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I am fascinated with the idea of flat earth, which is growing in popularity, because I guess humans are endlessly inventive. The word "zetetic" from ζητητικός zētētikos "disposed to search or inquire" from ζητεῖν zētein "to seek, inquire" was used by the 19th century flat earther Samuel Rowbotham in his book Zetetic Astronomy - Earth not a Globe. The OED Online says it means "An investigator, inquirer; spec. an adherent of the ancient Greek sceptic school of philosophy".
 
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For practical purposes don't architects and such people assume a flat earth? Otherwise, how would one measure something's height by triangulation?

If one is zetetic, one eventually does discover that the earth is a globe, albeit not a perfect sphere.
 
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If one is zetetic, one eventually does discover that the earth is a globe, albeit not a perfect sphere.

Don't try to convince a flat-Earther. Facts don't matter to them.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Rowbotham defined zetetic. He doesn't seem to like hypotheses.
 
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I do like his paper that you posted. It warns of the errors in hypotheses based on unexamined premises & incomplete data, or data which could be explained otherwise. But I expect he would have been convinced by extra-terrestrial photography of a truth which had long been projected hypothetically. Shows you need to strike a balance & remain open to other interpretations of observable data, no?

What did you mean in your opening line that the idea of a flat earth is growing in popularity? (Or was that a tongue-in-cheek political remark)?
 
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Originally posted by bethree5:
I do like his paper that you posted. It warns of the errors in hypotheses based on unexamined premises & incomplete data, or data which could be explained otherwise. But I expect he would have been convinced by extra-terrestrial photography of a truth which had long been projected hypothetically. Shows you need to strike a balance & remain open to other interpretations of observable data, no?

No, Rowbotham wanted to abandon hypotheses altogether. The Flat Earth Society says "Zeteticism differs from the usual scientific method in that using zeteticism one bases his conclusions on experimentation and observation rather than on an initial theory that is to be proved or disproved. A zetetic forms the question then immediately sets to work making observations and performing experiments to answer that question, rather than speculating on what the answer might be then testing that out."


This seems like a bad idea. Without a hypothesis, you have nothing to test or falsify.

quote:
Originally posted by bethree5:
What did you mean in your opening line that the idea of a flat earth is growing in popularity? (Or was that a tongue-in-cheek political remark)?


It is growing in popularity.
 
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The Flat Earth Society says "Zeteticism differs from the usual scientific method in that using zeteticism one bases his conclusions on experimentation and observation rather than on an initial theory that is to be proved or disproved. A zetetic forms the question then immediately sets to work making observations and performing experiments to answer that question, rather than speculating on what the answer might be then testing that out."
Well, if conclusions are made by observation then it's easy: Have someone walk to the end of the flat earth and see if they fall off.

I agree with goofy that hypotheses are essential to scientific inquiry. Do they also disagree with looking at statistical differences? They must.

Unfortunately, my computer would not bring up Geoff's link. It said there was a privacy problem. Considering the subject of this discussion, I am not surprised.

I had vaguely heard about "flat-earthers," but I hadn't paid much attention. It reminds me of those who don't believe in vaccinations or evolution. Their knowledge of science in not rooted in the evidence.
 
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