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wrighty

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wrighty last won the day on July 16

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About wrighty

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  • Birthday 03/25/1970

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  1. wrighty

    Flat Earth?

    And that's me out. If you are such a religious adherent to one 'definition' of THE (sic) scientific method then I may as well be debating evolution with a young-earth literal-bible creationist. Your interpretation of what constitutes science is clearly flawed, or at least limited to stuff such as heating up a can of water and measuring the temperature change relative to how long you keep the gas on. We'll have to agree to differ on this - I'm sure we can agree that my interpretation of science leads to useful technological advancement and understanding of the world, and yours...how about 327 pages of comment on a chat forum that's read by about 5 individuals. Perhaps Chinahand will continue - he seems to have limitless patience. I've only dipped in over the last couple of days as I'm bored while ill off-work. Adios (signing off from the thread, not doing a Dilligaf style flounce from the site )
  2. wrighty

    Account`s Hacked

    I agree. I don’t think there’s much, if any, logging in and out of multiple accounts so one person can make multiple attacks on another. There are however many instances of the same person having sequential accounts, through either being banned and starting up again, or forgetting a login, or deciding to start a new persona for whatever reason. Don’t you agree, LC?
  3. wrighty

    Flat Earth?

    This is what FE is all about. Trolling aside, it’s the intellectual pursuit of arguing the unarguable. You’re not allowed assumptions you can’t further evidence. You’re assuming the sun is far enough away that its rays are parallel. If you ditch that assumption Eratosthenes 7 degree measurement has (at least) two conclusions that can be made to fit the data. I doubt there are many flat earth ‘enthusiasts’ that believe the earth is flat. Given the number of contributions to this thread you could argue that Chinahand is a flat earth enthusiast. Neither he nor me believe it as a model of reality, and I very much doubt PGW does either. Manxy on the other hand...
  4. wrighty

    Flat Earth?

    I think Paul that you're being too dogmatic with what you accept as a definition of hypothesis. Other definitions are available - for example, "a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation." which is what came up on Google. So in my example previously my use of the word 'hypothesis' was exactly that. But let's go with the one you linked with for a moment. The essence seems to be if/then, and the identification of an independent variable, which you feel has to be causal - is that right? If so, then getting back to Eratosthenes and the well, the independent variable would be the earth's curvature, as being the cause of the observed angle changes. Now it's impractical to build yourself a new earth with a different curvature to get a different set of results, which is why the restriction of 'hypothesis' to a simple 'x causes y' relationship is not helpful in this case. I'm more of a mathematician than a scientist - maths being the purer subject in my opinion. As well as the scientific method, there is the discipline of mathematical modelling. The steps involved are: Formulate the model, generate equations, make predictions, test by experiment, refine the model and repeat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_model#Significance_in_the_natural_sciences The model of the earth as a sphere with a distant sun works, and accurately predicts the length of shadows as in Eratosthenes-type experiments. In other circumstances the model may need to be more sophisticated - it's a slightly flattened sphere. In yet others you may need to add in sophistication to take into account non-uniform density, or surface roughness. The most sophisticated model of the earth is the earth itself, but it's impractical to use this to carry out experiments as you'd prefer them to be with your dogmatic interpretation of what science is, and how a hypothesis is formulated. Do you accept that mathematical modelling is a valid means of scientific discovery? It is after all how Newton worked out gravity and planetary motions, and later how Einstein came by relativity theory. The latter has interesting parallels with the flat-earth 'debate'. Einstein postulated that space was curved by the presence of matter and energy. Before him, it was thought that space was just 'space', and thereby flat. He created a model of curved space, did the maths (very complex, took him years to get his head around it), made predictions (precession of the perihelion of mercury, bending of light by mass...) based on his model, observations were done which aligned with his predictions, and hence the theory of general relativity, with its curved space, was given credence, much like a curved earth surface compared with a flat one a couple of thousand years previously. No doubt you argue that the theory of general relativity isn't science because no-one has ever tested the hypothesis by directly measuring the curvature of space in the vicinity of an experimental mass/energy (the independent variable you insist is essential). Most people would view Einstein, and Newton before him, as the greatest scientific minds of all time. What's your view on that Paul, given they didn't follow your method?
  5. wrighty

    Flat Earth?

    No Paul, I think you need to re-read my post to understand it better. Both of my numbered examples state a hypothesis (first one, the earth is spherical, second one, the earth is flat), and then in point 3 it is stated what prediction would come from those hypotheses. The independent variables in each case would be the distance you are away from the well, and the dependent variables would be the length of the shadow, from which you derive the angle. Which part of that are you having trouble with, or do you think doesn't fit with the 'scientific method'?
  6. wrighty

    Flat Earth?

    I'm running my own challenge actually - trying to teach the cat quantum mechanics. I've managed to get it to sit in a box, just struggling to get it to understand that it can be both alive and dead at the same time if I fire the laser pointer at a half silvered mirror with my eyes shut. Or something like that.
  7. wrighty

    Flat Earth?

    Unfortunately PK, you're not getting this. There was only one observation - that of the shadow. The sun's reflection at the bottom of the well is simply the 'origin' (in time and place) from which to reference the single observation of the shadow length 600 miles away. To differentiate between a flat earth/near sun model and a spherical earth/distant sun model you need two observations. Try reading my posts before dissing my intelligence.
  8. wrighty

    Flat Earth?

    OK Paul, I'll have a go at fitting Eratosthenes experiment to the scientific method you love - I agree though that he wasn't trying to prove the earth was round at the time. 1. It is observed that ships' masts gradually sink below the horizon as they sail further away 2. A possible hypothesis that explains this observation is that the earth is spherical 3. This hypothesis predicts that the length of the shadow of an object will vary in a mathematically predictable way (∆angle = distance/circumference) 4. This shadow test can be applied by many observers to confirm that the spherical earth model works. You could of course do it all the other way around: 1. It is observed that the angle of the sun's rays changes by 7 degrees if you move 600 miles north 2. A possible hypothesis is that the earth is flat, and the sun is therefore 600/tan 7˚ miles away 3. This hypothesis predicts that the length of the shadow of an object will vary in a mathematically predictable way (∆angle = arctan(distance/solar distance)) 4. This shadow test can be applied by many observers, who will find that it fails to predict the angles correctly, thereby rejecting the flat earth model.
  9. wrighty

    Flat Earth?

    The earth could be flat and the sun about 6500km away, is another explanation that fits the single observation. Did you see my post previously?
  10. wrighty

    Two minutes silence

    Seems an appropriate thread, if all the nonsense has finished, to recount last year's remembrance day. I was in Noa's bakehouse queuing up to order breakfast. At 11 on the dot the guy serving just stopped what he was doing and bowed his head in respectful silence. The folk at the head of the queue, not realising, started to put their order in, but he cut them short and quietly indicated it was 2 minutes silence. The whole place fell quiet, and at that point somebody put a load of coffee beans in the grinder and switched it on. Silence was broken by 90dB of coffee grinding. It was quite comical really.
  11. wrighty

    Flat Earth?

    Don't really know why I'm doing this, but I can defend PGW's point of view on Eratosthenes, a bit. He assumed the earth was round (based on common sense, ships over the horizon, etc) and used the well experiment to estimate the round earth's circumference. This was not a test of a spherical vs a flat earth. Now, with a spherical earth model, he estimated a circumference of about 40000km, close to the true figure. This was based on a 7 degree angle of the sun's rays about 800km away from a place where the sun was known to be directly overhead. If the earth were flat, the same findings would imply that the sun is about 6500km above the surface. So the same result could happen with either a spherical earth and a far distant sun, or a flat earth with a relatively nearby sun. If Eratosthenes had chosen to do so, he could have then gone twice the distance away from the well and measured the angle again. This could have been used to test which of the two models fit with the observations. A spherical earth would give a 14 degree angle, a flat earth slightly less than this. Assuming the measurements could be made with the required accuracy (they can now, but not in 200BC) this experiment would add evidential weight to one model or the other. But he didn't do this, as far as I know, probably because he didn't think a flat earth model was worthy of further consideration.
  12. wrighty

    Account`s Hacked

    I got that too. The password was one of the ones I use for sites that don’t matter, so something has been hacked, or more likely given away. I just deleted it.
  13. Still alive, so not her.
  14. Isaac Newton - he was on the old £1 note, but I think deserves another go because he is arguably the greatest of all time, and he was master of the Royal Mint at one point, so it seems doubly apt to put him on the biggest denomination banknote.
  15. wrighty

    Glenn Hoddle...

    My point was regarding swimming. Whereas pounding up and down the length of the pool is undoubtedly 'sporting activity', I'd argue that splashing around with the kids for half and hour followed by pie, chips and a hot chocolate in the cafe afterwards probably isn't. And the latter example is probably closer to most participants' experience than the former.
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