THE FLAT EARTH CONSPIRACY
Once upon a time, science was regarded as one of the most respectable and important tools in our arsenal to understand our world, ourselves, and our place in the universe. Sure, it’s had its problems, its fanatic practitioners who’ve embarrassed the look of said tool, but always it was driven by fact and observation. Its butted heads with religion but at the end of the day science is not a religion but a practice of logic and practicality. Whereas religion is about feeling and faith, science is cold and calculating. A dominion of the mind.
If a scientist said the moon was round, composed of various elements, and could only be reached via a slow two day trip, we believed them. Because they were scientists. These were the people who ‘knew’ because they used their minds to solve problems.
And then something happened.
Over the last few decades, hardline ideologues with a mind towards the theological, managed to convince a number of the public that scientists were wrong and not to be trusted.
Global warming being caused by human beings?
Don’t be ridiculous! Just because we’re pouring 40 billion tons of carbon into the air annually, doesn’t mean that’s having an effect on the environment! Besides, here’s a snowball!
We need better monitoring systems of NEOs (near earth asteroids)? Ludicrous! A near earth object hasn’t hurt Earth since the dinosaurs! Scientists are just trying to panic you! We’ll never have to worry about that again!
Immunizations can stop child hood diseases? Laughable! Do you think we don’t see what you’re trying to do!? You’re trying to make our children autistic! Don’t trust them!
Our energy needs need to change? Preposterous! We’ve been using gasoline for over a century and we’ve never been better! They just want to take away your independence!
Rhetoric is trumping our scientific understanding. And no where is it more apparent than under the growing movement of the Flat Earth Society.
Yes. That’s right. There are people who believe that the Earth is flat. Still. And it’s getting larger. The movement that is.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and give a rational summizing of how they’re wrong and this is the evidence supporting my claims and etc etc etc. Mostly because, I’ve already had this argument many, many times. And it’s frivolous. They just believe it and their minds cannot be changed. So I’m going to take this opportunity to lament over the lost scruples of our new day and age because, obviously, we’re devolving as a society.
So, just what is the Flat Earth Society and the Flat Earth Movement (affectionately known as ‘flattards’ in some circles)? It is a movement that believes there is a global conspiracy to conceal the true nature of Earth. That every nation on the face of the planet might be in conflict with each other from time to time but agree on this one fundamental issue that they must keep the fact from everyone around the world that the world is actually flat. And that flatness is encircled by a giant sheet of ice known as Antarctica. And that no one has ever crossed that ice sheet because: A) it’s illegal and monitored by every nation’s military and B) because it’s impossible to do.
They also believe that gravity doesn’t exist. That what we call gravity is a force of acceleration by the massive disk we live on as it continues to fly upward by some unknown force. Through space. Forever. The sun and the moon are also small spheres twirling around each other above us giving us day and night.
That’s it in a nutshell.
And this…THIS is what people believe in that movement. It’s impossible to believe that the Earth is round with its own gravity well but, BUT it obviously makes much more sense that a giant disc encompassed by an ice sheet is speeding upwards through space for all eternity with two marbles doing a synchronized dance just above its surface!
Sure, why not.
How have we gotten to the point in our society where science is ridiculed but believing THIS is rational!?
But, Tim, you might say, we have the evidence to show them! We’ve been to space! We travel around the world every day! Photos show the curvature of the globe! Satellites are in geo synchronous orbit! We have the factual evidence of the distances of the sun, the stars, and other planets away from us! We can observe!
LIES! They’ll tell you. According to the Flat Earther, NASA never went to space. It was made up because we were in the cold war with Russia. Those photos allegedly taken in space? Fabrications to fool the public.
Travelers flying on planes, the Flat Earther will say, are not flying around the globe. No they’re actually completing a wide circuit on the disk top that somehow expends less fuel than say flying in a straight line, I guess. OH! But planes also can’t fly in a straight line, they’ll say! Because the pilot must readjust altitude if this were a real globe and since they don’t that shows how flat the Earth really is! Don’t believe me? Watch this:
You’ll note that Flat Earthers will keep saying ‘show me the evidence to support your claim’. And when you show the evidence from over three thousand years of human migrational patterns, photos, stories, observations, your own eyes- they’ll dismiss it out right as ‘fake’ because there is NO evidence that you can provide them that will satisfy their conditions of ‘truth’.
On the other hand, if you ask them to provide evidence to support THEIR claims, the likely response will skirt the ‘it can’t be shown’ argument and references to some idiot over a century and a half ago performing visual experiments on a lake because, to them, a boat doesn’t disappear ‘over’ a horizon, it vanishes view because of a curvature of your eye. But if you grab binoculars or a telescope you can clearly see the boat is still there so therefore the Earth is flat.
And that’s it. Nonsensical retorts to scientific observations because what science has shown of the true nature is empirical.
But that’s really part of the modern problem though isn’t it? These days the Flat Earthers CAN exist because our culture encourages them to exist. It’s no longer about empirical evidence and replication of experimentation. It’s no longer about the mind and what you can support with facts. It’s now about how you ‘feel’ something is true and therefore must be. I’ll use a word I once heard Stephen Colbert use: ‘truthiness’.
Truthiness: I feel it is true so it must be.
That sums up the state of our nation, of our species any more. The idea that personal world views supersedes factual demonstration is now paramount in the average mind. It’s a self placating gesture to shield oneself from serious problems in a world that continues to become more complicated and difficult to find a solution within.
That and fear. Both are driving forces convincing people to follow the rhetoric of obvious liars because at least they offer a solution to issues we’re generally ill equipped to contend with. But this sort of personal security comes at the cost of other’s well being.
If you’re a parent afraid to vaccinate your child because you fear the potential of autism being acquired, then you should be aware of the FACT that you’re definitely putting your child’s health on the line to whatever disease they might have been vaccinated against.
If you don’t believe that human activities are a direct link to climate change and go out of your way to help elect candidates that are staunchly against environmental regulation, you should be aware that 40 billion tons of pollutants are entering the atmosphere every year. which, admittedly, is only .oo4 percent of the total atmosphere of our biome. However, the caveat being that that very slight change causes a warming of up to 1 degree temperature overall which leads to melting polar caps which add fresh water into the world’s oceans which disrupt currents, change migration patterns, can cause droughts and famine, and alter the soils where we farm making those locations no longer viable for food production.
If you believe we are not facing an energy crisis and that our society will always have access to fossil fuels, you should know that the future viability of fossil fuels are very much in question and a need for alternative sources of energy production are required moving forward if we don’t want our society coming to a screeching, screaming halt.
I’m sure a few people reading this will already be saying, “Look at this liberal cuck spewing ideological nonsense! You liberals are why we have problems!” To that I retort that’s part of the problem and what I’m talking about. Science has been demonized so much over the last few decades that it’s been given a label that doesn’t properly denote its value, that if you follow science you must therefore be a liberal. Effectively turning science into an ideology and thusly an enemy to be despised.
But science is not liberal. It is not conservative. It is a tool. A tool we use to understand our world. The people who use those tools can have an ideology but the observation and replication aspects of the tool espouses no desire and only provides findings. And those findings give us the information we need to make educated decision.s Which is something I should think we’d all want.
However, too many are taking aim at science. Taking aim at the very notion of finding real, irrefutable facts. Instead favoring ‘alternate facts’ and the idea that feeling is just as valid as the reality around them. Don’t get me wrong, feelings are important. They can keep you out of trouble and help you be wise in your decision making. But feelings are not observable. Alternative facts are not observable. Facts are facts because they were observed to be true. And that comes about by using the scientific approach.
Unlike Flat Earthers who are the most notable syptom of this increasingly widening problem. And we need to get back to our respect of science. Or one day we’ll all believe we’re living on a giant disk screaming through space with two twirling marbles in the sky just above it giving us night and day.
Are we sober yet?
For further reading check out this excellent article on the subject: