Hey, I love a good conspiracy theory as much as anyone else. JFK was assassinated by Alien Russian Nazi Transsexual Ocelots working for the mob? I’m in. The moon landing was faked by Stanley Kubrick? Let’s put on the tinfoil and take the ride! The Queen of England is a Lizard Alien? Gimme the details! The earth is flat? Su…..wait…WHAT?????
The earth is FLAT?
This guy, one *Mad* Mike Hughes, launched himself to the starting height of 1,800 feet to…ahem…*prove* the earth is flat. You know, I am not a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson, my normal opinion of him being *even a stopped watch is right twice a day.* But this must be once of his times a day to be right, cuz, I totally agree with him on this one. Mad Mike has had too many mushrooms on his pizza. Mike isn’t alone in his determination to prove the earth is flat, as it turns out, there are quite a few people with their tinfoil wrapped just a little too tight. Thousands, maybe millions, if their PR is to be believed, of our brothers and sisters do indeed believe the earth is flat. They are not agreed on whether or not it has a dome over it, or if it is located on the back of a turtle, but they are agreed on this one point…earth is a frisbee in space.
It seems to me that we have actually known…”believed”…the earth is more or less roundish for quite some time, in fact, I would propose that one of the very first acts of any technological society is to determine that very basic size and shape of their home planet. As it turns out, I am probably right, since there is plenty of evidence that the Sumerians were aware of the notion of a spherical planet. The Pyramid Builders seem to have had the same idea. The Greeks were the first to actually write about it. Eratosthenes (-276 to -195) estimated the circumference as 25,000 miles, pretty close.
The fact is, it is fairly easy to discern that the earth is at least curved. Standing on the shore of any suitable body of water will show distant objects “sinking” into the horizon. In some cases, a bit of basic math will allow a small determination of its size.
Here is a picture of the Toronto Tower, taken from Niagara on The Lake, about 30 miles away. Clearly the entire tower isn’t visible. Next to it is a picture of the complete tower. Using simple trigonometry I am sure one can actually figure out the curve of the surface of the lake. I am also quite sure one will arrive at the same answer as the Greeks did, some 2300 years ago.
What is more of a concern to me is the fact that since Science has sold itself out to corporate interests, big money and the current mythology, no one trusts it anymore, it no longer provides us with what we expect from it, accurate data on our existence. I do not see this in a few extraordinary thoughts, I see it permeating society at all levels. Everywhere, data is discredited in favor of impressions, feelings, and emotional attachments to popular mythologies.