The Flat Earth theory is flattened – by an astronaut and thousands of Christian writers and scientists. By Alan Franklin.

The sky at night, by NASA

As a journalist all my working life I have heard and seen just about everything. Encounters with alien spacecraft allegedly parked by a local canal...a man I met while crime reporting who had “cut here” tattooed across his throat – and much more, from the ridiculous to the sublime.

But the new found trend among the lunatic fringe to think the earth is flat, despite all evidence to the contrary, surpasses it all.

The same type of people who think 9/11 was a US conspiracy, despite the fact that we know all the attackers’ names and background- they were mostly from Saudi Arabia - are now rushing to embrace flat-earthism, their eyes aglow with excitement.

Google Trends says in the past two years, searches for “flat earth” have more than tripled. There are flat earth conventions, flat earthers being given serious TV time and so forth. For this is the Age of Unreason.

Tens of thousands of pictures taken of the round earth from space are pooh poohed. “Photoshopped, of course” (!)

Right now The Goddard Space Flight Center lists 2,271 satellites in orbit. Russia has the most satellites with 1,324, followed by the U.S. with 658. The UK is third with about 40. They would crash into a flat earth, would they not? You can only orbit a sphere…..

If you want to see NASA’s beautiful library of pictures taken of the earth from space, here’s a link:

It has taken a Russian astronaut to put his finger on the reason for flat-earthism: the pathetic state of what passes for education in the west.

Sergey Ryazansky says acceptance of this pseudoscientific claptrap is due to poor education and people’s lack of understanding of basic physics.

Rather as the so-called crop circles craze spread like fields of flattened wheat, despite the two men who created them confessing all on TV and showing how they did it, the Flat-Earth theory has grown exponentially of late, with sportsmen promoting it. They would be wiser to stick with playing games lest they get too excited and tumble off the edge of the world while chasing a ball....

Said Sergey: "People won’t believe any proof. It all originated in the West, perhaps because they are not taught the deep foundations of science, namely of physics, like in this country.

"I am sorry to hear it’s echoing in Russia as well. I have no idea how one can come to believe all this bull....”

Sergey added: "When it comes to Flat Earth, this is again the spirit of our time. It’s so easy to 'troll' a public figure, pardon me, on the internet.

"I personally take the Flat Earth theory as a perfect massive space trolling, nothing more. There’s nothing serious behind it. This is just about playing a trick, waiting for what will come next, whether this or that cosmonaut will respond.

"I never get involved in it on social media, as it’s a shame to spend my precious time on explaining elementary physics to people."

Mr Ryazansky was on two space flights, and his spacecraft "Soyuz MS-05" finalised its 139-day ISS program and safely returned from orbit on December 14, 2017. ORBIT.

Bible prophet Isaiah, writing around 2,500 years ago, knew the earth was spherical.  Isaiah 40:22 says that God “sits above the circle of the earth”. Indeed, the Hebrew word חוּג (khûg) implies ball-shaped, just as Bede taught about 1,400 years after Isaiah.

Writing on the website of Creation Ministries International, brilliant scientist Jonathan Sarfati, who is also a former New Zealand chess champion, destroys “the flat earth myth.”  His article summarises: 

  1. . Almost all the early and medieval church scholars who commented on the earth’s shape explicitly said it was round.

  2. . Medieval European rulers used a golden sphere or orb called the globus cruciger to represent the earth under Christ’s rule.

  3. . Columbus’s opponents never disputed the shape of the earth, but only its size—and they were right!

  4. . The flat earth myth began with a fictional account of Columbus in the 19th century by Washington Irving. Then it was aggressively pushed in influential anti-Christian polemics by men named Draper and White.

    Here are some other points from Dr. Sarfati’s article:

    Historian Jeffrey Burton Russell (1934–) thoroughly debunked the flat earth myth over 20 years ago in his definitive study Inventing the Flat Earth.5

    The famous evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002) favourably reviewed this masterpiece:

    “There never was a period of ‘flat earth darkness’ among scholars (regardless of how the public at large may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). Greek knowledge of sphericity never faded, and all major medieval scholars accepted the earth’s roundness as an established fact of cosmology.”6

    Russell showed that flat-earth belief was extremely rare in the Church. The flat earth’s two main proponents were obscure figures named Lactantius (c. 240 – c. 320) and Cosmas Indicopleustes (6th century; the last name means “voyager to India”). However, they were hugely outweighed by tens of thousands of Christian theologians, poets, artists, scientists, and rulers who unambiguously affirmed that the earth was round.

    Russell documents accounts supporting earth’s sphericity from numerous medieval church scholars such as friar Roger Bacon (1220–1292), inventor of spectacles; leading medieval scientists such as John Buridan (1301–1358) and Nicholas Oresme (1320–1382); the monk John of Sacrobosco (c. 1195–c. 1256) who wrote Treatise on the Sphere, and many more.

    Dr Henry Richter, Dr Robert Carter and Dr Jonathan Sarfati join with  Creation Ministries International US CEO Gary Bates to make more telling points on flat earth teaching and geocentrism. They write:

    One of the best-known proponents of a globe-shaped earth was the early English monk, theologian and historian, the Venerable Bede (673–735), who popularized the common BC/ AD dating system. Less well known was that he was also a leading astronomer of his day.

    In his book On the Reckoning of Time (De temporum ratione), among other things he calculated the creation of the world to be in 3952 BC, showed how to calculate the date of Easter, and explicitly taught that the earth was a globe.

    From this, he showed why the length of days and nights changed with the seasons, and how tides were dragged by the moon. Bede was the first with this insight, while Galileo explained the tides wrongly centuries later.

    Here is what Bede said about the shape of the earth—round “like a ball” not “like a shield”:

    “We call the earth a globe, not as if the shape of a sphere were expressed in the diversity of plains and mountains, but because, if all things are included in the outline, the earth’s circumference will represent the figure of a perfect globe. …

    “For truly it is an orb placed in the centre of the universe; in its width it is like a circle, and not circular like a shield but rather like a ball, and it extends from its centre with perfect roundness on all sides.”

    And the leading church theologian and philosopher of the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), wrote in his greatest work Summa Theologica/Theologiae:

    “The physicist proves the earth to be round by one means, the astronomer by another: for the latter proves this by means of mathematics, e.g. by the shapes of eclipses, or something of the sort; while the former proves it by means of physics, e.g. by the movement of heavy bodies towards the centre, and so forth.”

    The Creation writers prove that very few people ever thought the earth was flat and add: The much-parroted flat-earth myth about Columbus comes not from history but from the tales of Washington Irving (1783–1859), The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828).

    “Irving was probably America’s first genuine best-selling writer, but he admitted that he was “apt to indulge in the imagination.” Flat-earth belief was certainly a figment of his imagination.”

    Also, sailors from the northern hemisphere crossed the equator well before Christ, and reported that in the South, the sun shone from the north. They also knew how to measure their latitude from the angle of the sun at noon, which works only with a spherical earth

    I once stayed with a woman who thought she was in touch with Venusians. I also worked for an oddball spiritist who claimed to have been my father in a “previous life” (of which there are none, by the way.) So nothing surprises me.

    If we arm ourselves with facts, we are able to sensibly set straight the strange ideas sweeping the web, which is the repository of vast amounts of unchecked, unverifiable and often utterly nutty ideas. They need to be flattened.





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