Thanksgiving is almost here and the holiday usually includes mentions of Pilgrims, Columbus and the historic harvest feast that we now associate with the holiday.
Pondering Columbus and his involvement in the Thanksgiving festivities got me to thinking about a interesting coversation I had recently with someone who referred to himself as a “flat-earther.” In case you, like me, have never heard of someone who calls themselves a “flat-earther,” the term is used, as the name implys, for some one who believes that the earth is flat. Intrigued by the idea, I did a little research.
I thought Christopher Columbus settled the whole flat earth thing back in 1492. However, an October 6, 2017 article published on the History Channel’s website, dispells that myth stating that Columbus knew the earth was round before he even set the sails on his three ships. Scientists, philosophers and mathematicians believed that the earth is a sphere as early as 600 BC, based on calculations of the sun’s rise and fall and other physical properties of the planet that were observed then, according to the History Channel article, which quoted historian Jeffrey Burton Russel as saying,“No educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the Earth was flat.”
So, why do flat-earthers go against what history, images from the Hubble Telescope and lunar missions have taught us, and affirm that the earth is flat? These are some of the points made by the Flat Earth Society:
• The space agencies of the world are involved in a conspiracy faking space travel and exploration. This likely began during the Cold War’s Space Race, in which the USSR and USA were obsessed with beating each other into space to the point that each faked their accomplishments in an attempt to keep pace with the other’s supposed achievements.
•If a person were to look down at the earth from high above, they would expect to see a circular shape where the sun’s spotlight was shining. This explains why high altitude photographs are generally curved to produce the illusion of a round horizon.
•In general, we at the Flat Earth Society do not lend much credibility to photographic evidence. It is too easily manipulated and altered.
*The world looks flat, the bottoms of clouds are flat, the movement of the sun; these are all examples of your senses telling you that we do not live on a spherical heliocentric world.
• The sun moves in circles around the North Pole. When it is over your head, it’s day. When it’s not, it’s night. The light of the sun is confined to a limited area and its light acts like a spotlight upon the earth.
So, if the earth is not round (globe-shaped), what does it look like? According to the Flat Earth Society: “The earth is in the form of a disk with the North Pole in the center and Antarctica as a wall around the edge. In this model, circumnavigation is performed by moving in a great circle around the North Pole. The earth is surrounded on all sides by an ice wall that holds the oceans back. This ice wall is what explorers have named Antarctica. Beyond the ice wall is a topic of great interest to the Flat Earth Society. To our knowledge, no one has been very far past the ice wall and returned to tell of their journey. What we do know is that it encircles the earth and serves to hold in our oceans and helps protect us from whatever lies beyond.”
Some mention on the Flat Earth Society’s forum that NASA employees guard the 150-feet tall ice wall to prevent people from scaling over it and falling off the the edge of the earth.
There are some famous people who believe the earth is flat including Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal, who reasons that when he has driven from Florida to California, it looked flat to him; and rapper B.o.B, who was quoted as saying, “”No matter how high in elevation you are… the horizon is always eye level … sorry cadets… I didn’t wanna believe it either.”
There is also an early rendition of the earth as a square and stationay planet published by South Dakotan Orlando Ferguson in 1893 and based on “400 passages of the Bible that condemn the globe theory” and is illustrated with four angels standing on the four corners of the earth as revealed in Rev. 7:1.
Other online sources state that the earth is oval, pear-shaped or a lumpy spheroid.
So, even though the flat-earth and other shape theories are interesting to me, I am pretty confidently a round (globe)-earther. That’s not to say that I am correct, it is just what I choose to believe given the evidence that I have been shown. But who knows? Christopher Columbus wasn’t the hero he was made out to be in elementary school history lessons either; his whole adventure was filled with bloodshed and enslavement of the country’s indigenous people. It appears it was not one big happy meet and greet!
Anyway you look at it though, whether the earth is round, square, oval, lumpy or flat or if Columbus was a vilian rather than a champion of history, we all live here together and the Thanksgiving sentiment is still worth celebrating.
Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving filled with grateful hearts and good times regardless of the shape of your planet!
I would love to read your opinions, please comment below.