Flat Earth, Creationism, and You

A columnist at the New Orleans Times-Picayune named Jarvis DeBerry has bundled two crazy events together to produce an interesting article. It’s titled Flat Earthers want you to believe them. Don’t. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Two stories – one of them out of Florida and the other out of Colorado – should make us fear for the future of our country, specifically for the future of our children who will have to compete with people from all over the world.

Two stories? He says:

The first story is out of Colorado, where a small but growing movement of people are pushing a new old idea that the Earth is flat and not the orb modernity has been taught that it is.

Oh, goodie! We haven’t had a flat Earth story in a long time. But that’s only one of the two stories. What about the other? DeBerry tells us:

The second story is out of Florida where a new law allows anybody – whether that person has a child in school or not – to challenge what’s being taught in a science class. That law establishes an “unbiased hearing officer” who will receive complaints and decide if the instruction needs to be altered in some way.

We’ve been writing about that one — see Florida School Board Harassment Bill Is Now Law. How does DeBerry tie these two events together? Here it comes:

How soon will it be before these two streams of idiocy converge and somebody in Florida objects to a teacher’s assertion that the earth is spherical? And what will that “unbiased hearing officer” do then? Will that officer say, “Well there are some folks in the country who believe it’s flat. And we ought to listen to their view points, too.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, teach the controversy! He continues:

According to a report in the Denver Post, at a recent meeting of Flat Earthers presenter Bob Knodel called the theory of a round Earth “propaganda.” After a 35-year career as an engineer Knodel now runs a YouTube channel called Globebusters. “I’ve researched conspiracies for a long time,” he told the gathering. “I’ve looked very critically at NASA. Why is it that the astronauts have conflicting stories about the sky? Is it bright with stars, or a deep velvet black?

NASA has been lying to us! Oh, here’s the article in the Denver Post that he’s talking about: These Coloradans say Earth is flat. And gravity’s a hoax. Now, they’re being persecuted. Go ahead and read it — if you’re in the mood. We’ll stay with DeBerry’s column. He says:

Some Flat Earthers who talked to the Denver Post would only allow the newspaper to use their first names. Others used pseudonyms. They’ve been persecuted too much to speak openly about their beliefs, they say. …

I’ve always believe that to be persecuted one first must be taken seriously. Being called fools, as these Flat Earthers so often are, is not the same as a pogrom. It’s doubtful that anybody’s going to hurt a Flat Earther, seeing as how the person who confronts one is likely to be doubled over with laughter and, thus, physically unable to cause any harm.

DeBerry’s last paragraph is a biggie, because he also mentions his own state’s infamous creation legislation — the Louisiana Science Education Act, inspired by the Discoveroids’ so-called Academic Freedom Act — see Anti-evolution legislation. Here it comes:

It’s harder to laugh at what’s going on in Florida, though. The law that’s been passed there is even more worrisome than the Orwellian-sounding Louisiana Science Education Act passed in this state during the Bobby Jindal administration. That law allows schools to supplement science text books with other materials that challenge lessons that some fundamentalists find it difficult to accept, such as the theory of evolution or global warming. It’s a bad law, but at least the challenges would come from within an educational institution. Florida is letting anybody – and I do mean anybody – come to a school and ask, “Why aren’t y’all teaching that the moon is made of cheese?!”

So there you are. DeBerry’s column touches on almost everything — except UFO abductions. The madness is everywhere — probably caused by fluoride in our drinking water.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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27 responses to “Flat Earth, Creationism, and You

  1. Michael Fugate

    Conspiracy theories all the way down!

  2. I could vaguely understand someone who’s never been out of Colorado thinking the earth is somewhat flat (but full of tall bumps). Someone from Florida, however, has probably seen ship’s hulls and masts disappear over the horizon, so they’d be less likely to believe such nonsense. And those in Colorado could always go to a library and learn about Eratosthenes.

  3. Good to see Americans continuing to embrace their inner ignorance. I blame home schooling.

  4. Our Curmudgeon notes

    The madness is everywhere — probably caused by fluoride in our drinking water.

    And/or the Con Trails. Whatever caused it, we’ve lost the Purity of Essence of our Vital Bodily Fluids…

  5. I suppose that I have to read some of this. I’m sure that they have some response to the way that I have to take account of talking to people across different time zones, or how people experience different sunrise and sunsets according to latitude.

  6. Michael Fugate

    Lots of good stuff.

  7. As with creationists, flat earthers have an answer for every objection, no matter how scientifically distorted an answer may be. Our astronauts did not walk on the moon, ancient aliens wrote on rocks, built pyramids, sasquatch wanders primal forests… Lots of topics for science classrooms!

  8. @abesthood

    Sadly, the flat earther I tried to explain it to actually had a condo on the 10th floor on a beach in Florida (I’m shocked that he could afford it with his low intelligence). He claimed that from his balcony, he could see cruise ships “200 miles out to sea”.

    When I asked how he knew they were 200 miles out, he replied “Because I fish out there all the time!”

    I asked if he’d ever used GPS to verify his position as 200 miles out (where he also claimed to be able to see his apartment building), but strangely enough I could never get a straight answer out of him on that.

    I’m still half convinced that he was a Poe….

  9. How many miles out to sea can he see from ground level? When he is out to sea 200 miles, how many stories of his apartment building can he see? I bet he can see only the topmost stories.

    I don’t know how accurate this web page is,
    http://science.howstuffworks.com/question198.htm
    but it gives this formula for how far to see out to sea (in miles) if you are so many feet above sea level (in feet)
    SquareRoot(height above surface / 0.5736) = distance to horizon
    counting 10 feet per story, on the 10th floor one is 100 feet high then one can see a ship at 13.2 miles.
    on the 100th floor, it’s 41.75 miles

  10. Abeastwood and TomS, your rebuttals totally have been “debunked”.

    http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/home/index.php/faq

    https://wiki.tfes.org/Sinking_Ship_Effect

    Oh – and yes, there are at least two Flat Earth Societies, who of course disagree with each other. Isn’t pseudoscience wonderful?

    Perhaps if madness is going to rule in Florida our very own SC can take it even a step further? The Moon is a hoax!

    http://www.revisionism.nl/Moon/

    and Belgium doesn’t exist!

    http://zapatopi.net/belgium/

    Teach the Controversies!
    But only in Florida.

  11. It has been said that if the earth were flat, cats would have knocked everything off it by now.

  12. The Antarctic Icewall makes that impossible, JS.

  13. Jill Smith argues

    if the earth were flat, cats would have knocked everything off it by now.

    That is persuasive–but it overlooks the fact that kids can clutter up a place faster than cats can clear it.

  14. Oh dear…the poor persecuted flat earthers.!!???!!!

  15. I wonder if there is a flat earth society in Australia planning to sue airlines companies. After all, airlines are wasting time, fuel, and money on every flight that stays in the Southern Hemisphere and takes the long way around the outside of the flat earth disc. Isn’t it obvious that flights should take the short cut over the North Pole when flying from Sidney to places like Colombia?

  16. Michael Fugate

    I saw someone claiming the UN logo was proof of a flat earth with the north pole at the center. It would be interesting to compare flight paths under both models.

  17. The world map presented by flat-earthers shows Australia considerably distorted from the standard map. I wonder what the reaction is from Australians. I suggest that the the flat-earthers show northern bias.

  18. I searched for circumnavigation antarctica flat earth and came up with this interesting exchange
    theflatearthsociety.org/forum/index.php?topic=45085.0

    there re some time-lapse photography of 24 hour sun – obviously faked- what extremes that people go though to spend time in Antarctica just to refute the Bible!

    and then there are people who spend tens of thousands of dollars just to be taken in by a con scheme of circumnavigation of Antarctica!

    You global-earthers, you have no idea of the extremes that the conspiracy will go through!

  19. TomS, with a FET mindset it’s totally possible to be Australian and be OK with northern bias.

    http://users.tpg.com.au/users/rdempsf/fesa/invite.htm

  20. TomS says: “You global-earthers …”

    We call them globeists, who believe in the ungodly theory of globe-ism. They’re all bible-denying fools!

  21. Christine Janis

    “Conspiracy theories all the way down!”

    And, at the heart of it all, the Jewish money changers

  22. Michael Fugate

    The seasons don’t really make any sense under their model – I can’t imagine how they explain it away, but then again I am not sure I care enough to pursue it.

  23. I wonder whether the phenomenon of the sunlight on mountain tops during sunrise and sunset shows that the Earth is round.The tops of the mountains can see the rising/setting sun at a greater distance?

  24. David Evans

    TomS, the sunlight on the mountain tops shows that the Earth’s surface is curved locally, not that it’s a globe. If the flat-Earthers taught that the Earth is curved like a section of a sphere they would be immune from some of the arguments that disprove a literally flat Earth.

    Assuming the Earth is a globe, it should be possible to estimate its size by timing the movement of the sunlight up a mountain of known height. I don’t know if anyone has tried this.

  25. @David Evans:
    Thank you. That is a good point. It reminds me of the micro-evolution argument.
    I think that it really only works where there is an isolated mountain. (I don’t think that there are any good examples in Colorado).
    Is there a calculation of something like how many minutes per thousand feet (meters)? Would that be a science fair project for a high school in the neighborhood of a major isolated mountain?

  26. I discovered the FE videos on YouTube about 2 years ago. It was roughly the same time I gave up totally on humanity and decided to listen to the wisdom of Elvis Costello who once said “Well, I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused”. Coincidence? I think not.

    I think the moment I gave up was the explanation that gravity doesn’t exist. See, what we think of as “gravity” is caused by the Earth constantly accelerating upward at (9.8m/sec^2). But we have tides because the moon and stars have a “slight” gravitational pull. At that point my brain just went into full shutdown mode.

  27. There was a discussion here recently whether evolution is as certain as gravity. It was prompted by a creationist who complained about evolutionists who said that evolution is that certain.

    I try to avoid negative emotions about creationism etc. by making it a game. Where some people find a challenge in crossword puzzles, chess or bridge, my hobby is devising responses to creationism. I know that it is pointless, but so is “Battle song” is “aria”.