I’ve been wanting to post my personal Flat Earth theory for quite some time now, but I’ve been holding back because I don’t want to court mindless censure. Then I realized: Politically, I’m a moderate who believes in reasonable discussion and compromise, and I fight for those beliefs. So why not this one too?
This is a theory, by the way; it’s not an article of quasi-religious dogma for me. Facts won’t offend me; incivility will.
I’m not a rocket scientist or astronaut; I avoid air travel and small boats — the former because being searched offends me, the latter because I’m accident-prone. So, while I support NASA and space travel (exploration is always value, and discovery the only reward needed) the question of whether the Earth happens to be flat or curved, circular or square or toroidal or even hollow has very little to do with my daily life. I honestly don’t care from moment to moment. For most practical activities, from driving to hitting a golf ball or target shooting, it’s as well to presume the world to be… well, not flat, but flat with bumps. Were I to fire artillery or pilot a plane or run an AM radio station, potential curvature of the surface might impact my life, but I don’t so it doesn’t.
And so I have the personal luxury of envisioning a flat earth. In my mind, the center is the North Pole and the Edge is in what others call the center of Antarctica, the which continent holds the ocean in.
I do not maintain this view from observation or intuition; frankly, it seems a rather silly way to make a world, particularly with so many others that are apparently spherical, but then I didn’t make it. In order for it to function, time and space must operate very differently toward the Rim, but of course I didn’t make time and space either. Time zones likewise offer some difficulties, but I don’t need to explain them; I merely need to acknowledge that they exist and move on. Most things in life don’t make sense; who am I to quibble over sunrises?
Against this vision of the world, people offer science. Now, I have nothing against science per se, but I don’t worship it; it’s wrong so bloody always. Today it’s climate change; ten years ago it was global warming; forty years ago it was the next ice age and nuclear winter; and tomorrow there’s a fifty percent chance of rain. They can’t tell me whether it will rain or not and they expect me to kowtow to their explanations and worldview.
Don’t get me wrong: If I go out, I’ll bring an umbrella, and I’ll do my part to reduce my carbon footprint. But I’m not about to view what science tells me as inalterable and unarguable; to disagree is not blasphemy. It’s an exercise in mental freedom.
Today we have chemistry. Six hundred years ago we had alchemy; now that’s a myth. A thousand years before that we had philosophy and religion; apparently, now they’re myths too. Tomorrow, Lord alone only knows how we’ll think, and what we now see as “science” will be tomorrow’s myth. Homer called the Mediterranean “wine-dark”, but that’s no reason to believe it wasn’t just as blue then; the ancient Greeks perceived color differently.
And so I choose to perceive the Earth as flat — that is, flat with bumps. Science is a myth waiting to be noticed, and until demonstrated otherwise I’m an immortal. So far so good, anyway.
I invite your thoughts. Please, though: Make sure there’s some thought involved.