Before I get into my weekly sermon about freedom of speech and government foolishness, I have to make everyone aware of the fact that there are still people on this planet who believe it to be a shape other than spherical. In other words, there is a demographic which believes with every ounce of their being that the earth is flat.
pause for dramatic disbelief
pause even more
Um, yeah, that’s what I thought, too, but as Santa Claus said when talking to the M&M’s, they do exist. There is a cross-section of human life which has lost more common sense than our Congress ever possessed by disavowing all known science and failing to display even the the intelligence of my biggest-cat-by-tonnage, Max, in their insistence the widely accepted “round Earth” theory is, instead, the product of a sophisticated propoganda campaign. In the spirit of genuine research, I chose to dig into this particular cultural subset and discovered the Flat Earth Society, which actually attempts to use science to explain psuedo-science.
WRITER’S NOTE: If you are a believer in the theories of Alex Jones, Steve Bannon or the late Rev. Fred Phelps, please soak yourself in water to minimize the damage caused from the spontaneous combustion you will, no doubt, experience upon reading the rest of this. Thank you. I cannot be held responsible for any sort of immolation caused by contrarian beliefs.
The Flat Earth Society, in a May 2016 blog post titled “Einstein’s Relativity Proves the Earth is Flat,” goes into great detail about how the theories of one of the 20th century’s greatest theoretical minds conclusively debunks spherical planetary theories, using the idea of an elevator accelerating:
When the elevator starts accelerating upwards, a pull downwards is felt by the passenger. This is due to the passengers inertia. Recall that a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Einstein hypothesised that since this pull, caused by the momentum of the passenger fighting against his acceleration, is indistinguishable from gravitational influences, it is only logical to assume that they are one and the same phenomenon. Comparatively, another pseudo-force like this arises from a rotating reference frame, say if one is on a spinning carnival ride one would presumably feel a pull away from the center.
This post then goes into astonishing mathematical calculations which any normal person would define as “boring,” and which the Trump Administration would likely call “fake math,” only to finalize its argument in this final, compelling statement:
Gravity is actually revealed as an inertial force (also known as a fictitious force)
Yes, that’s right, folks! Inertia is fake, which means all those hours in chemistry class learning about “inert gasses” and “inert elements” were actually some sort of crazy scheme to brainwash us all. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Albert Einstein apparently is not only the one of the grandfathers of nuclear science, he is, according to this, the godfather of common core. (cue “DA DA DAAAAAAAA!” sound)
pause for the sound of multiple exploding heads
This is nothing, and I do mean nothing, compared to flat earth theory’s most mesmerizing (notice a pattern of large adjectives?) claim, that the edges of the Earth are actually surrounded by giant ice walls which cannot be scaled by normal means. Many of these folks also claim that the curvature of the planet seen in about a zillion photos from such vehicles as rockets, shuttles, missiles, airplanes, and even flying lawnchairs is actually – wait for it – the result of sophisticated NASA photoediting. As for satellites, they don’t exist either – just another area of NASA wizardry.
According to this group think, there’s about 9 billion muggles on Earth.
Flat earth theory is both frightening in its increasing belief, and a complete distraction from the most bizarre college major now offered in the United States, Canadian Studies. This degree, offered through Duke University, “seeks to provide the student with an understanding of Canada” which, as we all know, is world renowned for hockey, maple syrup, snow and asking Russian subs in a very annoyed tone to stop walking on their aquatic lawn. Fastweb lists some of the career prospects for Canadian Studies, and they quite compelling:
Job prospects: Teaching at a university or college in Canada or the United States, museums or a government council
That’s right, folks, you too can work for a government council in Canada which, if I recall correctly, is far more competent than the General Assembly of the State of Florida, which once actually sued itself. Perhaps the thought of a flat earth was enough to scare these folks into submission, but it’s obvious that someone with an Advanced Degree in Canadian Studies could actually fare quite well in Florida. They would, of course, have to be open to such radical notions as science, freedom, facts, research, evidence, academic integrity, mathematics, and living with the Sunshine State between the months of October and May. It also means they would have to admit they live in America which, judging by the current state of things, could be they would be call an “enemy of the people.”
Better to just keep thinking the earth is flat – our brains will hurt less and we can actually laugh more at the theories.