Delta-vProductions2564 karma2019-03-10 19:05:23 UTC
Some of the questions Flat Earthers raise are certainly interesting, because the science behind them isn’t immediately intuitive — however, when you look into it, the real answer makes perfect sense. For example, a common Flat Earth talking point is that the rotation of the Earth should cause us to ‘fly off the globe,’ like water off of a spinning tennis ball. In reality, there is a force exerted from the rotation of the Earth, which actually makes things weigh slightly less at the equator than the poles, but that force is so much weaker than gravity that that small weight difference is the only effect. The way Hannalore put it in her interview, in an answer that got cut, is “when you take a really big number, and subtract a really small number… it’s still a really big number.”
So we would say their most “compelling arguments” are actually gateways to learning about some interesting science.
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Delta-vProductions1955 karma2019-03-10 19:53:31 UTC
Honestly? The ones who do actually believe it'll give them a flat result. But they're not in a place to let their beliefs be falsifiable, so instead of switching views you get mental gymnastics. They don't tend to set up experiments with a firm acknowledgement of 'if I get X result, that means the Earth isn't flat.'
Delta-vProductions1687 karma2019-03-10 19:31:19 UTC
This gets to the heart of it. A lot of people have rightly pointed out that arguing with Flat Earthers is pointless, because they’re so entrenched that no evidence will move them. To an extent, that’s true for many of them, and it’s especially true for a lot of the ones you encounter online who are trying to get into debates about the shape of the Earth. For them, they’re starting from a place of ‘Argument is War,’ as Per Espen put it in the film, so engaging with them might not be particularly worthwhile (although it is worthwhile for people to see that science has answers to their questions, so someone susceptible to those beliefs doesn’t see a bunch of unanswered questions and fall for the ‘science has no answers’ trap).
However, there’s something to be said for respectfully engaging with people in a positive way, especially in real life, because it shows them that the people with opposing arguments are operating in good faith, and opens their minds to accepting evidence from them. One of the biggest issues with conspiracy theorists in general is the tendency to ‘other’ people that they don’t know, and apply malicious motivations to them, which allows them to dismiss any evidence coming from them out of hand.
Spiros, from the film, has now gone on two hangouts with a group of Flat Earthers, and they’ve all been very friendly with each other, and we hear they may even do some experiments together. They see now that a high level scientist isn’t just a nameless enemy, but someone who respects them as people, and they’re open to listening to him.
So you’re probably not going to change a Flat Earther’s mind in a single argument online, but continued respectful engagement from people on ‘the other side’ will hopefully open their minds over time and make them more likely to accept the evidence.
Delta-vProductions1367 karma2019-03-10 19:00:03 UTC
No one we filmed has changed their minds. Hard to say if it’s had much of an effect on other Flat Earthers. The general talking point in the community has become that we’re a “controlled opposition hit piece,” and that the experimental results featured in the film thus can’t be trusted. The Flat Earthers we filmed know that we’re just normal people, but they still have found ways to explain away the experimental results.
Delta-vProductions996 karma2019-03-10 19:22:04 UTC
We do. We think he gets such a huge amount of validation from this that he has a mental block from acknowledging any countervailing evidence. We think it's really easy for people in general to lie to themselves, and he has plenty of motivation to do so.
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