Flat Earth is NOT the Answer: a Response to Philip Stallings Part III
I want to wrap up my critique of Phillip Stallings’ “The Biblical Flat Earth: A Response To The Principle”.
In Part I I addressed his criticism of my correlating flat earths’ exponential Google Trends response to the release of The Principle in October 2014. In Part II I discussed how satellite imaging works, and why the results of satellite imaging may not be what Phillip Stallings expected based on the nature of pixel size, image masking, etc. Phillip Stallings also tried to argue that we should be able to see a lot of space junk, etc., which I demonstrated would not be the case give the nature of the imaging devices used.
The final part of the article is a shotgun blast of statements intended to invalidate the possibility of satellites even existing. I will not attemp to back out all his implications and prove them wrong. Satellites move “fast”. I do not understand why that is an issue to Philllip Stallings. For instance he says:
“It seems odd to me that the geostationary velocity is 1.91 miles per second while the actual spin of the earth at the equator is 1,040 mph. If you translate 1,040 mph into miles per second it becomes 0.29 miles per second. So that is 1.91 miles per second (satellite velocity) vs. 0.29 miles per second (earth’s rotation speed at the Equator).”
It is not odd at all. Assuming the earth rotates on its axis (as Phillp Stallings is doing), then yes, velocity at the equator is 1040 mph relative to the field of non-rotating stars. Ok. Now if the satellite is geostationary, that means it is not moving relative to the earth’s surface. The satellite is sitting at 22,236 miles from the earth’s surface according to Phillip (based on Wikipedia). Ok.
So, the earth’s surface which is at 3963 miles from the center of the earth is traveling at 1040 mph. The satellite is sitting at 22,236 + 3963=26,199 miles from the center of the earth. Both must be traveling at the same angular speed (roughly 360 degrees per 24 hours or one rotation per day). So based on that, the satellite must be traveling at 1040 mph x (26,199/3963)=6875 mph. So the satellite is traveling (6875/1040)=6.6x faster than the surface of the earth. The satellite is (26,199 mi/3963 mi)=6.6x farther away from the center of the earth. See the pattern? Or in Phillp Stallings’ language, the satellite is traveling 1.91 miles per second/0.29 miles per second=6.6 x faster than the surface of the earth. It needs to travel faster to stay over the earth in one spot because it is travelling a 6.6x longer path at a much larger distance form the center of the earth (think of the speed of an object near the center of a merry-go-round vs. an object at the edge).
So all calculations are consistent. And none are “odd”. Phillip Stallings point is only that he does not understand the basic mathematics of circular velocities.
Phillip Stallings then goes on to point out that “The International Space Station travels at a speed of 17,500 mph which is 22 times faster than the speed of sound.”
Mr. Stallings, what is the speed of sound in a vacuum? I will tell you- 0 mph (the Space Station is not quite in a vacuum, but close). And, so what? The satellite travels fast. The space station sits at between 254 and 258 miles above the earth’s surface. Satellites closer to the earth must travel faster to keep from falling, this is just a fact. The slower geostationary satellite sits out a 22,236 miles from the surface.
Phillip then goes on to make some vague point about the temperature in the thermosphere.
“Temperatures vary, depending on sun activity, but can reach as high as 2500 deg. C!” But had Phillip read the next sentence, or at least thought about it, he would have understood that “Even though the temperature is so high, one would not feel warm in the thermosphere, because it is so near vacuum that there is not enough contact with the few atoms of gas to transfer much heat.” All the temperature is indicating is that the few atoms present at that altitude (and there are very few indeed) are moving very rapidly and with great energy. It is not analogous from a physiological perspective to what we would feel if exposed to atmospheric air at sea level with a temperature of 2500 deg. C.
He then goes on to show further lack of understanding:
“The only elements in the periodic table that can withstand 2500°C are carbon, niobium, molybdenum, tantalum, tungsten, rhenium, and osmium.”
True, but this highly rarefied gas (near vacuum), will never raise these metals to these temperatures.
“Other than carbon, these metals are very heavy and are extremely conductive to heat and most are very ductile when heated.”
Ok. Point? I am really curious to hear the significance of the ductility.
“Carbon even has the highest thermal conductivities of all known materials! So, if you want to cook something efficiently, than a space capsule made out of graphite would be perfect.”
But there is not enough mass density in the thermosphere to heat it. Any heating that might occur will come from solar radiation.
“Apart from nothing working at the minimum 1112 degrees Fahrenheit (600°C) due to thermal expansion of the materials (iron glows red hot at 932 degrees Fahrenheit/500°C), some of the electronic components like lead, zinc, and epoxy resin would not just burn out, but melt.”
Other then the clumsy attempt to relate thermal expansion, color of radiating melting/burning-out, the thermosphere does not have enough thermal capacity to transmit enough heat to the graphite oven to actually heat it.
Try this experiment. Stand in still 0 deg. C air for 1 minute wearing only a bathing suit. You get cold right? But you could probably tolerate it for a minute. Now jump into 0 deg. C water for a minute. Is the sensation the same? No. Because the water has has much higher thermal capacity than the air. You could tolerate the air for a minute, but the water would be painful, because it has more thermal capacity and can suck heat out of you faster. To Phillip’s credit, this is the point he was trying to make about the thermal conductivty of the metals, but he is missing the other side of the equation (the equation that describes the heat available to be conducted). This experiment is true for heating also. Do the same experiment with 60 deg. C air and 60 deg. C water (60 deg. C = 140 deg. F). The few atoms in the thermosphere have almost no thermal capacity. Even though the few atoms can get very agitated (i.e., have high temperature), they have no capacity for heating dense materials, because there are so few atoms available to transmit their heat.
This continues. I do not have the time to answer every objection, and take every challenge Phillip Stallings presents us. Phillip Stallings is trying to argue something that he clearly does not have the aptitude for, and though he makes sweeping statements, and some people may find it convincing, it is mostly just lack of understanding of basic physics and mathematics coupled with a dynamic personality. The basic methodology is to look for big numbers (2500 deg. C, 1.91 miles per second, …) taken out of context of any meaning, then compare them to some other context which is not relevant in order to shock the reader. I suspect Mr. Stallings is not trying to be deceptive, but rather himself gets excited when he misunderstands the context of these apparently big numbers, and apparent but misconstrued contradictions.
This is typical of arguments for flat earth. If it comforts you to believe in flat earth, be my guest, but please do not claim science supports you until you can actually have at least a rudimentary understanding of the science. It is ok not to understand some topics. I would suggest that you learn the limits of what you do understand, and try not to argue beyond those limits. It is ok to ask questions, but have an open mind to the answers.