The flat earth theory has seen a massive resurgence as of late, and one can’t help but wonder how this is possible. I wanted to share my thoughts on what I believe to be happening that would allow this debate to seemingly inexplicably rise from the dead. Quick background on myself: I am one of the contributors to the Do You Believe Podcast (information below) and as such, I must remain open to all theories no matter how unbelievable they may sound. On the podcast we try to present what facts we can, then follow-up with the less sound evidence to support the theories. We aren’t in the business of proving conspiracies or debunking them, but rather presenting them in an unbiased fashion and leave interpretation open to the listeners. We do like to share our personal stances from time to time, but we are clear that we are not authorities on these subjects.
So naturally, after covering many subject from MK ultra, ghosts, and fake moon landings, we finally arrived at the amazingly controversial Flat Earth Theory! Of course I was super skeptical at first, but I vowed to keep an open mind and listen to what the flat earthers had to say; at least for the week leading up to the episode. I was actually rather surprised at the amount of evidence and claims that were brought to the table. Further investigation was required.
I’m positive that many of you would have shared the following thought that I had in my head at the beginning of this adventure. Growing up, from what I had learned in school, it was common knowledge that the earth was round due to the ancient observation in which ships sailing out to sea seem to drop out of view over the horizon, obviously due to the curvature of the earth right? This is where my search began. If they couldn’t explain that, the theory was over in my book. So the first thing I did was check out YouTube. And to my surprise, this was one of the first experiments to show up as proof of a flat earth, to my surprise.
The experiment I saw on YouTube involved a ship sailing out of view (supposedly over the curvature of the earth) however, the experimenter had a fancy camera that was able to zoom in on the ship, to my surprise, brought it fully back into view. The once firm piece of evidence I had to support round earth was gone. Perhaps there was more to this flat earth thing. Of course, I am a very skeptical person by nature, so I didn’t jump on board in that instant. Further investigation was required. I didn’t think this would be the case coming into this podcast.
I won’t go into further detail about the pieces of evidence and all that. I leave that to you, the reader. You can check out our podcast episode if you want, but my main goal for writing this is to provide my rationale as to why we are still debating the shape of the earth. I will provide this spoiler before moving forward. I do not believe the world to be flat, but I can confidently say that I do not possess irrefutable proof that it is round. I do have certain observations that strongly suggest a round earth. Currently my evidence lies in the moon phases and how they are observed at different points on the planet. The flat earthers do have explanations for this, but I do not find them credible based on my observations and understanding of science, however, I cannot, at this time, speak with certainty about the shape of our world. Neil Degrasse Tyson even suggest that it is pear shape, so who knows.
Okay, the part you’ve all been waiting for: why is this even being discussed?
The week leading up to the podcast, I spent a lot of time talking about the subject to a number of different people. Some completely sold on the idea, and some against it to the point of getting emotional…and everything in between. I still have a number of conversations on this subject from time to time. I think a small part of it is the fact that, for those of us who are a little more laid back, it’s a fun idea to mess around with. If you shut yourself off completely from exploring ideas, yes even the seemingly ridiculous ones, you’ll fall victim to intellectual complacency.
This is how I will sum up my reasoning for why Flat Earth Theory is still around. Both sides do not have a full understanding of how the world works and spend the entirety of their time defending their own position and attacking those with the opposing view (not with facts but rather naming calling and whatnot). Those in defense of the round earth, from what I’ve seen, have placed their faith on evidence and reasoning just as flimsy as those on the flat earth side. One quick example: I brought up the idea of flat earth to a friend. He said he could easily disprove flat earth; he asked how boats and planes could possibly navigate on a flat earth. He laughed arrogantly and asked how to explain that. I calmly explained that compasses would work the same on a flat earth. The needle will still always point to the north or center, depending on what earth model you support. At this point I noticed some anger and contempt building in his voice.
This conversation gave me a glimpse into the minds of both sides. Those in support of a round earth spew out random “proofs” and if you dare provide evidence to call that “proof” into question, they typically will respond by getting angry and ultimately questioning your intelligence. The flat earth side does this too. I’m not trying to call out any side in particular. This brings me back to my main theory as to why we are still discussing flat earth. Those that claim they “know” the earth is round have no idea what they are talking about and flat earth supporters are able to pick apart the flaws in their “proofs” and then gain more credibility. Those that argue against flat earth have done the entire scientific community a disservice by talking with authority on a subject they, themselves, do not fully comprehend. It is my belief, that if you are going to push a new scientific theory, you should only be seeking to disprove your own theory. That is the best way to gain actual credibility. Picking and choosing experiments/ideas that fit your own theory is the work of a hack. I do see this a lot on the flat earth side and it is one of my biggest criticisms of their work.
I do think this has brought about some good. People, myself included, have now been challenged to gain a full understanding of the subject themselves without taking someones work for it. I think this will ultimately be of a benefit to society. We have gotten to a point where no one wants to learn about science and is willing to accept whatever is told to them. I’m not saying that the scientific community is working maliciously to spread falsities, but if we continue this trend of caring less and less about science, we could be opening up ourselves to the possibility later on down the road.
I will continue to do my own research and experiments until I am satisfied with my conclusion, but even after that, I will always keep myself open if new facts make themselves known.
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