A small but vocal movement
The eureka moment
The shape of the world
The Age of Discovery
Circular reasoning
Hub and rim
'flat and immovable'
Still read today
The Flat Earth Society
'insults to God'
Losing the space race
Growing around the globe
Kyrie Irving
Flat Earther and anti-vaxxer
Tila Tequila
Flat Earther and racist
B.o.B
Flat Eather and just plain silly
No laughing matter
'Propaganda'
The so-called conspiracy
'Alternative facts'
Fallacies
Cult?
Meet the Flat Earthers -a small but vocal movement
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A small but vocal movement

The knowledge that the Earth is a globe seems like one of those irrefutable facts we all can agree on, such as gravity is real or bacteria exist. However, there’s a small but vocal movement around the globe that believes that the world is actually flat and that is all part of a conspiracy: The Flat Earthers.

Meet the Flat Earthers -a small but vocal movement
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The eureka moment

The idea that the world was spherical was, as far as we know of, first conjectured by Pythagoras over 2,500 years ago. This fact was well-known by many Greek philosophers.

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The shape of the world

However, for most of human history, the shape of the world was simply something irrelevant to everyday life. Probably as we might feel about quantum physics today.

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The Age of Discovery

It wasn’t until the Age of Discovery, in the 16th century, that Europeans started to explore other continents and circumnavigate the world.

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Circular reasoning

This should have been the end of the matter. Except, it wasn’t…

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Hub and rim

Modern Flat Earth theories can be traced back to 19th century English writer and inventor Samuel Rowbotham. He proposed that Earth was a flat disc with the North Pole as the hub and was surrounded by an Antarctic wall of ice.

Image: Flat Earth map model by Orlando Ferguson from 1893.

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'flat and immovable'

“The Bible, alongside our senses, supported the idea that the earth was flat and immovable and this essential truth should not be set aside for a system based solely on human conjecture”, argued Rowbotham.

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Still read today

Rowbotham’s work, which is still read by Flat Earthers today, led to the creation of many societies that promote the idea that the world is flat and not spherical.

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The Flat Earth Society

The most important of these, The International Flat Earth Research Society, was established in 1956 by Samuel Shenton. It's better remembered as The Flat Earth Society.

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'insults to God'

Shenton, pictured here, was firmly opposed to the space race writing that “modern astronomy and space flight were insults to God and divine punishment for humankind's arrogance was a mere matter of time”.

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Losing the space race

Ultimately, the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union overshadowed Shenton's arguments, and the Society's membership dropped to less than 100 members by the end of the 1960s. It was later revived as a website in 2004.

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Growing around the globe

Nowadays, modern-day flat Earth believers are reported to be growing. In a 2019 news story, CNN reports that a YouGov survey suggests that one out of six Americans isn’t sure the Earth is round.

Pictured: Members of a Flat Earth Facebook group gathered in Orange County, California in 2017.

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Kyrie Irving

Some celebrities have also been revealed to be Flat-Earthers. One of them is NBA player Kyrie Irving, he confessed his belief on a flat Earth in 2017.

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Flat Earther and anti-vaxxer

The Brooklyn Nets point made it into the headlines in 2021 for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

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Tila Tequila

Another famous believer that our planet is not a globe is 2000s reality television star Tila Tequila.

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Flat Earther and racist

The Singapore-born celebrity has also made numerous racist and anti-Semitic remarks on social media, expressing admiration towards Adolf Hitler.

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B.o.B

Rapper B.o.B got into a fight with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson over Twitter on January 2016, arguing that the Earth was flat.

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Flat Eather and just plain silly

The musician also demanded one million US dollars in donations to launch his own satellite and prove once for all that the Earth was not a globe. Since then, online information about the campaign has been deleted.

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No laughing matter

The Flat Earth movement might appear something silly and easy to laugh at. But the truth behind it is no laughing matter.

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'Propaganda'

Some Flat Earth believers argue that governments all over the world use space agencies such as NASA and ESA to keep spreading “propaganda” with photoshopped images of the Earth.

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The so-called conspiracy

A couple of leading “experts” of the Flat Earth movement such as Eric Dubay tend to link their far-fetched but seemingly harmless theories to accusations of a world conspiracy linking Satanism, Judaism, and the Freemasonry.

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'Alternative facts'

The popularity of the Flat Earth movement in the past years is an extreme example of pseudoscience and “alternative facts” becoming widespread on the internet. This is comparable and, in some cases linked, to conspiracy theories such as QAnon or that Covid-19 vaccination is a means of population control.

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Fallacies

No matter how much scientific proof followers from the Flat Earth movement are shown, fallacies such as confirmation bias and moving the goalposts play a major part in defending their beliefs.

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Cult?

“They say we are a cult,” Nathan Thompson (left), host of the Flat Earth Globe Discussion on Facebook, was quoted saying in 2018 by the LA Times, “but the globe is the biggest cult of all.”

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