Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

Artists, don't try to mislead the world for your personal gains!

This week, the news that is making the cyber world go mad is how an artist with his baseless beliefs trying to mislead the world!

With the headlines like these...

Neil de Grasse Tyson Corrects the Science of … a Rapper’s Flat Earth Theories No art form is safe from scientific critique.
People stopped believing the Earth was flat 200 years ago. But some artists are still propagating the old theories and their beliefs! Rapper B.o.B took to Twitter on 25th June to explain why we’re all sheeple who need to wake up (paraphrasing) and realize that the Earth isn’t round—closely following the release of his latest album, FIRE, on the 18th of January. In case you needed a conspiracy theory of your own involving a rapper saying absurd things to draw attention to his music. And his followers started actually believing and supporting him!

Where are we heading?! Backward?!! Toward the 10 the century BC?!!!

And famed astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson took a break from his busy schedule  to drop some knowledge on absurd misconceptions. He painstakingly explained things on twitter. Tyson also criticized the “anti-intellectual strain” in society, and finished with a demonstration of gravity by, literally, dropping the mic during a speech on the issue.

One of my scientist friends, who is not interested in sci-art and criticizes me all the while for promoting science-art interactions, said this to me after reading the story:  I don't understand this. Don't artists have anything else to do better? While we are trying to increase knowledge, bring some sense and harmony and trying to help the world, these artists are trying to undo all that we do. They are wasting our time for their personal gains.  And you are working with them. You don't belong here. Go to the art world and live there forever in darkness, ignorance,  selfishness and absurdity.

I can understand the scientist's frustration. But still I told him, 'I am into the art world to remove all that negativeness - not to promote it. How can we do it without interacting with artists? It takes time for these people to understand things in the way they should be understood. No doubt, we have to stop our all important work for some time to confront people like this rapper. To stop them spreading misinformation. But it has to be done. And I am trying to do exactly that.

I am fighting a battle in my own way. This is a necessary evil. Science-art has to put science in the right perspective. I am going to make sure it does. Sci-Art Lab has a specific purpose. It is not like other art-science entities. Sci-Art Lab was created  to bring some sense into the sci-art movement. To take it in the right direction'.

Here is proof that the Earth isn't flat:

1. The sun sets below the horizon, maintaining its size and shape.

According to most flat-earthers, the sun is a spotlight, rotating in a plane 3000 miles above the earth. Let's make some predictions based on this model:

  • The sun should decrease in size as it rotates away from us in the afternoon.

Doesn't happen. The sun stays approximately the same size. 

  • The sun should not go below 20 degrees from the horizon (based on 3000 miles distance from earth, and 8000 mile diameter of the equator).

It definitely goes below 20 degrees. In fact, it sinks all the way below 0 degrees. In fact, it is possible to see the sun halfway below the horizon, halfway above the horizon, which should absolutely never be possible.

  • The sun should appear to always curve north as it travels across the sky. (The point about which it rotates)

This generally happens in the northern hemisphere! Horray! Unfortunately, near the equator, the sun travels in a straight line due west. Bummer. Significantly south of the equator, the sun even curves to the south. Double bummer. 

  • If the sun is a flat disc, it should appear elliptical as it travels away from us.

Doesn't happen. The sun stays perfectly round. 

2. The existence of the South Celestial Pole

When we are in the Northern Hemisphere, the stars appear to rotate around some point in the North. This is consistent with both a flat earth and spherical earth. Excellent. 

When we are near the Equator, the stars appear to travel due west. Again, this is completely consistent with a spherical earth, but on a flat earth, we would expect the stars to still curve north. What gives?

As we continue moving into the Southern Hemisphere, the point in the North about which the stars rotate sets below the horizon, and another point about which the stars rotate rises in the South. The farther south we go, the higher this "South Celestial Pole" rises in the sky. Again, this is completely consistent with a spherical earth, but completely unexplainable on a flat earth. 

Some people mention "Celestial Gears" as an explanation for this phenomenon, but I have never seen it actually described. Until there is at least a slightly plausible model explaining the existence of this phenomenon, it is solid evidence against the flat earth model.

Both of these proofs are easy to verify for yourself. The first requires simple observation of the sun on a clear day, preferably near the ocean so that mountains don't obstruct your view. The second only requires travelling to the Southern Hemisphere (unless you already live there) and observing the stars.

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Comment by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa on January 27, 2016 at 8:56am


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