Flat Earthers strike out again by failing to grasp the phenomenon of gravity, elliptical orbits and acceleration
Listening to Flat Earthers talk about science and gravity is equivalent to hearing Leftists talk about how guns work. Joe Biden recently said the government should ban “magazines that can hold 100 clips,” a statement that makes no sense at all, since Leftists think clips are magazines. Leftists also think gun shots make people fly through the air (they don’t), and they’re possessed with the idea that when a person is shot, removing the bullet stops the damage… As if the bullet itself is a magical vampire device that drains life energy or something. (Hint: It’s the blood loss and physical trauma caused by the bullet that matters, not the presence of the bullet itself.)
Those of us who are gun owners have all but given up trying to teach Leftists how guns work. When we attempt to do so, we’re accused of “gunsplaining,” another derogatory term invented by the left-wing language police. The truth is, Leftists don’t care how guns work, they just want to ban them.
Similarly, Flat Earthers really don’t care how gravity works, either, and some of them deny the existence of gravity altogether. Trying to explain gravity to a Flat Earth advocate is a pointless exercise. They will argue for the existence of an entirely different set of laws that govern the universe, even though their laws are not consistent with observable reality.
Their latest argument — which they claim is “proof” the Earth is flat — centers around the claim that since the planet is in a slightly elliptical orbit around the sun, the changes in Earth’s velocity relative to the sun as it traverses this elliptical orbit is “proof” that the planet is accelerating and decelerating in a way that you should be able to feel. This argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of gravity and how gravity curves space, creating an apparent acceleration but without imparting G forces onto bodies in orbit (which is why astronauts in space stations orbiting Earth feel weightless, even as they are constantly pulled toward the planet in a circular orbit).
Flat Earthers are not stupid; they’re simply misinformed (and a little bit fanatical)
Flat Earthers are not necessarily stupid people. I strongly disagree with the typical response to Flat Earthers by the science establishment, which claims they’re stupid mindless morons. In truth: Most Flat Earthers have extensive knowledge in other fields of study, but knowledge is usually specialized, and just because you’re a good car mechanic or a dentist, for example, doesn’t mean you’re informed about the laws of motion and the acceleration of gravity. (At this point, you should naturally be wondering what makes me qualified to talk about this subject with authority, but as I explain below, the acceleration of gravity is self-evident, and you can verify it from your own experience.)
I tend to think of Flat Earthers as being passionate but misinformed. They aren’t stupid, or evil or insane, but they do lack the kind of basic science education that I was taught in high school. They’re also not very good thinkers, generally speaking, because critical thinking combined with some simple observations would convince any rational person that the Earth isn’t flat. In any case, you can’t discount the passion of people who build home made rockets to launch themselves into high orbit so they can “see how flat the Earth is.” That’s serious dedication, even if it’s also probably a suicide mission.
Here’s what Flat Earthers get right
There’s one thing Flat Earthers get right, which is stating that just because a “consensus” of scientists decrees something to be true doesn’t mean it is. This simple truth is abundantly obvious in the climate change debate, where politically-motivated “scientists” have largely agreed to condemn carbon dioxide as a “pollutant” when it’s actually the single most important atmospheric molecule for life as we know it on planet Earth. (Plants use it to create energy. Without it, all plants, animals and even most microbes would be exterminated.)
So it is correct to question the status quo when it comes to science. In fact, the very process of scientific discovery requires questioning the status quo. Without that process, Einstein would have never seriously put forth his Theory of Special Relativity, which later expanded into what we now know as the Theory of General Relativity. We also wouldn’t have quantum computing, lasers, integrated circuits, carbon nanotubes or thousands of other science-based advancements that initially seemed to defy common sense.
But questioning the status quo requires triple checking your own facts first. When I analyze a flu shot as a sample on ICP-MS mass spec instruments in my lab, the instrument reports seeing over 50,000 parts per billion mercury. But the tech giants, the CDC and the science “establishment” all censor that information, pretending flu shots don’t contain mercury at all, even when the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency of the State of California openly advocates the use of mercury flu shots in children. So that’s proof, yet again, that mainstream science often engages in malicious censorship and narrative control to push its own agenda, which lately has everything to do with decreasing the human population in order to “save the climate.”
Again, the Flat Earthers aren’t wrong when they say the science establishment is very often full of bunk, but that doesn’t prove the Earth is flat, of course.
It’s similarly wrong for Spherical Earthers to pursue to lazy path of declaring, “Well NASA says it’s round” and end the debate there. NASA lies all the time about a great many things, such as their discovery of microbial life on Mars during the 1976 Viking Lander missions. That discovery was exhaustively covered up in order to withhold that information from the public.
Logically speaking, however, the fact that NASA lies about some things does not mean they are lying about the spherical nature of planet Earth. It is not rational to believe that just because NASA is lying about the existence of microbial life on Mars, therefore NASA must have faked every space mission, moon landing and photograph of the Earth from space. That’s a bonkers leap of bad thinking.
Elaborate thought experiments
To try to “prove” the Earth is flat, advocates of the theory create elaborate thought experiments to try to match observable phenomena (such as the motions of the planets and stars) with their theories. There’s nothing wrong with thought experiments; they are a mainstay of modern science. Einstein relied heavily on them, as do most theoretical physicists. Stephen Hawking, you might say, was the “king of thought experiments.” Almost everything he espoused was rooted in theory, not necessarily observable fact (although many of his theories were later experimentally verified, and much the same took place with many of Einstein’s theories).
Because I don’t call Flat Earthers idiots, from time to time they invite me to “debate” them on Flat Earth theory. This, too, is pointless, akin to trying to debate Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler on the facts surrounding Ukraine, Joe Biden and Burisma Holdings. In my experience, I’ve found Flat Earthers to be fanatical in their beliefs, and that’s not intended as an insult but rather as a dictionary definition of fanaticism. It means their “faith” in their thought experiments is so complete that no amount of evidence can alter their conclusions.
Interestingly, I’ve also noticed a similar pattern of occasional fanaticism in opposition to glyphosate, the Monsanto-created weed killer that has been linked to cancer. When I tested twenty-six beers for glyphosate concentrations, I found that none of them posed any real health risks from glyphosate, since glyphosate levels in the beer ranged from 0 ng/ml (that’s zero parts per billion) to a high of 10.08 ng/ml (ppb).
After conducting these tests using a triple quad mass spec instrument (LC-MS-MS), I remember hearing from one reader who insisted my tests were wrong. He had developed a better testing method, he insisted, using “muscle testing.”
He also said that his muscle testing method was sensitive to 1 part per billion of glyphosate, and that even 1 ppb was dangerous to the human body.
Muscle testing is when a practitioner tells a person, “Stick you arm out and resist my force” then proceeds to push downward on their outstretched arm. According to this person, the strength of the resistance indicates the concentration of glyphosate in that person’s blood. (Yep, I know, it sounds insane, but I’m just describing what some people believe…)
If you know anything about real laboratory science, you’re probably laughing right now. There is, of course, no correlation whatsoever between a person’s blood concentration of glyphosate in the ppb range and their ability to resist the completely non-calibrated, impossible-to-replicate force of pushing downward on their arm. Muscle testing for pesticides is bogus. It doesn’t work. But some people believe it does, and they also think they can test for heavy metals, too. (Which brings up the obvious question, how can they know if said muscle weakness is due to lead, or mercury, or glyphosate or BPA or something else? The answer is that the practitioners just thinks of the toxin they want to test, and this thinking somehow magically narrows the strength testing to that one particular molecule. Obviously, it’s nonsense.)
Muscle testing, by the way, potentially does work when it comes to mental states in the subject, such as asking the subject to do something like, “Remember a time when you were teased as a child.” Sure enough, they get weaker. But even then, the “strength” of the test is entirely subjective and uses no reproducible standards or rigorous methods that can be replicated by other practitioners. Trying to apply muscle testing to blood contamination tests is just comic haberdashery.
But the fact that some people literally believe muscle testing could replace all blood lab tests in hospitals tells you how individuals can be sucked into a path of fanaticism about a certain belief system that has no basis in physical reality whatsoever. It’s more common than you think. Abortion advocates, for example, don’t consider unborn babies to be “alive” until after they’re born and accepted by their mothers. That’s why New York recently legalized the actual murder of a healthy, living, fully born human infant, based entirely on the decision of the mother to say, “I decided I don’t want it anymore.”
In the State of New York, it is 100% legal to murder that infant. That’s fanaticism, and it’s way more dangerous than Flat Earth beliefs, by the way. It also turns out that tens of millions of (left-wing) Americans believe in murdering infants. You might even be one of them, so don’t go laughing at Flat Earthers until you examine your own twisted, insane beliefs first.
Flat Earthers claim you should “feel” the acceleration of planet Earth as it orbits the sun
Now we get to the real crux of the latest Flat Earth assertion here. One of the hot new arguments against Spherical Earth theory is that since the Earth changes its speed as its orbiting the sun in a slightly elliptical orbit, you should “feel” the acceleration. Since you feel no acceleration, the Earth isn’t changing speed, they claim, and therefore it’s not orbiting the sun and is flat.
I learned about Kepler’s Laws of Motion in high school. They describe how any planet moves in orbit around a larger mass (gravity well) such as the sun. When the orbit is a perfect circle, the Earth would maintain a constant speed all the way around the orbit. But when the orbit is elliptical, the Earth obviously moves faster as it’s whipping around the sun during the part of the orbit that brings the planet closer to the sun. When Earth is farther away from the sun, at the apex of the elliptical orbit, it’s moving slower relative to the sun.