Exploring the Flat Earth Paradox: Right or Wrong

As foreign as the concept may seem, those that believe in a flat Earth have a point of view that many confront as wrong. But is any of it right?

With our rapidly advancing technology and expanding knowledge of science, there is now overwhelming evidence for a spherical Earth. While a majority of the public accepts this as fact, there is a small population of people that believe the earth to be flat. To help facilitate future constructive debates surrounding this issue, we’ve gathered a few examples of supporting evidence for the Flat Earth Theory. Remember, we first have to listen before we speak, which we'll be exercising today. Let's jump in...

Gravity is not real

According to the Flat Earth Society, gravity actually “exists in a greatly diminished form” than what is currently accepted in the scientific community. The Flat Earth Society believes that gravity is a simple matter of the Earth accelerating at 9.8 meters squared upward, keeping us and the objects around us held down. They call this force dark energy or aetheric wind.

However, gravity is one of the oldest scientific concepts and is essential to nearly all principles of physics, biology, chemistry and astronomy. Gravity, as explained by modern science, is an attractive force based on an object’s mass. The more mass an object has, the gravity or pull it will have. Objects with more mass will pull other objects toward it. Additionally, the force of gravity is also dependent on the distance between the objects. This is why small rocks on Earth have gravity while enormous asteroids that are far from the Earth are floating through space unaffected by gravity. 

The theory of gravity has been accepted by the scientific community for hundreds of years. In 1797, a British scientist named Henry Cavendish was able to accurately test and measure the first coefficient of gravity. Check out the video below that eloquently explains how the Cavendish experiment supports the theory of gravity.

Antarctica is a giant ring of ice surrounding the Earth

Another central belief of flat Earth theorists is the idea that Antarctica does not exist as we know it. Instead, it is a large ice ring that surrounds the Earth, holding in our oceans and protecting us from falling off and into the unknown. These individuals are strongly convinced that no one has ever crossed the ice ring to the edge of the Earth and lived to tell the tale. 

The only problem with this is that we have. Many times. And continue to do so to this day. While it won’t make for a comfortable vacation, crossing Antarctica has already been attempted and achieved by many. In fact, an endurance athlete named Colin O'Brady was recently tracked as he crossed the entirety of the Antarctic continent unassisted. This astonishing feat further demonstrates the lack of an ice ring. In addition, there have been many assisted expeditions across Antarctica over the years using automobiles and GPS technology, each disproving the existence of a giant ice ring.

There is no observable curve

The Flat Earth Society also explains that the curvature of the Earth is not visible because it does not exist. According to these individuals, the curve we see on the horizon while traveling on a commercial airline is simply the distortion caused by the curved cabin windows. However, the curvature of the Earth has been repeatedly observed, photographed and documented by scientific communities all over the world. In fact, the curvature of the Earth is visible by the human eye at around 35,000 feet. However, in order to see this, you’ll need at least 60° of visibility and perfectly clear skies.

Also, Flat Earth supporters commonly cite the fact that boats will disappear on the horizon but still remain visible with a telescope, displaying the flat nature of our Earth. However, this idea is dependent on a significantly smaller Earth. The fact that we are able to still see the boat with a telescope is a testament to how short a distance the boat has traveled in relation to the entire Earth. To put things in perspective, it takes an average plane approximately 20 hours to fly around the Earth traveling at 500-600 mph. Let that boat sail toward the horizon for long enough and not even the most powerful telescope known to man will be able to spot it. 

Reality Knocks

As we gaze into the wilds of life, we have to admire all of its beauty. In saying all of this, the most important thing to keep in mind is understanding. Bullying others for differing beliefs is counterproductive, as it reinforces their thinking and inhibits any positive conversations from occurring. Instead, we should look to debate with these individuals in a logical manner that is both respectful and calm. In doing so, we can prevent our arguments from being tainted by insecurity and as a result, decreased validity. 

Keep in mind, there is a fine line between debating and educating. The former is predicated on an even playing field, where both sides have an equal chance at presenting their side of the argument in a logical and thoughtful way. Educating, on the other hand, assumes a superior, more informed stance, which can easily rub people the wrong way. Remember that in order to truly change someone’s mind, you need to first listen to their side and thought process. Active listening is half the work.

While this article only covered a few arguments used by Flat Earth theorists, the point remains the same: do not resort to insults and name-calling to debate these issues, as it only reflects negatively upon yourself. Instead, look to arm yourself with logic, reason and respect for the other side. Ignorance is a trait we all have until we become better informed and therefore, we should not treat ignorance with disrespect. As members and supporters of the scientific community, we should always aim to enlighten people in a way that is both constructive and respectful of their beliefs. 

By: Wellnys Editorial Team Updated:

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