Flat Earth

Around, around we go

April 13, 2018

Robbie Davidson says he was on his first date with his future wife when she admitted she didn’t believe human beings have landed on the moon.

Davidson was surprised. “You don’t believe we landed on the moon?”

He didn’t believe in the moon landings either. It was the biggest conspiracy that Davidson believed for a long time until, that is, he started looking into the most audacious and booming “new” conspiracy – the commonly held belief that the earth is a sphere.

Hot off the heels of the first Flat Earth International Conference (FEIC) event in Raleigh, NC last year, the Edmonton native and local flat-earth proponent booked West Edmonton Mall for Aug. 9-10 for Canada’s first FEIC.

Misconceptions

When many think of flat earth, they imagine boats falling off the edge or a flat disc floating in space. This is what the old Flat Earth Society believed and are misconceptions about the modern movement, Davidson says.

“We (flat earthers) all believe the earth is round, or 99 per cent of us,” said Davidson. “We just don’t believe it’s a sphere. It can be round and not be a sphere.”

Modern flat earth essentially boils down to two salient points: the earth’s movement and its curvature.

“You can’t conclusively prove scientifically that we’re [the earth] moving or that we are on a ball at 2,500 miles of circumference at eight inches per mile squared. We cannot prove that using the scientific method.”

Flat earthers agree on most details, but generally differ in three categories: religious, conspiratorial and scientific. Davidson believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible and believes “scientism” pushes an anti-religion agenda, which he explores in one of his Youtube “documentaries,” Scientism Exposed. The film disputes “origin” theories like evolution, big bang and a heliocentric (sun-centred) model of the solar system.

“We’re not saying you can’t believe in things and can’t look into things, but what we’re asking is what truly is science? Going to real empirical science.”

Many flat earthers cite experiments such as “Airy’s failure” an experiment conducted by British astronomer George Biddell Airy in 1871 or the Michelson-Morley experiment (1887) which led to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, as unintentional proofs that the earth does not move.

“Try and do an experiment and wrap water around a ball. Furthermore, find something that’s spinning and moving while keeping water on it. But then you’ll say that’s gravity, right? Well, here’s the interesting thing about gravity. It’s never been seen, it’s never been measured, it has not gone through the scientific method. You talk to five different scientists they’ll give you five different definitions … No one has the precise definition of what gravity is.”

Open invitation

Flat earthers want a moderated debate, too. Davidson says he’s invited “the Gods of science today” Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson to come “destroy the flat earthers,” which they’ve declined to do. He would extend the same offer to instructors at NAIT if they were interested.

“It’s unbelievable how many people are talking about flat earth and yet no one will actually seriously address it if this is such a concern … If that’s the case that this theory is dangerous, you’d think that they [scientists] would want to step in and make sure people don’t get involved in such a dangerous cult, you know what I mean?

The only stipulation would be that photographs of the earth from space would be inadmissible as proof. Since nearly all flat earthers reject that man has been to the moon, (some even space) they say images of earth from space are faked and are not true evidence.

“If anything, challenge us respectfully. We don’t mind being challenged and if there’s new evidence that comes forward about something that hasn’t before, then bring it up.”

“You cannot find a scientific experiment that you can go out with your NAIT buddies and do to prove that we’re moving or that we’re curved at eight inches per mile squared … If anyone there wants to be famous in your paper [The Nugget] they will be Einstein-famous if they can develop an experiment to conclusively prove this. It can’t be done so far. And if it is done, then I’m done. No more conferences and I’ll go back to believing in the globe.”

Tickets for a weekend pass at the flat earth conference retail for $249.

– Michael Menzies