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How to convince "everyone" that the Earth is not flat?

Image credit: Photo by Scott Webb: https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-grass-field-under-white-clouds-1048039/

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni May 11, 2022
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There are people who believe that the Earth is flat.
Why do we need to convince them?
  1. They spend resources trying to prove the same. They hold conferences, do research, propagate findings, etc. These resources could be spent elsewhere meaningfully.
  2. We do not want them spreading the wrong message to people who are not from the field. I know that "the Earth is elliptical/ ellipsoid" is a fact and people should not need convincing. However, there is a whole community that believes otherwise. This community has been around for ages, suggesting that there are more and more people joining them and accepting the thought that the Earth may be flat. We want to educate them all - the influencers and the influencees.
  3. This problem has been there for long with no proper solution and execution.
  4. The solution might help us understand a thing or two about the Earth that no one knew.
The ask:
The solution should be creative and simplistic that even a person without a science degree should understand. The solution could be an experiment that could be performed to check for yourself. The solution should not be ignoring or fighting the flat-earthers.
Let's deal with this once and for all.
6
Creative contributions

Try not giving a damn

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Povilas S
Povilas S May 16, 2022
I agree with what you wrote in the comments section and additionally - I think the more you'll try to actively convince them, the worse it might get, it becomes a war on perspectives, why not just let them be and realize it themselves sooner or later, or not, doesn't matter.
I think resistance is what the movement is holding on to and why it seems to attract more followers - in a technologically advanced society it's very hard to believe that the earth is flat, so whoever claims that receives a lot of resistance and ridicules, in response to this, they try to fight back and prove their point by whatever means possible. The psychological mechanisms of feeling special, misunderstood, and neglected play a major role in this. If there's no opposition in the first place, you have no reason to try and prove your truth, you are there to think whatever you want to.
I remember someone asked Elon Musk what he thinks of flat earthers and he answered something like "If it works for them, I'm fine with it". I really don't think we should try to convince everyone that the earth is not flat, let's better invest time and energy in something more productive. In the end, everyone has the right to believe whatever they want to, even if it's not true.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni4 months ago
Currently, 6% of the Earth's population believes that the Earth is flat. This number is greater than the number of people dying of any known disease (CVD, cancer, etc.). More importantly, nearly one-third of the US young adults (aged 18 to 24) believe that the Earth is flat. This suggests that the number of people believing in flat Earth is bound to increase in the near future.
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Michaela D
Michaela D4 months ago
I agree the greatest concern is not what they believe (Earth is flat) but why. Maybe this is what should be addressed first. Also, I think that just trying to convince them the Earth is not flat would feel like trying to prove you are not an elephant.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic4 months ago
The problem arises when they convince other people just because those people had the misfortune to come in contact with their wrong version of the truth first. This has a direct effect on us as a species.
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A website collection of important events that turned out to be true

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 16, 2022
As Shubhankar Kulkarni said, the main reason people believe in conspiracy theories is the lack of trust in the mainstream narrative. There are plenty of reasons people don't trust the media, governments, politicians, and/or anything they stand for.
I propose an ever-growing website collection of important events where "they" turned out, to tell the truth. Maybe the website could be named something along the lines of "That time they didn't lie"
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Povilas S
Povilas S4 months ago
Wht about those cases where former conspiracy theories turned out to be true?:)
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic4 months ago
Povilas S those are for the rest of the internet. Such lists are easily found on google.
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Weather balloons for flat earthers to carry up drones that return the camera to the original take-off location

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jun 03, 2022
Weather balloons made for and marketed to flat earthers. They carry drones as high as possible. When the balloon pops the drone returns the camera to its original take-off location.
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Foucault pendulum

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Povilas S
Povilas S Jun 08, 2022
This alone likely wouldn't convince flat-earthers to abandon their theory, but it could definitely shed some doubt and, together with other means, contribute to the diminishing of the belief.
Foucault pendulum is a device made to prove the rotation (around its axis) of the Eart. It seems that flat-earthers state that the Earth is not only flat but that it doesn't rotate or move in any way. They also often point to the lack of direct empirical (sensory) evidence confirming that the earth is round as a reason to believe that it is flat. The pendulum provides that evidence.
A heavy enough weight is suspended on a long enough wire (a height of a church ceiling or similar). The pendulum is pushed and as it swings, during the day its swinging plane appears to be rotating - the pendulum could draw patterns in the sand, push off objects placed along the edge of the circle which surrounds it, etc. This apparent side movement of the pendulum is caused by the Earth's rotation.
It was first built and publicly exhibited in 1851, to prove the phenomenon to the general public. Then there were no possibilities to view or photograph the Earth from high above, so people were closer (evidence-wise) to flat Earthers than we are now.
There are plenty of those pendulums exhibited around the world in science museums, observatories, etc. So a flat-earther could simply go to the closest place which has one, to observe the phenomenon with their own eyes. Even better - if there's distrust in others, with some effort one could build such a pendulum him/herself, it's way easier than going to space with a homemade rocket.
An issue with the Foucault pendulum phenomenon is that the more you get into the details of how it works, the more unclear it gets (from personal experience). It's the easiest to apply the most intuitive concept - the Earth spins beneath the swinging pendulum, while the pendulum stays fixed to its swinging plane, which is not exactly correct but is enough to get someone interested. Leaving the theory aside, the view itself should be pretty convincing.

[1]https://flatearthfacts.com/flat-earth-model/proof-the-earth-is-flat/cant-detect-rotation-earth/

[2]https://www.quora.com/How-do-the-flat-Earthers-explain-the-fact-that-if-the-Earth-is-not-rotating-then-all-the-stars-have-to?share=1

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A documentary about three flat earthers who went into orbit and realized they were wrong

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 11, 2022
Put a crew of three well-known flat earthers and a good physics educator on a SpaceX commercial flight to orbit. Produce a documentary about their realization that Earth is not flat after all. Details about this are here.
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Mikhail Korsanov
Mikhail Korsanov4 months ago
Won't they say this flight is faked virtual reality?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic4 months ago
Mikhail Korsanov if they dismiss it as fake, they would have to stop trusting 3 of the highly regarded members of their community that they trusted just before the flight. Those 3 would surely be convinced. The SpaceX Dragon capsule has a glass dome for them to see out of.
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Michaela D
Michaela D4 months ago
Or you can go cheaper and let them sail to the end of the world like these guys here. Too bad they didn't let them.
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Science if corrupted

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Mikhail Korsanov
Mikhail Korsanov May 21, 2022
Well, it is quite obvious that science is pretty much corrupted by financial interests... I am not sure about flat Earth, but you can't be confident in anything until you have enough of evidence reliably checked by yourself.
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General comments

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni4 months ago
I read this online and just want to put it here because it seems relevant and valid - "... the question isn't "Why do people believe in a flat Earth?" but rather "Why do people believe in a conspiracy?" And the answer is the same reason it always is: a lack of trust... So if you find yourself talking to a flat-Earther, skip the evidence and arguments and ask yourself how you can build trust." - by Paul Sutter
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