This is the blog that will likely get me into big trouble. It’s the closest I’ll probably ever get to an actual rant. Should I even go there? Should I not? I decided I should ... here goes ...
I couldn’t tell you exactly when, but I definitely remember going to work the next day and discussing it with co-workers. It happened one evening about 3-4 years ago while I was poking around on YouTube and ran across videos put up by people who were claiming that the earth is flat.
Now you won’t have to hang out on my website very long to discover that I like satire and humor. I like lots of fun in conversation, in my writing, and in my art. My favorite fiction book is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. British humor. That alone should tell you all you need to know.
So when I stumbled upon these YouTube videos, I thought, Cool! Satire! Fun! Let’s watch!
Nope. No fun, no satire ... just sad, sad, sad!
Like finding out about Santa ... once you know, you can never un-know. The effects are permanent. I’ve never recovered. It still shocks me to this day. Not Santa ... the flat earth theory.
The flat earthers reject all those NASA images as propaganda. Wide angle camera lenses are the reason behind that curve you see in photos of earth from high altitudes. And of course we know that all the moon, Mars, and space activities are staged on movie sets. Patched together images on Google Earth are absolute proof that “they” have to “assemble” images to “prove” to us that we live on a sphere. Photographic evidence went the way of the dodo when Photoshop came along. We can’t believe our own eyes anymore. Despite the fact that we won’t believe it until we see it. Now, even when we see it, we don’t believe it! Incredible!
So forget NASA and Google. Throw out the telescopes, rockets, and cameras. Let’s go back in time about 2500 years. If you can trust Google just a little, click here to read about the ancient Greeks and one particular man, Eratosthenes. Or go to the library. Anyway, 2500 years ago, the ancient Greeks were already coming to the conclusion that the earth was spherical based on what they observed with their eyes: star movements, what stars could be seen from different locations, shadows on the moon and earth cast during elipses and eclipses. Eratosthenes took it a step further: using a couple of sticks, a bit of math, and knowing how to properly interpret what he observed with his own eyes, he was able to calculate, within 100 miles, the circumference of the earth! Not bad for someone with no computer except what God had placed inside his head!
I’m certain that Eratosthenes had lots of detractors wanting to challenge him. But that’s what science is ... you have a theory. You test it. And test it again. Let other people test it. And test it again. If it’s true, it will pass the test everytime. If it doesn’t pass the test, then you know your thinking is off base and it’s back to evaluating your original findings. No shame in that ... that’s how we learn and progress!
I’m no scientist and I’m not qualified to lay out the pros and cons of the flat earth theory. But some of the conclusions the flat earthers arrive at defy even my logic-challenged, creative brain. A documentary was made about it. Click Behind the Curve to see the movie trailer. If you get to see the documentary, watch to the end, because at the end they actually conduct an experiment to prove their crazy theory ... and end up disproving it! Then refuse to accept the results.
So let’s write a story ... let’s throw out a crazy idea that’s kind of entertaining and funny to think about ... like, what if the earth was flat? What would it look like? How would it function? What would it be like to live on a flat earth? Sounds like a fun beginning to a great science fiction story! A great imagination is a gift!
Unfortunately, sometimes people will grab a crazy idea, and ponder it to the point of totally embracing it as fact. And they can defend it with their own brand of logic. I understand that this is the fringe of society ... but this craziness is also coming out of the mouths of celebrities like sports figures and singers. People with voices and platforms that attract and influence our children. If someone wants to believe the world is flat, that’s their choice. But one easily swallowed “harmless” fun lie, will make the next lie easier to swallow ... which leads to another ... and then one day to a lie that might not be so harmless. This is spiritual warfare. It is subtle. And it is deadly.
For parents, teachers and those of us involved in creating reading materials for kids – while we’re entertaining and educating them, let’s make certain they understand the difference between fantasy and reality. Let’s teach them how to think. How to observe and examine actual facts and evidence and come to logical conclusions. Then how to challenge and test those conclusions. Because sometimes our conclusions aren’t correct. But Truth will always stand up to the tests, and, in fact, will welcome the tests to prove itself. Lies will not.
This is where the danger lies ... when we want to believe something so much, that even when it’s challenged and disproven, we still stubbornly hang on to it. Because reality doesn’t change to suit our whims. We’re the ones who need to adjust to reality. Because if we don’t adjust, we will eventually crash into reality anyway. And it won’t be fun or pretty.
Guard and teach your children to love and embrace Truth, reality and Godly wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And Godly wisdom will expose the lies and help our children discern Truth so they can successfully navigate this nutty, mixed-up world.
So to all you flat earthers out there, knock yourself out. Believe whatever you’d like to believe.
Delusion or truth. Fact or fiction. Your choice.
But consider this ...
When I was a teen, I knew an elderly couple who also believed the earth was flat. And they could prove it scripturally ... angels standing at the four corners of the earth ... from Revelation 7:1. Oh! How we twist and misuse His Word! Father, forgive us!
They also believed we hadn’t actually landed on the moon. That it was all staged on telelvision.
And ... this same couple believed that TV wrestling was the real deal.
Ponder THAT, flat earthers!
Then go enroll yourself into a basic high school physics class.