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WOW. I boggle:
On 24 December 1968, the crew of the Apollo 8 mission took a photo now known as Earthrise. To many, this beautiful blue sphere viewed from the moon's orbit is a perfect visual summary of why it is right to strive to go into space.

Not to everybody though. There are people who say they think this image is fake - part of a worldwide conspiracy by space agencies, governments and scientists.

Welcome to the world of the flat-earther...

On the internet and in small meeting rooms in Britain and the US, flat earth believers get together to challenge the "conspiracy" that the Earth is round.

"People are definitely prejudiced against flat-earthers," says John Davis, a flat earth theorist based in Tennessee...
Read and boggle along.

(Linked by apocalypsos, who boggles as well: "I want to believe that article is a joke. And YET.")


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 4th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Its interesting to note how recent Flat Earth Theory is.
Aug. 5th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
I kind of wonder if this is a little simplified for the sake of space; the author linked has a whole book on the phenomenon, of course (and now I'm kind of curious about reading it), and I already knew that the reality of people's perception of the Earth was more complicated than the "people thought the Earth was flat" simplification. (It does mean I cringe slightly at the line about it in Men In Black.) And for a good chunk of human history the idea of what shape the Earth had didn't really have much bearing on everyday life; it was a non-issue, like never realizing that a planet's atmosphere could be deadly to life until we explored Venus, for instance. The Earth's shape has become more of an issue as time's gone on, as it's reflected in plane's Great Circle routes and the satellites we've thrown into orbit. Flat Earth Theory's persistence...well, it partly reminds me how contrarian we as a race can be.

It also reinforces my dislike of conspiracy theories, many of which are needlessly complicated even though they're usually just applying the rules of storytelling to real life. (I like Peter David's way of putting it: "Fiction is just like reality, only more elegant. It also makes more sense, unless it's written badly, in which case it's bad fiction.") Conspiracy theories usually assume some giant human force Maintaining A Great Lie, or something. The world doesn't work that way. As Harlan Ellison says, "The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity."

Okay, I'm off my soapbox.

To change the subject abruptly, I'm glad to hear you got to meet greygirlbeast!
Aug. 4th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
I compared a evolution denier to the flat earthers once, I was surprised by how offended they were despite how similar the issues are.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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