Talk:Flat Earth

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The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".


Four groups

Former good articleFlat Earth was one of the Philosophy and religion good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
September 20, 2006Good article nomineeListed
October 23, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
September 9, 2009Good article reassessmentDelisted
Current status: Delisted good article

lead rating: 10/10[edit]

I had read some heavy PR stories that completely represented a positive image of a certain subject without any neutrality whatsoever.

I thought that if I opened the Flat Earth wikipedia article I would get an equally "PR" view without any mention that it is rejected by modern science.

I decided to read the lead for how accurate it is as an introduction to the subject, then talk on this talk page about my judgment. I thought I would give it like 1/10 or 2/10, since I thought that due to heavy editing by argumentative proponents, it would not in any way be neutral.

Instead I found the introduction to be 10/10. Good job!

— Preceding unsigned comment added by 2a02:ab88:2481:fc80:3066:c0eb:df5f:869f (talk) 22:05, 21 July 2017‎

You say it's NPOV? How? This article DEFINES POV, the whole article should be rewritten. The introduction calls it "pseudoscience" and immediately starts talking about proponents of a round earth mostly European who comprised probably not even a percent of the world population. Almost nothing is said about the subject itself. There are no citations to the model, the sections don't discuss the model. Later the flat earth is called disinformation. Are editors afraid someone might actually cite scientific evidence that goes against the Dogma this article clearly pushes? Either intentional or unintentional. Please reconsider.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:33, 26 October 2017‎

Redundant material issue[edit]

The section which I just worked a bit on, Modern Flat-Earthers, is problematic. It has a large overlap with the linked full article on the topic, Modern flat Earth societies, yet in some cases has more content here than in the "main" article. In other cases the other article has more/better content. In this case I copied material recently added here to that other article to improve the balance.See here. Not sure what to do about this. Maybe greatly reduce the content of what is in this section here so it is a summary of the other article as opposed to being an attempted clone? RobP (talk) 14:25, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

10 ways you can tell for yourself![edit]

I've again reverted the addition by GliderMaven for the reasons stated in my edit summary. Mainly this is pretty well outside the scope of the article. If you want to expand that, it would be a good idea to obtain consensus here, since there's obviously an objection to it. I would say that specific lines of evidence could be kept, if they can be placed in historical context elsewhere in the article – what culture(s) used it and when. But there's no good reason to keep a lame standalone list just to make sure to let people know that we don't really think the Earth is flat. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 23:21, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

No, it's completely inside the scope of the article. The scope of the article is Flat Earth, and the evidence that we do not live on a flat earth is 100% within that scope.
In fact, the only person that wouldn't want scientific evidence disproving flat earth in an article about flat earth, would pretty much have to be a flat earther. Would you want to admit to something Deacon Vorbis? That would save us some time. Not even joking. GliderMaven (talk) 00:16, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
The true lame thing here is you revert warring content out of the article. GliderMaven (talk) 00:33, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
When you're ready to address my concerns and discuss the dispute like an adult, I'll be ready to continue. Until then, I suspect you know what you can do with your thinly veiled accusations. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 00:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
On the contrary, unless you can come up with a valid reason why physical evidence about why the flat earth model is flawed shouldn't be in the article, then I will be reinserting it.
There's several reasons why it is obvious that we don't live on a flat Earth, and this article needs to summarise them. It's really, really bad that we don't do that. GliderMaven (talk) 00:50, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia, and encyclopedia articles are supposed to cover a topic fully, not just contain randomly chosen subaspects of it like you seem to be pushing for; and I can only question your motives for not wanting that. You've tried to explain this, and in my opinion your reason doesn't stack up-I don't believe you. GliderMaven (talk) 00:50, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
"When you're ready to address my concerns and discuss the dispute like an adult, I'll be ready to continue." Please discuss this like an adult and obtain a consensus for your proposed change first. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 01:07, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

──────────Reasons why it's obvious are listed at Spherical_Earth#Effects_and_empirical_confirmation, which I've linked in the last paragraph of the lead. Just plain Bill (talk) 01:23, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

That seems like a fairly reasonable way to do it. Back to the original dispute, I was certainly being a bit stubborn earlier, but I've had issues with getting flustered lately, and if the other party is going to take some cheap shots, I may very well find myself doing the same, and I'd rather avoid that. I had also complained about the quality of the reference. In more detail, it's simply a repost of a blog, definitely not WP:RS material. Linking to a much more wonderfully compiled list with better sourcing and explanatory detail seems to get the point across without trying to reinvent the wheel. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 01:30, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Not reinventing the wheel was my main motivation. I also do not think it makes sense to replicate that list in this article; it would be too much ink devoted to something outside the scope, which looks a lot like historical cosmologies. Just plain Bill (talk) 01:42, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
That's not the scope of the article, the scope of the article is the idea of flat earth; it's a fundamentally bad idea to arbitrarily disqualify anything from that scope. GliderMaven (talk) 18:13, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Evidences for a flat earth would belong in this article. Evidences that led cultures to abandon the flat earth model make sense in this article, but, as it turns out, Eratosthenes’s determination of the earth’s circumference is what convinced the Greek intelligentsia and thence the rest of the world. So, I agree with the others that a long list of evidenced for a spherical earth is not relevant in this article. Strebe (talk)

Why is astronaut William Anders quoted as a modern day flat-earther?[edit]

This is the quote attributed to him:

If you can imagine yourself in a darkened room with only one clearly visible object, a small blue-green sphere about the size of a Christmas-tree ornament, then you can begin to grasp what the Earth looks like from space. I think that all of us subconsciously think that the Earth is flat or at least almost infinite. Let me assure you that, rather than a massive giant, it should be thought of as the fragile Christmas-tree ball which we should handle with considerable care.

Which I read to make him an accepter of the spherical Earth, not a Flat-Earther. Let's remove him from the list. Stuart mcmillen (talk) 11:10, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

Done. Just plain Bill (talk) 12:55, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

Suggestion for new image[edit]

The image showing a ship partly beyond the horizon is quite old and somewhat blurred. Can I suggest it be replaced with this gif, showing two ships being zoomed in on:

Details for the observation are here:

Rubsley (talk) 09:08, 5 April 2019 (UTC)

Short answer, probably not. See WP:COMPLIC. But that image is worse anyway, so I'm not sure why you'd want to. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 11:43, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
While I agree with Rubsley that the current image is somewhat blurry (due to atmosphere and digital zoom, it seems), I think it is superior to the gif in terms of showing the subject. The gif does not particularly demonstrate what we are discussing, IMO. - SummerPhDv2.0 12:13, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
Offshore windpark Thorntonbank.jpg
Looking through Commons, I did find this one, which is quite a bit sharper, but it's a bunch of wind turbines rather than a ship. I'm not sure if that would be an adequate substitute or not, but there it is. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 12:18, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
I don't see why anyone else hasn't done this yet (the existing image is poor), so I've done it. Black Kite (talk) 15:30, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Much better, with just a tweak to the caption. - SummerPhDv2.0 17:51, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

To Consider, when stating Archaic View from the Bronze Age.[edit]

In the UK Early 1900's it was still Illegal to teach the Heliocentric Globe Sun Worshipping Model. That's not the Bronze Age, but we are still in the Iron Age of Roman occupation.

The preceding period is known as the Copper Age and is characterised by the production of flat axes, daggers, halberds and awls in copper. The period is divided into three phases: Early Bronze Age (2000–1500 BC), Middle Bronze Age (1500–1200 BC), and Late Bronze Age (1200–c. 500 BC). Bronze Age - Wikipedia › wiki › Bronze_Age — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:09, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Obviously, the given citation has nothing to do with the Bronze age as it is about Early 20th century flat earthers, but even as it stands it is incorrect. The Observatory had a short piece clarifying the claim of Mr. Breach that it was illegal to teach that the Earth is round:
The following paragraph has been sent me by a correspondent. It is a cutting from some newspaper, but has no name or date attached:—
Transvaal Folk recognize his Merit.
The patience and long-suffering of Mr. Ebenezer Breach, the philosopher who maintains that the Earth is flat, have at length had their reward. He has received a letter from Johannesburg announcing that he has been elected “Grand Master of the Ancient Order of Unshaven Boers.”…
It may be remembered that some time ago Mr. Breach wrote to Sir John Gorst threatening to put in force against him an old statute which is said to have made it illegal to teach in schools that the Earth is round. To this letter he has not had a reply.[1]
It is clear from the Observatory piece that Breach's claim in defense of the Flat Earth had no effect. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 14:05, 4 October 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Notes", The Observatory, 22 (286): 456, 1899, Bibcode:1899Obs....22..448.