This article was written by a Traditional Catholic
1.- Samuel Rowbotham was the first person to use the pseudoscientific method called Zeteticism for “flat earth” research. Instead of starting with a hypothesis which is then tested or falsified as in the scientific method, Zeteticism relies solely upon the experience and observation of the tester. Such a method does not prevent self-deception or delusion because it does not seek to test or falsify the conclusions of the tester. Zetecism allows errors to go unchecked.
2.- Samuel Rowbotham believed moonlight is dangerous. There is no evidence for this. Rowbotham even cited a story where a boy allegedly lost his eyesight because he slept in a field in the bright moonlight: “At Peckham Rye, a boy named Lowry has entirely lost his sight by sleeping in a field in the bright moonlight.” This demonstrates the nonsensical conclusions Zeteticism and the flat earth theory arrive at.
3.- Flat earthers claim ‘Occam’s Razor‘ favors their theory. However, flat earth theory does not explain a lot of the data, and so the flat earthers’ invent very complex and improbable ad hoc theories that violate the law of parsimony (Occam’s Razor).
4.- Flat earthers advance sub-theories that have no evidence and could be classed as pseudoscience. They clearly don’t follow the ‘Zetetic method’. Some examples include ‘Dual Earth Theory‘ (various different models have been advanced), ‘Celestial Gears’ (allegedly responsible for turning the stars, etc.), ‘Bendy Light’ (see under ‘Sun and Moon’) and ‘Accelerating Earth’ (see under ‘Gravity’)
5.- Flat earthers advance various examples of rare occurrences and physical anomalies in an attempt to prove the earth is flat; however, rare occurrences are an exception, not the rule, and anomalies “do not overthrow the old theory until a new theory comes along that can explain all that the old theory did plus the anomalies.” (Dr. Walt Brown)
6.- Many scientists claim the scientific method can’t definitively prove a theory, but can only disprove a theory. Samuel Rowbotham demonstrates his frustration with such a position in his explanation of the ‘Zetetic method’. He also proves that his impatience to find definitive results led to the absurd notion that the earth is flat: “Scientific explanations are never certain or final, and the overused word “prove” is never justified except possibly in mathematics or a court of law.” (Dr. Walt Brown)
Flat Earthers do not have history on their side.
7.- Christopher Columbus was not trying to convince people who believed the earth is flat that the earth is a globe (contrary to the Anti-Catholic Washington Irving). He was trying to convince people who believed the earth is bigger than he did, that it was smaller than it is, and they doubted whether he could sail the distance he planned to go
8.- Eratosthenes (276 – 195 BC) calculated the circumference of the Earth in about 240BC by measuring the difference in angle to the sun between two cities on the same day
9.- Archimedes (287 – 212 BC) believed the earth is a sphere: “The surface of any fluid at rest is the surface of a sphere whose centre is the same as that of the earth.”
10.- Aristotle (384–322 BC) believed the Earth to be a sphere, citing such reasons as “in eclipses the outline is always curved,” and that “the stars seen are different, as one moves northward or southward”: “All of which goes to show not only that the earth is circular in shape, but also that it is a sphere of no great size.” (On the Heavens, Bk. 2, Pt. 14)
11.- Ptolemy (100-168 AD), in his book, Almagest, expresses his opinion that the earth is a sphere. His views on the order of the universe were widely held for over 1200 years: “Now, that also the earth taken as a whole is sensibly spherical, we could most likely think out in this way…” (Almagest, Bk. 1, Ch. 4)
The Catholic Church
12.- The Catholic Church has never taught as an article of faith that the Earth is flat
13.- The Globus Cruciger has been used as a symbol of Christ’s dominion over the world. Most of the Roman Emperors from 491 to 1453 issued coins with the Globus Cruciger on it
15.- The Salvatore Mundi picture of Christ often depicts him holding a globe
16.- The Blessed Virgin Mary is often depicted standing on a globe crushing the serpent’s head under her feet
Sciences are differentiated according to the various means through which knowledge is obtained. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer by means of mathematics (i.e. abstracting from matter), but the physicist by means of matter itself. Hence there is no reason why those things which may be learned from philosophical science, so far as they can be known by natural reason, may not also be taught us by another science so far as they fall within revelation. Hence theology included in sacred doctrine differs in kind from that theology which is part of philosophy.
Summa Theologiae, Part 1, Question 1, Article 1, Reply to Objection 2
The physicist proves the earth to be round by one means, the astronomer by another: for the latter proves this by means of mathematics, e.g. by the shapes of eclipses, or something of the sort; while the former proves it by means of physics, e.g. by the movement of heavy bodies towards the center, and so forth. Now the whole force of a demonstration, which is “a syllogism producing science,” as stated in Poster. i, text. 5, depends on the mean. And consequently various means are as so many active principles, in respect of which the habits of science are distinguished.
Summa Theologiae, First Part of The Second Part, Question 54, Article 2, Reply to Objection 2
18.- According to Joseph Dirvin, the original design for the Miraculous Medal was called our Lady of the Globe because she was holding a globe and standing on a globe. The Blessed Virgin Mary said to St. Catherine Laboure,
“The ball which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular”
19.- Pope Alexander VI, referred to both the north and the south pole twice in his bull, Inter Caetera
20.- Pope Leo XIII used the French word for ‘globe’ in the encyclical, Depuis Le Jour
21.- The Douay Rheims translation of the Bible uses the word globe at Isaiah 40:22,
“It is he that sitteth upon the globe of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as locusts: he that stretcheth out the heavens as nothing, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.”
Isaias (Isaiah) 40:22
And also refers to the poles of heaven, earth and the world
“If thou be driven as far as the poles of heaven, the Lord thy God will fetch thee back from thence,”
“He raiseth up the needy from the dust, and lifteth up the poor from the dunghill: that he may sit with princes, and hold the throne of glory. For the poles of the earth are the Lord’s, and upon them he hath set the world.”
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 2:8
“The clouds are his covert, and he doth not consider our things, and he walketh about the poles of heaven.”
“He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world.”
22.- The book, De Sphaera Mundi, which teaches the Earth is a globe, was used as a textbook in European Universities for hundreds of years starting from 1230
Flat Earthers use ‘horizon’ arguments to try to bolster their myth.
23.- The horizon looks flat from ground view because it is a geometric ‘circle of a sphere‘, which is a horizontal cut through a sphere
24.- At ground level, the average distance to the horizon (4.7km) for a person is over 8000x the circumference of the globe (40,075km). One cannot see the true shape of an object from that close
25.- Many pilots and others claim that from 60,000 feet the curvature of the Earth is clearly visible. The Concorde flew at this altitude.
The first direct visual detection of the curvature of the horizon has been widely attributed to Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer on 27 May 1931 . They reported seeing it from a hydrogen-filled balloon at an elevation of 15; 787 m (51; 783 ft) over Germany and Austria. On 11 November 1935, Albert W. Stevens and Orville A. Anderson became the first people to photograph the curvature . They were flying in the helium-filled Explorer II balloon during a record-breaking flight to an altitude of 22; 066 m (72; 395 ft) over South Dakota. Other claims have been made as to being the first to see the curvature of the Earth, but they seem to have come long after visual curvature had been established .
Since that time, countless people have claimed to be able to discern the curvature of the Earth as an upwardly arched horizon from high mountains or commercial aircraft. Some claim to see it from sea level or relatively low elevations . We know that if
we get high enough (i.e., from space), the curvature of the Earth is evident, but commercial aircraft seldom exceed altitudes of 40; 000 ft (1 ft ¼ 0:3048 m).
Interviews with pilots and high-elevation travelers revealed that few if any could detect curvature below about 50; 000 ft. High-altitude physicist and experienced sky observer David Gutierrez  reported that as his B-57 ascends, the curvature of the horizon does not become readily sensible until about 50; 000 ft and that at 60; 000 ft the curvature is obvious. Having talked to many other high fliers (SR-71, U2, etc.), Gutierrez confirms that his sense of the curvature is the same as theirs. Passengers on the Concorde (60; 000 ft) routinely marveled at the curvature of the Earth. Gutierrez believes that if the field of view (FOV) is wide enough, it might be possible to detect curvature from lower altitudes. The author has also talked to many commercial pilots, and they report that from elevations around 35; 000 ft, they cannot see the curvature.
Visually discerning the curvature of the Earth, David K. Lynch
27.- The light from a lighthouse is beamed out horizontally, not downwards towards the horizon. This allows the light from the lighthouse to be seen much further than the distance to the horizon. This is called the ‘Loom of the light’. On a flat earth, a lighthouse would only need to be slightly above the surface of the water because only waves would be an obstacle to the light being seen
28.- Radio waves can be ‘skipped’ around the world by bouncing them off the ionosphere (sky wave). On a flat earth this would not be necessary, for there would be no curvature of the earth to prevent line of sight transmissions
29.- The water on the Suez Canal naturally follows the curvature of the Earth, as seen by the hull of this boat disappearing behind the horizon
30.- The end of Volkswagen’s 8.7km test track in Ehra-Lessien, Germany cannot be seen due to the curvature of the Earth
31.- A simple comparison of heights from the water’s edge to just above it shows one can see further at the higher point due to the curvature of the earth hiding the objects at the lower point. On a flat earth one would not see any significant change in what is visible
32.- A person in an airplane can view a sunset twice by climbing in altitude just after the sun has set: See 4:00-6:00mins.
33.- Flat earthers claim a ‘law of perspective’ explains why things disappear over the horizon from the lower part first. This is refuted by the fact that objects in the distance do not lose proportion, and so a telescope will reveal that the object really is hidden by the horizon
34.- Some flat earthers claim one cannot see further than the horizon to due substances in the atmosphere. However, the international visibility code shows that the meteorological optical range for an exceptionally clear day is over 27 nautical miles or 31 statute miles. This fact, combined with the extremely low refractive index of air (1.0003), and the change in distance to the horizon the higher one goes in altitude, makes it clear that that the limited view of the horizon is principally due to the curvature of the earth rather than to visibility conditions.
Geodesy is a field of science dealing with the shape of the Earth.
35.- Surveyors routinely make curvature and refraction corrections, which are corrections to account for the Earth’s curvature and the atmosphere’s refraction of light, otherwise their measurements would be erroneous
36.- In geodesy, a level plane is a line that is perpendicular to the direction of gravity at every point. A level plane is thus a curved surface. A horizontal plane is perfectly straight: (See until 2:30mins.)
37.- Geodetic surveying takes the curvature of the earth into account in its measurements. Plane surveying assumes the earth is flat, but is only done on smaller scales. Geodetic surveying is done on areas 260km^2 or more
39.- Verrazano-Narrows bridge in New York: “Sunlight glints off the pair of monumental steel towers, 70 stories tall, carrying the curvature of the earth into the sky, where their tops are exactly 15⁄8 inches farther apart than at their base.”
40.- Humber Estuary bridge in England: “The towers, although both vertical, are 34 mm (1.3 inches) farther apart at the top than the bottom due to the curvature of the earth.”
41.- For vertical datums, a reference ellipsoid is used to base measurements on. It is a globe shape
Flat Earthers deny the existence of gravity.
43.- The Flat Earth Society believes the Earth is accelerating upwards at a rate of 9.8m/s^2. However, if this were the case, we would be going many times faster than the speed of light by now, which is impossible.
44.- Some flat earthers say gravity is merely density. However, in a vacuum, two objects of vastly different density will fall at exactly the same rate, such as feathers and a bowling ball. (This is because the inertia of an object is directly proportional to its mass)
45.- The rate of gravity changes according to latitude and altitude. At the equator, gravity is 0.5% less than at the poles. The higher in altitude one climbs, the less one will weigh; at 30,000ft there is a 0.29% reduction in weight. This would not occur on a flat earth.
46.- Henry Cavendish measured with accuracy the strength of gravity. The cavendish experiment has been repeated many times in classrooms. It shows how a smaller mass moves towards a larger mass
47.- Water naturally forms a sphere. This is easily seen in a zero gravity environment
48.- Some flat earthers attempt to explain the alleged non-existence of gravity and the alleged bending of light by means of ether (or aether). However, no experiment has ever confirmed the existence of ether
North and South
The are major differences between the Northern and Southern hemispheres that are inexplicable on a flat earth.
49.- The Coriolis effect accounts for why hurricanes go clockwise in the southern hemisphere, but counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere. “Observations show that no hurricanes form within 5 degrees latitude of the equator”
50.- A large pool of water will drain clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere
51.- Long range shooters must account for the coriolis effect otherwise they will miss their target:
52.- Star trails will appear to rotate clockwise in the southern hemisphere but counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere:
54.- The moon will appear one way in the northern hemisphere, but the other way up in the southern hemisphere
55.- Constellations that are visible in both hemispheres are one way up in the northern hemisphere, and the other way up in the southern hemisphere
56.- Many northern constellations are not visible in the southern hemisphere and vice versa
57.- Wind currents are affected by the Coriolis effect
58.- Ocean currents are affected by the Coriolis effect
59.- The shadow of the moon waxes and wanes from right to left in the northern hemisphere, but from left to right in the southern hemisphere
60.- The sun rotates clockwise in the northern hemisphere, but counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.
Sun and Moon
Flat Earthers believe the sun and moon circle above the earth (like a hawk).
61.- If a person were at the equator, according to the flat earth map, the sun would always rise and set northeast and northwest of the observer. However, in real life, the sun will rise and set southeast and southwest during winter
62.- Flat earthers claim the sun and moon merely circle the earth from a high altitude. This means they would always be visible
63.- Flat earthers claim the sun acts as a spotlight, for which they have no evidence. The fact that half of the earth is always lit and the other half is dark, proves the flat earth model is impossible
64.- Flat earthers claim the sunset is an optical illusion. Some posit an “electromagnetic acceleration” theory, also known as ‘bendy light,’ which states that light mysteriously bends upwards. They have no evidence for this. For the sunset to be an optical illusion, the horizon would have to be above eye level, which is clearly contrary to the fact that (at sea level) the horizon is slightly below eye level
65.- The bendy light theory also posits that different colors of light do not refract in different frequencies. This is easily proven false by a white light passing through a prism. Rainbows are a natural example of this effect, as is the blue color of the sky, due to an effect called Rayleigh scattering
67.- Flat earthers claim the seasons are caused by the sun moving closer and further away from the north pole. However, they have no realistic explanation for how such changes occur
68.- When the sun sets, the light of the sun hits the clouds from beneath. This would not happen if the sun was merely circling above the clouds
69.- Some flat earthers believe the moon is a flat disc. This is easily proven false by the fact that its shadow is curved when waxing or waning. A flat disc would be either wholly light or wholly dark
70.- A ‘selenelion’ is where an eclipse occurs with both the sun and the moon in the sky. Some flat earthers use this example in an attempt to debunk the globe earth. However, a selenelion simply occurs when the straight line between the sun, earth and moon (called a ‘syzygy’) happens when the sun is rising and the moon is setting. Due to atmospheric refraction, both the sun and moon are visible during such an eclipse
71.- An ‘analemma’ shows the change in a sun’s position throughout the year. An analemma will also appear the other way up depending on which hemisphere one views it from. Flat earthers have no realistic explanation for analemmas
72.- A solar eclipse occurs only over a certain location on earth, not the whole earth because the sun is much bigger than the moon. According to the flat earth theory, an eclipse should darken the whole earth
73.- An annular eclipse makes the moon appear smaller than the sun, whereas a total solar eclipse makes the moon appear the same size as the sun. Flat earthers have no realistic explanation for this since they claim both the sun and moon are the same size and the same distance from earth
Space and Astronomy
Flat Earthers claim that any photos or footage from space is faked by NASA, and they reject the existence of satellites.
74.- Composite photos are used by NASA because the whole earth often cannot be photographed in one shot. A composite photo however is still essentially real for it is simply many real photos put together into one
75.- The Russian Elektro-L satellites have taken many non-composite photos of the earth
76.- Some flat earthers reject the existence of planets. Spectroscopy proves planets are real by showing the kinds of elements that are present on those planets
77.- Some flat earthers believe that female astronauts perm their hair and are underwater (in a tank) to fake being in space. However, in this clip, the astronaut is washing her hair, which would destroy her permed hair and proves she is not underwater
79.- A number of amateur astronomers have taken photos of the International space station and geostationary satellites, proving that not all photos of such things are a hoax created by NASA
81.- Stellar parallax was first measured in 1838. It appears as an apparently small shift in the position of distant stars. It allows astronomers to measure the distance to such stars. Flat earthers have no realistic explanation for it
82.- Retrograde motion is the apparent periodic ‘moving backwards’ of planets. It is caused by the planets’ orbit of the sun. Flat earthers cannot explain it
Flat Earthers claim Antarctica is at the outer rim of the entire earth.
83.- Antarctica has a six month day and a six month night each year, as does the north pole. This would be impossible on a flat earth
84.- Fedor Konyukhov circumnavigated Antarctica in 102 days. If he were doing this on a flat earth, he would have been traveling at an average of 26.94 knots/hr, which would have smashed the single hulled speed record by 7 knots/hr and 101.5 days
85.- There are a number of permanent research stations in Antarctica, and they can all vouch for the fact that Antarctica is only about 11,000 miles in circumference, not 78,000 miles as a flat earth map shows. Antarctica is a continent even though its landmass is covered with ice. In the north pole there are only temporary research stations because there is no land mass and the ice is constantly moving or breaking up
86.- Webcams are set up in Antarctica where one can see pictures taken at every hour which show the 24 hour day or 24 hour night
87.- Similarly to Antarctica, southern cities of the world have longer days during the December/Summer solstice: Ushuaia, Argentina (17:19:53 hrs); Cape Town, South Africa (14:25:02 hrs); Hobart, Australia (15:21:03 hrs); Invercargill, New Zealand (15:48:54 hrs). This would be impossible on a flat earth
88.- There are currently 45 companies that are members of the International Association of Antarctica Tourist Operations, including ships, flights and land based operations. During the 2007-08 season, there were 46,265 visitors. None of these companies claim Antarctica is the end of the earth
89.- There are three poles in Antarctica. A geographic pole, a magnetic pole and a ceremonial pole. The fact that lines of longitude converge on the geographic pole proves the earth is a globe
Maps and Flights
Many Flat Earthers admit that there is no official map for their model, though the circular ‘UN’ type map is used by most.
91.- Airplane windows are made for looking down. If the earth were flat, one would see the horizon at almost eye level no matter how high one flew, and the windows would need to accommodate for this
92.- A plane can automatically adjust its altitude by means of an altimeter. Pilots also often make small adjustments while flying, so any changes needed due to the curvature of the earth are minimal and a normal part of flying
Dear Capt Lim;
I have limited flying experience (two introductory flight lessons in a Cessna and several commercial flights, including some Transatlantic trips), so please excuse my ignorance.
I was wondering; since the earth is spherical and the curvature is approximately 6 foot “drop” for every three miles i.e. a 6 foot person will disappear over the horizon 3 miles away, does a jet aircraft need to be constantly adjusted nose down to adjust for the curvature of the earth?
In other words, if a plane was trimmed for straight and level flight, would it “gain altitude” while flying as the earth surface “fell away” due to the curvature?
Thanks for your time and consideration.
This is an interesting question. A plane will fly at a constant altitude and will follow the curvature of the earth and would not gain altitude during a level flight.
For instance, if a plane is cleared to maintain 35,000 feet, by regulations, the pilot must maintain that level based on a standard barometric pressure setting (29.92 inHg or 1013 millibars) Hence it would stay at that altitude (FL350) because the pilot is either controlling the plane manually or has engaged the autopilot to achieve that.
There are two basic instruments that enable this procedure – an altimeter and a vertical speed indicator (VSI). The VSI provides short term changes in pressure and indicates whether the plane is climbing or descending. These changes will give an indication to the pilot so that he would level the plane to maintain 35,000 feet. He will adjust the controls very slightly by use of the elevator and trims. This can be performed automatically by the autopilot as well. As such, the flight controls are constantly moving very subtly to maintain the correct attitude.
You said that, if the plane was trimmed for a straight and level flight, it would ‘gain altitude’ while flying as the earth surface ‘fell away’ due to the curvature of the earth. Well, that would probably happen in a perfectly motionless atmosphere where the plane would fly dead ahead, and over time gain altitude (provided it has sufficient thrust) as the earth curves away from under the airplane.
In reality, a constant altitude must be kept using the standard pressure and that means a fixed distance to the earth center of gravity is maintained, making the path of the plane a curved one.
So, a plane is not flying a straight line – geometrically speaking!
94.- Many flights stop in the northern hemisphere due to commercial reasons. Almost 90% of the world’s population lives in the northern hemisphere
95.- The most popular flat earthers’ map is an azimuthal equidistant projection map. The distances on such maps are only correct in relation to the center point. All other distances are distorted. An azimuthal equidistant projection map can be made for any point on earth, including Antarctica
96.- Matt Boylan claims to be a NASA whistleblower who used to create fake pictures. However Boylan is an actor and was in a semi-pornographic show called ‘Illuminati bodypaint’ (videos for April and May 2013)
97.- Eric Dubay is an aggressive flat earther who also teaches demonic yoga, is anti-Christian, pro-Hitler, thinks Jesus Christ was a ‘magic mushroom’, believes in the occult and that reality is an illusion, he dressed like a woman in a video, and plagiarized at least 28 of his ‘200 proofs the earth is not a spinning ball’. He might be a paid actor. Dubay also accuses almost all the main people in the flat earth movement of being paid shills, yet we are supposed to believe that he is not
98.- Patricia Steere interviews various flat earthers. She dresses in various costumes in her videos, such as a Pagan. Some of her guests also wear bizarre costumes. These people obviously don’t want to be taken seriously and appear to be actors
99.- The flat earth society of Canada was started to test whether people would use critical thinking skills in regard to a commonly held truth, namely, that the earth is a globe
This essay by the important Canadian poet, Alden Nowlan, is from his 1978 collection of essays entitled Double Exposure. The Flat Earth Society of Canada, of which Nowlan and Ferrari were founding members, fizzled out in the mid-80‘s but not before Dr. Ferrari finished his manuscript called “The Earth Is Flat : An Exposé of the Globularist Hoax” which now resides in the archives of St. Thomas University in New Brunswick. Dr. Ferrari passed away on October 7, 2010.
100.- Leo Ferrari, the founder of the Flat Earth Society of Canada made a mockumentary about the flat earth theory. In spite of it being a satire, many flat earthers believe it is a wonderful example of flat earth ideas
101.- According to the Freemason, Andrew Prescott, Freemasons formed ‘Zetetic societies’ to engage in anti-Christian and ‘scientific’ debate. A prominent Flat Earther, Eric Dubay, said that Freemasonry’s ‘biggest secret’ is that the earth is flat. Freemasonry is a diabolical sect. When Dubay was insulting Neil DeGrasse Tyson, a globe earther, Dubay subtly endorsed this sect when he stated: “The best thing about Neil DeGrasse Tyson is he’s a Freemason…” Dubay believes in the occult, as do Freemasons. It would be no surprise if Dubay were a member of the Illuminati. It appears that the flat earth movement is essentially a masonic deception.