Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Why Some People Think That the Earth is Flat

I’ve been hesitant to address the Flat Earth phenomenon and resistant about wading into their Social Media oceans. I’m afraid that if I do, I’ll sell my few belongings, log off the Internet for good and go build that bunker I’ve been talking about for years.

But, the other day, I looked on as a woman tried to explain to man that the earth was not flat and why it made no sense to believe that. Following the explanation, the woman pointed out that the prophet Isaiah conversationally observed the spherical nature of this planet.
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
-- Isaiah 40:22

Job also observed the sphericality of the earth in passing. He had other things on his mind.

When the man pointed out that the word used in the King James Version of the Bible is ‘circle’ and that it “proved” that the earth is flat, I asked if he knew which Hebrew word was used. No response.

And when there was no response after the woman pointed out that a sphere is a 3-dimensional circle, the problem became evident.

The man had no idea that most of the Old Testament had been originally composed in Hebrew, nor did he understand what a dimension is, much less the ramifications of basic spatial dimensionality, that is, length, width, and depth. Related: time is considered the fourth dimension and I’ve noticed that there are an alarming number of people who cannot grasp the passage of time, and I’m not referring to chronic tardiness. For these people, every moment is right now; ten years ago is right now. 1955 is right now.

Therefore, we have people who cannot take what is right in front of their eyes and apply it to larger things which are not immediately visible. (Let’s leave aside those of us who have flown internationally and have actual seen the earth’s curvature.)

These are people who hear an unfamiliar word or concept and discard it as irrelevant. These are people who think that others who use uncommon words and expand on complex concepts are “trying to make themselves look smart.”

There it is, our old nemesis: projection.

These are people who have been stupid all their lives and who now feel empowered with new information -- information that the smart people don’t have.

The stupid want to make themselves look smart to observers and onlookers. They don’t understand and have never understood that most so-called smart people didn’t come out of the womb as fully-formed geniuses but had to work at it.

The stupid also don't understand that basic error leads one down the path to gigantic error. Ever gotten lost when walking or driving?

The smart gather information, analyze it, see if there are any connections between bits of information, discard falsehood, build new information on top of the old, and so on. But the stupid believe that the first step – gathering information -- is the only step to becoming smart. And, in doing that, the stupid think they have made themselves “look smart,” especially smarter than you who “believe” that the earth is a sphere.

Essentially, flat-earthism is the result of removing the basic educational ground which was seeded in most of us Americans who are over 50. In that group, even those who weren’t National Merit Scholar material can take the basic seeds of knowledge and logic and apply them.

The Internet, of course, exacerbates the boldness of the stupid. When you find out that there are others who think like you, it can cement your opinion on anything – especially if you’re not in the habit of introspection and re-thinking old views.

So, there’s my opinion on the Flat Earth phenomenon. Will I re-think this opinion? Certainly. And when I do, I might walk out to the edge and see what’s down there!

Just kidding.

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