Small World

Physicist Bruce Sherwood has created a 3-D computer model of a flat earth so that conspiracy theorists can examine the implications of their own theory.

For example, if Antarctica is a mountain range surrounding a flat disk, what should we expect to see in the sky? “Walk inside the model and look up,” Sherwood told philosopher Lee McIntyre. “If you’re standing at the North Pole, then Polaris should be directly overhead. Fair enough. But if you’re standing at the ‘edge of the Earth’ — and Polaris is only a few thousand miles overhead — shouldn’t you at best see it at an angle? But if you’re actually in Antarctica, you won’t be able to see it at all. Their model is inconsistent with physical observation. And they can see that for themselves.”

(Bruce Sherwood, “A Flat Earth?”, via Lee McIntyre, et al., How to Talk to a Science Denier, 2021.)