Today is the beginning of a three-day “Flat Earth” conference in Denver, which will be attended by hundreds of believers who flew from all around the globe.
The irony is completely lost on members of the Flat Earth community, who literally believe the earth is a disk (despite flying on international flights that disprove that nonsense hypothesis). The event is the Flat Earth International Conference 2018, and their schedule is available here.
The organizer of the conference says most believers used to be skeptics of the Flat Earth, according to local ABC reporter Nicole Brady.
“Most of us would say the same thing, that we laughed at this, we thought this was ridiculous, we believed in the globe,” said Robbie Davidson, founder and organizer of the Flat Earth International Conference in Denver this week.
But he said his views changed about three years ago, when he started questioning and investigating for himself.
“When it comes down to it we’re finding out that a lot of what we’re being taught these days is more theoretical science,” he said. “You can’t apply it under the scientific method.”
Flat-Earth believers reject Eratosthenes and Aristotle, Neil deGrasse Tyson and NASA. They do not believe people ever went to the moon, or that there are any real images taken from space.
“It’s a picture — pictures can be doctored,” Davidson said.
When Davidson says he started “investigating for himself,” what he means is that he bought into the bullsh*t conspiracy theories that often spread like wildfire online. If he really looked at the issue independently, he would have come to the same conclusion as the ancient Greeks did: the earth isn’t flat.
Pictures may be able to be edited, but we can prove the earth’s shape (oblate spheroid) and that we went to the moon without photos. There are reflectors on the moon that humans planted, and visible satellites that could only work in a spherical Earth scenario.
Not surprisingly, Davidson’s change of heart on the shape of the earth came from an alleged religious revelation.
He said he came to this conclusion from a Christian creationist viewpoint. He believes in a flat Earth, enclosed by a sort of dome, or firmament, that encompasses everything we can observe in the sky.
He said while he doesn’t believe there’s a vast government conspiracy trying to hide the truth, he believes mainstream science takes an atheistic view that deliberately hides any creator…
Davidson said he expects more than 600 people to attend the conference Thursday and Friday. He estimates 80 percent of attendees are already believers. The list of speakers includes the author of the book, “Flat Earth, Flat Wrong,” who will engage in a live debate with a flat-Earth believer.
While the debate portion of this event should be fun, the entire thing is still a joke in that the Flat Earth belief system is baseless. For more reading on this, check out No Sacred Cows:
The Flat Earth conspiracy, which posits that NASA scientists, world governments, and any people who can do simple calculations are hiding the truth that Earth is flat, is especially notable because it is a belief that has become increasingly popular in the twenty-first century. It’s commonly believed that scientists hundreds of years ago thought Earth was flat and that everyone else accepted it as a fact, but this is actually a popular misconception repeated even in some textbooks. The reality is much more interesting: ancient Greeks knew Earth was (nearly) spherical by measuring shadows, and educated people have understood that fact ever since. Contrary to popular belief, even Christopher Columbus and his crew, often credited with “discovering” the Americas, knew the shape of Earth.
So why do some people believe Earth is flat today, when our ancestors knew better? The answer lies partly within the power of popular culture and the ease with which misinformation spreads in our technological era. The modern Flat Earth belief got its start with an English writer named Samuel Rowbotham, who published a book called Earth Not a Globe in the 1800s and based his theories largely on biblical interpretations.
I hope at least some of the committed flat-Earthers attending this conference will glance out the plane window on their way there, and that seeing the earth’s shape plants a tiny seed of doubt. Because that’s where critical thinking really begins.