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Monday Stupids - 8/11/08 - Aug 11, 2008 at 3:48PM
Blay
50 Posts

So, if you're anything like me...you hate Mondays.  So, to cheer everyone up, I figure it's best to have a traditional blog post of making fun of bad "science".  Here is one I found today:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7540427.stm


I've heard of the young Earth creationist but this is beyond stupid!  People actually still believe the world is flat??  I'm pretty sure we solved that problem in the 4th century.  

You can check out the official Flat Earth Society web site here: http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm

Clicking on the "Why  a Flat Earth" provides such gems of physics as: "if the world were round, the oceans should all fall "down" into the sky, leaving the planet dry and barren, and the atmosphere would simply float away. Why, just look at the moon. It is round, like a ball, and yet it has no atmosphere at all."  The logic is flawless.  Unfortunately, the "Fighting the evidence" link is currently under construction.... my guess is because the evidence is pretty crushing.


You can even join!!!...only as long as you provide your favorite jelly bean flavor and write an essay as to why you want to join this esteemed society.  Hey, not just anyone can be a Flat-Earther!


Replies to Monday Stupids - 8/11/08

Re: Monday Stupids - 8/11/08 - Aug 11 2008 4:56PM
Felix Lin
24 Posts

Perhaps a better and more nuanced example can be found in Koreshanity.  This sect, which was prominent in the 19th century, believed that certain laws of optics and gravity were inverted.  They held that the whole of the universe was a hollow sphere, and we were living on the inner surface, with all of known space compressed into the center.  The thing is, if you actually invert certain rules of optics, you can form a consistent system the way they did - except that the results to a few crucial experiments contradict that.  If memory serves, they aren't results that you would come across in everyday life; only in conducting a specifically designed experiment to differentiate between Koreshanite optics and normal optics would you get the result.

I think that it is actually quite valuable to briefly entertain these wild theories, no matter how absurd they seem to us now.  The important part is that they can be tested and discarded once the data discredit them (conversely, if they turn out to be right, we learn something valuable.)  Koreshanity served to underline the fact that certain experiments were needed to prove that the laws of optics are the way they are, and without those experiments we would not have that data and there would be more ambiguity.



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