that as merely a result of getting closer to or farther from the stars in question. With all the other position cues they would have had they would have been able to navigate adequately without having to think about the large scale shape of the Earth's surface. Even ancient seafarers would have had a hard time seeing the visual cues that would indicate that the ocean surface was anything other than flat.
    They also came up with some very creative explanations as to why the Sun, Moon and stars moved the way they did, such as a series of spheres in which they were embedded around the flat and static Earth. Not only was the concept of a flat Earth widely held for a very long time, so was the belief of the Earth as the center of the universe.

    I think it took a lot of time and the development of systematic ways of abstract thinking before it became apparent that the Earth was a spheroid and that quite likely was not present 10,000 years ago when people were just moving from primitive hunter gather societies to more fixed agrarian societies where there were classes who had the time and resources to begin the kind of abstract examination of the natural world that has given us such insights such as the Earth being a spheroid not a flat plane.

    People who are almost entirely engaged in daily survival are probably not interested in even asking these kind of questions.
    "Back off man, I'm a Scientist!"- Peter Venkman, PhD in Psychology and Parapsychology

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