The Flat Earth issue

May 25, 2018

The Flat Earth theory is having a renewed time in the Sun (which, of course, circles around it, and not vice versa).

There’s a rapper in a Twitter fight with a scientist, and if that isn’t a clue that things are getting Real then I don’t know what is any more.

I’m also reading a book (from 2007 – pre-FE resurgence?) by Christine Garwood, called Flat Earth, which is great. The main antagonist in the early chapters styled himself ‘Parallax’, and made a pretty penny going round mechanics’ institutes and local theatres arguing with real scientists. Literally, made his money by arguing, and stating that every proof against him was in fact proof in his favour. He nearly drove Alfred Russel Wallace to an early grave from the stress.

Turns out internet trolls existed 180 years ago!

I’ve heard a lot of stupid arguments from the ‘paradoxers’ (a nickname from the 19th century for those who insisted that all scientific theories were lies, mistakes or “only theories”) but wanted to list a handful of Science Things that FE theorists need to take into account.


The Pole Star disappears below the horizon. I can’t even remember how this is explained by FE freaks. But whatever.

There are constellations we can only see in the southern hemisphere. And when we’re in the southern hemisphere, we can’t see the constellations familiar to us on the north side.

Time Zones

We don’t all have someone in Australia that we can call on, but if we do then give them a call at 2pm and see if they’re up for a chat. What time is it there?

If you don’t trust the phones, or the person at the other end, set your watch to midday when the sun is overhead, and travel a couple of thousand miles in every direction. Is it overhead at midday still? What about when you’re visiting your Aussie friend?

And then that funny confusion and tiredness when you get there – jetlag they call it, no? I arrived before I left, or something? Anyway, how’s that work on a disc?


Another thing you can’t really put down to optical illusion: we all fall down.

If you want to explain gravity without Earth-as-ball (i.e. we fall towards the centre of the object we stand upon) then you’re going to have to come up with a whole new theory of gravity. Maybe one that just attracts in a straight line to the ground plane. But which allows the sun to circle us.

Why would it do that? Why would it circle us if gravity works in a straight line?

There are countless arguments about how most of the evidence for a globular Earth are optical illusions. Fine, pretend there’s a conspiracy about going to the Moon, and that sailors were all in on it when they sailed by the stars across the Atlantic.

But this lot above… they’re not optical issues, so how are they explained away?

Glad I got that off my chest.