Flat Earthers: Dumb or Dumber?

Giovanni Brandizzi

How could people in the 21st century possibly think that the Earth is flat? We clearly have satellite images, and a flat Earth would contradict all of modern physics. A “Flat Earther”‘s main argument usually states that the Earth isn’t round because we don’t see curvature. Apart from being untrue, this statement commits several logical fallacies. If the Earth wasn’t round, it wouldn’t mean that it is flat. This is a black and white reasoning suggesting that there are only two possible outcomes when there may be more. Furthermore, this statement suggests a claim arguing that because something cannot be imagined, it must not be true. This argument is assuming that our senses are one hundred percent reliable when they aren’t. What is stopping you from believing that a train racing towards you on a TV screen is going to hit you? The answer to that is your knowledge and reasoning of that subject. If you were to be placed in front of a TV screen displaying a train rushing towards you for the first time, you would be terrified. Another argument implies that the Earth is a flat disk that is accelerating upwards at 9.81m.s-2,  as gravity doesn’t exist. For starters, neglecting gravity in our current understanding of the universe is completely ridiculous. When satellites transmit radio signals to your cellular device or GPS on Earth, they have to take their velocity and the difference in gravitational forces that they experience into account. Satellites are extremely accurate, and only because they have extremely accurate clocks. They have to be accurate down to the nanosecond (billionth of a second) or their inaccuracy might build up over time and translate to errors of a few kilometers on your true position, rendering GPS useless. Another issue with this idea is suggesting the Earth is flat, but accepting that all the other planets in the solar system have a somewhat spherical shape. Aside from being inconsistent, any object in space that is a few hundred kilometers in diameter is always round because of the force of its own gravity. A flat disk of the size of the Earth would simply collapse in on itself. Even if a flat disk of this size was stable, you would still be attracted to its center of mass. This means that walking away from the center would get increasingly more difficult as it would feel like walking uphill. There are simply too many inconsistencies and bold assumptions that make up the flat earth theory. Do we take flat earthers seriously? No, and decidedly so.