3 Comments »Posted on Monday 4 August 2008 at 3:14 pm by Jacob Aron
In Getting It Wrong

This BBC article on “flat-earthers” – people who genuinely believe that the Earth is a flat disc – lead me to the Flat Earth Society forum. I was both amazed and horrified at what I found. Let me direct your attention to the Flat Earth FAQ.

The FE’ers, as they call themselves, believe that the governments of the world are engaged in a massive conspiracy to make us believe the world is round. NASA is in on it, and used the money they saved from not building rockets to develop “advanced computers and imaging software” with which they created fake photos of Earth. What is the purpose behind the conspiracy? “Probably money” – although I’m not quite sure where the profit is in this.

So what does our flat Earth look like? It has a circumference of 78,225 miles and a diameter of 24,900 miles. I’d expect the diameter of a flat Earth to be close to the circumference of the real Earth through the North pole so that the distance from the rim to the centre was the same as from pole to pole, and it appears that this is actually the case. At least the flat-earthers have their figures right.

The sun and moon above a flat Earth

The sun and moon are both 32 miles in diameter and circle 3,000 miles above the Earth. I guess the moon must produces its own light, since it certainly wouldn’t be able to reflect the sun’s light, otherwise there would be no night on flat Earth, and we can’t have that. Gravity doesn’t come in to play, instead flat Earth accelerates constantly upwards (without any form of propulsion), providing us with that familiar sinking feeling. A vast ice wall runs round the entire rim of the disc, and is guarded on behalf of the conspirators. I could go on, but I won’t.

I don’t know how you can get through to people who believe in this nonsense. By the time you’ve got to giant ice walls, logic seems to have been thrown out the window (or perhaps off the edge) and conversation is reduced to sticking your fingers in your ears whilst screaming “I’m right, I’m right!” until you lose all sense of reality.

I also don’t understand why you would even want to believe in a flat Earth. Does it somehow improve your sense of well being, knowing everyone is wrong as they potter about with their round world delusions? Do you hope to advance human knowledge of flat Earth by conducting experiments and sending expeditions to the ice wall? I just don’t know. It saddens me to say it, but I don’t think there is actually any way of convincing these people they are wrong. All you can do is point out the flaws in their logic, and hope no one else falls for it.


  1. 3 Comments

  2. It is important to protect the environment from those who would pollute it. There is no shortcut, including throwing waste over the edge. Most waste does indeed never land back on Earth’s underside. This reduces the overall mass on the earth and will result in increasing the effects of global warming.

    Thankfully we are now ending the Bush administration. They took a hands off approach to de-regulating edge dumping. Now we can celebrate a new president who will form a transparency policy for the edge that enhances safety from falling off the edge, and prevention of illegal dumping.

    By Dennis on Monday 17 November, 2008 at 9:59 pm

  3. We think that the idea is funny but stupid there is no conspiracy and the idea is dodgy. It could be plausible but you happen to be wrong. Get over it. Get a life and accept that the world is round. You might not have read any but there is plenty of evidence so ner ner ne ner ner.

    By Beth & Jay on Wednesday 11 March, 2009 at 2:41 pm

  4. Erm, did you read the post at all?!

    By Jacob Aron on Wednesday 11 March, 2009 at 2:46 pm

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