23.) If astronomical works be searched through and through, there will not be found a single instance of a bold, unhesitating, or manly ,statement respecting a proof of the Earth's " rotundity." Proctor speaks of "proofs which serve to show … that the Earth is not flat," and says that man "finds reason to think that the Earth is not flat," and speaks of certain matters being "explained by supposing" that the Earth is a, globe; and says that people have "assured themselves that it is a globe;" but he says, also, that there is a " most complete proof that the Earth is a globe:" just as though anything in the world could possibly be wanted but a proof – a proof that proves and settles the whole question. This, however, all the money in the United States Treasury would not buy; and, unless the astronomers are all so rich that they don't want the cash, it is a sterling proof that the Earth is not a globe.
Humanity has known Earth is round for a few millenia, and I’ve been meaning to show more methods that prove the world is not flat. I’ve had a few ideas on how to do that, but recently got an interesting incentive, when Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer, wrote about a recently published BBC article about “The Flat Earth” society. (Most recently, rapper B.o.B. went on a Twitter rant on the topic.) Phil claims it’s ridiculous to even bother rebutting the Flat Earth Society—and I tend to agree. But the history of our species’ intellectual pursuit is important and interesting. You don’t need to denounce all science and knowledge and believe in a kooky conspiracy theory to enjoy some historical factoids about humanity’s quest for space.
Astronomers have made experiments with pendulums which have been suspended from the interior of high buildings, and have exulted over the idea of being able to prove the rotation of the Earth on its "axis," by the varying direction taken by the pendulum over a prepared table underneath - asserting that the table moved round under the pendulum, instead of the pendulum shifting and oscillating in different directions over the table! But, since it has been found that, as often as not, the pendulum went round the wrong way for the "rotation" theory, chagrin has taken the place of exultation, and we have a proof of the failure of astronomers in their efforts to substantiate their theory, and, therefore, a proof that Earth is not a globe.
78) From Anchorage, Alaska at an elevation of 102 feet, on clear days Mount Foraker can be seen with the naked eye 120 miles away. If Earth were a ball 25,000 miles in circumference, Mount Foraker’s 17,400 summit should be leaning back away from the observer covered by 7,719 feet of curved Earth. In reality, however, the entire mountain can be quite easily seen standing straight from base to summit.