Flat Earth F.A.Q.

One of heliocentrist’s favorite “proofs” of their ball-Earth theory is the ability for ships and planes to circumnavigate, to sail or fly at right angles to the North Pole and eventually return to their original location.  Since the North Pole and Antarctica are covered in ice and guarded “no-fly” zones, however, no ships or planes have ever been known to circumnavigate the Earth in North/South directions, only East/West; And herein lies the rub, East or West-bound circumnavigation can just as easily be performed on a flat plane as it can a globular sphere.  Just as a compass can place its center-point on a flat piece of paper and trace a circle either way around the “pole,” so can a ship or plane circumnavigate a flat-Earth.  The only kind of circumnavigation which could not happen on a flat-Earth is North/South-bound, which is likely the very reason for the heavily-enforced flight restrictions.  Flight restrictions originating from none other than the United Nations, the same United Nations which haughtily uses a flat-Earth map as its official logo and flag!

Circular sailing no more proves the world to be a globe than an equilateral triangle. The sailing round the world would, of course, take very much longer, but, in principle, it is exactly the same as that of the yachtsman circumnavigating the Isle of Wight. Let me give a simple illustration. A boy wants to sail his iron toy boat by a magnet, so he gets a basin, in the middle of which he places a soap-dish, or anything else which he may think suitable to represent the Earth, and then fills the basin with water to display the sea. He puts in his boat and draws it by the magnet round his little world. But the boat never passes over the rim to sail under the basin, as if that were globular, instead of being simply circular. So is it in this world of ours; from the extreme South we can sail from East to West or from West to East around it, but we cannot sail from North to South or from South to North, for we cannot break through intervening lands, nor pass the impenetrable ramparts of ice and rocks which enclose the great Southern Circumference.”  -David Wardlaw Scott, “Terra Firma” (68)

A very good illustration of the circum-navigation of a plane will be seen by taking a round table, and fixing a pin in the centre to represent the magnetic pole. To this central pin attach a string drawn out to any distance towards the edge of the table. This string may represent the meridian of Greenwich, extending due north and south. If now a pencil or other object is placed across, or at right angles to the string, at any distance between the centre and the circumference of the table, it will represent a vessel standing due east and west. Now move the pencil and the string together in either direction, and it will be seen that by keeping the vessel (or pencil), square to the string it must of necessity describe a circle round the magnetic centre and return to the starting point in the opposite direction to that in which it first sailed.”  -Dr. Samuel Rowbotham, “Zetetic Astronomy, Earth Not a Globe!” (226)

The ball-Earther’s logical argument is that only a globe can be circumnavigated, the Earth has been circumnavigated, and therefore the Earth is a globe.  This is indeed a logical modus ponens statement, but the conclusion is rendered invalid because the first premise – that only a globe can be circumnavigated – is categorically false.  Another similarly logical but unsound argument ball-Earther’s make is that only on a globe would one gain or lose time when sailing/flying East or West, time is gained or lost when sailing/flying East or West, and therefore the Earth is a globe.  Again, the logical conclusion is rendered invalid and the argument unsound because the first premise is incorrect.  The same effect would be experienced on a stationary flat-Earth as it would on a spinning ball-Earth.

The gaining and losing of time on sailing ‘round the world’ east and west, is generally referred to as another proof of the earth’s rotundity. But it is equally as fallacious as the argument drawn from circumnavigation, and from the same cause, namely, the assumption that on a globe only will such a result occur. It will be seen by reference to the following diagram, that such an effect must arise equally upon a plane as upon a globe.  Let V, represent a vessel on the meridian of Greenwich V, N; and ready to start on a voyage eastward; and S, represent the sun moving in an opposite direction, or westward. It is evident that the vessel and the sun being on the same meridian on a given day, if the ship should be stationary the sun would go round in the direction of the arrows, and would meet it again in 24 hours. But if, during the next 24 hours, the ship has sailed to the position X, say 45 degrees of longitude eastward, the sun in its course would meet it three hours earlier than before, or in 21 hours–because 15 degrees of longitude correspond to one hour of time. Hence three hours would be gained. The next day, while the sun is going its round the vessel will have arrived at Y, meeting it 6 hours sooner than it would have done had it remained at V, and, in the same way, continuing its course eastward, the vessel would at length meet the sun at Z, twelve hours earlier than if it had remained at V; and thus passing successively over the arcs 1, 2, and 3, to V, or the starting point, 24 hours, or one day will have been gained. But the contrary follows if the ship sails in the opposite direction. The sun having to come round to the meridian of Greenwich V, S, N, in 24 hours, and the ship having in that time moved on to the position fig. 3, will have to overtake the ship at that position, and thus be three hours longer in reaching it. In this way the sun is more and more behind the meridian time of the ship as it proceeds day after day upon its westerly course, so that on completing the circum-navigation the ship’s time is one day later than the solar time, reckoning to and from the meridian of Greenwich.”  -Dr. Samuel Rowbotham, “Zetetic Astronomy, Earth Not a Globe!” (229-230)

The Sun, as he travels round over the surface of the Earth, brings ‘noon’ to all places on the successive meridians which he crosses: his journey being made in a westerly direction, places east of the Sun’s position have had their noon, whilst places to the west of the Sun’s position have still to get it. Therefore, if we travel easterly, we arrive at those parts of the Earth where ‘time’ is more advanced, the watch in our pocket has to be ‘put on’ or we may be said to ‘gain time.’ If, on the other hand, we travel westerly, we arrive at places where it is still ‘morning,’ the watch has to be ‘put back,’ and it may be said that we ‘lose time.’ But, if we travel easterly so as to cross the 180th meridian, there is a loss, there, of a day, which will neutralize the gain of a whole circumnavigation; and, if we travel westerly, and cross the same meridian, we experience the gain of a day, which will compensate for the loss during a complete circumnavigation in that direction. The fact of losing or gaining time in sailing round the world, then, instead of being evidence of the Earth’s ‘rotundity,’ as it is imagined to be, is, in its practical exemplification, an everlasting proof that the Earth is not a globe.”  -William Carpenter, “100 Proofs the Earth is Not a Globe” (100)

Another favorite “proof” of ball-Earthers is the appearance from an observer on shore of ships’ hulls being obfuscated by the water and disappearing from view when sailing away towards the horizon.  Their claim is that ship’s hulls disappear before their mast-heads because the ship is beginning its declination around the convex curvature of the ball-Earth.  Once again, however, their hasty conclusion is drawn from a faulty premise, namely that only on a ball-Earth can this phenomenon occur.  The fact of the matter is that the Law of Perspective on plane surfaces dictates and necessitates the exact same occurrence.  For example a girl wearing a dress walking away towards the horizon will appear to sink into the Earth the farther away she walks.  Her feet will disappear from view first and the distance between the ground and the bottom of her dress will gradually diminish until after about half a mile it seems like her dress is touching the ground as she walks on invisible legs.  The same happens with cars speeding away, the axles gradually get lower and the wheels vanish until it appears as if the car is gliding along its body.  Such is the case on plane surfaces, the lowest parts of objects receding from a given point of observation necessarily disappear before the highest.

This law of Perspective meets us on every hand; and cannot be gainsaid. If, in a straight line, we look at a frozen lake from a certain distance, we shall observe people who appear to be skating on their knees, but, if we approach sufficiently near, we shall see them performing graceful motions on their feet. Farther, if we look through a straight tunnel, we shall notice that the roof and the roadway below converge to a point of light at the end. It is the same law which makes the hills sink, to the horizon, as the observer recedes, which explains how the ship’s hull disappears in the offing. I would also remark that when the sea is undisturbed by waves, the hull can be restored to sight by the aid of a good telescope long after it has disappeared from the naked eye, thus proving that the ship had not gone down behind the watery hill of a convex globe, but is still sailing on the level of a Plane sea.”  – David Wardlaw Scott, “Terra Firma” (75)

Not only is the disappearance of ship’s hulls explained by the Law of Perspective, it is proven undeniably true with the aid of a good telescope.  If you watch a ship sailing away into the horizon with the naked eye until its hull has completely disappeared from view under the supposed “curvature of the Earth,” then look through a telescope, you will notice the entire ship quickly zooms back into view, hull and all, proving that the disappearance was caused by the Law of Perspective, and not by a wall of curved water!

On any frozen lake or canal, notably on the ‘Bedford Canal,’ in the county of Cambridge, in winter and on a clear day, skaters may be observed several miles away, seeming to glide along upon limbs without feet–skates and boots quite invisible to the unaided eye, but distinctly visible through a good telescope. But even on the sea, when the water is very calm, if a vessel is observed until it is just ‘hull down,’ a powerful telescope turned upon it will restore the hull to sight. From which it must be concluded that the lower part of a receding ship disappears through the influence of perspective, and not from sinking behind the summit of a convex surface.”  -Dr. Samuel Rowbotham, “Zetetic Astronomy, Earth Not a Globe!” (216)

Ball-Earthers will often quip that “if the Earth were flat, then we could see all over it!” but this is of course ignorant and inaccurate.  If you stand on the beach, a plain or prairie, you will find the horizon extends about three to six miles around you depending on the weather and your eyesight.  The range of the human eye, our field of vision is from 110 to 1 degree, and the smallest angle under which an object can still be seen is 1/60 of 1 degree, so that when an object is 3000 times its own diameter away from an observer, it will cease to be visible.  So for example, the farthest distance at which one can see a 1 inch diameter penny, is 3000 inches, or 250 feet.  Therefore, if a ship’s hull is 10 feet above the water, it will disappear from the unaided eye at 3000 times 10 feet, or 6 miles.  This has nothing to do with the supposed “convexity” or “curvature” of the Earth and everything to do with the common Law of Perspective.

The horizon of an observer is distant or near according to the greatness or otherwise of his elevation above the surface of the supposed globe.  If he stands 24 feet above sea level, he is said to be in the center of a circle which bounds his vision, the radius of which in any direction, on a clear day, is six miles.  A local gentleman tells me that he has watched a boat-race in New Zealand, seeing the boats all the way out and home, the distance being 9 miles from where he was standing on the beach.  I have seen the hull of a steamer with the naked eye at an elevation of not more than 24 feet, at a distance of 12 miles, and in taking observations along the South African coast, have sometimes had an horizon of at least 20 miles at an elevation of 20 feet only.  The distance of the horizon, or vanishing point, where the sky appears to touch the earth and sea, is determined, largely by the weather, and when that is clear, by the power of our vision.  This is proved by the fact that the telescope will increase the distance of the horizon very greatly, and bring objects into view which are entirely beyond the range of vision of the unaided eye.  But, as no telescope can pierce a segment of water, the legitimate conclusion we are forced to arrive at, is that the surface of water is level, and that, therefore, the shape of the world cannot be globular, and on such a flat or level surface, the greater the elevation of the observer, the longer will his range of vision be, and thus the farther he can see.”  -Thomas Winship, “Zetetic Cosmogeny” (56)

On the shore near Waterloo, a few miles to the north of Liverpool, a good telescope was fixed, at an elevation of 6 feet above the water. It was directed to a large steamer, just leaving the River Mersey, and sailing out to Dublin. Gradually the mast-head of the receding vessel came nearer to the horizon, until, at length, after more than four hours had elapsed, it disappeared. The ordinary rate of sailing of the Dublin steamers was fully eight miles an hour; so that the vessel would be, at least, thirty-two miles distant when the mast-head came to the horizon. The 6 feet of elevation of the telescope would require three miles to be deducted for convexity, which would leave twenty-nine miles, the square of which, multiplied by 8 inches, gives 560 feet; deducting 80 feet for the height of the main-mast, and we find that, according to the doctrine of rotundity, the mast-head of the outward bound steamer should have been 480 feet below the horizon. Many other experiments of this kind have been made upon sea-going steamers, and always with results entirely incompatible with the theory that the earth is a globe.”  -Dr. Samuel Rowbotham, “Zetetic Astronomy, Earth Not a Globe!” (46)

In the mid 19th century a Frenchman named Léon Foucault became famous for swinging pendulums and claiming their consequent motions were proof of the Earth’s diurnal rotation.  Since then “Foucault Pendulums” have regularly been swinging at museums and exposition halls worldwide purporting to provide everlasting perpetual proof of the heliocentric spinning ball-Earth theory.  The truth is, however, unbeknownst to most of the duped public, that Foucault’s pendulum is a failed experiment which proves nothing but how easy it is for pseudo-science to deceive the malleable masses.

This pendulum, modern scientists tell us, affords a visible proof that we are living on a whirling globe, which, according to a ‘work on science’ now before me, is spinning upon its so-called axis at the rate of over 1,000 miles an hour at the equator; and, in addition to other motions, is rushing on an everlasting tour round the sun (the diameter of which is said to be 813,000 miles, and its weight 354,936 times greater than the earth from which it is said to be about 93,000,000 miles distant,) at the rate of over 1,000 miles per minute.  Now to prove that the earth really has these motions a pendulum is suspended at the show; the showman sets motion, and bids the gaping world of thoughtless men and women to ‘behold a proof’ that we are living on a whirling globe which is rushing away through space!”  -Lady Blount, “The Romance of Science” (7)

Astronomers have made experiments with pendulums which have been suspended from the interior of high buildings, and have exulted over the idea of being able to prove the rotation of the Earth on its ‘axis,’ by the varying direction taken by the pendulum over a prepared table underneath – asserting that the table moved round under the pendulum, instead of the pendulum shifting and oscillating in different directions over the table! But, since it has been found that, as often as not, the pendulum went round the wrong way for the ‘rotation’ theory, chagrin has taken the place of exultation, and we have a proof of the failure of astronomers in their efforts to substantiate their theory.”  -William Carpenter, “100 Proofs the Earth is Not a Globe” (73)

To begin with, Foucault’s pendulums do not uniformly swing in any one direction.  Sometimes they rotate clockwise and sometimes counter-clockwise, sometimes they fail to rotate and sometimes they rotate far too much.  Scientists who have repeated variations of the experiment have conceded time and again that “it was difficult to avoid giving the pendulum some slight lateral bias at starting.”  The behavior of the pendulum actually depends on 1) the initial force beginning its swing and, 2) the ball-and-socket joint used which most-readily facilitates circular motion over any other.  The supposed rotation of the Earth is completely inconsequential and irrelevant to the pendulum’s swing.  If the alleged constant rotation of the Earth affected pendulums in any way, then there should be no need to manually start pendulums in motion!  If the Earth’s diurnal rotation caused the 360 degree uniform diurnal rotation of pendulums, then there should not exist a stationary pendulum anywhere on Earth!

First, when a pendulum, constructed according to the plan of M. Foucault, is allowed to vibrate, its plane of vibration is often variable – not always.  The variation when it does occur, is not uniform – is not always the same in the same place; nor always the same either in its rate or velocity, or in its direction.  It cannot therefore be taken as evidence; for that which is inconstant cannot be used in favor of or against any given proposition.  It therefore is not evidence and proves nothing!  Secondly, if the plane of vibration is observed to change, where is the connection between such change and the supposed motion of the Earth?  What principle of reasoning guides the experimenter to the conclusion that it is the Earth which moves underneath the pendulum, and not the pendulum which moves over the Earth?  What logical right or necessity forces one conclusion in preference to the other?  Thirdly, why was not the peculiar arrangement of the point of suspension of the pendulum specially considered, in regard to its possible influence upon the plane of oscillation?  Was it not known, or was it overlooked, or was it, in the climax of theoretical revelry, ignored that a ‘ball-and-socket’ joint is one which facilitates circular motion more readily than any other?”  -Dr. Samuel Rowbotham, “Earth Not a Globe, 2nd Edition” (153)

We believe, with all due deference to the pendulum, and its proprietor, that it proves nothing but the craftiness of the inventor; and we can only describe the show and showman as deceptions.  A thing so childish as this ‘pendulum proof’ that it can only be described as one of the most simple and ridiculous attempts to gull the public that has ever been conceived. It has been said that the pendulum experiment proves the rotation of the earth, but this is quite impossible, for one pendulum turns one way; and sometimes, another pendulum turns in the opposite direction.  Now we ask does the earth rotate in opposite directions at different places at one and the same time?  We should like to know.  Perhaps the experimenters will kindly enlighten us on this point … If the earth had the terrible motions attributed to it, there would be some sensible effects of such motions.  But we neither feel the motion, see it, nor hear it.  And how people can stand watching the pendulum vibrate, and think that they are seeing a proof of the motions of the earth, almost passes comprehension.  They are, however, brought up to believe it, and it is thought to be ‘scientific’ to believe what the astronomers teach.”  -Lady Blount, “The Romance of Science” (8-10)

Also in the mid-19th century, another Frenchman named Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis performed several experiments showing the effect of kinetic energy on rotating systems, which have ever since become mythologized as proof of the heliocentric theory.  The “Coriolis Effect” is often said to cause sinks and toilet bowls in the Northern Hemisphere to drain spinning in one direction while in the Southern Hemisphere causing them to spin the opposite way, thus providing proof of the spinning ball-Earth.  Once again, however, just like Foucault’s Pendulums spinning either which way, sinks and toilets in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres do not consistently spin in any one direction!  Sinks and toilets in the very same household are often found to spin opposite directions, depending entirely upon the shape of the basin and the angle of the water’s entry, not the supposed rotation of the Earth.

While the premise makes sense – that the earth’s eastward spin would cause the water in a toilet bowl to spin as well – in reality, the force and speed at which the water enters and leaves the receptacle is much too great to be influenced by something as miniscule as a single, 360-degree turn over the span of a day.  When all is said and done, the Coriolis effect plays no larger role in toilet flushes than it does in the revolution of CDs in your stereo.  The things that really determine the direction in which water leaves your toilet or sink are the shape of the bowl and the angle at which the liquid initially enters that bowl.”  -Jennifer Horton, “Does the Rotation of the Earth Affect Toilets and Baseball Games?”  Science.HowStuffWorks.com

The Coriolis Effect is also said to affect bullet trajectories and weather patterns as well, supposedly causing most storms in the Northern Hemisphere to rotate counter-clockwise, and most storms in the Southern Hemisphere to rotate clockwise, to cause bullets from long range guns to tend towards the right of the target in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.  Again, however, the same problems remain.  Not every bullet and not every storm consistently displays the behavior and therefore cannot reasonably be used as proof of anything. What about the precision of the sight aperture, human error, and wind?  What about Michelson-Morley-Gale’s proven motion of the aether’s potential effect?  Why does the Coriolis Effect affect most storms but not all?  If some storms rotate clockwise in the North and counter-clockwise in the South, how do those storms escape the Coriolis force?  And if the entire Earth’s spin is uniform, why should the two hemispheres be affected any differently?  Coriolis’s Effect and Foucault’s Pendulum are both said to prove the Earth moves beneath our feet, but in reality only prove how easy it can be for wolves in sheep’s clothing to pull the wool over our eyes.

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