The Earth Is Flat! Internet Memes Say So

I have no idea of the source of this meme

The above image is comes from a Tweet by the rapper BoB quoted in The Guardian. Did you know that the West Coast Main Line is single track and isn’t electrified? Neither did I.

I am not entirely sure whether the recent emergence of the Flat Earth Movement is a terrible consequence of rising anti-intellectualism and wholesale rejection of enlightenment values, or whether the whole thing is an epic wind-up that a few ignorant suckers have fallen for. I suppose it’s orders of magnitude less harmful than the celebrity anti-vax moement.

Occams Razor and Poes’ Law both suggest rapper BoB’s public embrace of this nonsense is nothing more than a clever publicity stunt. It’s entirely possible that astrophysicist and cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson is in on the joke.

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6 Responses to The Earth Is Flat! Internet Memes Say So

  1. Kev says:

    It has occurred to me that this flat Earth thing could be a experiment to how people react to pseudoscience. I can think of no other motivation behind it. I had thought it was a loony creationist fringe; it is was it has left the nest and gone on to have a life of its own.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    I think the rise of psuedoscience is a consequence of an education system that’s failed to teach science properly, and a media filled with people who weren’t taught about sience properly when at school.

  3. Synthetase says:

    I absolutely love that your first complaint is that the picture isn’t the railway line being discussed. Nice to see you have your priorities straight ;)

    I’m not so sure that this isn’t serious. This guy might be taking the piss, but there are plenty of people out there who genuinely believe this crap. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can go searching through the dross on youtube to find them.

    On the subject, why doesn’t someone loan this idiot a protractor? Maybe he can answer his own question.

  4. Tim Hall says:

    Guess it’s a logical extension of young earth creationism, which used to be a fringe belief but has gone mainstream.

    If I was a conspiracy theory type, I would wonder who stands to benefit from this level of ignorance. But it’s more likely to be something that’s taken on a life of its own.

  5. “Rise of pseudoscience” (from your first comment, Tim) is a misleading statement. I don’t believe it is rising anywhere, I think it has always been here, and always at a disturbingly high level. Certainly I remember “serious” flat earth arguments in my youth. Maybe it’s more noticable now because of the Internet, just as the Internet makes everything more noticable.

    I think your deduction that it’s due to failing science education is correct, but that’s not new either. Science education has always failed for the vast majority of people, not just today but for as long as public education has been around. And this is why psuedoscience has always been a significant presence.

  6. PaulE says:

    If it wasn’t flat, the elephants wouldn’t be able to keep it on their backs and the turtle would be put off it’s swimming. :-)