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Thread: At what point should we start worrying about the Flat Earth movement?

  1. #1
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    At what point should we start worrying about the Flat Earth movement?

    I mean I know Phil said he didn't care, but there has to come a moment when it becomes detrimental to the future societal development of humanity. So when is that point?
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    Well, what detrimental effects were you anticipating? If you can answer that question, you've answered your own question.

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  3. #3
    When there is a flat Earther in charge of NASA. I don't they will have much of a real impact but are a by product of the movement that brought about the anti-vaxxers and other anti science movements.
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    Arguing is what they want. Just laugh and change the subject and ignore them.
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  5. #5
    I think some of them are looking for attention, some I think really believe it.
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    Never. There is a more general problem of a poor understanding of science and a lack of rational thinking on many topics. Flat Earthers are a minor symptom of that, IMO.
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    I think it would be either if they became significant in number or like Backroad Astronomer suggests - an individual in a position in power where their views actually mattered to their job.

    It strikes me as an extreme fringe movement. I've been amused by some fairly notorious creationists with extremely anti-scientific views that made strong statements against flat earth stuff. It's just that ridiculous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Never. There is a more general problem of a poor understanding of science and a lack of rational thinking on many topics. Flat Earthers are a minor symptom of that, IMO.
    That was basically what Scott Kelly said when a young boy asked him what he thought about it after his lecture at the American Museum of Natural History earlier this month.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    I think some of them are looking for attention, some I think really believe it.
    Yes, I've mostly noticed flat earth comments on space-related Youtube videos (like "It's all fake, the Earth is flat") which I suspect are often people just trolling for attention. Then there seem to be people with religious views that will ignore any scientific contradiction, a few that seem to think they're the protagonist in something like The Truman Show, and some that seem to have never looked at the sky or left their rural community. I've only seen perhaps a couple of flat Earthers argue their case somewhere they could be seriously challenged. I've seen far more people argue various other pseudoscience/anti-science views than the Flats (for example, I've noticed a lot more Geocentrists, Young Earth Creationists, and Planet Xers).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Never. There is a more general problem of a poor understanding of science and a lack of rational thinking on many topics. Flat Earthers are a minor symptom of that, IMO.
    agreed, the growth of resistance to science is quite alarming. One small subset I notice is that science before the internet gets forgotten as if it never happened, and that's a trap even scientists fall into. It seems to me that flat Earthers just like arguing for the sake of it, which is not necessarily bad if it forces rehearsal of the evidence but very bad if it encourages the idea that science is a conspiracy of the educated elites.
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    I hung around a flat earth forum for a few hours, years ago, and one of the mods seemed to really believe in that stuff. He thought that air was blue and said that if you wanted proof 'look out the window', but on one thread some non-flatearthers made anti-maths statements, and he came out battling for maths and said that if they didn't believe in maths they were fools..
    quite sweet, I thought.
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    I think the vast majority of the ones claiming to believe in it don't want to prove the Earth is flat, they want to prove how clever they are and that they can win an argument. They generally win by being deliberately obtuse, cherry picking the evidence the like and blissfully ignoring the evidence they don't, alongside fabricating evidence completely.

    They are a symptom of a wider distrust of anyone who looks like they are in authority, and a big sulk at the fact that they have failed in life. The more serious problems come when you get people in charge of whole countries and relevant government departments who evidently don't understand the things of which they are in charge.

    Oh...erm...

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    yes I had a colleague who was a bore about those challenges. I remember one was that he claimed a thrown ball continued to accelerate for a short time after it leaves your fingers. When people fell for this and argued he would say "What is you personal evidence that it is not so?" etc. He just enjoyed arguing and putting people on the back foot.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    When the flat earthers take over, can we still treat it as round as a mathematical convenience when we want to do stuff like navigation, communications, and meteorology?

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    Flat Earthers? What's next, Earth is the center of the universe? Why not, go outside and it looks flat, look up and everything revolves around us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Flat Earthers? What's next, Earth is the center of the universe? Why not, go outside and it looks flat, look up and everything revolves around us.
    Oh, there certainly are a lot of people who think the Universe revolves around them...
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  17. #17
    This is pretty far down my list of things to worry about, and I expect it to remain there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Oh, there certainly are a lot of people who think the Universe revolves around them...
    It is interesting to see that the geocentrists consider the growing Flat Earth movement sufficient a concern that they brought out this year a 736 page tome to refute it.
    http://flatearthflatwrong.com/
    Last edited by wd40; 2018-Dec-09 at 09:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    It is interesting to see that the geocentrists consider the growing Flat Earth movement sufficient a concern that they brought out this year a 736 page tome to refute it.
    http://flatearthflatwrong.com/
    So one group of idiots is concerned about an even more stupid group of idiots.

    That isn't interesting, that's funny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    So one group of idiots is concerned about an even more stupid group of idiots.

    That isn't interesting, that's funny.
    The pot and the kettle...
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  21. #21
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    Yes, as I said earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I've been amused by some fairly notorious creationists with extremely anti-scientific views that made strong statements against flat earth stuff. It's just that ridiculous.
    Along with Sungenis, Answers in Genesis (folks that insist the Earth is only thousands of years old, dinosaurs lived at the same time as humans, and various other things wildly contradicted by scientific evidence and common sense) also have an article on reasons why they think flat earth is wrong. There are others as well. A common theme seems to be that they'll use scientific arguments when it suits them, and then make things up at other times to fit their interpretation of a certain book. But they don't like flat Earth because it doesn't fit *their* interpretation. The religious flat earthers have their own interpretation, of course.
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2018-Dec-10 at 08:55 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    So one group of idiots is concerned about an even more stupid group of idiots.

    That isn't interesting, that's funny.
    They compete for the same pool of people as viewers/adherents, so it really does make sense. Even within the flat earth movement there will sometimes be fights between personalities who are leading the movement, with one claiming the other is a "CIA plant/shill/stooge" set up to "make flat earth look bad." The Behind the Curve documentary featured this to some extent, and I've seen it break out between other flat earthers as well on YouTube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NGCHunter View Post
    They compete for the same pool of people as viewers/adherents, so it really does make sense. Even within the flat earth movement there will sometimes be fights between personalities who are leading the movement, with one claiming the other is a "CIA plant/shill/stooge" set up to "make flat earth look bad." The Behind the Curve documentary featured this to some extent, and I've seen it break out between other flat earthers as well on YouTube.
    Well, either way, its turtles all the way down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Oh, there certainly are a lot of people who think the Universe revolves around them...
    Ah, but do they have the tee shirt that proves it? I do!
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