…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World
For the past month I have been watching Youtube videos on how the Earth is flat (I previously blogged briefly here [link]; Youtube does a good job of continuously plying me with more of the same. When I first came across this concept I found it laughable, but I watched some videos and respected the credibility in the tones of the voices conveying their understandings.
I started to ponder the so-called facts as they had been presented to me and I also started to think about things like the path of the Sun across the sky and how that might be used to show that the Earth is indeed a sphere, or yes, it must be flat.
My conclusion was that the Earth can’t be flat with a ‘smaller’ Sun circling above us (as Flat Earthers claim), because basically, during the hours of daylight during the summer months as we see the Sun pass from east to west and for the time it takes to do that, lets say 12 hours, for those other 12 hours of nighttime it can’t be travelling a greater distance in order to circle round and come back again (we don’t see it making an arc round the sky at this time of year as it would need to). It can only achieve this with the Earth being a globe.
I have sympathy and respect for the Flat Earthers in general though, and here’s why. They call into question and make us question so much more than the idea of Earth being a sphere; they call us to question everything.
Lots of the Flat Earth videos rehash the same “evidence” and imagery and I also wonder if at some point the concept of a Flat Earth has been taken out of an original context; perhaps it was originally a philosophical thought process, especially with regards to the “evidence in the Genesis chapter of the Bible” which when read with the mindset that the Earth is flat seems to make sense (I’m not a fan of taking such things so literally and think when doing so with “religious teachings” one is missing a point, whatever that may be.)
Whether the Earth is flat or not is, is on its own, an irrelevant point, what does it matter? But taken with all the other questions raised, it becomes significant.
After I came to my own conclusion Youtube finally presented me with a video debunking the idea that the Earth is flat, namely by using a website that shows you just how far you can see out towards the horizon, which basically illustrates that the distance is so small compared to the size of the Earth that this is why, even though we live on a sphere, we cannot see any curvature.
Then I came across a scientific video that kept being uploaded and taken down. It was given a title that included the term “Flat Earth” in it which is why Youtube suggested it to me but really it wasn’t actually about the Earth being flat, but was indeed about questioning science. It was actually about The Copernican Principal; the idea that the Earth is at the centre of the universe (as the Flat Earth idea would also put it.) The idea is based on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and how it can be manipulated into a sphere aligned with our plant’s axis (the ‘axis of evil’.)*
The original title had been omitted but after watching the 1hr 45 minute documentary I was able to, with a quick Google search, find out it was a film called The Principal.
Apparently this film was all a big sensation when it was due for release in 2014; lots of people writing reviews about it when they had only seen the trailer, and a big hoo-ha about the scientists and narrators who took part in it. I’m not sure why it is only now that I came across it. I got watching some interviews with the director/writer Rick Delano who seemed to me to be a bit of a wily fox; a little too animated when explaining himself to be believable, but nonetheless, I got to towards the end of this particular clip and what he was saying and how he conveyed it really connected with me; almost like some Truth was being revealed to me there and then, calling into question, again, as I have done so before “Why am I here?” The Principal film coined the hashtag #iamsignificant but this point really falls short; you can tell yourself this until the cows come home, and really, to be blunt, telling yourself this in front of anyone will, I’m sure, make you sound egotistical, therefore it shouldn’t be a statement but the question (or questions): “Why am I significant?” … “What is my significance?” … “What is my purpose?”
Telling yourself that you’re significant but then not behaving as such means the point is being lost on you – and believe me, I’m telling myself this right now too; every time I blow another day of my life doing nothing of significance I go to bed depressed, and I’m not talking about big-scale significance either because there is a small scale significance that is something personal to each of us; bettering ourselves by eating healthier, doing more exercise, spending less money, recycling our rubbish, all of these things scale up; they set an example for others. Only then can you truly tackle the greater significances.
If the Earth really is the centre of the universe as The Principle movie suggests, and we are significant because we might be the only ones here; the only planet in our universe (there may be other universes) with intelligent life on, then we should each handle this significant responsibly.
I’ll end with the section of the interview that hit me, but if you want to watch the whole film then search on Youtube for “flat earth – how the cat got out of the bag” – the version I kept finding was a dodgy copy that kept being taken down, alternatively you can visit the genuine website to find out more at: http://www.theprinciplemovie.com
*A better explanation for this CMB / Earth is at the centre of the universe idea is perhaps better found in the follow-up movie for which the trailer can be found here: [link]