Blog: The End of Endless Flat Earth Videos - 2017-06-01

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F0.png The End of Endless Flat Earth Videos June 1, 2017, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large

There appears to be an increase in the number, or at least the volume level, of people who have fallen into believing the Earth is not a spherical planet but is instead flat like a pancake. Video after video is appearing on YouTube with supposed proof that the earth isn't round, while celebrities like rapper BoB, UFC fighter Eddie Bravo and YouTube personality Tila Tequila have been in the news recently supporting this view, causing actual scientists like astrophysist Neil deGrasse Tyson to talk about why this nonsense isn't supported by anything like real world evidence.

As a critical thinker, what fascinates me about this is the psychology of it. The observable and scientific proof that the Earth is a sphere has been known about for literally thousands of years. So where did this idea come from and why would it persist when today we literally have photographic evidence of it and have even sent men to the moon and walked around on its dusty spherical surface and taken pictures of very round planet?

When ancient cultures first envisioned what the big wide world might look like, they modeled it after a flat earth or a dome, surrounded by the firmament of space and resting on the back of a turtle or elephants, who in turn were standing on pillars which went donw into mud and whatever else their imagination could think of to explain infinity. You can find many old descriptions of this, and Flat Earthers for some bizarre reason like to think that the ancients with their limited skill set and knowledge base somehow knew more about how things really are than we do now. As far as we know, the Greeks were the first to start doing the math and figuring out that the Earth was a sphere but no one seems to know exactly who figured it out. After the 5th century BC, though, it was pretty clear to everyone in Greece that the Earth was round. Aristotle was the first to observe that the stars in Egypt were different from the stars in Cyprus and that based on these observations, the curve of the Earth was such that the planet itself wasn't even that big. He also predicted the existence of the North and South poles with temperate regions in between and a scorching hot equatorial zone. Turns out he was absolutely right.