Written By Matt S – March 15th 2016
When Tony asked me to do an article on the “flat Earth” theory (this idea seems to have gained something of a following of late). I just kinda got a large blank space in my head (hollow Earth theory LOL, don’t laugh too much).
Flat Earth? Whaddya mean “flat Earth!
It would seem that there are people out there that seriously consider this idea to be true.
I really struggle with the idea that there are people out there who believe in this. I don’t mean this to be an exercise to put flat Earth believers down. I really don’t, as I have had some very odd ideas myself at times that needed gentle correction, (and maybe a few more to come yet)
It’s just the notion of a flat Earth has never really entered my thinking. I watched every space program I could as a kid, and watched the moon missions on TV. I am an avid sci-fi fan. I have watched numerous satellites orbit at night. I have been to the Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas and stood inside the cockpit of an old space shuttle. The idea that the Earth is flat…………. well it just has never ever been in my head.
Okay so I had my assignment, as this was going to be a topic in one of our upcoming “Aminutetomidnite” programs. I now needed to enter the twilight zone of the “Flat Earth” realm.
I’m sure we are going to get plenty of email traffic on this one.
What do “Flat Earth” people believe?
From what I can glean these are some of the main points that “Flat Earthers” ascribe to.
- Some flat Earth folk have taken bible passages such as Psalm 104:2-3 or Isaiah 40:22 to indicate flat Earth ideas.
- The Earth is a flat disc shape.
- The Earth has a pole (North) in the centre and a pole (South) on the outside of the disc that has ice walls to prevent people falling off, as well as keeping water (oceans) in.
- The Earth is flat and you can see a long way in “line of sight”.
- When you fly around the Earth you are flying around in flat circles with the North Pole at the centre.
- Gravity does not exist; instead the Earth is being propelled in a constant “up” motion at 7.8m/second holding everything in place.
- There is a conspiracy covering up the flat Earth idea, that there were no moon landings or space ventures. The evidence for a flat earth has been erased from photos and film footage, and instead the photos and film footage, have been doctored to show a spherical shaped Earth.
- When people have taken photos high up from aircraft, the curvature of the window glass has caused the Earth to show as curved.
- The sun and the moon are much closer to Earth and much smaller in size and move around the circular Earth disc.
There are probably a whole lot more and the listening audience will have their say on this, but you get the gist of it I am sure.
I just want to add at this point that although I am not a proponent of the “Flat Earth” idea, I have encountered a lot of what I would call “superior attitude” from those critical of “Flat Earth” ideas, and those that support “Flat Earth ideas. These folk ridicule anyone that has an idea contrary to their own on the basis of our “current” knowledge of the universe. I have had quite a few instances in my life where I have had to readjust my position on things (sometimes quite radically) So I tend to be a little more careful now before dismissing something completely out of hand. Some things…………. well I just keep them in the “that’s interesting, but I don’t have a firm position on it” basket. It was not that long ago that those atomic particles were just theory, bacteria and viruses were not even known about. So please be a little more gentle folks.
So what is known that would not support the idea of a “Flat Earth”?
- The suspicion that the Earth was theoretically spherical has been guessed at for at least several thousand years, and possibly a lot longer.
- With the advent of space travel enabling humans to leave the Earth we can see that it is spherical.
- The shadow that the Earth makes on the moon is curved.
- Ocean going ships coming toward you from the horizon emerge by “coming up” and not just appearing. The “coming up” would suggest a curvature.
- Constellations (stars) change as you move around the Earth; this reflects the view you are seeing directly above you. This view changes as move around the curve of the Earth, at each point it shows you a different part of the universe as viewed from a sphere.
- Observation of our solar system shows that spherical bodies with rotation, exist in the shape of planets and moons, these appear also to be revolving around the sun.
- Time zones indicate that the Earth is a sphere spinning on an axis, one side dark or midnight, the other opposite side light or midday.
- Sticks/columns/trees and tall people were noted to cast different shadows at different points on the Earth on the same day at the same time, this could be accounted for by having a curve in the Earth.
- There is no good historical or physical evidence for the edge of a flat disc-like Earth.
These are pretty much the ideas that sum up Flat Earth pro’s and con’s. So what does the bible have to say about a spherical Earth?
There is a lot, surprisingly (or not surprisingly) in the bible in reference to how the Earth might look. The books of Job, Isaiah and Proverbs provide some clues and references to the biblical perspective on this idea. However Job and Isaiah alone have a small wealth of information that may be suggestive of a spherical Earth. (by the way the book of Job is regarded as one of the oldest books in the bible)
Job 26:7 says “He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.”
This would suggest the earth is suspended in the heavens.
Isaiah 40:22 says “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.“
The word “circle” (or khug/hwg in the Hebrew) can be translated “sphere”
Job 26:10 says “He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters at the boundary of light and darkness.”
This again would suggest a circular shape on the surface of the waters. This personally reminds me of a view looking at Earth from space.
Proverbs 8:27 says “When He established the heavens, I was there, when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,”
Once again this reference to a circle. So we see that the bible does describe a circular shape that can also be translated as a ball or spherical shape. From my perspective I would be content with this describing the Earth as a spherical shaped ball rather than a flat disc. So at this time I still remain in the camp of the spherical Earth.
Let the debate begin!