Amused (or not) by the willful ignorance of flat-Earth believers
“Around here, they think the Earth is flat,” July 7 news story.
Now we know, it takes a two-dimensional mind to believe the Earth is flat. But as amusing as the “Flat Earthers” on the front page may be, beliefs are not facts, and facts are not beliefs.
Meanwhile, as the real world burns, we must hereby redefine literacy to include not only the ability to read and write, but also the ability to think critically. That is, the ability to determine fact from fiction, and to care about the difference.
There’s nothing reassuring about a society that enables such casual, voluntary ignorance. If, as stated, one person in 500 is vulnerable to this obvious nonsense, then school districts, parents, opinion leaders and those who can actually think really have our work cut out for us.
Your article was a disservice to your readers. By presenting only one sentence of counterargument as the opinion of “scientists and educators,” you reinforce the notion that this is a matter of debate with “elites” on the orthodox side. Can’t The Denver Post report even a basic fact like the Earth’s shape simply as the truth?
Earth’s almost-spherical shape and rotation rate were precisely measured many centuries ago because they are fundamental to understanding almost anything involving time or distance. Every airline pilot, ship captain, artillery officer, map maker, backyard astronomer, land surveyor, weather forecaster, and satellite operator accounts for the spherical Earth to successfully do their job.
Meanwhile, the flat-Earth idea struggles to explain basic topics like why the sun comes up in the morning, let alone why it happens at different times in different places. Flat Earthers aren’t “persecuted,” just wrong. ●●●
Instead of gathering in a windowless back room, members of Flat Earth Fort Collins should step outside this evening and observe the nearly full moon. Instead of staring at their computers, they should stare at the stars and planets.
Observation tells us day and night happens because we live on a globe turning majestically on its tilted axis every 24 hours. Observation tells us seasons happen because our tilted sphere moves around the sun every 364-plus days. Solar and lunar eclipses show us the shape of our Earth if we go outdoors and look up. Time to take a trip around the world and see how round it really is.
What is disturbing about the Flat Earthers is not their willful ignorance of basic science. What is truly sad is the underlying unhappiness and alienation that have caused them to seek solace in a cult of blind faith and conspiracy theories.
I’m disappointed that you chose to focus on The Flat Earth Society, let alone feature it on your front page. The article spoke of a movement, “thousands strong,” with “proponents at the highest levels of science, sports, journalism and the arts.” Yet, author Graham Ambrose failed to name any of these proponents and stated, in parentheses, that “All scientists and educators consulted for this story rejected the idea of a flat earth.”
Our nation is besieged by online media fake news. Shame on you for putting emphasis, in print, on a misguided “movement,” old as time. No sane informed person could believe such drivel. One must but look at the images of Earth shot from the orbiting space station. This is rocket science. Send letters of 150 words or fewer to firstname.lastname@example.org or 101 W. Colfax Ave., Suite 800, Denver, CO, 80202. Please include full name, city and phone number. Contact information is for our purposes only; we will not share it with anyone else. You can reach us by telephone at 303-954-1331.