People who believe in the flat earth theory do not think the Earth is round. While on the planet’s surface, it feels and looks flat, so they believe they dismiss all evidence to the contrary. The flat earth society contains people from America and Europe and has been growing since 2009 (Wolchover 2017). Believing that the Earth is flat is one of the ultimate conspiracy theories. There is ample evidence that the Earth is round, but they believe since only what they can see from Earth’s surface is flat that that is the only conclusion.
They believe that the Earth is a disc with the Arctic Circle in the center and Antarctica, a 150-foot-tall wall of ice, around the rim. The society members claim that NASA employees guard this ice wall to stop people from climbing over, and in theory, falling off the disc of Earth. This can be argued by the people in NASA who have been to space and have taken multiple pictures from satellites showing that the Earth is round. The flat-earthers believe that these photos taken from space are photo shopped. They also say that Earth’s gravity is an illusion, and that objects do not fall downward. Instead, the disc of Earth accelerates them upwards by a mystical force called ‘dark energy.’ This can easily be disputed by Einstein’s theory of relativity. They have a belief that GPS devices are manipulated to make aircraft pilots think that they are flying in straight lines above a sphere, but they are actually flying in circles above the disc of Earth. The reason why the world’s most powerful people are trying to conceal the true flat shape of the Earth is not certain by the Flat Earth Society, but it could be financial. On the Flat Earth society FAQ page, they explain that it would be logically cheaper to fake a space program than to actually have one. On the Flat Earth’s Society’s website, they have a lot of evidence supporting that the Earth is flat, that they explain is derived from many different aspects of science and philosophy. Another argument they make is relying on one’s own senses, meaning just looking around at the surroundings around you and seeing how everything is laid out pretty much flat. The horizon is a flat line, the clouds are flat, and the movement of the sun is flat, so our senses are telling us that we are not on a spherical heliocentric world.
A belief is a cognitive representation of the nature of reality, including our inner experiences, the world around us, and the world beyond. Flat earthers believe in the earth being flat as if the evidence for the earth being round is lacking. It’s not that they do not believe the evidence of the spherical earth, they just deny them. The believers are misinformed and misinterpreting evidence. This theory has a lot to do with confirmation bias. They are so attached to the belief that the Earth is flat that they deny that that there is an alternative explanation, even if demonstrated by science. There overall stance has a major distrust of authority, which sort of binds them to a sort of anti-globalist agenda. Overall, they have a conviction not to trust multinational corporations with unregulated political power, such as NASA.
The belief of the flat Earth was common in ancient Greece, India, China, and a wide range of indigenous cultures. The ancient Greek conception had some similarities with that of early Egyptian thought that the Earth was a large disc surrounded a huge body of water. Today, many people still believe this theory and it is very much accredited to celebrities that believe in this. Rapper B.o.B went on a twitter crusade where he demanded to know why is could not see the earths curve. It was also streamlined on the news when Mike Hughes launched himself and a $20,000 steam powered rocket into the air to prove that the earth is flat. Also, basketball player Kyrie Irving did a podcast where he could not be convinced that the earth was round.
The human brain is sort of made to believe and find conspiracy theories, meaning it has an ability to find meaningful patterns in the world around it.. People are very evolved in the ability to draw conclusions and predict outcomes based on observations and sensory data. The three main things that contribute to the appeal of the Flat Earth Theory is confirmation bias, proportionality bias and illusory pattern perception. Confirmation bias is when people’s willingness to accept that fit what they already believe. This is true with flat earthers because they totally discredit any scientific explanation against their beliefs. Proportionality bias is the inclination to believe that big events must have big causes. This relates to the flat earthers because we fund so much into NASA that they believe that NASA must be doing something that is not right. Illusionary pattern perception is to see causal relations where there may not be any. And this can be explained when they say how the horizon and clouds are flat looking to us that the Earth has to be flat.