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Featured Student Work: Flat Earthers

by Athikhun Inwood, 8-I | 14 May 2021

In ancient times people believed that the Earth was flat but by the 6th century, the idea of a spherical Earth was proposed by Aristotle and later in 330 BC, Pythagoras provided evidence that the Earth is not flat but spherical. So why do people nowadays continue to contradict what science has taught us?

Even in modern day time, some people still believe that the Earth is flat. According to Flat Earth Society “Flat Earthers” are a group of people who believe that the Earth is flat. The modern flat Earth belief originated from Samuel Rowbotham, an English writer who performed the Bedford Level experiment and later published Zetetic Astronomy, a pamphlet explaining his experiment and later he turned it into a book with more details called “Earth Not a Globe” published in 1865.

Many different reasons and theories have been proposed by Flat Earthers as to why they believe that the Earth is flat. Many have been proven wrong by science, but the Flat Earthers still believe that their theory is correct, and some common beliefs are that the Earth is not a globe but a disc with an ice wall surrounding it.

Some examples of famous Flat Earthers are Kyrie Irving and Bobby Ray Simmons Jr. In 2017 Kyrie Irving announced his belief that the earth is flat saying that: “This is not even a conspiracy theory. The Earth is flat,” and in 2016 Bobby Ray Simmons Jr. Posted a photo of himself in a higher altitude with a city in the background and said: “The cities in the background are approx. 16 miles apart… where is the curve? Please explain this”.

So, how can people tell what is fact or fiction? In an article from live science written 4 years ago, the claim was made that Flat Earthers believe in their theory because they have a need to belong to a conspiracy theory. "Many people are willing to believe many ideas that are directly in contradiction to a dominant cultural narrative," Oliver told Live Science. He says conspiratorial belief stems from a human tendency to perceive unseen forces at work, known as magical thinking".

No matter what you choose to believe, the Earth’s shape according to science is spherical. We have many tools available and accurate scientific theories that demonstrate the fact that the Earth is round and not flat, for example GPS, or gravity. If the Earth is in fact not a Globe but a disc, then what would be the reason for the people to lie about it and hide the truth? So just like the conspiracy of the moon landing being fake, it is all up to us to find the evidence what we think the truth might be. At the end of the day, the decision to believe in something or not, is ours to make.


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