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Hi, I am new to this so please bare with me. I am currently debating a flat earther, and I am unsure how to answer this question accurately. 

The claim is that the sun cannot be 93,000,000 miles away, as when you view it from a high altitude, the suns arc changes too much. The conclusion is that this must mean the sun is much closer, otherwise its arc wouldnt appear to change to us.

I put this down to perspective and explained that if it were 93 million light years away our position would effect our perspective. (I might be wrong there)

But I would also like to know if or why this is the case, I havent observed this or been able to.

Thanks if anyone can help?

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14 minutes ago, Adamchiv said:

I am currently debating a flat earther, and I am unsure how to answer this question accurately. 

Not worth it. You're trying to use reason on a person who thinks NASA (and ESA and Roscosmos and JAXA and CSNA and ISRO) are hiding the truth about the universe. Their confirmation bias would only be triggered by any scientific explanation.

There's SO much fundamental misunderstanding going on with a flat Earther it would take complete reeducation to get through. Anyone who believes the Earth is flat doesn't understand gravity, or how stars and planets form.

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6 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Not worth it. You're trying to use reason on a person who thinks NASA (and ESA and Roscosmos and JAXA and CSNA and ISRO) are hiding the truth about the universe. Their confirmation bias would only be triggered by any scientific explanation.

There's SO much fundamental misunderstanding going on with a flat Earther it would take complete reeducation to get through. Anyone who believes the Earth is flat doesn't understand gravity, or how stars and planets form.

I agree, and even if I answered it perfectly it would be unlikely to convince them. However it has intrigued me because its a good question really, nothing wrong with that. Well I say question, it was more of an assertion (as always 😄)

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2 hours ago, Adamchiv said:

However it has intrigued me because its a good question really,

What's a good question?  This...?

2 hours ago, Adamchiv said:

The claim is that the sun cannot be 93,000,000 miles away, as when you view it from a high altitude, the suns arc changes too much. The conclusion is that this must mean the sun is much closer, otherwise its arc wouldnt appear to change to us.

I hope not because that is a absurd.  The statement, "sun's arc changes too much" is wrong.

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9 hours ago, Adamchiv said:

The claim is that the sun cannot be 93,000,000 miles away, as when you view it from a high altitude, the suns arc changes too much.

This doesn’t make any sense. The apparent motion of the sun through the sky in the course of a day is due to Earth’s rotation, not due to relative motion between Sun and Earth. So the Sun-Earth distance does not come into this at all. 
The issue of course is that Flat Earth rejects the notion of a rotating planet, so pointing this out will just result in hand-waving dismissal.

9 hours ago, Adamchiv said:

I am currently debating a flat earther

My advice: don’t bother. I’ve been there too, and all it ever resulted in was unnecessary grief. That particular community rejects not only basic scientific observations (such as gravity e.g.), but even the very scientific method itself; there simply isn’t any common ground to base a meaningful debate on.

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22 minutes ago, Markus Hanke said:

This doesn’t make any sense. The apparent motion of the sun through the sky in the course of a day is due to Earth’s rotation, not due to relative motion between Sun and Earth. So the Sun-Earth distance does not come into this at all. 
The issue of course is that Flat Earth rejects the notion of a rotating planet, so pointing this out will just result in hand-waving dismissal.

My advice: don’t bother. I’ve been there too, and all it ever resulted in was unnecessary grief. That particular community rejects not only basic scientific observations (such as gravity e.g.), but even the very scientific method itself; there simply isn’t any common ground to base a meaningful debate on.

I think what they are talking about is, say you are at sea level and the sun appears high in the sky.. you go up in a helicopter or go to the top of a mountain, the sun looks lower now. Thats what they were getting at, again not sure if this is even true, but the claim is that it shouldnt change perspective at all because its so far away.

Yes I have never had a reasonable conversation with a flat earther, they are completely divorced from reality

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I have never debated with a flat-earther, I've often wondered how they explain the fact that you can see farther, the higher up the observer?

Perhaps you could ask for me, I'd love to hear how they explain it. 😉

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11 hours ago, Adamchiv said:

The claim is that the sun cannot be 93,000,000 miles away, as when you view it from a high altitude, the suns arc changes too much. The conclusion is that this must mean the sun is much closer, otherwise its arc wouldnt appear to change to us.

This claim is not meaningless it is just plain wrong and arises from a basic misunderstanding of celestial navigation with a sextant, where the term 'arc of the sun or arc of other celestial body arises'

It is not the altitude (which is the arc measured in degrees) but the plane from which is it is reckoned that changes with altitude and with altitude and other factors which have to be corrected for.

This plane is called the true horizon and is not directly available to the observer so various 'observable horizons' are employed  - marine navigators use the water horizon, aerial navigators use an 'artificial horizon' (yes aircraft still carry sextants for emergency navigation when the more modern electronic systems are broken).

Clearly these calculations are correct since navigators do arrive at their destinations using them.

The calculations and sight corrections can be quite complicated, here is a simple explanation.

https://knowledgeofsea.com/correction-to-sextant-altitudes/

Edited by studiot
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31 minutes ago, studiot said:

This claim is not meaningless it is just plain wrong and arises from a basic misunderstanding of celestial navigation with a sextant, where the term 'arc of the sun or arc of other celestial body arises'

It is not the altitude (which is the arc measured in degrees) but the plane from which is it is reckoned that changes with altitude and with altitude and other factors which have to be corrected for.

This plane is called the true horizon and is not directly available to the observer so various 'observable horizons' are employed  - marine navigators use the water horizon, aerial navigators use an 'artificial horizon' (yes aircraft still carry sextants for emergency navigation when the more modern electronic systems are broken).

Clearly these calculations are correct since navigators do arrive at their destinations using them.

The calculations and sight corrections can be quite complicated, here is a simple explanation.

https://knowledgeofsea.com/correction-to-sextant-altitudes/

Thankyou, sorry to sound uneducated but some of this stuff is above my knowledge. So I will have to take a little time to try to understand this, but I get the general idea 👍

1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

I have never debated with a flat-earther, I've often wondered how they explain the fact that you can see farther, the higher up the observer?

Perhaps you could ask for me, I'd love to hear how they explain it. 😉

Actually they did explain that yesterday, they claimed that globe believers are obsessed with sea level observations because they "know" atmospheric blurring will occur.

They claimed that they (flat earthers) prefer to use altitude to view horizons because it removes the atmospheric distortion.

All of this I have not prepared for, I did however say that they must specify how high they are and how far away the target object is before they even dream of giving people a conclusion

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24 minutes ago, Adamchiv said:

Actually they did explain that yesterday, they claimed that globe believers are obsessed with sea level observations because they "know" atmospheric blurring will occur.

They claimed that they (flat earthers) prefer to use altitude to view horizons because it removes the atmospheric distortion.

All of this I have not prepared for, I did however say that they must specify how high they are and how far away the target object is before they even dream of giving people a conclusion

Thanks, glad I asked, shame I don't know any, sound's like it might be quite a laugh. 😆

Off the top of my head, you could mention the test track of one of the German car maker's, it's so long and level you can't see the end, until you climb up an ordinary step ladder.

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17 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Thanks, glad I asked, shame I don't know any, sound's like it might be quite a laugh. 😆

Off the top of my head, you could mention the test track of one of the German car maker's, it's so long and level you can't see the end, until you climb up an ordinary step ladder.

Interesting, I know for a fact they will claim once again its atmospheric distortion, but i'll look into that one it sounds interesting.

One of my arguments, which I actually thought of myself is regarding polaris and the southern cross. Since timelapses show stars rotating around polaris, and then in the southern hemisphere they rotate around the southern cross...how can that fit into the concept of a flat earth with a dome over it? At the hemisphere you would have a very odd looking star rotation, it blows their model to pieces, im amazed more people dont use it.

No answer whatsoever, off any flat earther yet, it cannot work on a flat plane, and they know that. Which leads me to believe they are in serious denial, or are being disingenuous

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Debating with a flat earther is probably a waste of time.
However, if you are going to persist, ask them to email someone in each to the Earth's  two hemispheres and take a picture of the moon and send it to them.

One of the pictures will be the "wrong" way up. That can't happen unless they have different ideas of which way is "up" and that requires a non-flat Earth

That's very simple, it doesn't need complicated kit and he gets to choose who the Southerner and Northerner are, so he can claim that someone is lying.

Another is to ask them to explain the flight times between distant cities.  For example, Greenland, India, South Africa and Egypt.

That takes a bit more maths.

 

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57 minutes ago, Adamchiv said:

Interesting, I know for a fact they will claim once again its atmospheric distortion, but i'll look into that one it sounds interesting.

If they walk backwards from the start (testing at each step, how level it is), until the start can't be seen, then climb one step; then, as if by magic, the start is visible. 🤣

1 hour ago, Adamchiv said:

No answer whatsoever, off any flat earther yet, it cannot work on a flat plane, and they know that. Which leads me to believe they are in serious denial, or are being disingenuous

You should read their bible, "Disc World" by Terry Pratchett.

Edited by dimreepr
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25 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

If they walk backwards from the start (testing at each step, how level it is), until the start can't be seen, then climb one step; then, as if by magic, the start is visible. 🤣

"Yes, but" replies the flat earther smuggly "the air gets thinner the higher up one goes which weakens the effect of the atmospheric distortion so one can see further."

Simples  🤣

Edited by Dord
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1 minute ago, Dord said:

"Yes, but" replies the flat earther smuggly "the air gets thinner the higher up one goes which weakens the effect of the atmospheric distortion so one can see further."

Simples

Yes, they are; I didn't mention the height of the step. 😉

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1 hour ago, Adamchiv said:

Interesting, I know for a fact they will claim once again its atmospheric distortion, but i'll look into that one it sounds interesting.

One of my arguments, which I actually thought of myself is regarding polaris and the southern cross. Since timelapses show stars rotating around polaris, and then in the southern hemisphere they rotate around the southern cross...how can that fit into the concept of a flat earth with a dome over it? At the hemisphere you would have a very odd looking star rotation, it blows their model to pieces, im amazed more people dont use it.

No answer whatsoever, off any flat earther yet, it cannot work on a flat plane, and they know that. Which leads me to believe they are in serious denial, or are being disingenuous

I've mentioned this before in another Flat Earther thread, but in Junior High in the early seventies I had a history prof that was a "flat earther". He never admitted he didn't believe it, but seemed to be using it as a teaching tool to be skeptical about accepted facts. The class had fun with it. The reason he gave that a boat disappeared over the horizon was that the light was affected by gravity so the hull of the ship disappeared first then superstructure due to distance.

We came up with our own reasons that "proved" the Earth was flat and argued both sides.

I'm not sure why anyone takes them seriously outside of the entertainment value.

 

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2 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

I've mentioned this before in another Flat Earther thread, but in Junior High in the early seventies I had a history prof that was a "flat earther".

That's really interesting, because there is no evidence in history, that anyone thought the earth was flat; it's a modern phenomena.

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6 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

That's really interesting, because there is no evidence in history, that anyone thought the earth was flat; it's a modern phenomena.

There has been scientific agreement that the Earth is spherical for over two thousand years.

Interestingly I just found this in the Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_flat_Earth_beliefs#_International_Flat_Earth_Research_Society

"Flat Earth Society of Canada was established on 8 November 1970 by philosopher Leo Ferrari, writer Raymond Fraser and poet Alden Nowlan;[33] and was active until 1984.[34] Its archives are held at the University of New Brunswick.[35]"

(I was in New Brunswick in the class I mentioned)

"Ferrari was interviewed as an "expert" in the 1990 flat Earth mockumentary In Search of the Edge by Pancake Productions (a reference to the expression "as flat as a pancake").[39] In the accompanying study guide, Ferrari is outed as a "globularist," a nonce word for someone who believes the Earth is spherical.[40] The real intent of the film, which was part-funded by the Ontario Arts Council and National Film Board of Canada,[39] was to promote schoolchildren's critical thinking and media literacy by "[attempting] to prove in convincing fashion, something everyone knew to be false."[41]"

So that's my New Brunswick/Canadian take on it.

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4 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

Debating with a flat earther is probably a waste of time.
However, if you are going to persist, ask them to email someone in each to the Earth's  two hemispheres and take a picture of the moon and send it to them.

It's not a waste of time for the reasons posted above. You must realize the reason for the stance, which might be (as mentioned above) to promote critical thinking as opposed to just assuming the answer you've been taught. It also might just be to push people's buttons, in which case engaging is considered 'feeding the troll'.

The moon thing seem unnecessarily complicated and dependent on how one orients a camera. How about the fact that I can be talking to somebody and one of us in in daylight (or can see the moon at all) and the other not.  If Earth were flat, it would be daylight everywhere or nowhere.  Dusk would be simultaneous everywhere.  The sun would shine as much at the poles in winter as at the equator.

Still, it is an interesting exercise. Suppose it is the year 1400 and you cannot get to the poles to show how dark it is there, and cannot talk to somebody on another continent to compare daylight. But you do have sextants and surveying equipment and such. How do you demonstrate the Earth is round? How do you measure it?

Columbus was a BS artist and convinced the science advisors to the king of Portugal that the Earth was smaller than everybody knew it was. He had a hard time funding his venture not because nobody believed the Earth was round, but rather because everybody knew it was too large to make the trip. Columbus knew that, but wasn't really looking for the Indies.

Edited by Halc
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1 hour ago, Halc said:

Suppose it is the year 1400 and you cannot get to the poles to show how dark it is there, and cannot talk to somebody on another continent to compare daylight. But you do have sextants and surveying equipment and such. How do you demonstrate the Earth is round? How do you measure it?

Same way that they did it 1200 years earlier I guess...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes#Earth's_circumference

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Erastosthenes' method/writings are lost to history.
What is preserved is Cleomedes' method/writings.
Unfortunately, his lifetime is not known accurately; somewhere between 100BCE and 400CE.

So assuming Cleomedes' lived about 200CE, John would be right.

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1 hour ago, Area54 said:

Is it my arithmetic, or yours that is at fault? 1200 years before 1400 AD is 200 AD. But Eratosthenes did his calculations around 250 BC, some 1650years earlier. Or have I misread something?

Doh.
It's me failing to account for BC / AD.
 

Edited by John Cuthber
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