Definite Proof The Earth is Round.
Are Flat Earthers Hoaxters?
The big debate: Is the shape of the Earth very
close to a sphere, is it as flat as a pancake?
A live feed of the Earth's surface from the International Space Station (ISS):
Amazing Space post the live video signal from a NASA HDEV High Definition Earth Viewing Cameras aboard the International Space Station.
The curvature of the Earth is clearly visible as the Earth rotates below the camera. The Earth is clearly spherical in shape. However, most believers in a flat Earth probably assume that the video is an artificial creation by NASA:
"As the Space Station passes into a period of night every 45 mins video is unavailable - during this time, and other breaks in transmission, recorded footage is shown.
When back in daylight the live stream of earth will recommence."
The European Space Agency (ESA) provides a live map showing the path and current position of the International Space Station at: http://www.esa.int/. Also shown is part of the previous and next paths of the ISS about 90 minutes ago and 90 minutes in the future. A snapshot taken on 2016-DEC-03 at about 22 hours UT (5 PM ET) is shown below. At that time, the space station was just south of the western end of Australia as shown by the green circle and space station symbol:
Attribution: from Google Maps.
Are the Flat Earth followers sincere or perpetrating a hoax?:
The many "proofs" that the Earth is not flat as listed in this section are all easy to understand and are readily available on the Internet. Most people can understand them, and could replicate the proofs if they wished. In spite of this, many very lengthy You Tube videos and large web sites are available on the Internet that still promote Flat Earth.
Webmasters of flat earth web sites seem sincere. But the more that I study their thought processes it becomes increasingly obvious to me that their efforts may actually be a hoax. That is, they secretly realize that the Earth is spherical in shape, but they enjoy pulling our legs. They feed into many people's love for mysterious conspiracy theories.
Some indicator of the Flat Earth movement being a hoax are:
The editor of the Cosmic Convergence Research Group suggest that the whole Flat Earth movement is a CIA program, saying:
"There is no greater example on the Internet today of inciting people of every ilk toward ”throwing the baby out with the bath water” than the utterly ludicrous phenomenon known as the Flat Earth Theory. What is truly shocking is the number of really smart and aware, well-intentioned and spiritually oriented individuals who are supporting this transparent pseudo-scientific sham. Truly, the CIA has outdone itself with this mind-scrambling endeavor." 3
Michael Wilmore, the vice president of the Flat Earth Society is quoted as saying:
"The question of belief and sincerity is one that comes up a lot. If I had to guess, I would probably say that at least some of our members see the Flat Earth Society and Flat Earth Theory as a kind of epistemological exercise, whether as a critique of the scientific method or as a kind of ‘solipsism for beginners.’ There are also probably some who thought the certificate would be kind of funny to have on their wall. That being said, I know many members personally, and I am fully convinced of their belief." 3
Karen Douglas, a psychologist at the University of Kent in the UK specializes in the study of of conspiracy theories. She commented:
"It seems to me that these people do generally believe that the Earth is flat. I’m not seeing anything that sounds as if they’re just putting that idea out there for any other reason."
Eric Oliver and Tom Wood are political scientists at the University of Chicago. They have determined that about half of American adults support at least one conspiracy theory. Examples cited were the belief that the 9/11 terrorist attack was actually planned and executed by the U.S. government, and that President Kennedy was assassinated by a group of conspirators. Oliver has said:
"Many people are willing to believe many ideas that are directly in contradiction to a dominant cultural narrative."
He suggests that belief in conspiracies originate from magical thinking, when individuals believe that there are unseen forces at work. 4"
My best estimate is that a large minority of those in the Flat Earth movement sincerely believe that the Earth is truly flat, whereas the rest are really enjoying committing a hoax on the public.
Proof 21 of a spherical Earth:
Discovery Channel performed two experiments on a TV program called "Flat Earth CRUSHED by Discovery Channel." The first involved a horizontal laser beam directed across a lake. The team used a laser at the shore, about 30 inches (75 cm) above lake level . A small boat, located in the lake close to the shore intercepted the laser beam part way up the side of the boat, at about the same height above the surface of the water as the laser was set up on the shore. The boat then moved three miles away from the laser. If the Earth is flat, then the lake would be level, and the beam would illuminate the same spot on side of the boat. Instead, the beam was found about six feet above the deck of the boat. The surface of the lake was clearly not flat, but follows the curvature of the Earth.
The second experiment replaced the laser at the shore of the lake with a telescope. A helicopter flew six miles away to the other shore and landed. If the Earth is flat, then the lake would also be flat, and the telescope would be able to see the landed helicopter. But it went out of sight as it descended towards the ground. The helicopter later rose vertically and became visible at the telescope on the other shore when it had reached an elevation of about 24 feet above the far shore.
One of the participants in the experiment was a man who had started the experiment believing that the Earth was flat. He was forced to have his belief adjusted by the evidence as a result of the experiments.
One of the neat features of this experiment is that a single person or a small group could replicate the experiment at a low cost per person. Simply performing one of the two parts of the experiment using a readily available telescope would be sufficient to prove a spherical Earth.
Resources on You Tube for additional proofs that the Earth is not flat:
You can go to http://www.youtube.com and search for: earth sphere proof. As of 2017-FEB-15, the first 11 videos listed give many proofs that the earth is not flat. One has over 1.8 million views.
Note to any believers in a flat earth who read this section:
If you have any arguments that would disprove any of proofs of a spherical earth listed in this section, please email them to us. You can use the "Contact Us" icon at the bottom of this essay. We would like to clear up any ambiguities and refine the proofs to make them more convincing. Alternately, if you know of any solid proofs of a flat earth -- other than suggesting massive conspiracy theories, please pass them along to us as well.
As of 2017-FEB-15, this essay has been online for almost six months. Although we typically receive one mission visitors a month to our web site, we have not received any emails from flat earth believers.
RELATED FEATURE ESSAYS on Cosmology, the study of the origin & structure of the universe:
Part 1: Overview about cosmological beliefs. The Ancient Pagan view originating in Sumer.
Part 2: The revised Pagan view, as generally accepted within early Christianity.
Part 3: Greek Pagan cosmology (Continued). Modern view of the solar system. Church taught an Earth-centered system. The big hoax: that the church taught a flat Earth during the Middle Ages.
Part 4: A modern-day return to the belief that the Earth is flat, and that there is a massive, false conspiracy teaching that the Earth is similar to a sphere
Part 5: Three more proofs that the Earth is more or less spherical and not flat.
Part 6: Five more proofs that the Earth is more or less spherical and not flat
Part 7: Arguments about the Earth's shape. A weak proof of a spherical Earth. More Old Testament passages about the Earth's shape.
Part 8: Passages from the New Testament about the Earth's shape. Additional proofs that the Earth is not flat.
Part 9: Proofs 15 to 21 that the Earth is not flat.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.