Flat Earth Documentary

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Hagoth
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Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Hagoth » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:13 pm

I'm putting this thread in the Doctrinal Discussion forum because it addresses general issues of faith and confirmation bias that apply to all fundamentalist ideologies.

There's a new documentary on Netflix called Behind the Curve that talks about the growing phenomenon of flat earth conspiricists. At times it's really hard to watch the asinine mental gymnastics, but I'm going to recommend it for the following reasons:

1) It sheds light on the kind of black-and-white thinking and behavior that you often see in believers and former believers of fundamentalist ideas.
2) There are interviews (but not nearly enough) with psychologists talking about the motivations behind this kind of thinking.
3) They follow a couple of experiments that the flat-earthers insist will prove the claims once and for all. We get to see those experiments fail and then hear the backpedalling and special-casing that results (make sure you watch the end credits).
4) Another reminder that genuinely intelligent people can believe ridiculous and unsupportable things, and less intelligent people will line up to follow them.

Here's one little example. The main character they follow claimed he was a solid skeptic until the evidence became insurmountable. He now believes the North Pole is the center of the disk, which means the southern continents are divided by immense gulfs of ocean. His turning point was when he realized it would be impossible for airliners to travel between continents below the equator because of the vast distances, so he found a realtime map of all of the airliners that are currently in the air. He saw no planes in the southern oceans. So he watched and watched and watched, but after three days there were still no planes crossing oceans in the southern hemisphere. Case closed.

Just to see what he was talking about I looked for myself. I have continued to check every day since and this is consistently what I see:
Flights_2_24_19B.JPG
Flights_2_24_19B.JPG (142.61 KiB) Viewed 655 times
Clearly the guy is wrong, and he could disprove his strongest evidence by simply taking another look. But then he wouldn't be so special anymore.

Anybody else watch this?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

dogbite
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by dogbite » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:34 pm

MH 370 anyone?

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Hagoth
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Hagoth » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:00 pm

dogbite wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:34 pm
MH 370 anyone?
Ha! That was my first thought too. But that was obviously part of the conspiracy. Now you think there are southern ocean crossings because they created a bogus high profile example of one. Fake news.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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græy
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by græy » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:49 am

Do daily flights to Australia not count?
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Corsair
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Corsair » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:55 am

I have a friend who literally designs and builds orbital satellites. He can point out a dozen devices in the sky right now that he helped put there. And yet he has a brother-in-law who is a flat earther. It has done no good to argue with this guy. They have been at evening family cookouts with a satellite literally flew overhead and was pointed out to all present. Flat Earth Brother-in-law has his own excuse which makes no sense. It was something about a government hoax with lasers.

I truly do not know how to talk to Flat Earth believers. And I have similar problems with LDS believers.

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Just This Guy
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:18 am

When it comes to Flat Earthers, Mormon Apologists, and other conspiracy believers, I just go with the old adage that arguing with them is like mud wrestling a pig. You get super filthy and the pig enjoys it. It's not worth the headache.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Hagoth
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Hagoth » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:35 am

græy wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:49 am
Do daily flights to Australia not count?
Only if you're flying north to south.

Here's the typical model:
Image
The most direct flight from North America to Australia would be right over the north pole. I heard a flat-earther asked why airliners fly along great arcs instead of straight lines and he said that all of the pilots are in on the conspiracy.

I also heard a guy say that it's perfectly reasonable to believe that an angel with a sword forced a middle-aged man to marry teenagers behind his wife's back and that to doubt it is just engaging in presentism.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:15 pm

Watched this last night. As some of you know, I've been fighting off and on with several of these flatards on the NASA Instagram feed. I can eventually wear them down and consider it a win when they finally block me. It's really akin to arguing with a TBM, usually nobody walks away convinced.

My favorite part in this documentary is when some of the flatards invest $20,000 in a laser based gyroscope. When I went to find the dialog and quotes I found a write up in Newsweek that best describes the scene in the movie:
One of the more jaw-dropping segments of the documentary comes when Bob Knodel, one of the hosts on a popular Flat Earth YouTube channel, walks viewers through an experiment involving a laser gyroscope. As the Earth rotates, the gyroscope appears to lean off-axis, staying in its original position as the Earth’s curvature changes in relation. “What we found is, is when we turned on that gyroscope we found that we were picking up a drift. A 15 degree per hour drift,” Knodel says, acknowledging that the gyroscope’s behavior confirmed to exactly what you’d expect from a gyroscope on a rotating globe.

“Now, obviously we were taken aback by that. ‘Wow, that’s kind of a problem,’” Knodel says. “We obviously were not willing to accept that, and so we started looking for ways to disprove it was actually registering the motion of the Earth.”

Despite further experimental refinements, Knodel’s gyroscope consistently behaves as if the Earth is round. Yet Knodel’s beliefs seem unchanged when discussing the experiment at a Flat Earth meetup in Denver. “We don’t want to blow this, you know? When you’ve got $20,000 in this freaking gyro. If we dumped what we found right now, it would be bad. It would be bad. What I just told you was confidential,” Knodel says to another Flat Earther in attendance.

But it’s Knodel’s YouTube co-host, Jeran Campanella, who provides the most dramatic example of a Flat Earther experiment disproving movement dogma.
There was one other experiment with a laser that failed then they used holes in boards over a distance to measure a visible light. They did not get the results they wanted and the observable truth never changed their minds.

At the end of this I was left with a feeling that I need to be more empathetic to flat earthers and TBMs. After all I used to be a TBM. I know how the truth filters work, I have first hand experience and knowledge of them.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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azflyer
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by azflyer » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:12 pm

Unfortunately, this is a topic I know way too much about. My BIL is a flat earther and it has caused a lot of problems between my wife's family and I as I work in the aerospace industry.

There aren't a lot of flights that cross the Southern hemisphere. But there are some. The best example is Qantas flight 28. It flies from Santiago Chile to Sydney Australia. You basically need to watch an Australia to South America flight to get the best/full picture.

Image

I definitely want to check out this documentary now. Thanks for the info.

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azflyer
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by azflyer » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:17 pm

Also, I'm involved in the production, testing, and use of ring laser gyros. I've wondered for a while how long it would take some of these flatards to get a RLG and do this test. The fact that they keep ignoring the results is quite sad.

I probably need to work on developing more sympathy for flat-earthers. I'm still somewhat integrated in Mormonism, and I still view Mormonism quite favorably, yet I really trash on flat-earthers real hard. Hmmm.... I wonder what that says about me.

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slavereeno
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by slavereeno » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:10 pm

Holy crap, this was disturbing. Its pretty evident that if this group can grow, the church will be around forever.

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Hagoth
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Hagoth » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:41 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:10 pm
Holy crap, this was disturbing. Its pretty evident that if this group can grow, the church will be around forever.
That's a great point. Sigh. In a similar way, I get the impression that a lot of these people, outside of the self-appointed spokesmen and "experts," don't know or care that much about either the science or the "science" involved. They want to belong and to feel like they are on the inside of something important that they can hold over the majority of people who, unlike themselves, have been deceived by powerful and conniving forces.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Hagoth
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Hagoth » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:42 pm

azflyer wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:12 pm
The best example is Qantas flight 28.
Hmm. The flight path has quite a significant curve. I wonder why that might be. Hmm.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

dogbite
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by dogbite » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:42 pm
azflyer wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:12 pm
The best example is Qantas flight 28.
Hmm. The flight path has quite a significant curve AS PROJECTED ON A FLAT SURFACE. I wonder why that might be. Hmm.

fixed it for you

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Hagoth
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Hagoth » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:50 pm

dogbite wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 pm
fixed it for you
Image
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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azflyer
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by azflyer » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:31 am

I finally got around to watching this. I found that one of the most fascinating points that were made by the scientists was how empathetic they were to the flat-earthers. There was the one that was stating the flat earthers are people that have been left behind by science. They aren't dumb, they aren't stupid, they are people that haven't fit in to 'normal' group and have found an outlying group that accepts them.

A second scientist towards the end talked about how the only way we can reach these people is through empathy. Shaming them for their incorrect beliefs only drives them further away. Does this sound like it parallels religion????

Lastly, I really liked that one of the scientists said that what flat earthers do for us is allow us to examine our own 'flat earths' that we are hanging on to. It caused me to re-think a lot of my positions on many different topics.

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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Anon70 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:38 am

azflyer wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:31 am
I finally got around to watching this. I found that one of the most fascinating points that were made by the scientists was how empathetic they were to the flat-earthers. There was the one that was stating the flat earthers are people that have been left behind by science. They aren't dumb, they aren't stupid, they are people that haven't fit in to 'normal' group and have found an outlying group that accepts them.

A second scientist towards the end talked about how the only way we can reach these people is through empathy. Shaming them for their incorrect beliefs only drives them further away. Does this sound like it parallels religion????

Lastly, I really liked that one of the scientists said that what flat earthers do for us is allow us to examine our own 'flat earths' that we are hanging on to. It caused me to re-think a lot of my positions on many different topics.
Fascinating! I see this in so many of my relatives. The minute you push back on a closely held belief they retrench deeper/harder. I kind of see the world or at least the USA like this right now. Extremes on either end and so polarized. Hard to find common ground. Perhaps empathy all the way around is needed. Good food for thought!

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Palerider
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Palerider » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:25 am

Couldn't this issue be solved by permitting one of the most trusted advocates to go up in a spacecraft or the ISS and do a space walk?

He/she could come back and testify that they had seen the spherical earth with more than just his "spiritual eyes"... 8-)
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Hagoth
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by Hagoth » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:58 pm

Palerider wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:25 am
Couldn't this issue be solved by permitting one of the most trusted advocates to go up in a spacecraft or the ISS and do a space walk?

He/she could come back and testify that they had seen the spherical earth with more than just his "spiritual eyes"... 8-)
I bet it would take the community about 5 seconds before they started accusing that person of selling out. They don't need to send someone into space; all they need to do is take a boat ride on a smooth lake or watch the sun and moon rise and set. Or for that matter, all they need to do is believe their own experiments.

Does anyone know of a documentary or podcast where you can hear the stories of ex-flat-earthers? It would be really interesting to see how it parallels faith crisis. Or are these the kind of horses that can be led thought fetlock-deep water but will always refuse to drink?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Flat Earth Documentary

Post by RubinHighlander » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:07 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:58 pm
Palerider wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:25 am
Couldn't this issue be solved by permitting one of the most trusted advocates to go up in a spacecraft or the ISS and do a space walk?

He/she could come back and testify that they had seen the spherical earth with more than just his "spiritual eyes"... 8-)
I bet it would take the community about 5 seconds before they started accusing that person of selling out. They don't need to send someone into space; all they need to do is take a boat ride on a smooth lake or watch the sun and moon rise and set. Or for that matter, all they need to do is believe their own experiments.

Does anyone know of a documentary or podcast where you can hear the stories of ex-flat-earthers? It would be really interesting to see how it parallels faith crisis. Or are these the kind of horses that can be led thought fetlock-deep water but will always refuse to drink?
I've also thought about this, but just like being a TBM, seeing would not be believing. They would brush it off as a simulation or simply be thrown out of the tribe for selling out, as Hagoth pointed out. You can see the pattern there when in the movie they ran that experiment with the boards and holes and laser and also the expensive gyroscope. Didn't get the result you wanted? Just throw out the results and try something else.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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