The Coronavirus and the Flat Earth

Our title may seem strange, but when you blog about creationists, strangeness is what should be expected. We found this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Their title is COVID-19 and the Flat Earth. It was written by ol’ Hambo’s creationist astronomer, Dr. Danny Faulkner. Here’s AIG’s biographical information about Danny. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University.

And here’s the listing for Danny’s book at Amazon: Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims. The publisher is Master Books. Their website brags that they’re “the exclusive publisher for Ken Ham, the founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter.”

We know you’re eager to see what Danny has for us today, so we’ll get right to it. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

If you look at the title of this blog, you may wonder what COVID-19 has to do with the flat-earth movement. I’ve been studying and reporting on the flat-earth movement for more than four years. One of the things that I’ve discovered is that flat-earthers are very much into conspiracies. [Shocking!] … Consequently, I’ve been curious as to what flat-earthers think about COVID-19, so I’ve been monitoring flat-earth websites and YouTube channels for weeks.

That’s a good activity for a creation scientist. Danny says:

One of the things that I’ve learned from my study about people who think the earth is flat is that they are united by only two things, [first,] that the earth is flat and [second,] that there must be a conspiracy promoting the earth is a globe. Beyond that, there is much diversity among flat-earthers.

Brilliant analysis. Hey — it’s probably just a coincidence, but we’ve noticed that here are two things that unite creationists. One is a preference for Dark Ages thinking, and the other is a powerful tendency to drool. But let’s stay with Danny’s analysis of flat-earthers. He tells us about their diversity:

There are theological differences, from what appear to be conservative Christians to New Agers. There are differences involving details of what the flat-earth model ought to be. Then there are differences in personality and style. Some of the differences in opinion can get quite heated, with some people in the flat-earth movement condemning others as sell outs, shills, or controlled opposition. This infighting can get vicious. Therefore, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised by the diversity of responses to COVID-19 among flat-earthers, but I was.

Now Danny tells us about their responses to COVID-19:

Some flat-earthers readily accepted the two most common conspiracy theories about COVID-19 making the rounds. One of those two theories is that the entire thing is a hoax, with no one really getting sick from a new illness. [Amazing!] The other common conspiracy theory is that people are getting sick, but the illness is not caused by a coronavirus but by 5G networks [What?], which recently began rollout around the world.

5G networks? What are they? According to Wikipedia, 5G “is the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks. 5G communication requires the use of communications devices (mostly mobile phones) designed to support the technology.” Where is Danny going with this? Oh, wait. In a section titled “Political opposition,” Wikipedia says:

It has been alleged that the United States via the FBI, the UK via GCHQ and other intelligence agencies have sought to adjust 5G standards through 3GPP in order to allow as much metadata as possible to be collected for mass surveillance purposes.

This has potential to get interesting. Danny continues:

Some flat-earthers have managed to combine these two conspiracy theories into one, with the conspiracy being the coverup and blame shifting so that the masses don’t demand the dismantling of 5G networks. Why are the 5G networks so important to THE conspiracy? Why, 5G must be essential to further expand government control. This is ironic because, since the flat-earth movement has been a phenomenon almost entirely driven by the internet, the expansion of 5G will facilitate the promulgation of flat-earth nonsense.

Isn’t it great when a creationist refers to the flat-earth belief as “nonsense”? Let’s read on:

A more serious aspect of this embrace of COVID-19 conspiracy theories is that some flat-earthers deny the germ theory of disease. [Wow!] They argue that viruses don’t cause disease at all.

Danny’s paragraph describing that belief is huge, and it ends with this: “Unlike the notion the earth is flat, this thinking can kill people.” You can click over there to read the details, if you like,, but we’re moving on. Here’s another excerpt:

Where is the diversity among flat-earthers? I am surprised at the number of prominent flat-earthers who have not mentioned or hardly mention COVID-19. They usually have endorsed conspiracy theories about all sorts of things, but especially huge stories, such as 9/11. COVID-19 is the largest story since 9/11, and certainly is the biggest event since the rise of the 21st century flat-earth movement about five years ago, so their silence is obvious.

Well, it’s obvious to Danny. Here’s more:

One notable exception is Robbie Davidson, who organized and ran the Flat Earth International Conferences that I attended in conducting my research about the flat-earth movement. Robbie’s Celebrate Truth channel on YouTube recently has featured programs that appear to agree that COVID-19 is a real threat and don’t mention conspiracies. His approach is that COVID-19 might be the beginning of end-times apocalyptic events. [Brilliant!] He has been very clear that COVID-19 could be part of God’s judgement on the world. That wouldn’t make sense if COVID-19 were a hoax or a satanic conspiracy. Obviously, Robbie’s approach to COVID-19 is very different from the reaction of many other flat-earthers. And it is more responsible.

Right! What could be more responsible than claiming the End of the World is coming? Danny finishes with this:

So, the response of flat-earthers to COVID-19 runs the gamut from hoax, to large conspiracy, to acceptance that it is a real threat and God’s judgement on the world, to what amounts to indifference. As I said earlier, this surprises me. But then, as I’ve noted before, there is far more diversity among flat-earthers than first meets the eye. Perhaps I ought not to be so surprised after all.

The one thing we don’t understand is why creationists like Danny aren’t also flat-earthers. After all, the bible clearly says The Earth Is Flat! Maybe he should work on that.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “The Coronavirus and the Flat Earth

  1. Theodore Lawry

    Faulkner despises the FE crowd, and is even a bit threatened by their claims that the Bible supports a FE, thereby making Biblical Literalists look, you know, stupid. So I suspect he is a wee bit disappointed he couldn’t portray the lot of them as raving Coronavirus/conspiracy loonies.

  2. Karl Goldsmith

    Tim Dudley, the President of MasterBooks and one of AiG’s board members.

  3. “flat-earthers are very much into conspiracies”
    And Expelled totally isn’t. Rrrright.

    “Maybe he should work on that.”
    Come on, dear SC, you know better than this. The creacrap answer has been formulated in the days of Methusalem: your exegesis is wrong and Ol’Hambo’s is correct. Or rather Dannyboy’s, he has written about the topic three years ago. You don’t accept it, but that’s because you, like me, are an darwinist athiest materialist evilutionist commienazi, lacking an open mind, who’s determined to reject god’s word as explained by Ol’Hambo and co.

  4. Faulkner !.!!! ….points imperiously……BLASPHEMER….!!!!
    the bible is clear on this. the earth is flat .

  5. chris schilling

    “One of the things I’ve discovered is that flat-earthers are very much into conspiracies.”

    Danny Faulkner: special interest — the bleedin’ obvious. Many of us have observed exactly the same thing when it comes to creationists and conspiracy theories. The evangelical mind is programmed to see conspiracies everywhere (‘Darwinism’, for Chrissake, is a conspiracy!) And behind the “human” conspiracy ultimately lies the evil machinations of…oh, who cares? Evangelicals can’t accept natural causation for anything.

    If Danny had extended his in-depth research and analysis, he could have trawled the alt-right Christian blogs, and discovered Covid19 was all part of a massive…ah, who cares?

    I’ve made whatever banal sociological observation I wanted to make.

  6. Their beloved orange Fuhrer said it was a hoax, so how could they disagree?

  7. @chris schilling
    I get your point about not accepting natural explanations, but.
    They really aren’t consistent about that. They try to dream up pseudo-natural scenarios. Like how the Flood produced geology.

  8. Dave Luckett

    Trump did not call the coronavirus or its effects or the pandemic a hoax: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-coronavirus-rally-remark/,

  9. He throws around the word “hoax” so much that when he said “Think of it,” he said. “And this is their new hoax.” it’s hard to decipher what exactly he is calling a hoax. He certainly had plenty to say early on that it was one person from China, totally under control, etc. And now his most rabid supporters are accusing Bill Gates of creating the virus and orchestrating the pandemic to take over the global health care system. For Trump and his sycophants, the bar can never be low enough.

  10. Dave Luckett

    Perhaps. I must confess to being little interested in what Trump’s most rabid supporters or detractors are saying.

  11. chris schilling

    @TomS
    The conspiracy theorist is someone who inclines to an extreme form of apophenia. German neurologist/psychiatrist Klaus Conrad* defined this as an early stage of schizophrenia. Does this mean I think conspiracy theorists — and by implication, evangelicals — are mentally ill?

    Not exactly. I would say, rather, that getting things wildly wrong is simply part of the human condition. (Either that, or “madness” itself is part of the general human condition. I’m still undecided).🤔

    *Someone will object: “But he was a Nazi!”**

    **Someone else will object: “But all psychiatrists are crazy, anyway!”

  12. @chris schilling
    What little a know about psychology agrees with you. It seems that one can take a minor detail and construct a story around that, ignoring everything else. What I have read descrbes schizophrenia as having a sort of consistency to it, but it isn’t what a mathematician would recognize, it’s more like the plot of an opera.
    When I first heard of creationism, i expected it to be really consistent and deny dinosaurs and to have knowlege of the Bible.

  13. @DaveL is indifferent: “I must confess to being little interested in what Trump’s most rabid supporters or detractors are saying.”
    I’m almost never interested in what Donald the Clown says either. There are very few politicians with a wider gap between what he says and what he does (pretty often he actually doesn’t do anything significant at all, which is fine with me).

    @TomS: indeed, the first time I visited the blog from the IDiots from Seattle I expected something solid and rigid. Later I had a similar experience with the website of Kenneth Humphreys.
    To their credit I must admit that because of them I began to learn a few things how the scientific method works. So in a way I have to thank those crackpots.

  14. @FrankB
    Exactly!
    And I, too have been motivated to learn about a wide swatch of subjects, everything that creationists are misrepresenting.

  15. If people don’t believe that the CV-19 is real, then go to hospitals caring for the victims and help care for them. That will do 3 things 1)allow the nuts to demo their truth, 2)reduce the problem of masks/gloves as the helpers wont need them, &3) increase the average IQ about 2weeks later

  16. Michael Fugate

    Weren’t Adam and Eve gullible enough to fall for Satan’s conspiracy theory? That the gods didn’t want them to be like gods and they were hiding this knowledge from Adam and Eve.

  17. Michael Fugate

    Astrophysicists recoil from lopsided cosmos
    A map of 850 distant galaxy clusters hints that the Universe might not be uniform. Combining data from US, European and Japanese X-ray space telescopes, researchers have revealed galaxy clusters that were around 30% brighter or fainter than expected, suggesting that their distances had been poorly estimated. Taking these clusters as beacons of the rate of cosmic expansion, the findings would mean that one region is expanding slower than the rest of the Universe, and another is expanding faster. Astrophysicist Megan Donahue comments that a lopsided expansion “would be astonishing and depressing” because it suggests that our understanding of the Universe could be permanently incomplete.

    Scientific American | 6 min read
    Reference: Astronomy & Astrophysics paper

    Does the Bible mention this? And was it caused by the Fall?

  18. @MichaelF asks the wrong question: “Does the Bible mention this? And was it caused by the Fall?”
    Let me paraphraze the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Our dear SC reported on it only three days ago.

    “The lengthy article described a series of discoveries and, more importantly, their interpretations, as it relates to the supposed Big Bang.”
    “Several of these studies change what evolutionists thought they knew about our universe. One week and the evolutionary story of the universe is rewritten … again (as it has been again, and again, and again, and again . . .)!”
    “For example, the article discussed the so-called uniformity of the universe. For decades evolutionists propagated this uniformity, but now they are astonished and depressed, learning that their understanding of our universe is permanently incomplete.”
    “What this Scientific American article really highlights is the shifting sands of evolutionism — it’s a constantly changing story. Now many evolutionists will say that’s because that’s how science works — old ways of thinking are always being discarded or refined as we discover new things. But that’s really not what we see when it comes to our universe.”
    “What we really witness is an idea so elastic that it doesn’t matter if the data or a new find totally contradicts everything they thought before — they just fit the story to accommodate the new data. And then they change it again in a year when a new find changes everything. Why does the model change so often? Because it’s built on flawed assumptions about the past! And it’s a blind-faith belief — a religion.”
    “Observational evidence actually confirms God’s Word. Biblical creationists are making testable predictions about the history of our universe, and the data is confirming these predictions!”

    Checkmate, athiest. Biblical creacrap explains it all. Human materialist so-called science doesn’t, because “it’s based on flawed assumptions about the past”.

  19. Karl Goldsmith

    As a Washington post video shows Trump was already claiming the virus was nothing before his claiming it was “their new hoax”, Despite people around the world already dying from it. So no surprise conspiracy theories get spouted.

    What amuses me is we have someone who has a conspiracy theory that you are being lied to about the age of earth and the universe, about geology, dinosaurs, evolution, writing this stuff.