Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Flat Earth Society

I was looking for the English translation to a Chinese song, "The Moon Represents My Heart" in Wikipedia and the first search find that appeared was about the "Apollo Moon Landing Hoax Theories". What was more interesting was what that lead me too, The "Flat Earth Society".

You've probably heard of conspiracy theories of how man never landed on the moon, but have you heard conspiracy theories that the earth is actually a flat disk? I was surprised to hear that that it has a membership of 3,000 as of 1971. Most people consider them loonies but imagine that... 3,000 westerners believed that the earth was flat as late as 1971!

So what's the physics of a flat earth? Well, here's what I found from Wikipedia's explanation:

The modern Flat Earth Society describes the Earth as being a disk with a diameter of about 24,900 miles (40,000 km) and a circumference of 78,225 miles (126,000 km). The sun and moon are both discs about 32 miles (52 km) in diameter (although some sources say that the sun and moon are spheres) and are about 3,000 miles (4800 km) above the Earth, and the stars about 100 miles (160 km) above the sun and moon.

The Flat Earth Society also maintains that the Earth is accelerating upward at a rate of 9.8 m/s², thereby simulating gravity. This upward momentum is caused by the "Universal Accelerator", a vague term used by the Society to describe a force that originated at the Big Bang and caused the Earth to speed upwards. Gravity cannot exist on a flat Earth since the disc shape would eventually collapse on itself. However in a few Flat Earth models, other planetary bodies such as the moon and the sun are alleged to have gravitational pulls, causing the gravitational force on an object to decrease as it increases in altitude. This also allows spacecraft to "orbit".

The planetary bodies above the Earth revolve above it, thereby causing sunrise and sunset to occur. As the sun moves farther away, it shrinks until it is no longer able to be seen. The same phenomenon occurs with the stars to cause their movement.

The society's Flat Earth hypothesis states that as a ship moves farther away, the chance of a wave being in front of the ship relative to a viewer's perspective on shore increases. Therefore, because the ship moves farther away and becomes smaller, a wave is able to obscure a larger portion of the hull until the ship is no longer visible. Other factors that also contribute to this effect are atmospheric distortion and human eyesight.

The exact explanation for lunar eclipses in the Flat Earth theory is vague, however. Two commonly accepted theories are Shadow Object Theory (that an object undiscovered and undetectable by science obscures the moon causing moon phases and lunar eclipses) and Reflection Theory (the sun's light reflects off the Earth and reflects back to the moon, with some areas of the Earth being less reflective than others, thus producing shadows).

Tides are caused by a slight tilting of the Earth, causing water to "slosh" back and forth. The tilt is very small, and very unlikely to be noticed.

As the sun orbits over the Earth, the Flat Earth theory maintains that the sun's orbit radius changes, causing it to be directly overhead different locations at different times of the year. There is no explanation of the mechanism that causes this.

Yeah, their physics are way of. I love the part where they explain about tides. Water is sloshing back and forth hahaha!

If the earth is a flat disk, so in theory, if you dig deep enough, you'll fall through the earth. I wonder what is at the bottom, a bottomless pit?

I just love testing people on their believe systems. The more vague it is, the more incredulous their explanations. It's like a web of lies they keep entangling themselves in. It's like watching kids explain things. Their logic is so different from us, it's entertaining.

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