Gravity is a proven fact through the ability to observe and measure its effects, and the flat earth theory has been frequently debunked.
The Facebook pages JustThe Real and JustThe RealTwo, known to push the "flat earth" conspiracy theory, published a video on October 8 that has gained over 50,000 views and 1,400 likes. The video claims that gravity has never been a proven fact. The video makes a variety of other short, unsubstantiated claims, such as meteors not being real and that the moon landings were fake, to support the idea that the earth is flat.
Gravity is a complex theory with many caveats in physics that can make it difficult to understand without specialist knowledge, often leading to misinterpretations and misunderstanding of scientific theory. However, gravity is a proven phenomenon, and the flat earth theory has been debunked countless times.
Significant scientific evidence from decades of research proves gravity is a real phenomenon that can be observed and measured through its effects. Examples of this research include well-known and established work, such as Einstein's predictions of gravitational fields and general relativity. Additionally, new research is also being carried out, with new discoveries and observations made surrounding gravity. For example, one National Geographic article from 2019 discusses how observations of gravity waves from a black hole have further proved Einstein's predictions of relativity and gravitational fields. It is true that what gravity specifically is, is unknown, but its effects are well documented.
The belief that gravity is unproven or just a theory stems from misunderstandings and generalizations about what a scientific theory is. A 2022 article by Live Science discusses the distinction between general and scientific theories. The article goes on to clarify that the general use of the word "theory" means "a hunch" or "an idea" that someone has, whereas a scientific theory relies on a scientific method and applied framework to understand facts. The article also states that significant evidence can prove base scientific theories as fact, such as with evolution, but the frameworks and overarching theories change and shift with new observations. The same applies to the theory of gravity: gravity is a known fact, but the wider theories of what gravity is and its full effects still change with new observations. While the theory of relativity could be false, the theory of gravity would remain true.
The video's other claims about meteors and the moon landing are false. Meteors and meteorites are known to exist and have been reported on by Nasa, with a significant example occurring in 2013, when a large meteor hit the Chelyabinsk region in Russia. This event was widely documented and recorded. Claims about the moon landing being fake and other flat earth claims have been previously fact-checked by Logically and marked as false.
The effects of gravity can be observed and measured, which makes it a proven phenomenon. Meteors are real, and other known flat earth conspiracies and beliefs have been debunked multiple times. Therefore, this claim has been marked as false.