The earth is not flat

Is earth’s shape a matter of opinion or science? It’s science, the earth is most definitely round. It’s a circle. A sphere if you will.

Members of the Flat Earth Society claim to believe the earth is flat. Walking around on the planet’s surface it looks and feels flat, so they deem all evidence to the contrary—such as satellite photos of Earth as a sphere—to be fabrications of a “round Earth conspiracy” orchestrated by NASA and other government agencies. These theories may be a rightful opinion, but they are simply not factually correct and promote a false narrative.

First, a brief tour of all the theories of a flat-earther: In their mission to dismiss numerous amounts of concrete evidence that Earth is spherical, they rally behind counter arguments that at first glance many write off as impractical. The leading Flat Earth theory holds that Earth is a disc with the Arctic Circle in the center and Antarctica, a 150-foot-tall wall of ice, around the rim. NASA employees, they say, guard this ice wall to prevent people from climbing over and falling off the disc.

There’s another theory within the main one: Flat-earthers believe photos of the globe are photoshopped; GPS devices are rigged to make airplane pilots think they are flying in straight lines around a sphere when they are actually flying in circles above a disc. The motive for world governments’ concealment of the true shape of the earth has not been identified, but flat-earthers believe it is probably financial.

“In a nutshell, it would logically cost much less to fake a space program than to actually have one, so those in on the conspiracy profit from the funding NASA and other space agencies receive from the government,” the flat-earther website’s FAQ page explains.

Despite the many theories that flat-earthers have conjured up in support of their stance, the earth is in fact round.

In late 300 BCE, philosopher and scientist Aristotle devoted his studying to proving the physics of the earth. Aristotle believed in a round Earth with the observation that during lunar eclipses, Earth’s shadow on the face of the sun is curved. Since this curved shape exists during all lunar eclipses, despite the fact that Earth is rotating, Aristotle correctly concluded that from this curved shadow that Earth must be a sphere.

If Earth is a disk and the stars, planets and other nearby objects are hovering in a dome above the surface, as many flat-earthers believe, solar eclipses become impossible to explain or justify. The total solar eclipse that crossed North America in August 2017 should not have occurred if their theory was correct.

Even if you still believe that all philosophers were spreading myths and NASA is a sham, there are tests that can be conducted by the individual that would prove that Earth is round.

Climbing up either a tree, building or any high platform you can see a farther distance the higher you go. If earth was flat, you’d be able to see the same distance no matter your elevation. The reason that your view expands as you reach a higher elevation is due to the curvature of the earth.

More than anything, the Flat Earth theory is a conspiracy that is constantly growing and piquing the interest of others. According to the Flat Earth Society’s leadership, its ranks have grown by 200 people (mostly American and British) per year since 2009.

As inconceivable as their belief system seems, it doesn’t really surprise experts. Karen Douglas, a psychologist at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom who studies the psychology of conspiracy theories, says flat-earthers’ beliefs cohere with those of other conspiracy theorists she has studied.

“It seems to me that these people do generally believe that the earth is flat. I’m not seeing anything that sounds as if they’re just putting that idea out there for any other reason,” Douglas told Live Science.

Though the Flat Earth theory is just that a theory it negates the vast amount of scientific research  and technological advancements that society has worked so hard on. Everyone is entitled to their rightful belief system, but the Flat Earth theory has spread beyond the means of a hush-hush conspiracy to a full blown society.