Eps 1583: Earth is FLAT!

The too lazy to register an account podcast

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Sophia Fletcher

Sophia Fletcher

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Physicists would find this mind-boggling, but there are many people in the world who truly think that Earth is flat. Judging from the exhaustive efforts that the Flat Earth Society has put into detailing this theory on its site, and from the strong advocacy for their views they have offered in media interviews and on Twitter, these folks really do believe that Earth is flat. After all, the Flat Earther is much more convinced of the flatness of the Earth than most people are that it is round .
Instead, they feel that we are being misled and lied to, that scientists want you to believe that Earth is round, in spite of Earth being flat. By saying the Earth is flat, what people are really saying is their profound mistrust in scientists, and in science itself. People are denying science and spreading the message that the Earth is flat, in every pocket of the earth.
Around the globe, and contrary to all the evidence from science, there is a section of the population who think the round shape of Earth is an unproven theory, or a carefully constructed hoax. Although the idea of the Earth being flat has been discredited by science, belief in a conspiracy theory seems to be on the rise. In recent years, there has been a disturbing increase in people believing, as in the case of boob-b, the Flat Earth Theory.
Today, there are people who still believe that Earth is flat, even though centuries of evidence has proven otherwise. Surprisingly, there are still people who are trying to make an argument for Earth being flat, especially on things such as not being able to see a curved horizon from shore. Based on the Bible and on their own observations, there are still some who, and continue to this day, claim the world around them is a flat disc, centred around the North Pole, surrounded by a wall of ice.
Chinese astronomers, many of them bright men by any standards, continued to think in terms of the flat Earth well into the seventeenth century; this striking fact may provide the starting point for revisiting the obvious facility with which the idea of a spherical earth found favour with Greece in the fifth century B.C. In ancient China, the dominant view was that Earth was flat and square, and that the heavens were round, a suggestion which was virtually unquestioned until European astronomy was introduced in the 17th century.
The ancient Norse and Germanic nations believed in flat-Earth cosmography, in which Earth was surrounded by the sea, and with an axis mundi, world tree , or pole at its center. The main theory for flat-Earthers holds that Earth is a disk, with the Arctic Circle at its centre, and Antarctica, a 150-foot-high wall of ice, surrounding the rim. While views on Earth by flat-earthers differ, most consider the planet to be a circular disc, with Antarctica acting as a wall of ice at its edges.
Walking on the surface of the planet, it looks and feels flat, and therefore, they consider any evidence that contradicts this, such as satellite photos that show the planet as a sphere, to be fabricated conspiracies about the round Earth staged by NASA and other government agencies. If you came into this world, if you, if you were interested in conspiracy theories generally, you would have come into this, you would have found in it sufficient reasons for a conspiracy theory belief that the world is round. I had those kinds of civil discussions, and so I came to the point that is the kind of this idea of yours, and this idea that you have got people walking around today that believe the world is flat.
Uh, and I think that if you are going to try and actually, um, help people to challenge their belief that the Earth is flat, then you need to look at it as such. The disturbing thing about spending two days in a convention with people who think Earth is flat, who believe that Earth is flat, is not that there is any chance you, too, could end up adopting their view of the world, though I am worried about that somewhat. That is where I think that gets pretty significant to me, because, um, as I spent my time, in, in, in a UK flat-earth convention, as I talked to the flat-earthers, and then talked to the people who were, you know, scientists and skeptics about this, the people who were saying, Well, at least the world is innocuous.
All over the world, millions of people believe the earth - this spinning, blue orb spinning in space - is actually a flat plane. Physicists might mock the notion of a flat Earth, but the idea is gaining steam, especially among people who are susceptible to other conspiracy theories. In recent research, my colleague Tomas Nilsson and I from Linnaeus University analysed hundreds of YouTube videos where people claimed that Earth was flat.
McIntyre described McIntyres frustrations with flat-earthers in a paper published last year in The American Journal of Physics , where he challenged physicists to provide simple, direct answers that would counter the flat-earth evidence, and which would be understood by the general public. It was McIntyres work in scientific denialism that led him to attend a flat-Earth conference in Denver in 2018, at which attendees spent time discussing the evidence for, and fine details about, their theories, and about alleged conspiracies that flat-Earthers say are keeping their ideas hidden from a wider audience. For all that, Mike Hughes would probably attract very little media attention were it not for his avowed belief in a flat earth.