Forums  > Trashcan  > Have ever you spent time and effort on Flat Earth hypothesis, for example??  
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Total Posts: 3669
Joined: Jun 2004
Posted: 2017-09-26 11:03
I have, and I have made a decision.
An unsurprising one.
But I am more interested, how much of effort does
one typically use for that sort of thing.

Oh yes, it might explain my (mis)adventures in some

The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom Henry L. Mencken


Total Posts: 75
Joined: Nov 2010
Posted: 2017-09-26 14:57
Effort on what, trying to figure out if it is true or not? Or trying to convince other people of its truth value?


Total Posts: 3669
Joined: Jun 2004
Posted: 2017-09-26 15:06
> trying to figure out if it is true or not

The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom Henry L. Mencken


Total Posts: 75
Joined: Nov 2010
Posted: 2017-09-26 15:41
Flat earth came up specifically lately in a discussion on philosophy and 'realism' vs 'phenomenology'. There is a concept of effective theories, which among other things, states that a certain theory can be valid up to certain precision measurements or other things.

For example, a flat earth is a valid theory up to distances of a hundred miles or so. So long as you are not making super precise measurements, assuming the earth is flat is fine for plowing your field, finding your fishing spot, aiming an arrow, etc.

So in some sense, the earth being round or flat is irrelevant if you only walk to your mailbox and back. You should only invest time in figuring out what is true if you plan on doing something where they make significantly different predictions, or the 'phenomena' expected in each hypothesis are different.

So how does this impact my learning besides apathy? As I've gotten older, I get less caring if people are wrong in some area that doesn't really affect daily life for them, or in a real sense, me. Evolution vs. Creationism? Whether we are related to monkeys genetically has approximately zero impact on day to day life. More practically, if someone's creationist views mean they hold onto religious belief and as a result they live a more virtuous life, that is a more positive effect on the world.

If I do spend some time on it (GMO controversy or anti-vaccination stuff), generally I will spend enough time to understand the points from the minority view, then the counter points from the majority in some detail. This is typically sufficient for me and by then I am bored and/or the minority counter-counter points get conspiracy level. I will almost never openly debate someone on it in polite society, but stick to the written materials for learning.


Total Posts: 3669
Joined: Jun 2004
Posted: 2018-07-20 11:28
By Jove, I suspected that. Resoning with them is useless

The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom Henry L. Mencken

Founding Member

Total Posts: 5233
Joined: Mar 2004
Posted: 2018-07-20 14:19
No effort.

In the US at least (Europe and Asia still appear to value putting time into education, which is reflected in my hiring practices), these people have zero skin in the game save for the fact that they live in a democracy and the internet has given them a platform for their idiocy.

Русский военный корабль, иди на хуй!


Total Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2016
Posted: 2018-07-21 22:01

Always been a sceptic toward everything, even life in general (I find everything to be just too perfectly made, from the law of gravitation to the beauty of naturally occurring fractals that can always be replicated graphically on a software with simple math formulas only (such as perfectly symmetrical leaf of a tree), to the perfectly assembled machine with millions of different kinds of cells which all have their specific role with absolutely no margin of error in order to allow yourself to live, etc.)

These doubts have me double checking information, studies, forums about anything that sparks the least bit of interest I may have toward a subject. Often very amazed by what I find, but it’s also very time consuming. Extremely grateful to be living in the world wide web era, as I would probably not have the time to go to the library all the time.

Just for example, I’ve recently came across a water fluoridation article on the news website that I check daily, which led me to a small research, I mean this is something I am basically being forced to consume all the time, isn’t it? Here are my main findings, if I may share

General info: Fluoride comes from fluorine, a naturally occurring element. It is toxic to living organism. Letal dose is at 5 to 10 g. Very low dose is assumed to have no effects, at least no apparent ones. 3 litres of fluoridated water is equivalent to around 2.4mg

Pro: Teeth and bone mineralization. Makes them stronger and reduce tooth decay greatly.

Con: Population mind control. Just kidding. The only plausible potentially negative effect found to date is fluoride accumulation in the pineal gland. (
The pineal gland is not protected by the blood-brain barrier, therefore it is always exposed to the circulating blood and whatever it may contains. We see in this study that fluoride may accumulate greatly in the gland, even a lot more than in our bones.

IMO, among all the pineal gland function, I believe melatonin production to be the most important. Few people know that melatonin not only regulate our sleep pattern, but is also one of the most, if not the most, powerful antioxidant in our body. It is in fact a free radical scavenger. Never deteriorate into free radicals like most other antioxidant, it’s byproducts are actually free radical scavengers themselves. See and any other related studies, which are I believe very interesting. Considering all the studies on this, I believe melatonin to play a key role in cancer prevention, see and others.

Knowing that the toxic element that is fluoride can accumulate on the gland responsible for melatonin production, I would not be surprised if we discover in the future that the more accumulation, the less melatonin production and therefore less of the most powerful antioxidant cancer destroying hormone in your body. Which would increase risks of cancers and lots more diseases.

There is no study showing if yes or no this accumulation have an impact on melatonin production, unfortunately.
With no studies clearing out the possibly very important negative impact on the pineal gland, I think it is foolish to fluoride the water. Perhaps a more reasonable approach would be to continue to put fluoride in toothpaste and give child’s fluoride supplementation during their teeth’s growth, which is at that moment that fluoride have its most beneficial impact anyway, and not force everyone to consume it during their entire lifetime.


Obviously never would talk about such things in public, last thing you want is to seem like a conspiracy theorist, and most people would not even fact check anything you tell them anyway so it is kinda pointless.

Sorry for the rant, but to answer the topic subject, yes


Total Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2017
Posted: 2018-07-22 06:47
THIS is why I don't drink. Anything. Ever


Total Posts: 3669
Joined: Jun 2004
Posted: 2018-07-22 10:13
AFAIK lots of countries do not fluoridate water anymore.

The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom Henry L. Mencken
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