Recently I had the chance to chat with Mark Sargent, the world’s highest profile ‘flat earther’

We set up the conversation by me proposing that “I ‘could’ change my views to the earth being flat, but to do so I would need these questions answered”, we then proceeded to chat for two hours where these questions, and many more, came up.

The full conversation can be seen here

I said in that conversation that I would put the questions on my blog for others to answer if they wanted to.

Whilst this is not the complete list of questions that I asked Mark, this is a truncated version of the most important questions that I would need answered to even begin to accept that the world might be flat.

What physical evidence do you have for the dome that covers the earth? Mark’s response, “air pressure, air pressure can’t exist without some kind of enclosure” I find that not be be physical evidence of a dome, from my perspective, at the very least…and if I’m being generous…it would be a by-product of the dome theory, not evidence of the dome itself.

How do you explain meteorites? Do they come through the dome? Mark’s answer’ “[meteorites] are just part of the mechanical system, whoever runs this place fires in meteorites, uses some sort of rail gun technology…whoever is running this place is just firing them in for fun” This was a wake up call for me, this is when I saw the flat earth theory as really a religion. This theory is that there are sentient beings, literally running the ‘soundstage’ that we live on, and making acts of nature happen when and if they want.

How far away is the sun and moon? Mark’s response, “couple of thousand kilometres maybe…we don’t know”

If the sun and moon are at the same/similar heights above the earth? “Mark’s response, “maaaaaybe, I’d like to think so”

If the sun and moon are at the same height, how do any eclipses happen as the sun would need to be significantly higher than the moon to cast a shadow? Mark’s response, “Don’t know what the optics are doing with the sun and the moon”

Explain a lunar eclipse…when the earth is between the sun and the moon? Mark’s response, “It’s artificial and completely wrong

What are the Northern and Southern lights? Mark’s Response “just a light show . . . decoration”, delving deeper, Mark then said his belief was that the higher power was actively putting on a light show for our entertainment and went on to say “I don’t think that anything is natural”

What causes the sun to change its path around the flat earth from a tight circle in the ‘Northern Hemisphere’ summer to a large circle in the Southern Hemisphere summer? Mark’s Response “a needle on a record player”, Mark then acknowledged that this is not a particularly scientific answer.

If the sun has different circumferences as it travels around the flat earth model, the speed would have to be different that the sun travels as it always makes one full circumference in 24 hours. Why don’t we observe the sun travelling at different speeds at different times of the year? Mark’s Response “I have no idea, there’s a speed issue”

Inner red circle is the Northern Hemisphere summer, outer green circle is the Southern Hemisphere summer

If the ice-wall is ‘Antartica’, and the earth has one light source being the sun, then when Antartica is in 24 hour sunlight, the whole world would then need to be in 24 hours of sunlight. Why don’t we observe this? Mark’s response, “don’t know what’s happening out there” and “it’s a bit of a stretch, you could do it with mulitple light sources”. This is not a common theory of flat earthers and seemingly a new way to explain a concept that is unexplainable in a flat earth model. This answer to me felt more like a religious answer than a scientific one. It became evident that a ‘higher power/sentient being’ was called on by flat earthers as a way to justify the ‘we don’t know’ and to then not allow the idea to be challenged. It’s hard to challenge magical thinking if the person believes in magical thinking.

On a globe model Auckland to Los Angeles is approximately 10,500 kms (6500 miles) and Auckland to Santiago, Chile is approximately 9,700 kms (6,000 miles). Flight times from Auckland to those same locations are both approximately 12 hours. Explain how on a flat earth model, from Auckland, Santiago appears to be about double the distance to travel to, as opposed to travelling to LA. How does this work and how does an aircraft travel double the distance in approximately the same amount of time? Mark’s response “don’t know, that is one of the weird questions. . .could it be a super fast jet stream?”

Auckland to Los Angeles, 10,500 kms and Auckland to Santiago 9,700kms according to the globe model

If water finds its own level, as you guys say, and the earth is flat…why are the high and low tides at different times on different sides of the same body of water? Why, on either side of the Tasman Sea, do Sydney and New Plymouth not have the same tides? Mark’s response “the water is sloshing around mostly because of thermal issues . . . combine that with…I dunno…the molecular magnetism that you wanna call is gravity and just create some sloshing”

These questions are not in the order that I asked Mark, and may have been slightly re-worded to expedite my main point I want answered. I believe that all of these questions can be answered under the heliocentric model, which means there should be answers for all of these questions in the flat earth model. If one or more of these questions cannot be answered then there are only two logical conclusions. The first is that under the ‘flat earth’ model this hasn’t been worked out yet…the second is that the earth is not flat.

I’ve always been intrigued to why people believe what they believe, and it’s interesting that if many of the answers to these questions are ‘I don’t know’ that someone would then lean towards ‘we have’t figured it out yet’ as opposed to ‘the earth is not flat’.

This document will change over the next few days and weeks as I will also be putting Mark’s answers to these questions in the document as I edit down the podcast episode. I have had many people contacting me wanting to see the questions which is why I’ve put them up now, to allow people to see them…and perhaps take on the challenge…as soon as possible.

Both Mark and myself came to the end of the podcast agreeing that neither of us had changed position. If you would like to submit some ideas to these questions go to the contacts tab and fire them to us.

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1 Comment

  1. Hello Pat,

    All good questions. Frankly, I don’t think about the subject all that much other than for entertainment purposes. I prefer to leave it to the experts and consensus. Another way to look at it is that flatties have had the same if not longer than globers to refine their theories and have resoundingly come up with a goose egg. Science and scientists have consistently added explanations to our naturalistic world. They have provided the evidence to support their claims whereas flatties have provided nothing more than beliefs. Their ideas in the proper context are based on religious fundamentalism. Scratch a flattie and you’ll find a religious fanatic, more than likely a Christian.

    I must admit I’m a bit frightened by the resurgence of such antiquated and arguably ridiculous ideas. Before the advent of the internet our species was at least seemingly making steady strides toward enlightenment. Vaccines were presumed to be beneficial. Most of us believed pluralistic, participatory societies were better than authoritarian or theocratic ones. We inherently understood the underlying conflict between science and religion but accepted they both had value and a place in our societies.

    If the previous paragraph has exposed my own antiquity it’s because I’m a software engineer who has seen the birth and evolution of the web from its text-based, snail-like speed to its glorious, unrestrained present form. In the process it has exposed the fault-lines in our societies. It has provided us with the precious anonymity to scream at each other without consequence. As for myself I was fortunate to be raised in a household where questions and exploration were welcome, where politeness was a virtue, where individuals were presumed to be our intellectual and societal equals.

    Pat, please forgive my rant but I felt it necessary to establish a baseline before addressing the subject of this post or at least my take on it. So here it is: most flatties are not idiots. They know full well their ideas will never become mainstream. They know they have no evidence nor that they can produce it. Those who try hide the simple truth that they have a religious foundation, a need to feel special and unique in the face of all evidence that we are an insignificant gnat, an infinitesimally small blip in the enormity of the cosmos. Every new scientific advance serves to prove that and instead of reveling in the wonders before us and pride in the accomplishments of our species they hide like children behind walls of ignorance and denial. Flatties and SovCits are religious fundamentalists who have taken the additional step toward absurdity.

    I don’t think I’m saying anything you or most of us don’t already know. Debates with flatties are entertainment, nothing more. In fact they’re not really debates at all. How can they be. Flat earth is not a serious debate subject. Nathan Oakely said it best when he said there are no university chairs of flat earth, no degrees in same. Without knowing it he exposed his ideas to the ridicule they deserve.


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