Instigator / Pro

The earth is not flat


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 1 vote and with 4 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
Voting period
One week
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

There is a belief amongst a growing number of people that the true shape of the earth is actually flat, rather than spherical, like the majority of people around the world believe. Of course, it is not merely a belief, but rather a fact, that the earth is in fact a sphere. There are plenty of proofs, evidence, and even eye witnesses, of the earth being a sphere. The explanations that flat earthers have to come up with in order to try to explain their beliefs are always way too elaborate, and don't actually fully explain anything. Flat earth should not be an existing belief today, and yet, it is. So, I am here to show you many of the reasons we know for a fact that the earth is a sphere.

Round 1
RationalMadman has made the decision to give me the win, because he asked me to make the debate a very specific set of things, and one of those things weren't met. That being that the voting type is currently multiple criterions, instead of winner selection. He apparently found this so unacceptable that he couldn't even bring himself to participate in this debate, and he told me that he would remember this. I get troll vibes from this guy, but just in case, I will state my argument again, because that will at least make it so that he cannot swoop in with his new arguments while I said nothing.

Flat earther: a person who believes that the shape of the earth is that of a disk.
(I didn't really think I needed to define flat earther but I was just throwing that out there).

Flat: a shape that generally does not stretch into the third dimension.

It is worth noting that obviously, the flat that I am referring to is not perfectly flat, nor is the round that I am referring to perfectly round. The earth is bumpy, so the words "flat," "round," and "sphere," are approximations of the shape that we are talking about. However, that fact does not change the validity of either side of the debate, so let's continue.

How do we know the earth is a sphere? Well, here is a list of reasons we know the earth is a sphere:

1. The Sky:

On earth, we see the sky rotating. On the north pole, we see the sky rotating counterclockwise, and on the south pole, we see the sky rotating clockwise. Also, on the north pole, we see a completely different set of stars than the south pole. Also, when you are on the equator, you see all of the stars moving in a straight line across the horizon, rather than apart of a rotating plane. Also, over thousands of years, we can have new north stars.

How does one explain all of these phenomena? Well, it's simple: the earth is a rotating sphere, orbiting the sun, and is moving through the galaxy over time. When you are standing on the north pole, you are rotating along with the earth, and so from your perspective, instead of you rotating, it's the stars that appear to be rotating. And a person who is standing on the south pole is upside down relative to the person standing on the north pole, so they are going to see the sky rotating in opposite directions, because they themselves are rotating in opposite directions, but for both of them, they are standing upright. We see two different sets of stars on the two poles because one set of stars can only be viewed on one half of the earth, and the other set of stars can only be seen on the other half of the earth. And finally, we get things like a different north star every six thousand years because the earth is traveling through space, along with its orbit around the sun, and the sun is traveling through the galaxy.

Explaining all of these phenomena with a spherical earth is really easy. Not for flat earth. How could you explain all of these phenomena using a flat earth? And make sure to explain all of them simultaneously, because of course, all of these phenomena are happening simultaneously.

2. Day and Night:

On earth, there is a period of time in which the sun is lighting up the area everywhere, which we call day, and there is a period of time in which the sun is not lighting up the area everywhere, and everything is much darker, which we call night. But day and night are not as rigid as just twelve hours of day and twelve hours of night. If you were to go to the north or south pole, it is daytime for six months, and nighttime for six months. And areas in between that have in between quantities of day and night. How does this happen? Well, let's go back to our spherical earth model. The earth is spinning, once per day, and is orbiting the sun. If the earth is a sphere, then the intense light from the sun is only lighting up exactly half of the earth at any given moment. The half of the earth that is facing away from the sun is nighttime, because the sunlight is not capable of reaching that side of the earth. And the reason the poles experience day for six months and night for six months is because the angle of the earth's rotation is bringing them a significantly shorter distance across itself than if you were on the equator. Here, your movement going along with the earth traces a much smaller circle than if you were on the equator. Such a circle could potentially be so small that it never actually reaches the other side of the earth, and thus, it never has the chance to escape the sun's luminescence. But since the earth is tilted, this means that this is only true for six months. Once it reaches the other side of the sun, now the opposite is true, where your circle of movement that moves along with the rotation of the earth never reaches the other side.

That was difficult to describe in words, but rest assured, we know exactly why this is happening. How do you explain this on a flat earth? How do you get exactly half of the earth to experience day, and exactly half of the earth to experience night at any given point in time? And while you do that, have the poles experience six month days and six month nights? I'd like to see you try.

3. Seasons:

For three months, the weather is pretty nice. Then for the next three months, the weather gets significantly hotter. Then for the next three months, the weather gets significantly cooler, and the leaves on the trees turn bright red and orange colors, and then they fall off of the trees. And t hen for the final three months, it is significantly colder still, so cold that the water vapor floating in the air (clouds) freezes, and clumps of water particles crystalize into a snow flake. This causes billions of snow flakes to fall down to the ground, and these snow flakes clump together to create what we know as snow. How does this happen? Well, let's go back to our spherical earth model. Why is the earth tilted? The very specific tilt of the earth serves a very specific purpose. In areas where the path of the sun's heat is directly on, it is much hotter, because the heat is not spread out at all. But near the edges where the sun's heat nearly misses the earth entirely, the heat is now traveling horizontally relative to the pole instead of vertically. This causes the distribution of sun heat to be much greater, meaning the amount of heat per square mile is significantly less. This means that it will be hotter closer to the equator, and cooler closer to the poles. But such an earth would not be very efficient, as it would mean that there are entire chunks of the earth where they are too cold to be habitable all year 'round. So what did God do? He tilted the earth by 23.5 degrees. This means that for six months, a particular area on the equator was pointing at an upward angle during the day, but then when the earth looped around to the other side of the sun, that part of the earth was pointing at a downward angle during the day. This alternates the distribution of heat, which means that if an area is uninhabitably cold for a time, it can be circulated so that it's less cold. This is the phenomenon we know of as seasons.

How do you explain seasons on a flat earth? I'd like to see you try.

4. Eye Witness:

I wanted to save this for last because it is the most commonly sighted thing when people look for arguments for round earth, but of course, technically all we have is the people's word. But there are a select few number of people on this planet who have actually seen the earth with their own two eyes. We have even taken pictures of the earth and what it looks like from space. These people would have a thing or two to say about the flat earth idea, because they have seen for themselves the fact that the earth is a sphere. This is why many flat earthers resort to conspiracy, as otherwise, such evidence would be far too much to handle.

Now that I have presented all of the reasons we know that the earth is a sphere, you must now respond by telling me how these points are either invalid, or how they can be logically explained using a flat earth model. Make sure that you also use a real actual model. For example, some flat earthers might try explaining day and night by saying the sun and moon circle above the flat earth. And then they try to explain seasons by saying that their circular motion is farther out in certain seasons, and farther inward in other seasons. However, they always use a separate model to explain those two phenomena, and they can never put them together. Not to mention that such an explanation for day and night is absurd. Light does not just travel one distance in some place, and a completely different distance in another place. And exactly half of the earth is day and night at any given point in time, so your model must reflect that.

In conclusion: the idea that the earth is flat is one that denies the very obvious evidences that we have for the earth being a sphere. Their explanations are not logically sound, and can't even explain everything in one simultaneous model.

Take a round 2 shot at me then I'll school you even if I lose I'll humble you
Round 2
Whenever flat earthers try to explain the phenomena I have mentioned, their explanations never actually fully explain things. So, let's see why this is, by taking a look at some of the most popular explanations for these phenomena on a flat earth.

The Sky:
As I mentioned in my previous argument, the rotational movement of the sky is a big problem for flat earthers. On a flat earth, you would expect to see the sky rotating in the same direction no matter where you are, because you are on the exact same plane that is facing the same direction if it is flat. This is a huge problem for flat earthers, because this is absolutely not what we see. On the north pole, you see the sky rotating counterclockwise. On the south pole, you see the sky rotating clockwise. On the equator, you see the sky rotating straight across the horizon going from east to west. And in the areas in between, we would see their direction of motion in between these two states. This is simply because of the perspective you are looking at the stars from when you are on a round earth, in relation to the direction the sphere is rotating. How on flat earth do you explain this? If you are on a flat plane, you would never observe the sky rotating in these different ways depending on your geographical location. If the earth were flat, then everyone is on the exact same plane, and so their up is everybody else's up, and therefore, things should look exactly the same. And yet, they don't.
One of the explanations that flat earthers use is the absolutely ridiculous notion that every person has their own "personal dome" constantly in their presence, that you cannot see or interact with in any way, that somehow reflects and refracts the light in some way that makes the sky look like it's doing this. But thus far, nobody has actually presented a real model that explains the real movements of the light, and exactly the mechanism by which what the dome does to the light is done to the light. There is no way you can explain this.

Day and Night:
As I mentioned in my previous argument, the day/night cycle that we all experience is a big problem for flat earthers. This is because, on a round earth, day is when you are facing the sun, and night is when you're facing away from the sun. It's as simple as that. But on a flat earth, things get really difficult to explain.
The main explanation that flat earthers will try to use in order to explain the day/night cycle is by saying that the sun and the moon are actually floating above the flat earth and rotating in circles above the earth. The animation that they've showed shows exactly how the light illuminates half of the earth and not the other half. The problem is, it is completely ridiculous and makes no sense. In the visualization, the light from the sun travels one distance to reach the center of the earth, but travels a much longer distance when traveling to the edge of the flat earth. Light does not do that. Light goes out in all directions, and is not stopped by some arbitrary angle. On a spherical earth, the reason the light from the sun cannot reach the other half of the earth is because it is physically being blocked by the daytime side of the earth. Thus, the light will always impact that side of the earth, and the light beams that are left end up going straight beside the earth and past it. On a flat earth, the light from the sun cannot reach the other half of the earth because the light dissipates before it reaches that point. But if it did this, the dissipation would create a circle, rather than a rigid line. Light simply does not do this.
Not only that, but even in the nighttime side, you would still be able to see the sun. We can see stars from tens of thousands of light years away from us with just our naked eye. So if we can see stars from that far away, we would certainly be able to see the sun hovering over the other side of the earth farther away from us. And yet, we don't.
Also, if the sun were that close to the earth, we should be able to fly up with a rocket and visit the sun. After all, we have visited the moon, and literally seen the spherical earth. This is why flat earthers do not believe the moon landing is real, because if they did, they'd have to accept that what the astronauts saw was real.
But additionally, not even somehow making the sun illuminate exactly half of the earth on a flat earth somehow would work. For one half of the year, Antarctica experiences constant daylight. But for the other half of the year, Antarctica experiences constant nighttime. On a spherical earth, this makes perfect sense, as in the area of Antarctica, the circle that the edges of the continent traces as the earth rotates is actually so small that it can't even reach the other half of the earth. So, it has six month long days. This is a huge problem for the flat earth "model," because if you think that Antarctica lines all of the borders of the world, then how would you possibly explain how the sun illuminates all of Antarctica for six months at a time, and yet for the rest of the world, the day/night cycle is normal? Light is not magic, and it does not move in these crazy ways.

As I mentioned in my previous argument, the seasons that we all experience is a big problem for flat earthers. On a spherical earth model, seasons make sense, just by saying that the earth is tilted by approximately 23.5 degrees. This means that as it orbits the sun, one part of the earth that was previously facing upward in the daytime will be facing downward in the daytime during the other half of the year. And this means that those parts of the earth cycle through two different daytime facing angles. One angle might be facing directly at the sun, and thus, the heat from the sun is more direct, and it is hotter. But then, during the other half of the year, the other angle might be facing at an angle to the sun, and therefore, the heat from the sun is distributed across a greater area, which means less heat per square mile, which means it is cooler.
But how do you explain seasons on a flat earth? The only explanation I've ever heard is that as the sun rotates above the flat earth all year round, it actually changes tropics throughout the year. This way, the sun is rotating further inward during one part of the year, and is rotating further outward during the other part of the year. But there are multiple problems with this. First of all, if the sun is rotating farther inward in one half of the year, and farther outward in the other half of the year, this would make the circles that the sun traces smaller during one half of the year, and bigger in the other half of the year. This means that one of two things must occur. Either, the sun rotates at the same speed in both tropics, which would mean it takes longer for the sun to rotate that speed along the larger circle than it would to rotate that speed along the smaller circle, making day and night shorter in one season than the other. And while day is longer in summer and shorter in winter, the flat earth model would require that day AND night be longer in one season, and shorter in the other, at the exact same time. But it's not. Or, the sun travels faster when it's tracing the larger circle than when it's tracing the shorter circle, so that it takes the same amount of time for it to trace one circle, which would make the sun travel faster in the sky in one season than in the other. But it doesn't. So, sorry, but your explanation for the seasons on a flat earth simply cannot align with real life observations.

The Sun:
The sun shines because of nuclear fusion. But nuclear fusion requires a star's worth of mass. How can you have that much mass and yet be this close to the earth? And when that happens, how is the sun not cooking the earth? You obviously need to explain the sun's shining without using nuclear fusion. But you also can't explain it using fire, because 1. Fire does not at all look like that from afar. Just look at Venus for proof. And 2. Combustion requires there to be oxygen, so fire cannot exist in a vacuum. It is physically and chemically impossible. And, there's no way that the sun rotates within the atmosphere in order to cause combustion, because 1. That would generate a lot of smoke that we simply do not see, and 2. The constant air resistance would require the sun to have a perpetual  force that is constantly pushing it forward. And yet, this is not the case.

If the earth really was flat, then you should be able to create a map that definitively shows the exact shape of the earth's geography. If you cannot do this, or you come up with any kind of excuse not to do it, then you cannot convince anyone that you know what you are talking about, including within this debate. So please, make me a map. I dare you to. And, while you're at it, make a scale, to make sure that we always know exactly what distances correlate specific distances on the map. If you cannot do this, you have basically disqualified yourself from this debate. You can whine about how the only evidences are from governmental figures and how the only flat earth stuff is unofficial all you want, but it won't change the fact that you have no feasible way to create a truly accurate flat earth map that can accurately predict exactly what side certain things are, and what will be day and what will be night.

Gravity is a big problem for flat earthers, because for a spherical earth, the earth is so massive that it is a sphere, and a sphere is a stable shape to be when you have a lot of gravity, because the gravitational force will crush the whole body into a spherical shape. But how does one explain gravity on a flat earth? Gravity is perpetual, because as long as the mass exists, gravity exists. Therefore, you cannot explain it with any kind of electromagnetism, because things like magnetic fields will always decay. The electric charge of individual quarks will never decay, but the whole reason you can bring magnetic charge to the macroscopic world is because all of the molecules are almost perfectly aligned, and thus, their dipoles line up. However, if entropy is still a thing, and it is, then the object is not going to be at absolute zero. And therefore, the molecules are still vibrating, and will eventually misalign each other, until the net dipole is basically gone. So, if gravity was electromagnetic, you would expect that the gravitational pull of the earth would decay over time, just like the earth's magnetic field. And yet, it doesn't. Gravity stays the same, and has been the same through all of recorded history and existence.
Some flat earthers will try to explain gravity by saying it is caused by displacements of density, and therefore causing buoyancy. But this is circular reasoning, because the phenomenon of buoyancy is caused by gravity. When water vapor rises, it is because the air around it is heavier, and is therefore being pushed down harder than the vapor. This causes the vapor to become displaced, and it will therefore rise, until it reaches equilibrium, where it is being pushed down just as hard as the rest of the air. And you know what is pushing this air down? Gravity! So, the entire reason buoyancy exists is because of gravity. So, if you say that gravity is caused by buoyancy, you are saying that gravity is caused by gravity, which is obviously not deterministic of anything.

In conclusion: the flat earth "model" isn't even a real model, as you can't construct any real actual model that shows clearly how every phenomenon occurs. I have just debunked most of the arguments that you were probably planning on using, so good luck trying to explain all of these phenomena using your flat earth "model" without using the explanations I have listed. Who's getting schooled now?
Round 3
"Take a round 2 shot at me then I'll school you even if I lose I'll humble you."
This is your last chance to do that. I think you know you don't have a good explanation, and you're just putting on a mask of confidence. When it comes to actually debating me, you are not good. While I have typed entire paragraphs showing you nearly every reason we know the earth is not flat, and how we know the earth is round (give or take an irregularly shaped spheroid), everything you have said thus far is in that one quote right now. That was everything you have said in this entire debate, because you are simply avoiding the debate, because you know that I'm the one who is going to school you, though I likely won't humble you, as you are too stubborn to be humbled.

I have nothing more to say, as you have not responded with anything, so I extend all of my arguments. Say something, or forever be known as a coward who puts on a facade of confidence, but doesn't actually have any clue what he's talking about. Speak up now, or you won't win, school me, or humble me, in any way.