Unbelievable, even now in 2019, there are millions of people who believe that our Earth is not a sphere, rather a flat plane. The number of believers of this theory has expanded so much in recent years, that in the United States, a whole movement has developed centered on worshiping this claim. It is easy to dismiss this phenomenon with a callous wave of the hand and refer to i.t as yet another “conspiracy theory”, but it is a serious and weighty matter. According to a survey conducted recently in the United States, about 2% of respondents believed that our world was flat, and that if you look at the entire US population, that it is about 6.5 million people!!!
The flat earth theory is comprised of the belief that the world is completely flat. Antarctica is built as an Insurmountable “ice wall” that surrounds the world and “holds” the oceans so that they cannot move away. The sun and moon are small bodies moving in circles above a circular dome that forms the atmosphere. The stars in the sky are lights in a special light show created especially for earth’s inhabitants. Gravity, well it does not exist rather there is a force from the constant movement of the world upwards.
So how is it that after 2,000 years of experiments and scientific findings and 70 years of space exploration, with tens of thousands of photographs from satellites, spacecraft, and even the moon; that people believe our planet is flat? Ultimately, it is based on people’s faith, without weighing any scientific evidence. A deeper look shows the following elements:
- The element of creation – reminiscent of the familiar religious arguments, movement members refuse to accept that humanity was a chance occurrence such as in the case of\ the universe being created by the Big Bang or the evolution process. Flat earthers often believe that humanity was planned and created as well as the world in which we live.
- The Conspiracy element – It is assumed that hundreds of years ago, world leaders and key figures conceived the idea of the round star and used science, media and from 1958, NASA to hide the truth, dazzle and convince us with fake images and videos, including of course the famous moon landing images. Members will denounce any pictures shown to them and declare it to be falsified and fake.
- Psychological element – Individuals who join such exclusive and quirky groups often do so for psychological and social reasons in order to feel special, be part of a small group of truth –knowers, part of a larger secret. That is why for some members of the movement this is not the first conspiracy theory.
There are, of course conceptual holes that movement members cannot explain such as:
- Moon and sun eclipses in which the shape of the Earth can be clearly seen.
- The disappearance of ships gradually beyond the horizon.
- The question of why all stars are clearly visible in the form of a sphere and only the earth is flat.
- Observations of bridges, roads and other long structures that clearly show the curvature of the earth.
- The feasibility of the involvement of tens of thousands of scientists, their families and relatives in the conspiracy theory of the round Earth (How many people can keep a secret so big for so long)?
When movement members are confronted with such issues, they respond with excuses, false theories that cannot be proven, or claims fake news and conspiracy. If this movement was a small and isolated clique, little attention they would not have been paid to it. However, several celebrities and network stars line the movement, who easily disperse these delusional ideas to their broad audience. And that’s a dangerous thing. This phenomenon attests first of all to a serious problem of ignorance and failure in the educational system, a system that does not educate young people to explore and question by themselves.
To this we must add the many hours that young people spend in front of screens, influenced by social media, where they are inundated with unreliable information that influence their train of thought.
Finally, there is disdain for the scientific method of theories, experimentation and strengthening of evidentiary findings that are repeatedly tested by scientists.
In conclusion, the “flat earth” movement is gaining momentum, its ideas resonate throughout the media networks and it is expanding its ranks. Recently, its California conference received a lot of media attention was even featured on the National Geographic Channel: