Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains How to Prove The Earth is Round

Olive Hawkins
March 12, 2018

"We have video from space of the rotating spherical Earth".

The astrophysicist then went on to joke that "something doesn't square" as there are plenty of people who claim the sun, moon, and other planets to be round but not the Earth.

It all sounds utterly bonkers, but Flat Earthers are often quite self-aware about why they believe the Earth is flat - and it's to do with comfort, one expert has said.

In a new YouTube video posted March 9 on the StarTalk channel, Tyson explains his argument to co-host and stand-up comic Chuck Nice. According to the flat earth believers, everything from the ground and up to the clouds is flat.

Tyson chalks up the rise in flat earth interest two things: living in a country that protects free speech and also hosts a "failed" education system.

Flat-earthers follow the empirical approach in forming their belief. The easiest way is to see the many photos of the Earth taken from space, but there are ways to do it from the Earth's curved surface as well.

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Bodies that have a flatter shape have been compressed because they rotate extremely fast, which the Earth does not.

Tyron added that another evidence of the planet's round curvature can be seen during lunar eclipses. Meanwhile, at the same time of the day, the well in Alexandria was still so full of water that its bottom is not visible at all. Tyson states that if three wells were considered for this experiment, there is no explanation available by flat Earth theory that the bottom of three wells was illuminated at three different angles cast by the Sun.

Tyson gave two explanations for this.

It's far less scary to believe that we're on a snow globe created by God than to believe, as Douglas Adams put it, that, 'we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal'. Second is that the planet is flat but only has a small sun. If Earth were flat, sometimes you'd get a flat shadow. Neil DeGrasse discussed the flat Earth theory as well as laws of physics and how universe favors spherical body in his book "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry".

Towards the end of the video, Tyson blames the faltering U.S. education system for the number of Flat Earthers that have sprung up in the country, noting that it's not so much about teaching children long-known facts, but also about teaching them how to effectively reason.

"Our system needs to train you in not only what to know, but how to think about information and knowledge and evidence", Tyson says.

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