2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Pseudoscience: Flat Earth Theory


Kyle R. Masek
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

In this paper, we will be discussing and debunking many of the reasons why one may believe that the Earth is flat. This belief, which forms the basis of "Flat Earth Theory," doesn't stem from being "smart" or "dumb" - rather it stems from a combination of paranoia and ignorance regarding general science and basic physics, specifically ignorance regarding uncertainty, the meaning of "theory" in a scientific context, optics, and the Newton's law of universal gravitation. There are a few experiments that are referenced by believers in the theory as evidence for a Flat Earth. We critically examine the Bedford Level Experiment performed by Samuel Birley Rowbotham in 1838, who went on to write the effective bible for Flat Earthers: Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe.

Keywords: pseudoscience, Flat Earth, conspiracy theory

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 206-4
Location: MG 2050
Time: 10:15

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