I'm sorry I have to ask this question but I need evidence for a friend. My answer to her that I trust people who specialize in the field to know better than me is 'BS' to her.

So to begin... My friend believes the earth is flat. She believes NASA is fake. And now she thinks the Elon Musk Falcon Heavy launch wasn't real (well maybe the launch in the Earth's atmosphere) but the car in space was completely fake. She wants me to research and provide evidence that it was real and a car can exist in space. I know I know, many people say it's not worth the time but this girl is a dear friend and have to see this through. Plus if we're not trying to educate the world aren't we kind of being hypocritical? Yes? Haha ok here we go...

So the main point I'd need to have scientific evidence of is can the car exist in space. Her points...

  • a car would be destroyed in a vacuum
  • elon says "you know it's real because it looks so fake"
  • outgassing
  • the car goes from a room into space
  • did you see the photo of it from launch
  • you know how much money it takes to “launch” something into space
  • you think he just did that to have it “orbit for 1 billion years” that is literally so dumb it’s incomprehensible
  • engineering teams never see the satellites launch ‘they just build them’
  • look at the car - put the image in a photoshop editor - it’s worse than avatar special effects
  • you think there are just cameras fixed to some car that’s literally just cruising around space and there’s not debris next to it from the rocket and there are no shots of the camera attachment from one side of the car to the other
  • uber has 6000 engineers, they don’t know any of what uber is actually doing, they all do pieces of it, that isn’t even a valid argument, there’s only a portion of every business that knows anything, you think they send a brief to 6000 employees that they are going to do a launch
  • next piece of evidence https://www.livescience.com/61690-why-spacex-roadster-looks-fake.html everyone thinks it looks fake, even elon, and his excuse is “the colors are more crisp in space”, and then people just believe that??
  • you need to watch the footage again and wonder why there are articles upon articles explaining why “it looks fake”, when you don't think yourself it does
  • I said I trust experts and asked who she trusts which she responded...no one, but that’s why i ask questions, to myself included, “do i think this looks real?” no, why?, “because of X Y and Z”, okay why is x this, research look, ask, repeat, always
  • i expect this from you too - outgassing, photo editor images, see what has been previously launched
  • look to see where the cameras are in the different angles
  • instead of me asking you to research why it’s fake, you can instead tell me what you researched to show you it’s real, i will listen - i did this - your turn
  • i don’t want any of the “trusting people” “watched it live” bull that’s not evidence, I’ll wait

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Have a field day ladies & gents ;) and if you could provide resources to anything that would possibly help educate and validate your answer I'd be moooore than appreciated.


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    $\begingroup$ Why do you feel it important to convince her? What good does it do you to try? Remember this: people have a right to be completely wrong about things. It is not your duty to try to force-feed someone the truth, no matter how deluded they are. And also note this: it is not as if she has not had the evidence available to her. The evidence does not matter to her. She is not concerned about knowing the facts. She is concerned about being in control of her own truth. My advice to you: just conclude that she is completely wrong, and leave it at that. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Feb 9 '18 at 6:38
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    $\begingroup$ @pmanning "flat Earth" is a bit easier to disprove imho than the "fake roadster" thing - the "roundnes" and the size of Earth was computed by Eratosthenes. Many arguments about the latter will require understanding or math and physics which is often considered "bad" by people ignorant enough. "you think he just did that to have it “orbit for 1 billion years” that is literally so dumb it’s incomprehensible" - no understanding of rocket testing and PR stunts either ;) $\endgroup$ – jkavalik Feb 9 '18 at 7:01
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    $\begingroup$ @pmanning Well here is the thing: we have a right to think whatever we want. We have freedom of thought. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She has a right to be completely, utterly, totally wrong. She has made that choice. As an adult human being, she has the right to make it. That does not mean we have to like it, or not have opinions. But in the end, we cannot — and may not — force her to think differently. You can lead a person to the facts, but you cannot force them to think the way you want them. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Feb 9 '18 at 7:10
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    $\begingroup$ @pmanning If you really want to shake up her reasoning, stop pushing against her and instead pull in her direction. Only go much further. "You are right... it was all fakes. In fact... everything is faked. I am a fake". she will go "Of course not, that is ridiculous. You are real!". "Prove it...". The point of this is to get her to reason around what she considers to be reasonable doubt and at what point we have to start trusting the evidence we have. In the end there is no solution for the problem of Hard Solipsism, so we have to choose when we start to trust. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Feb 9 '18 at 7:25
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic; this should be moved to Interpersonal Skills Stack Exchange $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Feb 9 '18 at 9:44

Well, if you're trying to convince her that the launch was real and a car can exist in space... I'm afraid from what I read here, you will first have to convince her that textbook physics is real.

If she believes in a flat earth, THAT is already the first problem - a flat earth does not fit with physics as we know it. So she must be convinced that either math or physics are faked by whatever world conspiracy she believes in. Gravity would pull a flat earth into a sphere, much like we have it now - so gravity is fake? ...

If you are serious about this bet, and she is a rational being (and not deluded or otherwise crazy) and CAN be convinced, your first step will need to be to find out WHAT set of alternate physics/math she believes in, and then to go and disprove them / prove that mainstream physics/math work better.

If she's not willing to list her explanations for why things fall to the ground if gravity doesn't work as mainstream physics says it does (which she cannot believe, because otherwise a flat earth would pull itself into a sphere...), why it's day and night at different times in different locations (which obviously cannot be from the earth rotating if the earth isn't roughly spherical) and so on... I'm afraid you're out of luck.

One simple and primitive way to attempt to shake up her worldview enough to MAYBE make her willing to consider that the earth is round (and maybe, maybe the other mainstream physics are real too) would be to take her and some binoculars to a harbor, preferrably one where sailing ships still dock if you can manage to find one near to you (some militaries have sailing ships as training vessels still). You can have her watch the ships arrive over the horizon, with the top parts of the ships coming into view before the rest (which is to be expected if the earth is round, but hard to explain with a flat earth). That's evidence that the flat-earth theories are wrong that she can see with her own eyes, and if she IS willing to think about her views rather than take them as fact and refuse all evidence to the opposite, that might be a first step.

I wish you good luck, but I'm afraid most flat earthers have a firm, dogmatic view on this and are unwilling to think rationally about it. So be prepared to have all evidence you dig up tossed out of the window as "they faked it" or "I'm no scientist, but I bet if they weren't all in the conspiracy they could give you the REAL explanation!" - there's no way to win with those people, and if she belongs to that category you'll have to step back and, since it sounds like she's important to you, "agree to disagree" no matter how wrong she is. Try not to grind your teeth too much, it's not healthy ;)

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I wouldn't give advice on how to tackle this - the Interpersonal Skills StackExchange might be able to help you. however, rather than leave no response to the question, and have the theorists say "see, there is no answer to it" I'll briefly address the points.

  1. no it wouldn't
  2. exactly
  3. would do what? over what time period?
  4. a fairing, yes.
  5. your point?
  6. your point?
  7. no, he did it to demonstrate the capabilities of the vehicle, including the 6 hour coast capability for some juicy government contracts. he could have done it with concrete, but look how much publicity this got him - do you know how many Tesla's that man has.
  8. car builders don't see their cars loaded onto ferries and sent to other countries.
  9. see #2 - what would you expect to see?
  10. you can clearly see the front camera mount from the over the shoulder camera.
  11. your point?
  12. see #9
  13. see #9
  14. whatever
  15. is that a question?
  16. the camera mountings are shown in pictures taken before launch
  17. not interested
  18. I can't prove putting my head in a gas oven wont kill me, but I'm going to trust the experts and reports and not do it.
  19. b. good job it's made of painted sheet metal, not a metal film. But yeah, the car electronics are probably going to be dodgy after a while.
  20. Absolutely, it will be subject to those effects. Doing the maths, how much metal would have evaporated already?
  21. see #7
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    $\begingroup$ hahaha #18 for the win $\endgroup$ – pmanning Feb 9 '18 at 8:39
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    $\begingroup$ @pmanning JCRM has a point here: the "arguments" — so called — are mostly incoherent rambling. And — as uncomfortable as I am saying it — I must say that incoherent rambling of this sort is exactly the kind I see from delusional people when they try to argue for chemtrails, New World Order, 9/11 was an inside job... that sort of thing. The arguments are not following a chain of reasoning... there is no train of thought... it is just a jumbled mess. So I say again: think twice... you may be fighting an impossible battle. Do not assume that correct facts leads to acceptance of truth. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Feb 9 '18 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ What's that phrase ah yes : "never argue with a fool, people may not be able to tell the difference"... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Feb 9 '18 at 22:31

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