If these 7 arguments don’t convince you the Earth is flat, it might be because it’s not
By Isabelle Bennett, Features Editor
Wikipedia considers it archaic. NASA considers it crazy (probably). But what is it about the flat-Earth theory that makes so many consider it true? I’ve been fascinated by the flat-Earther community since I heard it existed, and here are seven of their best arguments I could drum up in my attempt to answer that question.
If the Earth were round, why can’t we see the curve?
Around the world, this is one of the most common arguments flat-Earthers make to defend their perspective. Most people use far-off boats or buildings to illustrate their point, claiming that — if the Earth truly were spherical — the curve would cause these objects to eventually disappear into the horizon when they’re a certain distance away. Typically, the buildings under analysis are closer than the distance required for the supposed curvature to cause them to fully disappear, but that’s only because of the weakness of our darn eyeballs. Thankfully, telephoto lenses and aggressive squinting can help us verify this argument for ourselves — once Mount Everest comes into view, you’ll know for sure. If that doesn’t work, there’s a time-lapse video of an even level on an airplane table out there for you to watch — it’s called science.
The government is out to get us, and astronauts are big fat liars
It’s surprising how many people still trust the government after they had the audacity to tell us that Elvis Presley died, but flat-Earthers understand that the government (a.k.a., the collusion of all governments, everywhere) is intent on keeping citizens oppressed and in-the- dark — educating people that the Earth is round is just another ploy to achieve this objective. NASA, of course, is in on the conspiracy, in addition to all pilots and airlines. According to Mark Sargent in Behind the Curve, a documentary on the flat-Earth movement, scientists are also negligent to the flat-Earth theory due to the indoctrination of the education system. True flat-Earthers trust nobody but themselves. In fact, notable flat-Earther Math Powerland spends only half his time trying to debunk the globe- Earth “conspiracy” and the other half trying to dub other flat- Earthers as “conspirators” — so, there’s that.
“People give you strange looks, that’s fine. If you’re not hurting them, let them think what they want. They’re just asleep, going through life. They’re just background noise,” says Sargent.
Because B.o.B. says so
Flat-Earth theorists are full of a lot of things, including imaginative ways to prove their belief system. One notable way was spearheaded by rapper B.o.B., who started a GoFundMe campaign in 2017 to “launch one, if not multiple, satellites into space,” to see things for himself — a meaningful contribution to a community with trust issues. It’s unclear what resulted from B.o.B. ‘s project as the GoFundMe page has since been taken down, but it appears flat-Earthers are still waiting for the proof they desire. In the meantime, they’re devoting their energy into other experiments, like spinning a metaphorical gravity-less globe- Earth (a.k.a., a tennis ball) in a bucket of water to show that water flies off, suggesting the Earth is flat due to the fact we’re not all drenched.
Gravity shmavity, we’re all just too dense to fly
It’s important to note that there are many schools of thought in the flat-Earth sphere, and explanations for gravity — well, what globe-Earthers know as gravity — is one area that regularly causes contention. Many flat-Earthers explain the phenomenon to be a product of density. Others say nothing is pulling us down, rather, the entire Earth is accelerating upward at nearly 10 metres per second squared. The force behind it? Dark energy. This acceleration can be simplyexplained using Einstein’s theoryof relativity — a theory which globe-Earthers use to explain gravity. Fortunately, it’s likely that Einstein’s death was also a conspiracy, so next time we bump into his 141-year-old self we can just ask for clarification.
Globes prove nothing but the genius of Photoshop
The globe-Earth theory provesnothing but the magic of Adobe products. Seriously, what can’t they do? If modern technology is not compelling enough to have you convinced, take a look at flight patterns. Why are there not more direct flights between South America and Australia? Many flat-Earthers believe that layovers are a tool that airlines use to confuse people and dodge questions about the illogical path being taken to their destination.
The sun doesn’t set, it dramatically fades into the distance
The tendency of the sun to risein the east and set in the west can certainly raise suspicions with the flat-Earth theory, but believers face the doubt with this sentiment: the sun doesn’t set, it just travels far enough away that it can’t be seen anymore — clearly, the billions of existing photographs of the sun peeking over the horizon are all products of Photoshop, too. To make this disappearing act possible, flat-Earthers propose the sun’s properties to be quite different than scientists naively believe — rather than an inflamed ball of gas that can turn humans into lobsters from 150 million kilometres above Earth’s surface, for instance, it is an itty bitty flashlight hovering a mere 5,000 kilometers away.
A dome-shaped planet makes so much more sense
Think about how long it’s taken to develop the globe- Earth theory into what it has become — it’s first documented mention dates back to ancient Greece, and it’s taken exploration, satellites, space travel and scientists of all kinds to round out and defend the perception which governments and education deem as fact. In contrast, flat-Earth theorists only require a little imagination to understand the world as they know it: a flat circle with a dome-shaped top attached by the glue that is Antarctica — essentially, a giant snow- globe. It’s relieving that no rigorous scientific proof is required, because the flat-Earth community is still wrestling to provide that.
If this is your first time hearingabout the flat-Earth theory, you probably have many questions — I do too. If you have answers, please email featureseditor@ thereflector.ca