The rise of ‘Flat-Earth theory’
One of the most bizarre trends of 2017 has been the emergence of a noticeable rise in those who believe that the Earth is, in fact, flat.
At a recent Professor Brian Cox lecture in Manchester in May, there were more than a few people outside the venue waving placards accusing the scientist of being a lizard, a Zionist shill or worse. It is their view, you see, that Brian Cox and other prominent scientists are proponents of a global and ancient cover up, by stating the Earth is a globe that orbits the sun.
Digging through some of the beliefs of so called ‘flat Earthers’ it’s genuinely difficult not to giggle in a similar way to when your friend at school told you that his dad had a fight with Bruce Lee and won. There’s obviously no solid evidence to prove the theory but the story teller is so convinced it becomes a little intriguing.
So what do ‘flat Earthers’ actually believe in? First and foremost it is their contention that our planet (can I call it that?), is actually a pancake like flat object with the continents concentrated around the centre and, contrary to popular belief and logic, that Antarctica is not a continent but a wall of ice that surrounds our world on the outskirts.
It’s not easy to find a logical path to grasp for genuine rebuttals to all known scientific evidence from the past three centuries but if you find yourself with time to kill, there’s plenty to read through online. Your first stop could well be the IFERS, or International Flat Earth Research Society website. This is a forum for likeminded individuals to share thoughts, opinion and research proving their ideas. A quick listing of the forum topics board may give you some insight:
· Arctic, Antarctic and beyond the ice wall
· Sun, moon, stars and planets
· God, creation and evolution
· NASA, UN, Freemasonry, Vatican, Jews, Jesuits, NOW
· Hollow Earth
Flat Earthers also believe that the Earth is covered in a glass dome (Simpson’s movie references welcome) and that the sun and the moon are, in fact, small objects which simply exchange positions within this glass structure in order to bring night and day, and the seasons. This brings into mind the perhaps now legitimate definition of Lunatic, which was once thought to be related to the position of the moon.
Given that we now, to an extent, understand the beliefs of the ‘flat Earth’ theory, we can investigate the evidence behind it. According to ‘Flat Earth Science and Bible’, a blog dedicated to proving the theory, the explanation for the Sun’s location in the sky is “Because the sun is quite small compared to earth and because of vanishing points and perspective, we can’t see the sun when it has circled to the other part of flat earth. That is what causes day and night.”
Venturing further into the FAQ section of the blog, one rightfully sceptical user asks; Why has nobody fallen off the edge yet? Helpfully answered with “no one has been far enough to fall off an edge if there is one. The continents are in the center surrounded by vast oceans. Surrounding the whole flat earth 360 degrees is the Antarctic ice wall, hundreds of feet high. No one knows how far it is because no one is allowed to freely explore thanks to the Antarctic Treaty and military protection of Antarctica. What are they hiding?” What, indeed, are they hiding? And who, we wonder, are they?
There are many other baffling and wonderful questions answered within the blog, but perhaps the most telling is “Q. What’s underneath the flat earth? What is it on? Is it just a disc floating in space?
A. The flat earth is not moving nor is it riding on a turtles back. It is also not a disc floating in space. It is a flat earth set on a firm foundation, set on pillars just like the Bible describes it.”
It is, of course, easy to scoff at these assertions, mainly because they’re absolutely absurd, but this is a genuine movement with a decent enough following to attempt to interrupt lectures given in major cities.
Some conspiracy theorists take it farther. What if all the flat-Earth talk is a big psychological experiment to see what we humans will believe in an era in which sizable groups already go against scientific consensus on vaccines, evolution and climate change?
In an age where scepticism for scientific absolutism is rising, it’s not hard to see where disillusioned people might turn to ludicrous conspiracy theories and it’s not easy to envision where the movement could next go to. If we consider that anybody who’s been on an aeroplane can physically see the curvature of the Earth with their own eyes, it may be the case that people within the movement move their brain cell count in to double digits and pursue something else.