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Discussion of the Earth

Is the Earth Round or Flat?

  • Round

  • Flat


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JayF

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Jay, I didn't bother reading your response past the first sentence because I don't have time to waste on jerks who twist the words I said into something I didn't say. in their own mind, and then turn hypocritical and do not consider that they could be wrong themselves. Which you are. For a flat-earther you're a noob; I've spent an entire night discussing the possibilities with someone with a far keener mind than yours.

BTW since I wrote that reply I spent one day so sick I thought I was done for, another 2 days wishing I HAD died working to beat a deadline, then finding my laptop dying that evening before I could use it, and only today getting a donor laptop (hopefully) fixed after an hour of fiddling with it.

I see there's been a crap-ton of replies since then and I'll catch up when I can but this thread and you aren't worth much to me so that'll be awhile.
First off let me get something out of the way, I am not nor have I ever been a flat earther. but how do you spur conversation or debate if you always stay away from topics because well it "taboo" in the science world?

You can agree or disagree but the fact is there are a lot of people in this world who believe the world is flat. You can discount them if you want through name calling and being rude all you want but the fact remains.

Now I hate that you were sick, and I hope you are feeling better. And if you read this thread or do not read this thread, I am not going to loose any sleep over it.

Have a great and wonderfully blessed day.
 

thundersnow

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but how do you spur conversation or debate if you always stay away from topics because well it "taboo" in the science world?
I for one hope I never come across as rude or condescending (at least intentionally). But, describing this discussion as "taboo" in the science world is not exactly the right word. "Taboo" would maybe describe something that is controversial or debatable. This is neither controversial or debatable, except to those trying to take an outlandish position on it. It's just silly. I don't wish to intentionally be insulting. It's just hard to contain the shock at what people can convince themselves into believing.

The first time I became aware that there was actually a current movement to claim that the earth is flat, I was absolutely dumbfounded. Denying that the earth was anything other than a round, spherical shape is like denying that water is wet or denying that gravity is really a thing. It's not debatable.

Set an airplane's course due west, along the same degree of latitude, and you'll eventually come back to where you started. Is that not plainly obvious? Travel west across the US, and you'll leave land eventually and exit out over the waters of the Pacific. Keep going due west, and you'll eventually pass by the Hawaiian Islands. West of there, you're going to eventually get to the east coast of Asia. Keep traveling due west, and you'll get to the Middle East, and then Europe and the Mediterranean and the finally back out over the Atlantic. After you cross the Atlantic, guess were you come to next? Back to where we started in the US of A.

As far as the earth being flat, I would have to twist my thinking into all kinds of fantastic mental gymnastics to even begin to entertain such a notion. It just doesn't meet the common sense test.
 
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bjdeming

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There’s this bizarre cult-like online following that claims the earth is flat. Not sure what percent genuinely believe it or just entertaining themselves getting people stirred up about it.
Actually, this notion has legs -- not proof, mind you, but legs. I like to read G. K. Chesterton, and around a hundred years ago, he scoffingly reviewed a book claiming the Earth was flat; just out of curiosity, I looked it up on Amazon. It's still in print and apparently doing quite well.

So is Chesterton's work.

My opinion doesn't count, as I'm firmly in the "round" cheering section, but it's a good reminder that science is not 100% satisfying. We need a little more.

For many people, it's something a little fantastically broad but still roomy enough to explore. Hey -- who's to say what shape this negatively entropic Earth is on some dimension other than space-time?

For Tolkien, who was reportedly a practicing Christian, it was his mythos and his story that some of Eru's creation had rebelled (JRRT was a believer and so used allegory) and the flat path to Aman (Heaven) was bent into a circular path and only the oldest beings and others who had earned it, like Frodo and Sam Gamgee, found the straight path.

Chesterton, also a Christian, was much more reality based, although he insisted on calling Earth a star, though he knew darned well it wasn't one.

I like this part of that review ("star" comes in a little later here and in a few other essays):

...But for some mysterious reason this habit of realizing poetically the facts of science has ceased abruptly with scientific progress, and all the confounding portents preached by Galileo and Newton have fallen on deaf ears. They painted a picture of the universe compared with which the Apocalypse with its falling stars was a mere idyll. They declared that we are all careering through space, clinging to a cannon-ball, and the poets ignore the matter as if it were a remark about the weather. They say that an invisible force holds us in our own armchairs while the earth hurtles like a boomerang; and men still go back to dusty records to prove the mercy of God...
 
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thundersnow

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Actually, this notion has legs -- not proof, mind you, but legs. I like to read G. K. Chesterton, and around a hundred years ago, he scoffingly reviewed a book claiming the Earth was flat; just out of curiosity, I looked it up on Amazon. It's still in print and apparently doing quite well.

So is Chesterton's work.

My opinion doesn't count, as I'm firmly in the "round" cheering section, but it's a good reminder that science is not 100% satisfying. We need a little more.

For many people, it's something a little fantastically broad but still roomy enough to explore. Hey -- who's to say what shape this negatively entropic Earth is on some dimension other than space-time?

For Tolkien, who was reportedly a practicing Christian, it was his mythos and his story that some of Eru's creation had rebelled (JRRT was a believer and so used allegory) and the flat path to Aman (Heaven) was bent into a circular path and only the oldest beings and others who had earned it, like Frodo and Sam Gamgee, found the straight path.

Chesterton, also a Christian, was much more reality based, although he insisted on calling Earth a star, though he knew darned well it wasn't one.

I like this part of that review ("star" comes in a little later here and in a few other essays):
Now, this could potentially go in a more interesting direction. It's really a difference between physics and metaphysics... or maybe other dimensions. It's perhaps a philosophical discussion. I believe, as a statement of faith, in other realms... a spiritual or heavenly realm, if you will.

There was a book once written about a place called Flatland (not be be confused with "flat earth" btw). The idea was about this fictitious two-dimensional world that was faced with trying to contemplate the existence of a three-dimensional world or three-dimensional shapes. That's been used as an example of our ability or inability to contemplate higher dimensional worlds (or even God). Again, that gets to be a "meta-physical" discussion because we are bound by our known laws of physics, and you can't prove much from another realm with objective physical data from our realm alone.

The "flat earth" stance is a claim about our physical world though... and, it doesn't seem to get into these realms of existence, unless a proponent of it is really reaching hard to make the claim and they resort to that kind of discussion in some way. I suspect that happens, and admittedly, I haven't really gotten that deep into this stuff discussing it with anyone. The stuff I've seen just comes off as simplistic and quite frankly absurd... and not very compelling. ;)
 
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thundersnow

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I heard this quote from the new Indiana Jones movie trailer, “It’s not so much what you believe. It’s how hard you believe it.” That right there sums up post-modern thought. And, it explains so much that’s going on in society right now. Objective truth takes a back seat to whatever people contrive in their own heads.

Flat earth beliefs are a symptom of that, as are things like “identity” confusion, conspiracy theories, and every other thing you can think of on all ends of every spectrum.

Judges 21:25
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
 

JayF

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I heard this quote from the new Indiana Jones movie trailer, “It’s not so much what you believe. It’s how hard you believe it.” That right there sums up post-modern thought. And, it explains so much that’s going on in society right now. Objective truth takes a back seat to whatever people contrive in their own heads.

Flat earth beliefs are a symptom of that, as are things like “identity” confusion, conspiracy theories, and every other thing you can think of on all ends of every spectrum.

Judges 21:25
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
And that @thundersnow is the right answer.
 

TH2002

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Belief in flat earth is really no different than any other religion - silly ideas that are contradicted by science.
Not looking to get into some “atheism vs. religion” flame war here - but there is no scientific process that can conclusively prove or disprove the existence of God. I for one tend to align with James Spann’s belief that science and religion are compatible, at least to an extent.
 

maroonedinhsv

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Not looking to get into some “atheism vs. religion” flame war here - but there is no scientific process that can conclusively prove or disprove the existence of God. I for one tend to align with James Spann’s belief that science and religion are compatible, at least to an extent.
No, but the science of today does not allow for some of the miracles as dictated in the Bible. Faith has to convince you that the miracles were possible in spite of what we know scientifically.
 

TH2002

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No, but the science of today does not allow for some of the miracles as dictated in the Bible. Faith has to convince you that the miracles were possible in spite of what we know scientifically.
Fair enough. And dare I say it, but more the power to 'ya as far as your 'unafraid to be controversial' attitude goes ;)
 

thundersnow

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No, but the science of today does not allow for some of the miracles as dictated in the Bible. Faith has to convince you that the miracles were possible in spite of what we know scientifically.
That is precisely the point about miracles. These are things that occur which defy science. If they didn’t, then they would not be miracles. By definition, a “scientific explanation” for a “miracle” discredits (or tries to discredit) that it was truly a miracle.

Miracles, by the way, are a different category from a flat earth belief. Belief in a miracle says a supernatural event occurred without scientific explanation, an act of divine agency from beyond our physical world.

Flat earth, on the other hand, makes an alternative claim about the observable physical nature of the earth. Analogous to… “Don’t believe what they say about that basketball you’re dribbling on the court. It’s ain’t a ball. It’s a pancake. And, we’re going to create a society and a bunch of Youtube videos to prove it.” ;)
 
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maroonedinhsv

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That is precisely the point about miracles. These are things that occur which defy science. If they didn’t, then they would not be miracles. By definition, a “scientific explanation” for a “miracle” discredits (or tries to discredit) that it was truly a miracle.
That’s pretty much what I said (or attempted to say)
Miracles, by the way, are a different category from a flat earth belief. Belief in a miracle says a supernatural event occurred without scientific explanation, an act of divine agency from beyond our physical world. Flat earth makes a claim against what we know to be obviously and demonstrably true, an alternative description about the observable physical nature of the earth.
Some miracles make a claim against what we know to be obviously and demonstrably true, the chemical and physical characteristics of water.
 

Mike S

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Not looking to get into some “atheism vs. religion” flame war here - but there is no scientific process that can conclusively prove or disprove the existence of God. I for one tend to align with James Spann’s belief that science and religion are compatible, at least to an extent.
Ah! Good to see Spann following the teachings of St. Pope John Paul II!

“Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.”
 

thundersnow

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That’s pretty much what I said (or attempted to say)

Some miracles make a claim against what we know to be obviously and demonstrably true, the chemical and physical characteristics of water.
Not sure specifically what you have in mind with regard to the water example. But, I would say that a miracle does exactly that sort of thing... goes beyond the chemical and physical characteristics of something.

If one believes in a God who created water, then it's not a stretch to believe that God, at any point in time, can choose to extend what is physically possible with that water. And, that would be an example of a miracle.
 

maroonedinhsv

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Not sure specifically what you have in mind with regard to the water example. But, I would say that a miracle does exactly that sort of thing... goes beyond the chemical and physical characteristics of something.

If one believes in a God who created water, then it's not a stretch to believe that God, at any point in time, can choose to extend what is physically possible with that water. And, that would be an example of a miracle.
But if you don't believe in that God, then you wouldn't think that water could instantly transform yo wine, and you wouldn't think that the surface tension of water would allow a man with normal sized feet to walk on it. Much like if you don't believe in a flat earth, you wouldn't think that it could appear round and you wouldn't think that it could support a gravitational field (and insert all of the other reason why we know the earth isn't flat).
It sure sounds like a religion to me.
 

JayF

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I do not remember bring religion or Christianity into this discussion. This has gotten way off topic. If you would like to have a religious discussion we can create a thread or revive one that I believe has been around just have to go find it.

If you want to relate religion to flat earth then you would be sticking to the topic at hand. I do think that some people who are Christians or other religions have an inherent belief that the earth is flat. And from God's perspective who is to say it isn't. To many unknowns. I am glad this spurred conversation about those who believe the earth is flat and those who know that given the science behind what is observable that the earth is somewhat round and spins on an axis.

To add more science to it, I was looking at images of the sun yesterday and while I knew in my mind that it was a spinning ball of fire, I didn't really think about it until we started having this discussion. so if you need proof outside of earth that all of these things in the universe are globes, balls, spinning things, and not specifically flat, then all we have to do is see the observable.

So why with this information do people believe that earth is flat? Because there are theories out there that on the surface make sense, and given that we do not have the ability or capability to know everything that God knows, that there is a possibility that things are not as they appear.

But you know who does know? God knows and one day it will be revealed to us.
 

JayF

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But if you don't believe in that God, then you wouldn't think that water could instantly transform yo wine, and you wouldn't think that the surface tension of water would allow a man with normal sized feet to walk on it. Much like if you don't believe in a flat earth, you wouldn't think that it could appear round and you wouldn't think that it could support a gravitational field (and insert all of the other reason why we know the earth isn't flat).
It sure sounds like a religion to me.
Or it is just a way for people to get attention even though they really don't believe it.

Crud I just pointed the finger at myself.
 

thundersnow

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I do not remember bring religion or Christianity into this discussion.
Eh... you kinda did. You were actually the first one to go there, from what I can see.

There is a video out there on YouTube that actually makes a strong case for a flat earth. They use the bible to back up the reasoning behind their argument. Let me post it for you. Not saying I believe it but it does make you go HMMMMMM
(Interestingly enough, I cannot find the YouTube video that I watched on this)

And then to look at the opposite viewpoint from the bible


Dr. Danny R. Faulkner does a great job of explaining why the earth is round.

If anything is meant by this thread is to spark discussion not to bash anyone's ideas or theories.


Just sayin' ;)
 

thundersnow

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But if you don't believe in that God, then you wouldn't think that water could instantly transform yo wine, and you wouldn't think that the surface tension of water would allow a man with normal sized feet to walk on it. Much like if you don't believe in a flat earth, you wouldn't think that it could appear round and you wouldn't think that it could support a gravitational field (and insert all of the other reason why we know the earth isn't flat).
It sure sounds like a religion to me.
I understand the commonalities and parallels you make. But, I still say there is a fundamental difference, and that was my point. There is a difference between a miraculous event that occurs (which is only observable at the time it happens)... and, saying that some thing (the planet earth in this case) is something other than what it obviously appears to be. Flat earth is not a claim about a supernatural event. It's a "That basketball is not really a ball. It's a pancake!" kind of claim.
 
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