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Many People Still Believe the Earth is Flat


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#1 brokenportal

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 07:03 PM


Many People Still Believe the Earth is Flat

To quote “A Cultural Note” from the Libertarian Alliance, “So we see, for example, occasional coverage of the cryonics and life extension movements portrayed very much in ‘flat earth’ terms. A mainstream scientist who strays into these areas is quickly marginalized as an eccentric by bemused colleagues. As Thomas Kuhn pointed out, science is far from the purely rational and systematic process it pretends to be.”

If we can maintain our lives, it makes sense to do so. Some would actually rebel against this notion. Many people have always, long believed things that were counterintuitive to common sense, many times out of humanities lack of experience as a whole, and many times out of conformity to popular trends in thought.

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At one time the gods of the heavens could not have been argued out of entire society’s heads. A lot of people have thought that the earth was flat. There are no as of yet provable gods, the earth is not flat, it was not impossible for us to conceive of a workable route to a new land, nor is it inconceivable for us to chart and navigate a course to indefinite life extension. Even today there still exists an entire organization, the Flat Earth Society, which is furious that we will not stop thinking that the earth is round. The as of yet non supporters of the movement for indefinite life extension can join them.

Many “experts” good as they may be in their particular fields, are still riddled with fallacy, they comprise devout Christians, or pagans, or atheists. Although it may be possible that there is an invisible friend in the sky that whisks us away to a magical candy land in the clouds upon death, it is only a possibility. Although there may be no god, gods or something else, these are things that we need to be agnostic about. We cannot know until we know. Experts in various fields are not perfect polymaths and not even the smartest polymaths are perfect. What we need to follow is the expert of common sense that we can unleash within ourselves, we need to build within ourselves the tools to evaluate and recognize fallacy free, critical and free thinking.

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Another quote from a Libertarian Alliance Cultural Note reads, “Parapsychology provides a fertile source of examples. Arch debunker James Randi, quoted by John Taylor in Science and the Supernatural,5 commenting on how a band of PhDs in physics, chemistry and mathematics could reach convictions so contrary to their science, says: "Because I have seen what grown men will do to satisfy a deep need to believe."

As the late great indefinite life extensionist Al Harrington might have said, many of those grown men die before they die, committing suicide on installment plans. Don't be a stooge, be a cosmic revolutionary.

Every single one of us is born to be all we can be. It is up to us all to follow through with it or not. The winds of convention can help us, teach us, and do at the very least provide a lot of valuable insight, but in the final conclusion we have to go with true, deep, hard, continuous, honest self evaluation. We must ask ourselves what honestly makes sense, and honestly what courses of action we must take, what is right and wrong, what is conformity or honesty, what is stagnation or expedition, what is flat earther or free thinking. In the end we all control our own destinies.

Let us stay out of the flat graveyard, and continue to drive the global movement.

Edited by brokenportal, 31 July 2012 - 07:07 PM.


#2 Droplet

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:52 AM

Bloody heck, there truly is a Flat Earth Society! I had to Google it to see if it was true and they are still operating today.

Arch debunker James Randi, quoted by John Taylor in Science and the Supernatural,5 commenting on how a band of PhDs in physics, chemistry and mathematics could reach convictions so contrary to their science, says: "Because I have seen what grown men will do to satisfy a deep need to believe."

I do believe 100% that people need to have faith in something no matter what that something is. Just a shame that for most it isn't life extension but then I guess that's what millenia of conditioning does. Perhaps you could do some sort of campaign regarding something real to have faith in? I dunno and this is probably a useless train of thought.

Edited by Droplet, 03 January 2012 - 09:52 AM.

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#3 niner

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:10 AM

We are pretty deep in the mire of ignorance when you can't get nominated to run for president in one of our political parties if you "believe in" science.
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#4 Droplet

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:49 PM

We are pretty deep in the mire of ignorance when you can't get nominated to run for president in one of our political parties if you "believe in" science.

So does that mean it would stunt your chances if you had faith in this cause or is this just for people who still believe the world is flat and was made in seven human days? I would be suprised if belief in our cause would stunt ones chances of running for president, as the people trying to help are looking from a largely scientific perspective.

#5 niner

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:02 AM

We are pretty deep in the mire of ignorance when you can't get nominated to run for president in one of our political parties if you "believe in" science.

So does that mean it would stunt your chances if you had faith in this cause or is this just for people who still believe the world is flat and was made in seven human days? I would be suprised if belief in our cause would stunt ones chances of running for president, as the people trying to help are looking from a largely scientific perspective.

In America, there are two major parties, as you probably know. One accepts science, while the other one is currently using acceptance of science as a litmus test. If you accept science, you are not acceptable to "the base" of the party. I've heard an estimate that 25% of Americans fall into this category. That would be roughly half the members of the anti-science party. The anti science party doesn't reject all science. For example, they believe in electromagnetism and gravity (except during the Rapture), but they don't accept evolutionary theory or climate science.

If you believe that the molecular damage that is aging could in principle be corrected, and that by so doing, people would live longer healthier lives, and that this would be a good thing, that would probably be acceptable to the pro-science party. If you proposed that we engage in a crash program to conquer the blight of death, you would still be out of the mainstream at this time, and would be considered a fringe candidate at best, i.e., essentially unelectable. While most Americans would be quite happy with the idea of longer healthier lives, many people would absolutely freak out if you started talking about "immortality". That's why we changed our name from The Immortality Institute to Longecity. It was felt by many that we needed to lose the word immortality so that professionals could be affiliated with the Institute without endangering their careers.

#6 Droplet

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:27 PM

I never knew American politics was quite like that but it was interesting. Thanks for sharing. :) I was aware of the name change thing though and yes, "immortality" is a word that can be off-putting to some.

#7 Luminosity

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:57 AM

What do you mean, the earth isn't flat?

#8 brokenportal

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:34 PM

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edit: quote not attributable to Magellan

Edited by brokenportal, 31 July 2012 - 06:57 PM.

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#9 Kahnetic

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:02 PM

I always believed The Flat Earth Society was a satirical organization, like the Curch of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. But after having a look around their forums, I think they may actually be sincere. Wow.

#10 Lazarus Long

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:55 PM

I would take "American" out of Menken's quote and just say "general".

It is easier to sell snake oil than good medicine and it is easier to sell get rich quick schemes than teach people to save money. This has always been not only one of the big obstacles this organization faces with achieving our goals, it is one of the great challenges our species faces in progressing from a Type 0 to Type 1 civilization. Just because a truth is simple doesn't make changing it easy.

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. H. L. Mencken
US editor (1880 - 1956)


Edited by Lazarus Long, 27 July 2012 - 01:57 PM.


#11 wiserd

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:05 PM

I'm often amazed at people who talk about "believing in Science" but are unwilling to fact-check basic quotes and statements when those statements
flatter their preconceptions. The Magellan quote is spurious, and seems to be a recent invetion (like most claims that any educated person or religious organization after ~300 BC believed the earth was flat. ) The belief that ancients believed in a flat earth was invented in the mid 1800s or so, predominantly by atheistic authors.

This quotation is often found on the internet attributed to Magellan, but never with a source, and no occurrence prior to its use by Robert Green Ingersoll in his essay "Individuality" has been located. Thus, it is spurious and not to be attributed to Magellan.



http://en.wikiquote....lan

Columbus wasn't denied funding by many because he believed the earth was round while others believed that it was flat. He was denied funding because he believed the earth was much smaller than everyone knew it to be. (His crew was fearing starvation when they hit America, and Columbus thought that they were sailing to the West Indies. If it hadn't been for the American continent standing in his way, he would have fallen pathetically short and starved to death a good long time before he reached the West Indies.)

To be clear, I have a degree in biotechnology (not working in the field) and believe in common descent and that natural selection has an influence on evolution. But a number of biological ideas that are propagated are bunk. I have an actual college microbiology textbook (still own it) that claims that the Urey Miller experiment created self-replicating non-genetically based organisms. It didn't. The experiment produced a racemic mix of simple amino acids. HUGE difference.

One of my college microbio professors tried to tell me that the dye produced by Serratia marcescens in one of our experiments confered no adaptive advantage. The dye was produced by a multi-gene process. Something that complex won't just arise without serious selective pressure. And a later search demonstrated that the stuff had anti-biotic activity (but was too toxic for human use.) My professor's view that genetic variation is hugely random is an older view, it seems. The stuff produced by evolution is actually far more elegant. It's not so strange to believe that the process which produced a brain may also have some intelligence of a sort in its own right.

While I have some serious issues with portions of the "Intelligent Design" movement their assertion that random variation was insufficient to account for observed phenotypic traits seems absolutely correct. HSP induced mutation and epigenetics support that notion, and folks like Behe were quicker to adopt a belief in epigenetics than more mainstream folks like Dawkins who insisted that genetic variation was 'random' rather than simply containing some random components.

Georges Lemaître, a catholic priest, originated the derisively named "Big Bang" theory (Named by Hoyle) at a time when the scientific establishment was strongly pushing a steady state universe.

Similarly, while I disagree strongly with the way that the denial of federal stem cell funding was carried out, the issue is often dishonestly mangled for political effect.

Adult stem cell therapies are more useful than embryonic stem cell therapies because we actually carry our own ASCs and won't need to have foriegn cells implanted into our bodies.

Granted, there are many issues with how the federal ban on funding was carried out. It was pointless and harmful to deny the use of ESCs from in vitro clinics which would just be thrown out and Bush's "10 usable ESC lines" were contaminated with murine cells and caused a good deal of scientific work to be thrown out.

But despite this, denial of federal funding for a thing isn't a "ban on research" as so many have claimed. Government and private funding still goes to ESC research (even though it's often not as helpful as ASC research) so saying that anyone banned such research, as I've often heard, is dishonest.

And more importantly, the american focus on ASCs rather than ESCs have probably put us ahead of the game, despite the hamfisted way the move was handled.


Environmentally speaking;
CO2, historically, has been a lagging (by several centuries) rather than leading indicator of climate change. But because that notion was inconvenient, Gore, in his movie, provided a graph with a condensed timeframe which put temperature and CO2 on top of each other delieberately promoting the false impression that CO2 was a leading indicator. Even worse, when I point this out to people their response is typically to agree that it's deceptive but not to care because people need to be rallied to the cause. How is that honest or "believing in science."

Backtested models based on data sets that can't be re-produced by the general public, useful or not, are very different from the open process called science. When scientists deliberately lose the data required to reproduce their data sets, their results need to be discarded as well since their work no longer meet the scientific standard of reproducibility. The same goes with all other work based on those data sets.

Science is a process that may or may not be adhered to. It's not simply about what scientistis say or believe, but about their methods for producing results. Kuhn is a perennial favorite of Speech and Mass Com majors. Popper is a far more valued philosopher for actual scientists, who explored how the scienfic method should be carried out.

Edited by wiserd, 28 July 2012 - 08:12 PM.

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#12 brokenportal

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 06:56 PM

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(quote not attributable to Magellan)


Thanks, I posted the Magellan quote to consider editing into the topic at a later point. I should have checked before posting. As to the rest of the details, the topic is worded the way it is because I went in search of further references to the correlate with the flat earth society, as a part of this topic, and found them hard to come by. When I found the Magellan quote I thought it was the kind I had been looking for. Im going to edit the following quoted lines from the topic, not least because there is also a mistake in the first line of the very next paragraph which says that "the earth is not round", but its supposed to say "the earth is not flat".

At one time the gods of the heavens could not have been argued out of entire society’s heads. The earth is round, contrary to groups of skeptics in the age of discovery who said the earth was flat, who forbade the governments from funding far reaching ocean exploration.

There are no as of yet provable gods, the earth is not round, and it was not impossible for us to conceive of a workable route to a new land, and nor is it inconceivable for us to chart and navigate a course to indefinite life extension.



#13 maxwatt

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:08 PM

...

Environmentally speaking;
CO2, historically, has been a lagging (by several centuries) rather than leading indicator of climate change. But because that notion was inconvenient, Gore, in his movie, provided a graph with a condensed timeframe which put temperature and CO2 on top of each other delieberately promoting the false impression that CO2 was a leading indicator. Even worse, when I point this out to people their response is typically to agree that it's deceptive but not to care because people need to be rallied to the cause. How is that honest or "believing in science."

Except that this isn't accepted as true by paleoclimatoligists and climate scientists. The period most often cited for this, the Miocene, has been difficult to pin down because of the difficulty in accurately dating the materials that serve as proxies for temperature. It was thought CO2 appeared to lag temperature until more accurate dating techniques for CO2 were recently. But I don't expect the revised dating to make it into the public lexicon. Also one has to explain how a known greenhouse gas like CO2 will not cause warming, contrary to what basic principles of physics tell us it should.

Backtested models based on data sets that can't be re-produced by the general public, useful or not, are very different from the open process called science. When scientists deliberately lose the data required to reproduce their data sets, their results need to be discarded as well since their work no longer meet the scientific standard of reproducibility. The same goes with all other work based on those data sets. ...

This has not happened either, except as part of the narrative sponsored by the coal, oil and gas interests. There are those trying to discredit legitimate scientists by making such claims but the claims do not stand up to scrutiny. Where physicists and other hard scientists have challenged climate scientists, it has been on the basis of their statistical methods, but when examined closely, and even using alternate data ignored by the climate scientists, their original conclusions stand. http://www.businessi...aused-it-2012-7

Richard Muller, a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley

is the most recent of these.

The politicization of science is unfortunate. It may lead to the eventual collapse of our civilization as narrow economic interests paralyze our ability to act to face the challenges that are arising from our use of technology.

#14 wiserd

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:03 AM

I've read a number of stories about how global warming was causing worldwide famine. So I looked up grain output for various countries over they past 15 years or so. Production has held steady or increased, for the most part, despite a decline in arable land which was used for development rather than farming. To the extent that there were deficits of grain, it was largely tied to inefficient and highly subsidized attempts to turn grains into ethanol (Which only increases the total energy supply negligibly if at all. The policy is almost entirely an industry handout.) I'm curious how oil and gas corporations managed to fake that data.

There really is a sort of 'doomsday' tint to a lot of these climate change narratives, at least as they're filtered through the popular media. And that bias is pure politics. To give one example, I remember a news show about how poorly plants grew in high CO2 environments. And yes, you can get CO2 high enough that it reduces plant growth, but we're nowhere close to that. Even if we ignore debates about carbon levels in the carboniferous period and corresponding plant boom (or did we just have the proliferation of animals that could fossilize, etc. etc.) , the fact that commercial greenhouses frequently pump in CO2 to decrease photorespiration of plants and speed growth should be a clue as to where the science points here. This isn't 'manipulation of science by oil and gas interests.' Its denial of a well established scientific fact (photorespiration) by an hysterical and ascientific news media for who-knows-what motivation in an apparent attempt to cultivate an unwavering political response. See how often the benefits of decreased photorespiration are reported and you'll get an impression of just how politicized the climate debate is... and more importantly, in which direction.

It's not "Climate Change" that I question, but the doomsday narrative which is held by ideological political activists to be beyond debate. We've gone from "there's a miniscule possiblity that oceanic belts might stop to "There's no more tolerance for scientific debate on the matter. It's a foregone conclusion!"

CO2, by itself, incidentally is not a particularly strong greenhouse gas nor is it present in the atmosphere in particularly large quantities. It's potential to have a dramatic impact relies on a hypothesized (and likely, to some extent) corresponding increase in the average water vapor. (Of course, if you have more water vapor then you have more water moving to parched places like the American Southwest via the Colorado River. But the popular news media is not going to say that. Climate change can only cause bad effects which support the desired political conclusion. It can cause floods and droughts, but it is scientifically impossible that it could increase crop yeilds in any location.

And yes, the more catastrophic predictions have absolutely failed to pan out. Consider why people are looking at continental rebound to explain the far-slower-than-anticipated rise in worldwide sea level for just one example.

To be clear, I'm not saying that no climatological model has any validity or that the environment is absolutely unchanging. If we had balanced reporting in the media, that'd be great. But instead we get "the politization of science" as you call it. Only the conclusions which support the desired political actions are reported.


Except that this isn't accepted as true by paleoclimatoligists and climate scientists.


Sure it is. Here's a link to a site which argues in favor of climate change, which acknowledges the phenomenon.

it appears the lags might sometimes have been 800 years or more.


And yes, granted, there are uncertainties in measurement, but the preponderance of the evidence currently backs up my statement that Gore misrepresented the eviedence deliberately by shortening the time scale and noone was willing to call him on it. That desire to misrepresent the model which Gore used for the sake of a political agenda and the utter aversion of his supporters to call him on the fact, should set off some major alarm bells regarding how the issue is being treated.

Edited by wiserd, 02 August 2012 - 07:09 AM.


#15 platypus

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:38 AM

wiserd, the climate system is chaotic and rather large quick swings into a new state are possible. At the moment the climate has barely budged yet, even though the Arctic is currently warming up very rapidly due to polar amplification. If the climate really shifts, the patterns of rainfall could move dramatically making agriculture impossible in areas where it is practised today. What do yout think a missing monsoon would do to world food stocks? Or a few dry years in the US corn/grain belt?

#16 theseed

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:28 AM

many people still believe... there's your problem.
You can't believe in science, either; you either simply apply the data, logic, and common sense at your disposal, or you don't. If you don't, you fall back on belief and trusting in things and people to make up for your paradigm. The paradigm of needing to trust or believe. It is a victim paradigm: you can't trust your own data, logic, or common sense so you need to trust others and other things.

If your life is about accumulating opinions that are not based in fact, logic, and common sense, you are inevitably headed for overload. People experience this as strife and stress, their brains constantly battling the inconsistencies within. There's your problem. The rest is irrelevant and moot. You get your facts straight or you founder. It can take time. Hey, that's no reason to fall back on religion or gullible systems that appoint someone 'authority'.

If you still need to do this (extremely basic) research, i offer a good place to start.

Edited by theseed, 05 August 2012 - 08:29 AM.


#17 Matthias2009

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 04:14 PM

Some people find a meaning and life validation just oppozing something i think here that´s the case




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