Definitely a Spinning Ball

Living on a spinning ball, orbiting a huge explosion just far enough away to keep us warm and not fry our faces off is one of the best things ever. Unfortunately, flat earthers don’t even think the earth rotates. They just don’t appreciate a good thing.

Today’s article is a bit less focused than the gravity article. The author is looking for multiple ways to disprove everything that would involve a spinning ball hurtling around an energy ball. What I recognize first and foremost is a lack of clarity on how to disprove or prove something.

The scientific method has been honed over at least 100s of years to prove and disprove things. The idea involves asking a question. A good question has some way to find an answer. For example, this morning I wondered will I have any gum in my car? I tested it by opening the container of gum in my car and counting two pieces. This was a verifiable experiment that had the same result each time tested until I ate both pieces. The author is looking for a way to disprove the ball Earth and prove a flat Earth, but he goes about it in a way that would often be unable to produce this result.

To best test the truth of a ball Earth or a flat Earth, a person should imagine everything proposed by each theory is true. This will allow the ability to devise great tests of the theories. There are essentially four possible results of a test: (1) both ball and flat Earths are supported, (2) only ball Earth is supported, (3) only ball Earth is supported, and (4) neither flat or ball Earth are supported.

If the 4th option were true it would mean a brand new theory…like Earth is on the inside of a sphere and if you jump high enough, you will land on the other side of the planet.

So in devising tests we will really only think of the first three possibilities. Many things will probably support ball and flat Earth theory at the same time. For example, sun rays warm the Earth in both models. These tests would really not do anything to distinguish between the two competing theories. Better tests would have unexplained findings in one type of world only. Unfortunately, today’s article seems to spend a lot of time arguing the points that would exist in both. Ball Earthers have come to the conclusion Earth is a ball because of unexplained phenomenon in the flat Earth model.

Additionally, the ball Earthers have spent billions to explore the ball Earth and take pictures from space demonstrating the ball shape. Flat Earthers do not seem interested in believing this evidence or investing their money to explore the Earth’s southern pole or take a picture of Earth from 100s of miles up.

First up, the author discusses circumnavigation.

One of the easiest proofs of the spinning ball theory of the shape of Earth is the ability to circumnavigate the globe in any direction. Even flat earth proponents believe you can travel in east and west directions unhindered. They will point out that no one has ever circumnavigated the globe in a north south direction; even though they have crossed the poles (north and south). The poles have even been circumnavigated.

In the flat earth article, the author then describes how to draw a circle with a string proving the earth is flat. The same demonstration could be performed on a beach ball, a cone, or cylinder and still produce a circle that comes back to itself. The fact that East and West travel can be performed does not distinguish ball Earth from flat Earth. All of the known experiments have demonstrated ability to cross the North and South poles.

Even if the flat Earthers are skeptical. They could devise a simple experiment to drive a boat from Cape Hope to Cape Good Horn. In the ball Earth model this is a distance of 6,600km. In a flat Earth model, this should be significantly larger distance. They could also walk to the magnetic South Pole.

Next, “The ball-Earther’s logical argument is that only a globe can be circumnavigated, the Earth has been circumnavigated, and therefore the Earth is a globe. 

That is not the official stance of the Ball Earth Society. Any 3 dimensional object could be circumnavigated including a dodecahedron. A sphere does nicely allow an explorer to travel in any direction and end up back where he started without a sharp turn. The flat earth idea that you cannot go north and south is disproved. It is on the flat earth society to prove that a wall of ice exists at the edge.

Next, “ Another similarly logical but unsound argument ball-Earther’s make is that only on a globe would one gain or lose time when sailing/flying East or West, time is gained or lost when sailing/flying East or West, and therefore the Earth is a globe.

Moving east or west would work this way on a sphere. It is well established to work this way. It is again on the flat Earther to provide the evidence that prevents a sphere from making sense. Otherwise, these two arguments amount to saying: flat earth supporters make the argument that the ground is firm, and that because a firm ground would be present on a flat Earth plane, that the Earth is a plane and no other object could produce this result, when in fact other shapes could have firm ground.

The difference is ball Earthers first proved that the world is a ball then made provable observations about travel and time zones. These facts confirmed the prior observations. Flat earthers start off with a flat earth and then shape the evidence as best they can to try to make sense.

The flat Earthers attempt to replace the sun with a bright spot light that only illuminates a small portion of the planet at a time and moves north and south to vary the seasons. In doing so they create a sun and moon that do not behave the way they should. Most of this is demonstrated in this well done video:

The sun and moon would be visible all of the time. Even if the sun is shining in a different area, you would see the light coming out of it like you do when you see a spotlight on a stage pointed away from you. Because the Earth is a plane and the sun is 3000 miles above the ground, the sun would never approach the horizon. Even if the sun was 24,000 miles away, an observer would still need to look up to see the sun.


Another problem created by the distorted geography particularly in the southern hemisphere, is distances become very large. In fact, time zones are much larger at the southern pole. In reality, this does not happen.

Next, “Another favorite “proof” of ball-Earthers is the appearance from an observer on shore of ships’ hulls being obfuscated by the water and disappearing from view when sailing away towards the horizon. 

You can search YouTube for any number of these. Even the Flat Earth ones tend to be convincing that ships are sinking over the horizon and not disappearing to a point. In general they will talk about a lot of vertical perspective leading to the hull getting smaller, but fail to explain why the width does not get proportionally smaller or why the sail doesn’t also shrink in this example. Next time I am at the beach I will record the phenomenon in better resolution for myself.

Next, “the fact of the matter is that the Law of Perspective on plane surfaces dictates and necessitates the exact same occurrence.  For example a girl wearing a dress walking away towards the horizon will appear to sink into the Earth the farther away she walks.  Her feet will disappear from view first and the distance between the ground and the bottom of her dress will gradually diminish until after about half a mile it seems like her dress is touching the ground as she walks on invisible legs.  The same happens with cars speeding away, the axles gradually get lower and the wheels vanish until it appears as if the car is gliding along its body.  Such is the case on plane surfaces, the lowest parts of objects receding from a given point of observation necessarily disappear before the highest.

This isn’t how perspective works. Everything gets smaller the same at distance. Feet do not disappear because of perspective. If a girl walks away, her legs will shrink proportional to the rest of her body. Her legs will not just disappear and leave her with a torso moving about. The reason legs or boat hulls disappear is because they are passing over the horizon. If the horizon is not the cause of “invisible legs,” then you could see the same effect on objects high in the sky. For example, the lower half of airplanes would disappear. If the world is indeed flat, then there is no Earth to obstruct vision. If there is no Earth to obstruct vision, a flat Earther could see as far as the atmosphere’s clarity allowed (eventually, the combine dust floating around would obstruct the view.

Next, “Ball-Earthers will often quip that “if the Earth were flat, then we could see all over it!” but this is of course ignorant and inaccurate.

Not quite. I think we have found common ground!

Well…until you said this: “If you stand on the beach, a plain or prairie, you will find the horizon extends about three to six miles around you depending on the weather and your eyesight.  The range of the human eye, our field of vision is from 110 to 1 degree, and the smallest angle under which an object can still be seen is 1/60 of 1 degree, so that when an object is 3000 times its own diameter away from an observer, it will cease to be visible.  So for example, the farthest distance at which one can see a 1 inch diameter penny, is 3000 inches, or 250 feet.  Therefore, if a ship’s hull is 10 feet above the water, it will disappear from the unaided eye at 3000 times 10 feet, or 6 miles.  This has nothing to do with the supposed “convexity” or “curvature” of the Earth and everything to do with the common Law of Perspective.

This means that the horizon is in fact variable. Not even to quibble at the fact that pennies don’t have a diameter of 1 inch (0.75 inches in fact). The six mile horizon seems to be answered, but what about 20 ft tall ships? If the horizon is caused by perspective alone, why does everything disappear at the same location?

Additionally, if the world is flat, higher elevation would decrease an observer’s field of view. Since a ship is viewable only to 6 miles, climbing a hill to see further would in fact move the observer further away and make the horizon seem to move closer. In my own experience, climbing a great height like a mountain, increases the field of view significantly.

I am interested to see where this goes: “In the mid 19th century a Frenchman named Léon Foucault became famous for swinging pendulums and claiming their consequent motions were proof of the Earth’s diurnal rotation. Since then “Foucault Pendulums” have regularly been swinging at museums and exposition halls worldwide purporting to provide everlasting perpetual proof of the heliocentric spinning ball-Earth theory.  The truth is, however, unbeknownst to most of the duped public, that Foucault’s pendulum is a failed experiment which proves nothing but how easy it is for pseudo-science to deceive the malleable masses. 

After some words: “To begin with, Foucault’s pendulums do not uniformly swing in any one direction. Sometimes they rotate clockwise and sometimes counter-clockwise, sometimes they fail to rotate and sometimes they rotate far too much.  Scientists who have repeated variations of the experiment have conceded time and again that “it was difficult to avoid giving the pendulum some slight lateral bias at starting.””

I believe the Foucalt’s pendulum should spin differently depending on where it is located. Because of the eastward rotation of the Earth, at the North Pole the pendulum would spin clockwise; at the South Pole–counterclockwise. At the equator there would be no rotation. In fact, this is proof that the Earth spins. This is also why hurricanes spin clockwise south of the equator and counterclockwise north of the equator (same with water rotating going down a drain).

And then the real meat of the argument: “The behavior of the pendulum actually depends on 1) the initial force beginning its swing and, 2) the ball-and-socket joint used which most-readily facilitates circular motion over any other.  The supposed rotation of the Earth is completely inconsequential and irrelevant to the pendulum’s swing.  If the alleged constant rotation of the Earth affected pendulums in any way, then there should be no need to manually start pendulums in motion!  If the Earth’s diurnal rotation caused the 360 degree uniform diurnal rotation of pendulums, then there should not exist a stationary pendulum anywhere on Earth!

The initial force provides movement which can be examined. Without force the same thing could be evaluated, but it would be harder. The initial force puts the pendulum in motion. The ball and socket joint does not promote circular motion, but it does allow it. Facilitating circular motion is not the same as causing circular motion. A stair facilitates vertical motion, but anyone who has climbed stairs knows that they do not cause vertical motion.

In fact it should make sense that if the Earth is a spinning ball, at the North pole a swinging pendulum that is allowed to rotate will rotate once a day. In fact if you had a frictionless surface, a ball would rotate once a day at the pole. A frictionless surface does not exist. But a pendulum can demonstrate the same thing. The Earth is not causing the pendulum to spin. The pendulum appears to spin, but it is the earth spinning and the pendulum just looks like it. At the North pole, the observer spins around the pendulum resulting in it appearing to rotate. Away from the poles, the effect is lessened so that it takes longer than a day to rotate until reaching the equator, where it does not rotate at all. So Earth’s rotation does not cause diurnal rotation outside of the two geographic poles. Since the Earth does nothing to accelerate the pendulum while it is swinging, it would not accelerate a stationary pendulum either.

I apologize for foreshadowing the Coriolis effect, but it is time: “The “Coriolis Effect” is often said to cause sinks and toilet bowls in the Northern Hemisphere to drain spinning in one direction while in the Southern Hemisphere causing them to spin the opposite way, thus providing proof of the spinning ball-Earth. 

Yes, I’m sure there are possible exceptions, but this is something that happens so commonly you can’t just say that it is caused by wind or some other error.

“Again, however, the same problems remain. Not every bullet and not every storm consistently displays the behavior and therefore cannot reasonably be used as proof of anything. What about the precision of the sight aperture, human error, and wind?

Well you got me there. I don’t understand how flat Earthers believe in the centrifugal force (force perpendicular to axis of rotation that is seen on merry-go-rounds) but not the Coriolis force (planar rotation caused by being on a rotating surface). This is the biggest problem with flat Earth theories–they only think some of the laws of physics are true, even when to forces are closely related.

What about Michelson-Morley-Gale’s proven motion of the aether’s potential effect?

The aether has never been measured and is now a rejected and outdated theory. In fact the mentioned experiment was designed to test the effect of the aether on the direction of light as the Earth moved through the aether while rotating on its axis. The thought was the velocity of light would change when passing through the aether. It did not. This experiment rejected the idea of the aether.

The follow up experiment measured the angular momentum of Earth.

I am not sure how mentioning this experiment benefits the flat Earth argument.

Of course not every storm, weather pattern, or flushed toilet spins correctly because there are other factors and forces at play. But I will address this question: “And if the entire Earth’s spin is uniform, why should the two hemispheres be affected any differently? 

pole spin


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