(~3 minutes to read)
News Item: Why do people still think the Earth is flat?
I watched the video embedded in the above article, and tried really, really hard to take at face value what was being said.
One gentleman pointed out that man hasn’t yet drilled more than eight miles into the ground (I haven’t verified that) so there’s no knowledge of how thick this flat Earth of ours is. Reasonable enough, if that “fact” is viewed in isolation.
A lady described a test she did that proved to her that the Earth is flat. She held a straight edge up to the ocean’s horizon and in her opinion, the horizon was as straight as that straight edge.
Old Nick—A Liar?
Another gentleman held up a small globe and stated, “To me, this is Satan’s greatest lie.” I struggled with this comment, because I see no reason for Old Nick to want to lie about such a thing. If the Earth were a globe, then the size of hell would be limited by its radius (less the eight miles that man has drilled down and an additional inch or so for safety margin—Old Nick would surely have shown his mightily-miffedness if his ceiling had been punctured by a big ol’ drill) …and therefore volume. In a flat Earth scenario, hell can spread as wide and as deep as it likes, and Old Nick would be able to brag about how much room he has available.
Science and religion are not good bedfellows—ask Galileo how well they mix. The Roman Inquisition sentenced him to indefinite imprisonment for his suspected heresy, and he died in 1643 after eleven years of house arrest at his home near Florence.
In order to justify flat Earth claims despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, one might be tempted to cling to a conspiracy theory. I have a tendency to believe in certain conspiracy theories myself, so this argument might stand some chance of resonating with me.
Unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, they need to explain how such a conspiracy has persisted for approximately six thousand years in one form or another.
Oh… and they need to explain how Roald Amundsen determined that he’d reached the exact location of the South Pole, and how Captain Scott reached the same point independently. Oh… Silly me—Amundsen was part of the conspiracy, and Scott wasn’t, which was why he and his party all had to die.
These same conspiracy theorists also need to explain the physics of a flat Earth. This is where I get confused. Terry Pratchett appeared to have worked everything out for them in his Discworld series of novels, yet I can’t find any evidence of flat Earth believers having adopted Pratchett’s teachings. He had plausible explanations for how the various celestial bodies moved, what was at the centre and what was at the edge, and he also had the answer to how Discworld made its way through space in such a controlled manner (It rests on the backs of four giant elephants who stand on the back of a giant turtle.)
Perhaps Christians among flat Earth advocates are reluctant to embrace Pratchett’s theories, which include elements of Hindu, Chinese, and American First Nations mythologies.
And perhaps Christians among flat Earth advocates cling to their beliefs because it runs counter to what the Islamic world embraced centuries before the Christian Church did.
Flat Earth Benefits
There are benefits to a flat Earth worldview though. A disc can be enlarged more easily than a sphere. All that’s needed is some scaffolding on the outside of the ice wall that runs along the circumference (this is how flat Earth advocates view Antarctica) and we can start building out there.
What a solution for world population and overcrowding! Earth could have its own version of Game of Thrones’ “wintry north”, and those who move there would eventually become as feared as the Scots were by the Romans or the Free Folk are by the people of the Seven Kingdoms.
I need to finish this article now so I can go and prepare my Proposal Documents for expanding Earth. I think I’ll send my pitch to Trump—he might be interested in moving Mexico to the other side.