even scientists and astronomers, people who are confronted with the shape of the earth every day, cannot help but smile and don’t know what to say when hearing the “flat earth society’s“ theories. is it bordering on infinite foolishness and ignorance, not to believe in the earth’s spherical shape? or is there maybe more wisdom to the denial of a globated earth than we dare to admit?
the view that the earth is a disk floating on the ocean was last held in mesopotamia and pre-christian greece. the famous pre-socratic philosopher anaximander is considered the father of cosmology. anaximander was the first one to try to explain the universe scientifically, without the aid of myths. that earth is a disk was never doubted by him though. but pythagoras, who lived around the same time, already found it quite unaesthetic that all celestial bodies should be spherical, but not earth. this imbalance in the beauty of celestial bodies was eliminated in the third century, when eratosthenes first calculated the earth’s circumference, and aristotle tried to explain the sphericity through logic.
“but on the bottom side of the globe, people would fall off?!“, lactantius opposed aristotle’s logic, using his rationality and common sense. at that time, the law of gravitation was of course unknown. it certainly took a long time before earth’s sphericity was established in people’s minds. today, it seems a lot more logical to us that earth would be a ball with flattened poles, that it rotates on its own axis and at the same time revolves around the sun, that it is part of a whole universe etc. so how is it possible that even in the 21st century there are protests against this kind of logic? the “flat earth society“ can tell you a thing or two about it. they don’t want to explain through logic, but through belief. a paradox in itself!
the view of earth as a flat disk is the only one that corresponds to the bible, according to this ultra-religious society that was founded under the name of zion in 1895 by scottish miracle healer john alexander dowie, and continues to live on under a different name to this day, particularly in america and england. at the same time, the society tries to substantiate their belief with “logical“ evidence; for example, they argue against the force of gravity on the south pole. the society leads an active educational campaign, and would like to see the spherical earth banned from schools: “in the small village of m.o., a ‘flat-earther’ managed to infiltrate the local school system and take on a position that will allow him to dismiss other non-believers. a ‘re-education’ of the students is currently in progress.“ this is how flat-earthers, as the members like to call themselves, proudly proclaim their successes. it’s open to dispute if it actually is a success to hold on to the view of earth as a disk, even after more than 2000 years full of academic evidence. after all, scientists also claim that if earth was magnified by a multiple, it would look like a wrinkled potato! most children would probably prefer this theory to the model of the perfect globe or the flat disk anyway!