Let me start by saying the evidence that one can’t fake is pretty conclusive that we live on a globe shaped world and the sun is the centre of our solar system. I think the vast majority of folk would agree with this. It is what we have been taught and for those of us that have an interest in physics and/or astronomy it is so clear that the earth is a ball, actually an oblate spheroid, that it is difficult to see how rational people could believe otherwise. But…
I have spent a couple of weeks engaging on Twitter with a few flat earthers. Most are reasonably pleasant, some are not. They get a hard time from some Twitter from folk who call them fools and worse. I don’t think calling them fools is helpful and my approach is to try to explain why the science behind what they claim is evidence for a flat earth shows their claims to be false. There are some very amusing and so obviously wrong, or possibly just lacking in any form of critical thinking, videos on YouTube that claim to prove the earth is flat. But there is also some, somewhat apparently convincing, video material. Some of this has been created by folk who are clearly not fools. They are wrong but they do ask some questions which need a great deal of science understanding to disprove.
How does one get to believe and maintain a belief in the flat earth?
There seem to be three strands. Supporting ‘evidence’ in any one of these three strands seems to cement the flat earthers’ belief set. The first is based on the Old Testament. Despite there being many contradictions the belief that the Bible is totally true is a hard one to argue with. My own take would be that the folks who wrote the Old Testament were describing the world as they saw it. A very similar situation to the flat earth folk who say we should use our own sense to observe and not accept conventional science, especially when to do so would show the world to be a globe! Phrases such as the four corners of the earth are evidence of the square, flat earth for some. One can think these words mean something different, perhaps mistranslated or are not what they seem to be but once you accept the Old Testament as the truth then lots follow.
The second belief is that there is a powerful, world wide set of groups, Freemasons, Knights Templar and others who are actively manipulating the rest of us into believing the earth is a globe that orbits the sun. These groups are devil worshipers, Satanic, reptilian body shape shifters and the Illuminati. They have, according to the flat earthers been doing this for, I think, over 500 years. NASA and Walt Disney have faked space flights, moon landings, satellites and images of the earth. The reason for doing this is to move man from the central place God put us to a less significant place so that Satan can take over. These folk are utterly convinced that these conspiracy theories are true. Governments, particularly the USA Government, lie to us and various presidents of the USA have been shape shifters as have much of the entertainment industry, Bob Hope being one where a very grainy and shadowy video shows one of his eyes sliding down his face evidencing his reptilian state.
The third plank is their ‘scientific’ observational evidence and questions such as why has NASA not set up a live feed of the earth on a 24 hour TV channel from one of the satellites. This would, they say, prove that the earth was flat or a sphere. They believe that GPS comes from ground stations and that explains why there are so many, microwave, aerial/transmitters.
Why do they need to show that spaceflight is not possible?
Well, the flat earth model claims that the earth is covered by a half dome, the firmament, which is an impenetrable barrier. If this is true then clearly space flight is not possible. They do try very hard to deny space flight which is why NASA is such an evil lying organisation run by Freemasons with ‘astronauts’ that are Freemasons and in on this deception. They deny Newton’s, who was also a Mason (!), laws of motion which is again showing that spaceflight is not possible. Newton’s Laws might work on earth in air but, they say, can’t work in a vacuum.
The sun does not maintain the centre of the solar system but is only 4000 miles away, as is the moon which is the same size as the sun. It circles above the flat earth and is like a spot light. Actually, the swapping of the geometry is quite cute and until you explore some other issues such as the shape of the shadow on the moon being curved, which is only properly explainable by ball shaped objects, it seems quite possible that the earth could be flat. Gravity is a bit of problem for them but they don’t have any sensible alternative. They have alternatives but not sensible ones.
Antarctica, which is subject to an international treaty to protect it is actually an ice wall encircling the flat earth. That is why, they claim, we can’t explore there. They conveniently ignore evidence which shows this to be untrue. Those Illuminati are lying to us to let Satan in.
For me, one of the strong pieces of evidence for there not being a flat earth is that there is no accurate map which correctly shows the relative sizes and locations of the land masses and seas accurately. There can’t be as one cannot map the globe onto a flat sheet. Mercator maps are flat but are not accurate. No flat map exists or has ever existed. If it could then even I might be forced to consider the earth as flat!
There was one interesting video where a guy claimed planes would not be able to land on north-south runways if they had been flying west to east. He said he was an engineer and did know some equations and how to manipulate them but does not understand relative motion or vectors as far as I could see. Please note: planes do adjust their flight by adjusting the height above the ground so that they can fly around the globe earth. He also wrongly claimed that there was no apparatus that one could buy which enabled a measurement of G, the gravitational constant. Odd then that I used to carry out that very experiment with my A Level physics students each year. Sadly this is typical of the level of delusional evidence presented. But perhaps I was Illuminati mind controlled and it never happened.
Why does any of this matter?
Well, many of the flat earthers I Tweeted with are also believers in intelligent design, creationism – I am assuming they are essentially the same – and so deny that evolution, as described by Darwin, is true. They have to because evolution identifies the earth and being very much older than the 6500 years the Old Testament claims. Evolution, life from a stone as the flat earthers use to try to ridicule the science of evolution. They make a great play of the fact that we do not know how life started. They see that as evidence for creationism.
Why does it matter? Because there has been an increase in folk believing this stuff and some strong moves in the USA to teach creationism as an alternative to conventional science. This would be much more than teaching the Old Testament as truth. Think about it.
There are also some at least hints of racism, homophobia and other not very nice views of others that form part of this agenda. Not from all the flat earthers I tweeted with but certainly it is present. I wonder if the fact that America has its first Black President has caused some of the rise of flat earthers.
I am expecting some reaction to this blog from flat earthers. Keep it nice folks. I’m not a Mason. And perhaps I can explain some of the science to you so that you are not fooled by folk who attach paper behind balloons to show that Newton’s laws are not true! Or by people who try to tell you that ships going out of sight is a perspective issue. It is not!