The BBC Asks Why Do People Still Think The Earth Is Flat?

Submitted by: fancylad 3 weeks ago in Lifestyle Science


The Flat Earth International Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, attracted hundreds of attendees who believe the shape of the Earth is a disc instead of a sphere.
There are 65 comments:
98
I'm all for launching the flatheads into space, as long as getting back is their own responsibility.

What's with the death rocket?  A hot-air balloon can go much higher.
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Male 1,031
Meh.  Flat earth conferences are just another Cosplay opportunity to try and bag some hot chicks.







Everything in the above statement is 100% wrong
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Male 8,792
Flat Earther going to use a home-made rocket to launch himself 1,800 feet high in order to prove world is flat. 

Now, why the magic number is 1,800 feet, when he can reach that by, oh, I don't know, paying a couple hundred bucks for an airplane flight and cruise along at 40,000 feet...unless of course them sneaky airplanes have those magic windows.
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Male 40,588
megrendel Or just go up in a hot air balloon, which goes higher
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Male 4,216
megrendel Time to get life insurance on that guy.
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Male 5,427
megrendel That is one awesome news story. My favorite sentence: "Assuming the 500-mph, mile-long flight through the Mojave Desert does not kill him, Mike Hughes told the Associated Press, his journey into the atmosflat will mark the first phase of his ambitious flat-Earth space program (my emphasis)."

I'd love it if you could find a follow-up story on the 25th that you can submit. I wanna know how this turns out.
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Male 17
So this sort of thing presents an opportunity, right? How do we know what we know? How do we decide what information to trust? Given that some widely accepted knowledge turns out to be wrong, we can't be CERTAIN that other things aren't wrong. 

Where is the dividing line between reasonable skepticism and lunacy? 


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Male 8,792
phacter Where is the dividing line between reasonable skepticism and lunacy? 

It's a flat-line....

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Male 8,792
If the Earth were round it would roll off of the shell of the turtle.  SCIENCE!
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Male 1,833
megrendel  If it were flat Alas would not be able to hold it on his shoulders. SCIENCE
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Male 4,383
I always figured this stuff gets posted on IAB for the humor of it, to have a little chuckle, but man, some of you get downright angry at these nuts for being nutty.
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Male 4,216
trimble 

Once upon a time, this sort of anti-intellectualism was simply chided and ignored.

Now this sort of nonsense permeates those that lead our country.  Who cares what scientists think?  They have youtube for real educational information!
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Male 1,544
this one is simple...the SAME scientists who told us GLOBAL WARMING was settled science...tell us the world is round.  If they will lie about one thing...all things they say are suspect.
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Male 10,380
spanz I can't tell if you are mockingly making fun of stupid conservatives or if you actually are a stupid conservative. It's gotten so bad now parody no longer works.
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Male 4,216
holygod Spanz is definitely a climate denier, so hell he might be a flattard too.
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Male 8,792
holygod God I  hope he's mocking.
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Male 669
I find it amazing how over the course of my lifetime conspiracy theorists have gone from defending their theories with 'Pictures like this can't be faked!' to attacking the science with 'The pictures are all fake!'

What goes around comes around, I guess. Like some spherical shaped thing...
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Male 4,216
profworm good point, an extremely grainy photo of a guy in a ape suit is proof of bigfoot, but 1000s of photos of earth are bullshit.
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Male 5,427
daegog Boom! That's a great sentence you just wrote there, Daegog. Kudos.
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Male 10,380
Of course America is the center for Flat Earthism. The United States of Derp.
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Male 8,792
holygod Of course the US is the center.  Is on all the maps I've seen. 

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Male 10,380
megrendel Excellent point. Also shows that the Earth is flat too.

The distortion on that map is pretty funny considering that is kinda how we picture the world. 

Greenland and Africa are roughly the same size on there.

In reality Greenland is around 800,000 square miles and Africa is around 11,700,000 square miles.
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Male 5,427
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Male 8,792
holygod And I hear in Russia they cheat an make Asia central.

Go figure.
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Male 5,427
holygod Good point. Here's some data I'd like to see: What is the prevalence of Flat Earthism, Creationism, and AGW denial among those who've been home-schooled vs. those who have not?

At a certain point, doesn't a society have an obligation to step in if a practice is making a significant percentage of its young people scientifically ignorant?

If I want to teach my children that all life-forms other than squirrels are bio-mechanical devices brought to Earth by aliens 100 years ago--and declare that belief as part of my religion--would that be allowed? At what point do bizarre belief systems, when forced into children's heads, become child abuse?

Perhaps the percentage of home-schooled children is too small to bother? Or perhaps the Republicans are too afraid of upsetting their conservative base that they look the other way?

Do other advanced societies--in Japan, the UK, Australia, and Germany, say--allow home-schooling?
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Male 487
squrlz4ever How much do you know about homeschooling?
Apparently they do better on standardized achievement tests like SAT/ACT than public schooled children...
According to NCES: "Approximately 3 percent of the school-age population was homeschooled in the 2011–12 school year."
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Male 4,216
boredhuman I have met and worked with about half a dozen home schooled folks thru the years.

Their social ineptitude is so horrific, It seems almost inhumane to rear kids in that fashion.

Learning who is the first president is one thing, learning to deal with people on a daily basis (particularly people you dont like) is something totally different.

Their is a massive price to pay (in terms of unlearned social skills)  when home schooling your children that a lot of people do not consider.
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Male 487
daegog I was responding to squrlz4ever 's insinuation that homeschooling is related with scientific ignorance. I would concede that general aptitude tests don't test sciences like physics. You may very well get a perfect SAT/ACT score while believing in a flat earth. 
I agree that social skills would be a major problem with homeschooling, since the children would need to find a way to make up for the daily ~5 hours of 'normal' school interactions other children get. 
I don't know much about the topic...
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Male 5,427
boredhuman I readily admit I don't know much. I wasn't home-schooled and I've never met anyone who was.

I do remember reading some remarkable success stories. If memory serves, one piece I read was about three brothers who were homeschooled, and all three of them wound up going to Harvard. One was a budding Twain scholar, I believe.

On the other paw, I've seen a couple documentaries about homeschooling, and the parents seemed to be homeschooling not so much out of a desire to educate as to indoctrinate. I'd be wary of information on homeschooling's successes if it's coming from an advocacy group, as your first source does.

The 3% figure is good information. So we're talking about a small fraction of students here. It's unlikely homeschooling is what's behind this distinctly American anti-science environment we seem to be living in.
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Male 53
squrlz4ever I was homeschooled through 5th, 6th, and 7th grades, and a charter school (kind of like 1/2 homeschool) for 8th and 9th. While socially I probably didn’t do well, I was generally more mature and intelligent than my classmates before AND after homeschooling, so it’s difficult to really estimate that. I did receive a better education most assuredly. And for the record, I am a round-earther athiest from a round-earther Christian family.
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Male 5,427
Grif_91 Thank you, Grif. There's nothing better for filling in one's understanding of something than to hear from someone with first-hand knowledge. It sounds like your parents did a great job in both educating you and encouraging intellectual independence.

Have I ever welcomed you to IAB? I try to welcome newbies around here, but it's looking like I've missed you. My apologies. You're just the type of IAB'er we need more of: smart and pleasant to chat with.

~Squrlz pulls out the IAB Welcome Wagon~

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Male 53
squrlz4ever You did I believe welcome me some time ago. I'm actually a long-time reader. My account has been active for (IIRC)... roughly 10 years or so. I'm just starting to post more.
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Male 5,427
Grif_91 Wow! 10 years with 50 comments! Well, I'm glad you're posting more often now.  :)
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Male 4,216
Let's see how this works..

Would you consider A True Flat Earther to be too insane to be allowed to own a weapon, despite never having been charged with a crime or found insane by any court or hospital?  Should flat earthers be denied gun ownership?
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Male 10,380
daegog Gun ownership, house ownership, pet ownership, car ownership, and they certainly shouldn't reproduce or vote. 
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Male 6,129
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Male 6,653
Probably because no one has seen the earth in front of them, except for, supposedly, a select handful of 500 or so people out of billions in all of history.  And with lots of evidence leading people to question the validity of the videos and pictures of authorities 'preached' as fact, it's really no wonder.


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Male 4,216
monkwarrior What do you think flat earthers would you consider conclusive evidence?

If the 1000s of pictures available are not sufficient, what would change the minds of flat earthers?

Clearly another series of pictures would be meaningless, as are the math and science behind proving the world is not flat.

I do not think a flat earther will be happy unless they themselves went into orbit and saw the earth as a globe, but random people (of the non wealthy kind) getting into orbit is not in the cards atm.
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Male 10,380
daegog You don't need to go into orbit. You can go up in a hot air balloon and easily see the curvature of the Earth.
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Male 10,380
daegog Don't feed the troll. Nobody can be this stupid. He's fucking with us. Don't go down the rabbit hole of derp.
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Male 3,836
holygod the derp vortex. thats the term
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Male 6,653
daegog you'd have to ask them, but lots of people know pictures can be easily faked.  Maybe getting the general population into space is the only way to solve the problem.  After all it's been 50 years since we supposedly left low earth orbit, and in all that time of low earth orbit, so little has been done.
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Male 1,835
monkwarrior Just to be clear...are you saying you are a flat earther?
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Male 6,653
oobaka Well you're obviously stupid if you have to ask such a question in response to my reply to daegog.
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Male 1,835
monkwarrior You do realize that I really am unaffected by any opinion you have of me.
You're such a pious man ... spreading love with every message.

That being said, you wrote "supposedly" in reference to us leaving low earth orbit which make me think you don't believe it. 
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Male 6,653
oobaka So you missed the point where "you'd have to ask them,"?
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Male 1,835
monkwarrior Nope. Caught that but your wording in the latter half of your comment hinted at you not believing in the moon landing.
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Male 6,653
oobaka two different topics.  You were trying to gauge topic 1 by what you read in topic 2.
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Male 3,836
oobaka shh leave the monk alone... he is so far advanced from us. he is here to shame us.. shhh
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Male 6,653
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Male 3,836
monkwarrior oh no bro, you are the beacon of life and how to live it that we all strive for, cause clearly you are so happy and carefree, you make those around you filled with joy and a sense of self worth. you are a global/flat treasure that cannot be dimmed, your light shines so powerful it almost is invisible
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Male 6,653
rumham ok, o flotyham.
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Male 4,216
Wasn't Chris Pontius the guy from Jackass?

I would really like to know how many of these people have actual college degrees.

How do you know the earth is flat?  50 hours of youtube video.  It never dawned on her that her formula or calculation is wrong.  

The youtube degree, doesnt cover actual math and science.
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Male 3,836
daegog to be smart is believe you are smart! #- im super smart cause i #
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Male 5,427
There was a time when knuckleheads like this lived lonely lives at the end of cul-de-sacs in houses that were in desperate need of a coat of paint. Now they reach out to one another over the internet, make their own videos, and hold conventions.
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Male 3,812
squrlz4ever This^

It might be the only upside of the ending of Net Neutrality that happened today...ending the spread of misinformation...but in all honestly I doubt it...
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Male 1,562
kalron27 you realize that according to the universal law of stupidity, real information would be throttled and misinformation would be promoted don’t you?
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Male 3,812
woodyville06 exactly ;)
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Male 40,588
If the Earth was flat, cats would have pushed everything off the edge by now.


You can't argue with science like that.
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Male 6,653
Gerry1of1 Sure you can, they could simply point to the edge of the map and say : cats hate water.
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Male 3,836
monkwarrior lolorz you've got quite the quick wit and sense of humor
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Male 1,562
Gerry1of1 you should have attended their convention and showed them this gif.  Revel in their silence!

Science, bitches!!!
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