SPACE IS FAKE

And other un­sci­en­tific claims you’ll hear at Edmonton’s first Flat Earth In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence ‘...the Earth is round. You have to strain credulity, rea­son, logic, sense to be­lieve the op­po­site’

StarMetro Edmonton - - FRONT PAGE - thes­tar.com

Faith took cen­tre stage at Edmonton’s Fan­ta­sy­land Ho­tel Thurs­day as 250 peo­ple packed in for the Flat Earth In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence.

Flat-Earth­ers from around North Amer­ica came to lis­ten to speak­ers such as In­di­ana ra­dio host Rick Hum­mer, who told them to pull their kids out of pub­lic schools and ig­nore the con­sen­sus of the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity.

“If I were you, I’d get them out of the schools, be­cause they’re not learn­ing the truth,” Hum­mer told the crowd.

Pre­sen­ter Matt Long, a YouTu­ber from Texas, said he has a “healthy ob­ses­sion with the Bi­ble and truth” and claimed the Bi­ble is “un­equiv­o­cally a flat-Earth book.”

Many flat-Earth­ers be­lieve the Earth is a disc, de­spite over­whelm­ing sci­en­tific and pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence that it is spher­i­cal.

Most who sub­scribe to this idea be­lieve hu­mans have not stum­bled over the edge of the Earth be­cause it is en­cir­cled in a wall of ice, mak­ing ground travel im­pos­si­ble, and pi­lots are too scared to make the trek.

YouTu­ber Mark Sar­gent, who spoke and took ques­tions from the au­di­ence Thurs­day, thinks the uni­verse is a plan­e­tar­ium with man­made pro­jec­tions of a fake moon and stars.

He spoke de­ri­sively of sci­en­tists, none of whom were among the pre­sen­ters at the con­fer­ence.

Many who at­tended the con­fer­ence came to be­lieve in a flat Earth through other con­spir­acy the­o­ries, and were con­vinced by YouTube videos and ar­ti­cles they read on the in­ter­net.

Sev­eral said their jour­ney into skep­ti­cism started with the de­bunked the­ory that hu­mans have never ac­tu­ally walked on the moon.

In most cases, it was an un­wa­ver­ing faith in God that seemed to make the flat-Earth the­ory fit their world view.

At­ten­dees shelled out at least $150 for a two-day pass, and some paid $300 for VIP passes that in­clude front-row seat­ing in the ball­room and a spe­cial speak­ers’ din­ner.

There was plenty of mer­chan­dise for sale in the foyer, in­clud­ing T-shirts, posters with flat-Earth maps, and stick­ers with slo­gans such as “Space is Fake.”

The event runs through Fri­day at the Fan­ta­sy­land Ho­tel.

Not ev­ery­one was buy­ing in. Read the full story at thes­tar.com/edmonton

CODIE MCLACH­LAN FOR STARMETRO EDMONTON

Ais­lynn Rol­heiser sports a tin­foil hat dur­ing the Flat Earth In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence in Edmonton on Thurs­day.

CODIE MCLACH­LAN FOR STARMETRO EDMONTON

Matt Long speaks dur­ing the Flat Earth con­fer­ence on Thurs­day.

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