Called out by someone I never heard of


By chance, I just stumbled across this curious announcement:

Saturday Oct 30th ‘SPECIAL EDITION’ 1PM US Central/7PM UK on Quantum Eraser Channel –

Professor PZ Myers and Atheist Round Table: ‘DEBUNKED’ !

This “Quantum Eraser” guy is some kind of flat-earther, but otherwise I know nothing about them. I have a couple of questions, though. How do flat-earthers explain time zones? Also, do they use a different calendar than we do, since on my globe-shaped planet, 30 October is a Friday.

I’m also curious about how I got on the flat earth radar. Do they just assume, reasonably enough, that anyone with a science degree is going to find flat-earth BS to be absurd?

Comments

  1. jffordem says

    Quantum Eraser – if that is his real name – is one of a gaggle of YouTubers who truck the Flat Earther conspiracy nonsense. You can find lots of good debunking from Conspiracy Catz and SciManDan’s channels. Videos from “flearthers” like Quantum Eraser are even more cringe-worthy than you can imagine. These are people who blithely admit they can’t do middle-school algebra, but are absolutely convinced they’ve disproved the “Globe-tards”. (Yes, they really say that.) They often tip their hand by making pious mentions of God and creation, so they appear to be creationists who have fallen onto the lowest rungs of the anti-science ladder.

  2. pavium says

    If a flat-earther had a telephone conversation with someone on the other sided of the Earth, would they believe that it can be dark in one place and not the other, or do they have some kind of ‘clever’ explanation for it.

  3. Nomad says

    I think I know how they explain time zones. Mind you flat Earthers don’t settle on a single explanation, so different people likely hold different and incompatible beliefs.

    One model I’ve seen has a disc shaped Earth (a popular belief is that there’s an almost magical wall of ice surrounding the disc, and that it’s located in Antarctica and no one except those who are in on the conspiracy are allowed to go there) with the sun located much closer in the sky. The sun follows a tight little orbit over the planet, and the orbit is said to get larger or smaller to explain the seasons. To be clear, in this model the sun is always over the disc of the planet. So the real question is, how do they explain the day/night cycle?

    I think they hold very “special” beliefs about atmospheric optics that they use to hand wave away not being able to see the sun at night even though it should be above the horizon at all times. It’s the same thing they use to hand wave away the phenomenon of ships disappearing over the horizon of a body of water.

  4. KG says

    Come now, that’s not you – it’s someone called Prof PZ Myer. Although I have to admit, he does bear a faint resemblance to you.

  5. charlesanthony says

    And they keep “proving” that the earth is flat and atmospheric distortion makes things disappear under the horizon by shining lasers across big lakes, because for some reason that they have never heard them articulate lasers are not affected by the distortion.

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    jffordem @3:

    absolutely convinced they’ve disproved the “Globe-tards”

    I prefer being called a Spheroidal Thug. Sounds more manly.

  7. HappyHead says

    @pavium #4:
    They do! Some kind of weird thing about the sun being a spotlight that travels in a circle over top of the disk, and you can only see it when you’re in the beam.
    I think the north pole is supposed to be the centre or something, and there’s military bases on Antarctica to stop people from going too close to the “edge wall” and proving that it’s not a globe. Whose military? Good question! It’ll let them change the topic to an entirely different brand of conspiracy before you point out any more problems with the other one.
    Every time you point out an inconsistency, the whole thing gets more convoluted and un-workable, but that doesn’t stop them.

  8. says

    I got into a discussion with some flatheads on G+ a couple of years back. The model they explained went something like this:
    1. The earth is a disc surrounded by a wall of ice (stops the oceans from flowing off the edges).
    2. The sun (which is much smaller and closer than Fake Science believes) “orbits” this disc by moving around a circle located approximately halfway between the center and the edge. Presumably the shape of its “orbit” adjusts much as the sun’s passage around the Fake Science’s supposed globe does, causing the seasons in kind of the same way.
    3. The moon glows by its own light. (This allows it to be about the same distance away as the sun, which of course it is.)

    There’s no explanation for why the sun moves around like this; when I suggested that standard orbital mechanics was a much better explanation for the available evidence, and they had some burden of proof as to why their theory was better… is when they kicked me out of their Google Community, claiming I obviously wasn’t “interested in learning”.

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m also curious about how I got on the flat earth radar.

    Probably because a lot of the flat-earthers are fundies.

  10. says

    One of my favorite You-tubers BlueMarbleScience (BMS) spends a lot of time debunking Quantum Erasure (QE). QE is one of the most clueless human beings on Earth.

    BTW BME is working on a recreation of the Cavindish experiment that he intends to use to measure small “g” gravity and calculate big “G” gravity. I love the fact he’s actually building it and doing this century+ old science experiment.

  11. HappyHead says

    Aha! Found it … the explanation for not seeing the sun. Google “Orlando Ferguson flat earth map” – it’s really simple you see, the earth isn’t just flat, it’s also indented, like someone took a projection map of the earth from above the north pole, and then pressed a donut into it. The sun spotlight spins around on a string hanging from the north pole, and is down in the indent, so you can’t see it if it’s at the other side of the disk, unless you’re up on the pole, or off at the outer wall.

    Nevermind the way all of the southern continents are stretched WAAAAAY beyond out of proportion, I’m sure there’s some explanation for that too, possibly some conspiracy among the map makers and road repair crews.

    Then again, good ol’ Orlando may be regarded as some kind of heritic flat earther or something, I don’t really keep track.

  12. whheydt says

    Re: Woozle @ #13…
    I like the term “flatheads”, but I have a question… Are they phillips flatheads or do they take some other type of screwdriver?

    Re: the post and whole thread…
    Reminds me of Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World. Slocum was a former (sailing) sea captain and the first person to circumnavigate the world single-handed. He did it in the 1890s (no radio in case of trouble!). At one point, he stopped in South Africa and was invited to meet Oom Paul Kruger, then president of the Transvaal Republic. Kruger was a flat Earther…

  13. Matt Cramp says

    Dan Olson has a really beautiful video about flat earthers and why they believe what they believe, including a gorgeous shot where he dips a camera a couple of metres and shows the curvature of the earth. It seems to be at least partly a sublimated religious thing: if the earth is flat, then science’s authority would be unearned and the existence of a god would be undeniable. It also seems to be something driven in large part by YouTube recommendations, and now that YouTube has changed its algorithm so in this specific case people get pointed to popular debunking videos, it’s lost a lot of its traction.

  14. pilgham says

    Everybody should watch “In Search Of A Flat Earth” on youtube by Folding Ideas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTfhYyTuT44 Why? Because it’s fantastic.

    The funny thing about flat earth is the way, if you give up on a spherical Earth, how many other things have to be abandoned too. Gravity, space, the Moon, planets, stars all have to be fake. Eventually you find you’re living in “The Truman Show”.

  15. whheydt says

    Re: pilgham @ #23…
    Like the related field, creationism, in order to account for all the reasonable and logical objections that can be raised, it’s just one ad hoc addition after another.

  16. bcwebb says

    It’s interesting, when you try to find arguments to challenge flat earthers you realize quickly that all of the “disappear over the horizon stuff” has problems with refraction; in fact there are some flat earther videos showing anomalous horizon locations over warm ocean. It seems to me though that the “draw a map that matches flight times between cites” is likely to be much harder to refute as the flat earth maps have to have an enormous distance between Southern Hemisphere cities. They can start claiming conspiracies where planes are slower in the Northern Hemisphere but it starts looking foolish pretty quick. I guess they could claim the air is thicker? But that would surely be perceptible by the planes?

  17. brucegee1962 says

    @19 Happyhead

    Nevermind the way all of the southern continents are stretched WAAAAAY beyond out of proportion, I’m sure there’s some explanation for that too, possibly some conspiracy among the map makers and road repair crews.

    Obviously the airline schedules must be in on the conspiracy too, since according to their reality, flights between points in the Southern hemisphere would be many, many times longer than a trip between two points displayed as being the same distance apart on one of those phony “sphere” maps.

  18. bcwebb says

    FLights Tokyo to NYC direct are 12:15. FLights TOK to LAX 9:45 to NYC 6hrs = 15.45. We know that TOK, and NYC are at similar positions on the doughnut in flatland and LAX is a little it of a detour south and TOK and NYC are about 12 hours apart, so opposite sides of the circle. So the TOK-LAX-NYC ought to be pi*the TOK-NYC route… I guess they’ll claim some special flight path across the doughtnut middle…

  19. bcwebb says

    @27 oops pi/2 * …. so 19:15 for the TOK-LAX-NYC route based on 12:15 for TOK-NYC and it’s 15:45.

    I guess the argument gets a lot better if you throw in the 12:30hr flights from Santiago Chile to Auckland..

  20. Bruce says

    Only a flat-earther podium would turn the name Myers into a four-letter word, instead of the usual fundie six.

  21. birgerjohansson says

    Without flat earthers, the stand-up team behind “God Awful Movies” would have a more boring job, being restricted to films by fundies and Goop.

  22. davidc1 says

    I would like to ask a flater ,why they think NASA is telling us the world is round ,and what they are trying to gain by it .

  23. says

    The “revolving spotlight” model is not in agreement with observable reality. For one thing, the sun can be seen to rise and set at 90° to the horizon …..

  24. Pierce R. Butler says

    Woozle @ # 13: The earth is a disc surrounded by a wall of ice (stops the oceans from flowing off the edges).

    So if an Antarctic glacier melts, all the oceans will immediately drain off into space?

    Good thing global warming is a(nother) gigantic hoax, then!

  25. Pierce R. Butler says

    Can someone please tell us more about the person dancing on the clouds just to the right of Judge Alien Robothead?

  26. hiddenheart says

    Quantum Eraser is part of the slowly contracting circle of Flat Earther you tubers, and is taken by the others as some sort of real genius. He’s not.

    There are a bunch of good flat-earth debunkers on YouTube, too: Bob the Science Guy, Wolfie6020 (a commercial pilot from Australia), Blue Marble Science, Critical Think, among others. Anyone curious can just skim their playlists for videos about Quantum Eraser and his stupid follies.

  27. Kagehi says

    Nevermind the way all of the southern continents are stretched WAAAAAY beyond out of proportion

    Briefly considers, then rejects, selling these yockels “land” which must obviously be hidden somehow from everyone, and made inaccessible, which would need to exist to explain these odd distorted map… lol

  28. jffordem says

    For me the most appalling Flat Earth trope is that we’re living in a snow globe. Remember when the Enterprise whanged against the edge of the galaxy so hard it gave people superpowers? Now, they’re saying the edge of the universe is a boat ride away and accessible for anyone with mountaineering skills. The fact that they can’t address the fundamental implications of what’s beyond the freaking edge of the universe is astonishing. They sit in mommy and daddy’s basement bleating about how evil NASA is, and haven’t once said, “hmm, what’s on the other side of that wall?” Pathetic.

  29. Jado says

    Flat Earth makes perfect sense if you think gravity works in a different way than it does, and if you think there are warp portals that link the edges of the flat earth with all the other opposite edges. Any whacko conspiracy theory can be made to work if you apply enough magic and science fiction to it. Kinda like “Cause God wants it that way!” Argument finished. Although maybe not in the expected way so much as the “teaching pigs to sing” way…

    This doesn’t change the fact that a flat earth doesn’t help in any way for any science or engineering issues, but then I doubt it was ever meant to help.

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