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Is the Earth flat? Show more Show less

The shape of the Earth has been the subject of popular and scientific interest for millennia. Are theories about the Flat Earth correct, or does the Earth have curvature?

Yes, the Earth is flat Show more Show less

Flat Earth theories are correct about the shape of the Earth.
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The horizon always looks level and objects remain upon a flat surface

Even from high up in an aeroplane, the horizon looks level to the naked eye. Moreover, when looking out towards the horizon, the land appears flat. Objects also appear to be on a flat surface, meaning that the Earth is flat as well.
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Context

The Argument

The Earth is flat because when looking out on the horizon, everything appears flat. There is no curvature to the land at all. Instead, the Earth is "flat and round, like a pancake." [1] In the center is the Arctic, which is surrounded by landmasses, which in turn are surrounded by the Antarctic [1] Human senses tell us that the Earth is flat. When looking around your surroundings, all objects are flat. The horizon is a horizontal line. In the sky, the clouds, the sun, and the moon are all flat, and their movements are flat movements as well. [2] Therefore, the Earth is not spherical as we are led to believe. It's also possible to tell that the Earth is flat by simply walking around. No matter how far or how fast you walk or run, the Earth continues to not only look flat, but also feel flat. [3] This is proven by the Bedford Level Experiment, which proved that the surface of water is flat and therefore does not conform to the supposed curvature of the Earth. [4] As a result, the Earth must be flat.

Counter arguments

Any sphere appears flat when you zoom in close enough. People who use this line of reasoning to support their belief in a flat Earth simply do no understand magnitude and scale. At sea level, a 6 foot tall person will see at most, 0.024% of Earth's curvature. Any curve will appear flat if enough magnification is applied. At an airliner's cruising altitude, you will see at most, 1.0% of the curvature, but only from the cockpit. From a passenger window, you will see about 1/3 of that. The Earth is incredibly large when compared to smaller objects that a person is innately familiar with. Further, the curvature of the Earth can occasionally be seen when very high up. In fact, "on a clear day, the curvature of the Earth can be seen from an aeroplane window." Additionally, the horizon does NOT "always rise to eye level." Many people have performed simple experiments to prove in order to prove this line of reasoning. [5] [6] One method is to draw a circle on a piece of paper. Then cut out 1% piece of the circle, and notice how little curvature of the circle's perimeter you can see. This is why it is so difficult to notice Earth's curvature from the surface.

Framing

Premises

[P1] It looks flat, so it must be flat.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1} Earth is not flat. However, due to Earth's magnitude, the curvature of the Earth at sea level is so minuscule that it can't be registered by human eyes.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/may/27/is-the-earth-pancake-flat-among-the-flat-earthers-conspiracy-theories-fake-news
  2. https://u.osu.edu/vanzandt/2019/03/10/flat-earth-theory-3/
  3. https://www.livescience.com/24310-flat-earth-belief.html
  4. http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php/topic,1324.msg1312141.html#msg1312141
  5. https://youtu.be/54FiuS9ZplM
  6. https://youtu.be/_LTGKDEuDVs

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This page was last edited on Monday, 29 Jun 2020 at 08:13 UTC