I was reading about this cool Russian X-Ray orbiting observatory when it dawned on me that I couldn’t even have a conversation about it with flat earthers. Besides believing in a flat earth, they don’t believe we have satellites.
Think about that.
It requires the increasing number of companies, in an increasing number of space-faring nations, to all be part of a grand conspiracy to dupe us sheeple into believing spaceflight is fake and we can’t actually see the earth from out there. The entire endeavor of Space X (which I’ve visited), Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, and all the others is a sham. Those rocket launches, visible by millions, filmed using high-end gear by many, are all part of some grand scheme.
Real people among us believe this. It’s like a growing cult, with leaders who cajole others into believing it, not because of evidence, of course, but because they say so. ALL their supporting videos rely on ignorance of basic science and pure denial of well-established understandings. They are the polar opposite of being students of how we obtain reliable knowledge. It’s so disappointing.
It means I can’t even talk with these folks about the extraordinary discoveries of Osiris-rex, now getting within 700 meters of asteroid Bennu. Or how they pulled it off, or why it’s so difficult to do. Even if they get the mass thing, they wouldn’t be willing to apply it there.
They don’t believe the ISS is up there. All those rockets sent up by Japan, the ESA, and two different companies in the U.S.? Yup, fakes. Never mind that every country out there with a high-gain antenna can track their signals by pointing them — wait for it — to space!
And the hurricane satellites that provide all those open-ocean movies of beautiful spirals that get corroborated as the hurricanes actually hit land? Fakes.
Google earth? How do they do that? Planes? Maybe google has flown planes over all that expanse.
GPS in the middle of the ocean? How does that work without satellites? Do flat earthers go on cruise ships? A simple check of their phones would reveal that it’s still calculating position. Furthermore, it will show which satellites are in view and, not surprisingly, only the ones not blocked by the ship will show.
It just beggars the imagination as to how someone can disregard the extraordinary amount of evidence for a spherical earth to cling to this weird piece of ignorance no even held by ancient greeks.
Easy Flat Earth Experiment
It’s a bit scary, too. How do you discuss policy intelligently with such a person? Space defense? Space treaty violations? Global monitoring? The increasing problem with space junk and its potential for a Kessler Syndrome (orbital collisions causing more space junk causing more orbital collisions, etc.) disaster? And if they don’t accept something so obvious as this, what less obvious aspects of reality do they reject?
Some of the don’t believe Australia exists. After all, how could they can’t explain how the starfield changes as you travel north/south even though it’s brainlessly easy to test. Just go south of the equator.
It’s a cult. I would love to talk with somebody who was in the cult for a while, hook, line and sinker, then recovered. Help me understand how such obvious ignorance can take hold, persist, and be so powerful.
We can only hope our country doesn’t dive too deep into the embrace of ignorance lest we fall behind those who know better. They know how to use our well-worn tools of reliable knowledge fully and will leave us in the dust if we’re not careful. Thankfully, our military planners are not populated by such people since the consequences would be too high.