Archive | August 2017

The ‘Best’ flat earth video EVAH!

So A good friend of mine likes conspiracy theories and fringe pseduoscience. As such once in a while he will post something that I just can’t keep my mouth shut about. This is one such post. He reposted this video: . IF you are so inclined go have a watch, I will warn you it is 30 minutes of mind numbing pseudoscience and unfounded assertions. What follows is my response to the video as I was watching it at lunch. Enjoy.

First off, anyone who opens with quotes from the matrix is trying to obfuscate observational methodological naturalism with solipsism.

Out of the gate this guy starts with having done a WHOLE 10 MONTHS of research, and is about to topple the whole of physics and astrophysics in a 30 minute youtube video… lets continue.

“Its not easy to go against popular opinion”. This isn’t opinion, it’s scientific Theory that purports with experimental observation. You know what people get when they overturn a hypothesis that has gained the status of Theory?? A Nobel Prize, the most coveted award in all of science.

“There is no evidence of the spinning ball” except the fact that we actually have people living in orbit that are watching and filming the ball turn. Except the fact of how gravity and solar system dynamics works.

Lets continue…

Okay, so “Before I even knew about flat earth I didn’t trust space programs”. This is fucking retarded, and a confirmation bias. He’s starting with the position of “everyone is lying to us” so of course his research is going to confirm his bias. Fallacys are not your friend.

“We have no real pictures of the earth”google

Really? Because I found almost 6 million in under one second. This guy wasted 9 moths, 29 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 58 seconds of his life.

“Flight paths make more sense on a flat map” has this guy ever taken a geometry and trig class?? Shortest distance on a flat plane? A straight line. Shortest path on a sphere? A curve. Moving on.

“Large bodies of water not curving into a ball” In low or zero gravity situations, this is EXACTLY what the modern model of physics predicts, and it is exactly what we observe. The reason water doesn’t form into balls at a large scale on the surface of a planet is that the gravitational forces the earth places on the fluid is FAR greater than the influence of the surrounding liquid. The reason fluids in zero gravity turn into a globe is that there is little to no outside gravitational force to overwhelm the gravitational pull of the molecules to one another. The pull of all the material around a central point of mass causes the fluid to ‘ball’ up. An example of this is the way we can observe gas clouds collapsing into spheres that become stars.

Keep in mind this is about 3 minutes into the video and he’s already been fallacious or completely incorrect about almost everything he has said. Not a good start for the Nobel application…

So, the ancients we correct about the flat earth because they were able to accomplish other great things. Again, this is a fallacy. Their ability to build a pyramid or stack heavy rocks says nothing AT ALL about their ideas of flat earth being correct. Not to mention, the ideas and observations that lead us to our current understanding STARTED with these ancient peoples noticing that observations didn’t match up to the explanations, and as we all learned in school, ‘If a hypothesis does not match observation, it is wrong’.

Also, what the FUCK exactly could ancient civilizations do that we cant today? Build a pyramid? Yeah, we did that. Move big rocks? Yeah, we do that all the time. Go to space and land on extraplanetary surfaces? Oh, wait… that’s ONLY us.

Education is what we’ve been told to think. Wrong again guy… Indoctrination is being told what to think with no supporting evidence. An education is what you would get if you bothered to enroll into ANY of the advanced science classes that you obviously have not attended.

This next part was so unfathomably idiotic that I almost just skipped it. But this is a HUGE method of ‘proof’ that hucksters and amateurs use to push their nonsense. The ‘Square box’ this troglodyte creates by completely amping the light feeds is whats called an ‘artifact’ in digital imaging technology. Because the CCD is square, you can create all sorts of angular effects with filters and light levels in post production. This is why post production digital edits have to be done by people who understand light, photography and physics, which these guys have already shown a horrible grasp of.

The next ‘testimonial’ from some noncoporeal voice that this guy brings in shows a complete lack of understanding of even the most basic parts of relativity. “we don’t feel ourselves moving”. Through space? You mean the EXACT SAME WAY you don’t feel yourself traveling at 500+ MPH in a turbulence free airplane ride? Go read a book. An actual science book.

“No matter how high you go, the horizon rises to the eye of the observer”… um… no. The higher you go the further you have to angle your view DOWN to the horizon line. This is also why once you start to clear about 50,000 feet, the curvature of the globe begins to be evident to the naked eye. This is simply a case of being too close to a HUGE object that gradually curves.

When this guy starts trying to explain the motions of the cosmos, the only thing that seems to stop him from getting it, is that he actually doesn’t know anything about red shift, Doppler, triangulation and a whole host of other basic principles that ALL point to evidence for the motions of the planets, stars, solar systems, and galaxies. We absolutely CAN measure these movements and the observations match to the predictions of the models. Again, please go read a book. An actual science book.

I may have jumped the gun on this earlier, but we have already covered the way fluids interact with gravity wells. So, we can move along.

Wheres the curve? I like how they use horrible math, simply because most people are befuddled by complex math. Here, let me help you with understanding how curve on a globe is calculated and why this example of his is complete horseshit. These are the kinds of things you learn when you bother to take some actual math classes.curvature of a ball

This tool keeps saying there are no photos of earth. This is now going beyond laziness and is moving into willful ignorance.

“We supposedly have all of these satellites” You mean the ones that make your cell phone and internet work? The ones that if the earth WASN’T round and the nature of gravity/relativity WERENT what we’ve learned then you wouldn’t have cell phones? You wouldn’t have GPS? You wouldn’t have the internet….

Oh, you want a 24 hour channel that shows the earth spinning? Okay, you can thank me later.

Seriously, I could have save this guy so much time over the last 10 months.

Here I start to get a little confused on the guys stance, as he has JUST told us how there are no photos, but then brings on someone who not only explains but demonstrates how we actually got the photos he is claiming we don’t have. This is moronic. They actually explain WHY they edit composite photos.

Oh yay!!! We’ve moved into the ICE WALL part of the nonsense. Lets narrow this down to what it is, an argument from ignorance. This guy has no idea how to do basic research so obviously he thinks that an ice wall makes sense. But here, I’ll save you the trouble. When someone asks whats past the ice wall, (which isnt a thing, hes just showing you photos of where glaciers meet seawater) show them this and then go talk to someone more intelligent. antarctica

Flight paths. We can ball past this pretty quickly since we already discussed lines on a curved surface. Lets get this clear, NO AIRLINE IN THE WORLD would take a less efficient path over ANY SURFACE. It would lose the millions of dollars in fuel costs.

Next, is the sun getting ‘closer’ to you. This is observably idiocy, and the shit about you couldn’t get light patterns that way simply shows once more how little this person understands about physics. We are CERTAIN about the distance to the sun for many reasons, but the best is simply understanding how parallax works.

Im 20 minutes into this video, and so far each and every single principle he has brought up has been demonstrably incorrect. I’ll watch the last ten minutes later, but I feel like this is a pretty solid first pass at debunking this absolute horseshit video.

Now, get off youtube and go read a book. An actual science book. You know, one with actual math and experimental evidence.

Well Intentioned Morbidity

This week another friend of mine from High School passed away. As one gets older, this makes sense but it’s nonetheless hard to deal with since with every passing I feel my own mortality pulling in ever closer.

imagesBeing a former Evangelical Christian (a mix of Nazarene and Southern Baptist upbringings) and now an ardent skeptic and freethinker, I have struggles with mortality and the thought of non-being pretty frequently. While I am utterly unconvinced that there is any such thing as a consciousness without a mind, nor that there is any kind of afterlife for followers of any particular faith based ideology (see the Podcast episode with Matthew O’Neil where we discuss his book on the subject), I do still have a sort of general worry about death.

8a09f7f9863a6a80f09f11532dca571a.500x331x1When I was a believer, I was constantly assured that when people left ‘their worldly body’ that they were being magically whisked away to the promised land with streets of gold and mansions for everyone. Through the eyes of a child, it never dawned on me to ask why God would so suddenly, violently and often horrifically rip people away from those they love only to move them into a better neighborhood. Nor to ask why a non-corporeal being would need mansions or streets paved with ridiculously impractical surfaces like gold. Or why winged version of my former family members would need streets at all.

Now days when I have someone pass from my life, I have to take stock of that person. I have to take on that loss and recognize they are gone. I will never get a chance to say “hello”, “goodbye”, or “I love you”. There will be no new memories made with them, and old memories will soon be distorted and forgotten. I have to deal with the guilt I carry about how I did or didn’t treat them. I have to figure out how to deal with a finality to life that I simply wasn’t brought up to be able to process.


People will sometimes ask “Why are you so MAD at God?”.

I’m not mad at god. I’m no more mad at the Christian God than I am Zeus, Harry Potter or any other mythical character of lore. I AM however mad at some religions, mad at some traditions, and absolutely furious at some people. I’m furious at those who so thoughtlessly retarded my understanding of the real world. That they would so easily put aside what’s real and true for what’s wanted and hoped for, leaving me to be completely unprepared for the day it all stopped making sense. The same people who told me the stove was hot and would burn me are the same people who told me god is vengeful and will also burn me only a billion times worse, forever.  10751370-painted-illustration-of-a-screaming-man-in-flames

The same people told me that my grandmother was only sleeping, and I would get to see her again.

Here is where I predict a divide in my readers responses. One group is wondering why I’m making such a big deal, and the other is sitting with their jaws either gaping in shock or clinched in anger.


Because of my traditional Christian upbringing, I never got to really tell anyone I lost goodbye. I never, while standing with them that last time, understood what I was losing and what I needed to do to properly mourn the loss and process the change. Instead I now have this strange cognitive dissonance around death. Part of me is unconvinced in the afterlife, and part of me still has the notion that I’m on a path to see my family and friends again when I die. I know they can’t both be true, and yet….

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Then there is the problem of “What’s going to happen to ME?!?!” This thought process for me usually goes something like ‘Well… it will probably be a lot like before I was born and as far as I can remember, that wasn’t too bad… or good… or… anything.’ But therein lies the problem, we don’t know anything OTHER than being. Literally we have no memory of nonexistence. We simply can’t properly make our mind think of a world without that mind in it. Sure, you can picture the future without you, but you are still envisioning that world through a disembodied mind within that imagined future.

So, what are we to do?

First off, simply stop propagating fairy tales to children and ignoring the reality of death. Death is, as far as ANY observational research has shown, final and we need to raise people in a way that comports with reality.

Secondly, we simply can not continue to live in two worlds, one of science and one of faith and fantasy and expect people to be able to deal with reality or each other in any reasonable manner.