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GenerationCedarchip

Flat Earth Theory

56 posts in this topic

I have recently been hearing something more and more that's been making me curious. I come from a fundie reformed, VF-ish background and I suppose some might still find me a little fundie. However, I never heard much about people seriously thinking the earth was flat even when I was still part of a deeply legalistic, uber-fundie church. Lately I've been seeing it more and more.  At first, it was something I heard in passing among ATI folk that my in-laws knew. However, I'm starting to see it more in reformed chat groups and offline, I'm seeing it come up in church groups in really divisive ways.  

By "flat earth theory", I'm referring to folks who truly believe that that world is flat and that the pictures from space to the contrary are all staged.  Many will say that it's "Satan's lies" that make us think anything else.  This really seems odd to me and I'm having trouble understanding how this idea is even getting traction. Does anyone know where this comes from?  Is there an author or teacher out there promoting this?

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2 minutes ago, GenerationCedarchip said:

I have recently been hearing something more and more that's been making me curious. I come from a fundie reformed, VF-ish background and I suppose some might still find me a little fundie. However, I never heard much about people seriously thinking the earth was flat even when I was still part of a deeply legalistic, uber-fundie church. Lately I've been seeing it more and more.  At first, it was something I heard in passing among ATI folk that my in-laws knew. However, I'm starting to see it more in reformed chat groups and offline, I'm seeing it come up in church groups in really divisive ways.  

By "flat earth theory", I'm referring to folks who truly believe that that world is flat and that the pictures from space to the contrary are all staged.  Many will say that it's "Satan's lies" that make us think anything else.  This really seems odd to me and I'm having trouble understanding how this idea is even getting traction. Does anyone know where this comes from?  Is there an author or teacher out there promoting this?

Oh, the internet is full of Flat Earth believers. It's speculated that more people believe today that the earth is flat than believed that in 1492 (It had long been known, by the time Columbus sailed the ocean blue, that the earth was a sphere; many people just didn't realize how big a sphere it was.)

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@GenerationCedarchip I recently joined a Facebook group for Christian homeschoolers and had to almost immediately unfollow because half the people were nuts. Anywho, this topic came up and it got ugly. But they recommended a fb page about this flat-earther Christian dude. I can't find it right now, but I'm trying....

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I am mind blown by the flat earthers. I know quite a few creationists, but even they think this theory is ridiculous.

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There are a few celebrities that are flat earthers too.  Shaq.  Sherri Shepherd.  Another who's name I can't recall right now.  It's so ridiculous.  Being a skeptic is so popular these days.  One of the theories I heard is that because it's in the bible that the sun revolves around the earth and the bible is supposed to be literal, that anything outside of the bible should not be believed. (I guess since we are supposed to throw out all of astronomy/earth science since a main piece of science disagrees with the bible?)

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This is what is so problematic with the Bible. Yes, in some ways it is astonishing that anyone would (or claim to) believe that the Earth is flat.  On the other hand, though, maybe it's more surprising that there are 'Bible believers' who don't. I find none of it logical at all. 

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3 hours ago, JemimaPuddle-Duck said:

@GenerationCedarchip I recently joined a Facebook group for Christian homeschoolers and had to almost immediately unfollow because half the people were nuts. Anywho, this topic came up and it got ugly. But they recommended a fb page about this flat-earther Christian dude. I can't find it right now, but I'm trying....

Now I'm curious. It used to be that the main scientific debate I heard was old-earth creationists vs. young-earth creationists.  This is totally new to me, though, and I actually thought it was satire the first time I encountered it. I don't think I've encountered the FB page you mention yet but I have seen this topic in more and more FB groups.

 

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Weird that this is so popular right now. I found this subreddit last night : https://www.reddit.com/r/theworldisflat/ 

They have some amazing videos that absolutely changed my mind! The ground looks flat from a balloon! Boom. Lawyered! 

/s 

So weird. 

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2 hours ago, JMO said:

One of the theories I heard is that because it's in the bible that the sun revolves around the earth and the bible is supposed to be literal, that anything outside of the bible should not be believed. (I guess since we are supposed to throw out all of astronomy/earth science since a main piece of science disagrees with the bible?)

I knew that "biblical geocentrism" was a thing (that ridiculous jesus-is-lord website had a few pages about it) but I hadn't heard the flat earth part. Maybe because it's gaining traction with conspiracy theorists in general, the fundie science-haters are jumping on the bandwagon?

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I've seen a lot more stuff about flat-earthers lately. But they haven't all been fundies or even Christians from what I can tell. I think the uptick is related to a general increase in distrust of science and authority figures. Some conspiracy theories that would get people called crazy 10 years ago are mainstream (or getting close) these days! 

3 hours ago, Black Aliss said:

Oh, the internet is full of Flat Earth believers. It's speculated that more people believe today that the earth is flat than believed that in 1492 (It had long been known, by the time Columbus sailed the ocean blue, that the earth was a sphere; many people just didn't realize how big a sphere it was.)

 

Yeah, from my understanding it wasn't that a bunch of people thought he'd fall off the edge of the Earth or something... more like they weren't sure that a workable passage to "India" could be discovered, etc. 

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Well believing in a flat earth isn't any crazier than young-earth creationism, climate change denialism, or biblical literalism, so it's no surprise that they are all present in the same group of people.

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Flat Earth is possibly the most unbelievably stupid thing people believe.

Im a member of a conspiracy related Facebook group that I joined when I was 16 and thought of myself as maybe an indigo child. Now I am just a member for entertainment purposes, and the occasional debate with stupid people.

I don't get it. There have been so many ridiculous conspiracy theories going round, but they all at least have a story behind them, a villain, an evil plot, that makes people seem so happy and special to be in this secret club and know the truth. All tragedies that happen are false flag attacks by the government (because obviously only the government are evil and everyone else is good), because they want to create fear of the countries we go to war with for oil, and take our guns. Big Pharma knows the cure for cancer is homeopathy, sticking coffee up your ass and eating a vegan diet, but is suppressing it to sell you treatment that will actually make you sicker so you spend more money (but they say that about vaccines and they are way cheaper than a polio epidemic), instead you should trust this guy selling $250 vitamin supplements that hopefully wont kill you as there are no testing standards. Secret societies control the whole world, even down to letting little things slip in TV shows, the trails of fuel that come from planes, it is all a plot of their evil agenda.

 

But the flat earth theory?

 

There is literally no point behind it. Why would all of the world's scientists lie about something so stupid, there is no agenda behind pretending that the planet we live on is a different shape to how it already is. Its also very easy to prove the Earth is round-an average person cannot prove that the random thing the crazy avocado guy posted on Facebook cannot cure cancer, or that evolution is definitely real, without having to get their sources from websites about science (which are dismissed as being in on the conspiracy). With the Earth's shape, there is no scientific knowledge required to prove it, there is no men in black stopping people from getting on a plane and travelling round the world like many non scientists have done before.

 

They cant even answer simple questions, and could not give any plausible explanation for time zones, shadows, what is underneath the Earth, why hasn't anyone gone to the edge and looked over the side, how have people travelled round the Earth and ended up back where they started, why do all the other planets that any person can see with a telescope appear to be round, how do moon phases work without a round earth, how do seasons work (and why is summer in December in Australia).....

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So I was reading my twitterfeed for news on the Comey testimony, when I saw this post about Shaquille O'Neal. Then I went to FJ to post some Comey stuff, and saw this thread. And they say coincidences don't exist!

http://www.iflscience.com/brain/shaquille-oneal-thinks-earth-is-flat-because-it-doesnt-go-up-and-down-when-he-drives/

Quote

In kind of funny but also oh-God-why news, former NBA basketball player and scientist-in-training Shaquille O’Neal has claimed Earth is flat. How does he know this? Because it seems flat when he drives from coast to coast. [...]

“I drive from coast to coast, and this shit is flat to me. I’m just saying. I drive from Florida to California all the time, and it’s flat to me. I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle, and all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all these buildings? You mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under us? It’s not. The world is flat.”

The logic of his thinking totally escapes me. Although I concede he d is correct on one detail. Technically China doesn't lie under the US... 

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Jen Epstein.  Yes, THAT Jen Epstein Fishburne.  Flat earth.  Somebody on her fb told her to start walking and let them know when she got to the edge. :popcorn:

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Posted (edited)

For several years, I used the existence of Flat Earthers online to demonstrate to students that just because something is on the internet, doesn't make that something true.  It irritates me to no end that I have to find an even stupider group to be my new examples now that this is a hot conspiracy theory.  Damnit.  Not only that, but Shaq has truly disappointed me.  I don't watch basketball regularly anymore, but I've had a lot of love for him.  These stupid ideas are really making that difficult for me now.  Thanks a lot, Shaq. :my_dodgy:

I think a lot of these theories are gaining traction amongst fringe groups for the same reasons Agent Orange got elected: a fear/distrust of traditional sources and media and a desire to be "in the know." 

Edited by amandaaries
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I'm guessing SOTDRT mathematics doesn't get very far into non-Euclidian geometry because if you throw out Euclid's fifth postulate, you can "prove" that the earth is actually flat. And, yes, it helps to have your audience know even less about hyperbolic geometry than you do. But the gist of it is, as I recall, that the farther you get from the center of this flat earth, the smaller everything becomes so that you never fall off the edge because you never actually reach it, you just get smaller and smaller, as does everything around you.

But if you did fall off, I suppose one of the tortoises would be available to catch you and throw you back.

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2 minutes ago, Black Aliss said:

I'm guessing SOTDRT mathematics doesn't get very far into non-Euclidian geometry because if you throw out Euclid's fifth postulate, you can "prove" that the earth is actually flat. And, yes, it helps to have your audience know even less about hyperbolic geometry than you do. But the gist of it is, as I recall, that the farther you get from the center of this flat earth, the smaller everything becomes so that you never fall off the edge because you never actually reach it, you just get smaller and smaller, as does everything around you.

But if you did fall off, I suppose one of the tortoises would be available to catch you and throw you back.

Ha!  I was just coming here to say exactly that!  Because I know a great deal about hypo, um, hippo, hang on, hyperbolic geometry.  But you've explained it so I will just go to bed instead.  

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I don't know anything about non-Euclidean geometry, but shouldn't this be a simple proof for anyone with basic spatial reasoning skills? If the earth is a disc with its center at the North Pole, then the distortion that we see in map projections like the one that appears on the UN emblem should be accurate depictions of distance. For example, the distance between Nome and Fairbanks would be relatively short compared to the drive between, say, Chicago and Detroit. But anyone with an odometer on their car can tell you that isn't the case. You don't even have to drive off the edge to work it out.

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10 hours ago, GenerationCedarchip said:

Now I'm curious. It used to be that the main scientific debate I heard was old-earth creationists vs. young-earth creationists.  This is totally new to me, though, and I actually thought it was satire the first time I encountered it. I don't think I've encountered the FB page you mention yet but I have seen this topic in more and more FB groups.

 

Well, I'm sorry. I searched on and off all day and I can't find the stinking name. I may just ask in that group. 

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My favourite thing about bonkers conspiracy theories is the fact no one has found the earth's edge - well, of course they have, but the Illuminati/Big Pharma/lizard people suppress it etc...

The one I don't really understand is chemtrails, because it would be such an inefficient way of distributing chemicals.  If I was the evil elite, I'd put it in the water supplies instead....  OH WAIT!!!

My aunt believes a lot of these.  For most of my life she was an avid UNICEF supporter, and gave a ton of charities, but something went a bit odd with her, and now she's anti-vax and really believes, well, everything - but from a secular, left-wing perspective.  She really believes Michelle Obama, Venus and Serena Williams and Beyoncé are all men, for example - and absolutely can't see the HUGE racism implicit in that.  My dad's wife is a chemistry teacher, and has to leave the room rather than hear my aunt's lunacy on chemtrails, vaccines, and the rest of the unscience.

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@Lurky, the right wing, very anti-Communist John Birch Society considered fluoridation our water supplies to be a Communist conspiracy.

If you've never seen it, there's this clip of the batshit crazy General Jack Ripper from Dr Strangelove:

 

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14 hours ago, Lurky said:

 My dad's wife is a chemistry teacher, and has to leave the room rather than hear my aunt's lunacy on chemtrails, vaccines, and the rest of the unscience.

I"m so sorry you have to listen to that shit. As nutty as my fundie family of origin is, I don't think they are that whack. Maybe they're just afraid to bring these things up around me. But the chemtrails are easy to dispel--just a little spritz of white vinegar in the air around your house and they're neutralized. I saw it on a youtube video.

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On 3/20/2017 at 5:41 PM, ILoveJellybeans said:

Flat Earth is possibly the most unbelievably stupid thing people believe.

Im a member of a conspiracy related Facebook group that I joined when I was 16 and thought of myself as maybe an indigo child. Now I am just a member for entertainment purposes, and the occasional debate with stupid people.

I don't get it. There have been so many ridiculous conspiracy theories going round, but they all at least have a story behind them, a villain, an evil plot, that makes people seem so happy and special to be in this secret club and know the truth. All tragedies that happen are false flag attacks by the government (because obviously only the government are evil and everyone else is good), because they want to create fear of the countries we go to war with for oil, and take our guns. Big Pharma knows the cure for cancer is homeopathy, sticking coffee up your ass and eating a vegan diet, but is suppressing it to sell you treatment that will actually make you sicker so you spend more money (but they say that about vaccines and they are way cheaper than a polio epidemic), instead you should trust this guy selling $250 vitamin supplements that hopefully wont kill you as there are no testing standards. Secret societies control the whole world, even down to letting little things slip in TV shows, the trails of fuel that come from planes, it is all a plot of their evil agenda.

 

But the flat earth theory?

 

There is literally no point behind it. Why would all of the world's scientists lie about something so stupid, there is no agenda behind pretending that the planet we live on is a different shape to how it already is. Its also very easy to prove the Earth is round-an average person cannot prove that the random thing the crazy avocado guy posted on Facebook cannot cure cancer, or that evolution is definitely real, without having to get their sources from websites about science (which are dismissed as being in on the conspiracy). With the Earth's shape, there is no scientific knowledge required to prove it, there is no men in black stopping people from getting on a plane and travelling round the world like many non scientists have done before.

 

They cant even answer simple questions, and could not give any plausible explanation for time zones, shadows, what is underneath the Earth, why hasn't anyone gone to the edge and looked over the side, how have people travelled round the Earth and ended up back where they started, why do all the other planets that any person can see with a telescope appear to be round, how do moon phases work without a round earth, how do seasons work (and why is summer in December in Australia).....

There might be dragons.

Cube people.! I keep saying here on FJ. The earth is a cube. Sigh nobody believes me.  I'm going to go throw myself off the edge of the cube and sulk

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1 hour ago, Black Aliss said:

But the chemtrails are easy to dispel--just a little spritz of white vinegar in the air around your house and they're neutralized. I saw it on a youtube video

 The one I saw, the lady was outside spraying the vinegar at about the level of her head, and excitedly telling her viewers to look up at the sky and watch how the chemtrails were dissolving. :pb_lol:

 

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For Shaq and the flat earthers

images.jpg

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