There seems to be an upsurge in the flat earth movement.
Within days of my conversation with the people about the young man who espoused a flat earth, I had two additional, yet independent, conversations with people having similar concerns about two other Christian young people. However, while the first young man merely talked about a flat earth as an intellectual exercise, these two young men apparently had become convinced that the earth may actually be flat. With three conversations over less than a week, I wondered, “Is there something going on out there?” There had been a few warning signs along the way. During the previous six months I had been asked about the flat earth several times. One was from the department that handles correspondences and questions directed to Answers in Genesis. It seems that people submit a question about this to Answers in Genesis often enough.
Lack of knowledge of the reasons we know that the earth is spherical.
Most people have not given this question any thought, because they have been taught their entire lives that the earth is spherical, so why worry about it? Consequently, with no idea of the reasons we know that the earth is spherical, most people long ago entered a complacent state of more or less taking someone else’s word for the matter. When someone comes along, such as this young man, who has given this some thought and begins to raise what appear to be simple objections to the earth’s spherical shape, it doesn’t take much to fluster most people.
How people in the ancient world knew the earth is spherical.
So how did people in the ancient world know that the earth is spherical? The earliest recorded discussion of a spherical earth is from Pythagoras in the sixth century BC. Pythagoras correctly understood that the cause of lunar eclipses is the shadow of the earth falling on the moon. This can happen only when the moon is opposite the sun in our sky, which coincides with full moon. The earth’s shadow is larger than the moon, so we cannot see the entire shadow at once.
However, during a lunar eclipse we see the earth’s shadow creep across the moon. Because the edge of the earth’s shadow always is a portion of a circle, the earth’s shadow must be a circle. If the earth were flat and round, similar to a disk, it could cast a circular shadow, but only for lunar eclipses that occur at midnight. For a lunar eclipse at sunrise or sunset, the earth’s shadow would be an ellipse, a line, or a rectangle, depending upon how thick the disk was compared to its diameter. However, the earth’s shadow during a lunar eclipse is always a circle, regardless of the time of night when the eclipse occurs. The only shape that consistently has a circular shadow, regardless of its orientation, is a sphere….
Are flat earth people for real?
Are these people who believe in a flat earth for real? It’s hard to say. They could be well-intentioned but seriously misguided people. Or they could be attempting to discredit the Bible and Christianity….
At least some of the people behind this upsurge in the flat earth movement may be lampooning the creation movement. As such, they clearly are no friends of the church; rather, they oppose Christ and His kingdom.
Online: Read Full Article – Is The Earth Flat? at Answers in Genesis