This is actually a really big problem for me as I find it physically discomforting to listen to lies being spoken unopposed.
Diplomacy provides for ample indirection: I'm so sorry to inform you so directly, I mean no offense, but what you're saying is completely unprovable, you have no facts at all that can demonstrate your position. I do appreciate your bravery for being willing to expose your ignorance on this topic so publicly, however.
Such encounters are a rate opportunity to gain first-hand insight on someone else's particular set of unbearable truths. Maybe start with "What whole-Earth map would you recommend?"
I feel like the earth being round is such a generally accepted fact that anyone still clinging to flat-eartherism is either a troll or quite close to the extreme of that spectrum and I don't think it's worth my time to deal with those people - and I get that, it's sort of a mean stance to take but... I don't know, there's enough stuff I have to do in life - I'd rather not devote the effort into trying to convince someone who might just be trolling for the hell of it.
I have a "flat earther" friend on Facebook. I didn't know that about him until after I'd already friended him, but he posts about it constantly. After an initial private message of "Are you for real?", I've made it a point to as mildly as possible point out the obvious logical fallacies in the things he posts. I don't expect I'll ever change his mind - it's possible, but you can't reason someone out of a position that they didn't reason themselves into. Instead, I'd just like to have him see inconsistencies in what others who believe what he believes say. Over time I'm hoping that will at the very least keep it from spreading.
I'm living proof that this isn't true. I was a Young Earth Creationist for nearly 30 years, despite having an engineering degree from one of the world's best universities. I no longer believe in anything supernatural. It took a very long time, but I was eventually reasoned out of a position I wasn't reasoned into.
When people incorporate ideology into their identity, challenging the ideology directly is often interpreted as a personal attack or something else not worth honestly engaging with. A far better approach is to examine the methods people use to reach conclusions. There's a conversation technique called Street Epistemology that does exactly that. IMHO, it's the most productive way to have these kind of conversions.
There's an (insane) explanation for absolutely everything.
This is the real reason governments do not want you to discover that the earth is flat. They are hiding Atlantis. The whole city is covered by a forcefield and we have not yet been able to penetrate it. It is apparently uninhabited, long since abandoned. Once we are able to get inside it we will be able to obtain Star Trek level technology. And by we I mean an Illuminati like group that controls all the governments of the world.
They want to keep all that technology for themselves. Q'Anon is actually a defector of that group and it will eventually help us find Atlantis so that we can all share its technology. etc. etc.
This stuff almost writes itself. You can never loose.
Is QAnon a Flat Earther? (serious question)
Come on, write some fanfiction. ;-)
The common explanation seems to be that GPS is in reality some ground-based system (think some kind of a modernized LORAN):
According to the first link, there also exists a minority opinion among Flat Earthers that satellites might exist: "being swept along by whatever “cosmological current” it is that moves the sun and moon around in the complicated spirals needed to precisely reproduce the effect that’s so simple if the Earth is round. They won’t be able to explain why those currents do what they do - or why they move some satellites in one way and some in another…but that rather weak argument seems to suffice for their own benefit.".
My favorite demonstration goes like this. Get into a plane. Sight down the spine of a magazine at the horizon then look at it. You'll see that it is tilted a few degrees. Do the same out the other window. It is tilted a few degrees the other way.
Can we work out by how much it should tilt? Why yes! If the Earth is a ball, then you, the horizon, and the center of the Earth make a right angle triangle with the right angle at the horizon, one leg being the distance from you to the horizon, the other being from the center of the Earth to the horizon, and the hypotenuse is the distance from the center of the Earth to the ground below plus your height. Furthermore if you draw the picture, the triangle from you to the horizon to a vertical line up from the horizon to horizontal back to you is a similar triangle to the first, so the angle that the horizon is below horizontal is the same as the angle at the center of the Earth of this triangle.
The distance from the center of the Earth to the ground is approximately 3950 miles. Your plane is usually 6 to 7 miles off the ground, let's say 7. By Pythagorus that puts the horizon at sqrt(3956^2 - 3950^2) which is roughly 235 miles away. Apply basic trigonometry, and it should be about 3.4 degrees below horizontal.
I've done this. You've seen that the calculation is easy. The measurement is easy. Running in circles to avoid this conclusion is a sign that you aren't interested in knowing the real answer.
If you look at the picture at
you see that what you call "fly around the earth" is simply flying some giant "circle" (perhaps not a perfect circle in the geometric sense, but you get the idea) in the Flat Earthers' model.
I feel like it'd be pretty trivial to charter a flight from Punta Arenas Chile to Melbourne Australia and blow the minds of some flat earthers... but, eh, willfully ignorant people are going to be willfully ignorant.
For parts of the Pacific there is no coverage, not because GPS doesn't work there, but because there are no ground stations to pick up the telemetry from the airplanes. Such flights take off, fly over the ocean, then "disappear" for a few hours, then reappear when they approach Australia.
Flat Earthers take this to be evidence of the cover-up.
As per my general ambivalence to disproving their ignorance though - at this point they might suspect... anything really, maybe they were secretly drugged during the flight to feel like it was really quick and their watches were adjusted or maybe the lizard people used their warp technology to teleport them part of the way. Honestly, willful ignorance gonna willfully ignorant - a conspiracy theorist that's in deep can always find a new excuse.
1. Argue logically that is... willfully ignorant people gonna willfully ignorant as mentioned in the comment above
Instead, I am convinced that all of us believe mostly for emotional reasons: the need to feel important, the need to be part of a group, the need to maintain some social order etc. For most people, who are not willing or capable to apply scientific thought, all of these needs trump every fact you may have. If you want to “convince” people, you need to address first the underlying issue, which is often difficult: loneliness, social isolation, feelings of inferiority etc.
One example I found particularly striking for the contrast between the common “rationality” assumption and actual working of beliefs, is this paper by Max Adams: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9893/2a75ad8e79585e95c58a26...
They don't exist. There are a handful of dipshits on YouTube pretending to be flat earthers for the views. Goofing off for patreon cash, because it's almost kind of funny. That's it.
No one ever bought the flat earth bullshit, except a tiny cross section of damaged goods schizophrenics. The rest was just the internet fueling a slow news day with prank calls.
I promise you there are less than 1,000 English speaking adults that ever professed an honest belief in such a theory and meant it. That's fewer than 10 per state in the U.S. Everyone else is rolling their eyes and cracking jokes.
I've personally met more than 10 in my state. They are uncommon, but much more common than you'd think.
Also you might be broadly correct but the tone you chose to take has dissuaded me from giving you my upvote.
A lot of it seems to be based on them misunderstanding refraction and the way light behaves over distances. Their main argument seems to be that if you take water and put flags or boats over it, you can continue to see it for long after the curvature of the earth makes it so you shouldn't be able to see it.
The reason for this is that light bends.
this wikipedia page has a really good rundown
For example: If you are, from a truly objective perspective, firmly stuck with the idea that the earth must be round, you would have it no other way... then surely seeing objects that should be hidden behind the curvature means light must bend around the curve?
Its like person 1 arguing you cant look though glass, person 2 showing him a glass window then 1 argues woah! The picture travels around the window! Then the 3rd person argues the theory of transparent glass has now been refuted because we know the picture bends around it.
What's ironic is the real conspiracy they're missing is the people who publish & promote these theories (YouTubers, Bloggers, etc) probably don't believe any of it themselves and are just trying to make a buck from the gullible.
Flat earthers aren’t spending their time writing equations to justify their views - they’re posting in Facebook groups, going to conventions, etc. People become flat earthers not because of their scientific beliefs, but because there is a flat earth movement to become a part of.
It’s about the social group first and foremost, feeling smarter than the establishment is an added bonus.
Intelligence is the most important trait for determining social rank in humans, especially for men. This means that a lot of people are very insecure about their perceived lack of intelligence. So being right when another "smart" group was wrong is a huge sense of validation for people and it helps boost their self-esteem.
Given that, I wouldn't be so sure that feeling smarter isn't the primary draw.
This was very well highlighted in "Behind the Curve" documentary (available on Netflix). One of the main figures of the flat-earth movement spoke quite openly that he lost his friends when he "found the truth", and doesn't want to go through that again.
I think you mean gregariousness?
> He learned that he could tell Facebook whom he did — and did not — want to reach. “We specified we didn’t want conspiracy theorists and lunar landing deniers and flat earthers,” he said.
Now those statements of theirs has been proven, and before Epstein has a chance to testify, he magically manages to commit suicide in a high-security prison.
And when you think about it, the whole Epstein story is ridiculous. It's completely fucking insane! Everything from the private island to the "suicide" reads like an alternate reality where everything is as stereotypically cliche evil as possible. But yet it exists. So clearly, the insanity of the conclusion of a theory is not grounds for ignoring it.
I am not saying conspiracists are right on everything, or even most things, but it seems to me that some of them have a knack for seeing problems from a different angle. Perhaps we shouldn't just flat-out ignore them before verifying said angle for ourselves.
- Intellectual property concerns
- Biodiversity concerns
- Glyphosate-tolerant modifications leading to higher pesticide usage
Blanket opposition to GMOs is silly, there's no real difference between selective breeding and scientific modification - but GMOs haven't yielded only positive results.
See https://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/blog/2018/06/unfairly... for some of that information. Also note that separate lines of research show that higher CO2 results in crops growing faster, but having fewer nutrients. And therefore GMOs are our best hope of having not just enough food, but food that compensates for CO2 increases.
That might be true, but Glyphosate is less toxic than the alternatives, so the overall effect is positive:
> On balance, herbicide-resistant GM crops are less damaging to the environment than conventional crops grown at industrial scale. A study by PG Economics, a consulting firm in Dorchester, UK, found that the introduction of herbicide-tolerant cotton saved 15.5 million kilograms of herbicide between 1996 and 2011, a 6.1% reduction from what would have been used on conventional cotton. And GM crop technology delivered an 8.9% improvement to the environmental impact quotient — a measure that considers factors such as pesticide toxicity to wildlife — says Graham Brookes, co-director of PG Economics and a co-author of the industry-funded study, which many scientists consider to be among the field’s most extensive and authoritative assessments of environmental impacts.
There is also the problem of pesticides that, previously, were only on the skins of fruits, and able to be washed off, now being produced by the plant and so laced throughout.
Incidentally, probably most of the glyphosate in our diet comes from seeds of plants killed with it -- e.g. oats, chickpeas -- and not resistant.
It's tragic that abuses of GM techniques generate opposition that interferes with adoption of carotene-producing ("yellow") rice.
The consensus regarding GMO safety is solid, but I find a lot of people are immune to it for some reason.
A great example of the damage that anti-GMO people cause is the opposition to Golden rice. Vitamin A deficiency kills an estimated 670,000 children every year under the age of 5 and cause an additional 500,000 cases of irreversible childhood blindness. Most of these areas have conventional Vitamin A fortification programs, but they obviously don't work. Golden rice is a strain of rice that was genetically modified to produce vitamin A (technically beta-carotene, which is humans convert to vitamin A). It's free to plant non-commercially. It was developed by universities and other publicly funded organizations. It's approved for human consumption by the FDA, as well as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Yet Greenpeace and others oppose it, claiming it will open the door to more widespread use of GMOs. They would rather have 500 thousand children die per year.
Neither have vaccines, in 1999 the rotavirus vaccine was withdrawn because of reports of intussusception.
However, on the whole, the safety and efficacy of vaccines and their life-saving nature has been shown in study after study and there is scientific consensus that the benefits outweigh the risks.
The same with GMO. Just like vaccines, there are risks and they will require regulation. However, study after study has shown that the benefits outweigh the risks, and there is scientific consensus on the issue. In addition, GMO opposition does actively harm people. An example is the opposition to Golden Rice which would significantly reduce Vitamin A deficiency worldwide.
>For biofortification alone GMO technology can deliver high folate rice (mothers’ dietary deficiency causes birth defects), high zinc and high iron rice (dietary deficiency impedes mental development). Similarly, GMO Golden Rice provides a source of vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is an immune deficiency syndrome, so children die of common infections. It is also the main cause of irreversible childhood blindness. Golden Rice has been accepted as safe for consumption by the Governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and USA, and registrations have been applied for in Philippines and Bangladesh. Yet, significantly due to rejection of science by activists, Golden Rice is not yet available to farmers and their communities as an additional intervention for vitamin A deficiency. And neither high folate rice, nor high iron rice, nor high zinc rice, nor Golden Rice could be developed without the use of GMO-technology.
Based on the above, it is logical to group anti-GMO opposition in with anti-vaxxers as people that reject science and endanger the health of humans.
> In 2013, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) asked the EU to allow the development of agricultural GM technologies to enable more sustainable agriculture, by employing fewer land, water and nutrient resources. EASAC also criticizes the EU's "timeconsuming and expensive regulatory framework" and said that the EU had fallen behind in the adoption of GM technologies.
> There is a scientific consensus that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, but that each GM food needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis before introduction.
A. That humans have added huge amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere?
B. that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?
To deny the former would be delusional. The latter has been known since the 19th century and can be easily tested empirically.
There is no debate.
Modeling climate change is very very difficult, and we've had many wrong predictions. Which is probably why so many people are skeptical.
But almost all of what you see when you look at a tree is made of water and CO2.
Why should facebook exist anymore?