What do Flat Earthers and Climate Alarmists have in common? Survey says: Millennials!

Guest whatever by David Middleton

Do People Really Think Earth Might Be Flat?

A poll says lots of Millennials evidently do—and it’s not entirely clear why

By Craig A. Foster, Glenn Branch on August 21, 2018

“Just 66 percent of millennials firmly believe that the Earth is round,” read the summary from the pollster YouGov. Kids today, right? But it’s not only curmudgeons eager to complain about the younger generation who ought to find the survey of interest. For despite the recent prominence of flat-earthery among musicians and athletes, YouGov’s survey seems to have been the first systematic attempt to assess the American population’s views on the shape of the Earth.

Moreover, the results raised a number of compelling questions that deserve attention. For example, why is the scientifically established view on the shape of the Earth less popular among younger respondents (according to YouGov) when the scientifically established view on the history of life and on the cause of global warming have been, in poll after poll, more popular among younger respondents?


Scientific American

The authors (“a psychology professor at the Air Force Academy and a long-time staffer at the National Center for Science Education”) went on to examine the raw data and could not verify YouGov’s survey results…

Puzzled but undeterred, we used the information in the spreadsheet to calculate acceptance of the round Earth by age groups and found that only about 82.5 percent of millennials (as YouGov called 18–24-year-olds) agreed with “I have always believed the world is round.” That’s still dismayingly low, of course, but it’s not as dismayingly low as 66 percent. And those aged 25–34 turned out to fare a tad worse, with only about 81.8 percent agreeing.

The discrepancy between the data underlying YouGov’s original report and the data provided in the spreadsheet undermined our understanding of both data sets. Frustratingly, YouGov was unable or unwilling to provide further assistance. Although there are transparency standards in survey research, such as the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls, they are, regrettably, not universally followed.

Even more oddly, the majority of the ~18% of survey respondents who didn’t believe the Earth was round(ish) also didn’t believe it was flat.

In the absence of further information, what can we conclude? Clearly, despite the discrepancy between the results, younger people are less likely to agree with the scientifically established view of the shape of the Earth. Yet, B.o.B. and Kyrie Irving notwithstanding, the spreadsheet data indicate that they are not substantially more likely to agree that the Earth is flat. Indeed, firm belief in a flat Earth was rare, with less than a 2 percent acceptance rate in all age groups.

Rather, according to the spreadsheet data, younger people were more likely to be uncertain or ambivalent about the shape of the Earth, either agreeing that they have recently entertained doubts that the Earth is round or opting for the “Other/Not Sure” choice on the questionnaire. Importantly, these responses weren’t distinctive to those aged 18 to 24 but were comparably prevalent among those aged 25 to 34 and those aged 35 to 44.

What can we conclude from this?  I’d like to conclude that the 16% of not round, but not flat respondents were thinking spheroid… which is still round(ish).  Although the most likely answer is that they are uninterested in the shape of the Earth because it didn’t come from an iPhone app.

We can also conclude that the results of public polling need to be taken with a LARGE grain of salt.


I’ll just conclude with a bit of humor…

249 thoughts on “What do Flat Earthers and Climate Alarmists have in common? Survey says: Millennials!

  1. I’ve left everything to the Flat Earth Society. from the novel Hopscotch – movie staring Walter Matthau

  2. You should also consider the strong likelihood that millennials are a little more jaded about polling and my be pulling the pollster’s leg. Ironic detachment, including references to fake moon landings and flat earth, is a pretty standard part of millennials’ repertoire.

      • I had an email discussion with a flat earth believer. According to him, the sun and moon don’t set, they just circle around and it only looks like they are setting. They are sort of giant floodlights, if you will. It is this recession from you that gives them the appearance of setting. When I pointed out that the Sun appears larger as it rises and sets and smaller at noon, it still had no affect on his very hardened belief that this is a flat world with the center at the north pole, and the outer rim was Antarctica, which was not a continent, but a retaining wall for the oceans. Satellites were an illusion as was the greater expanse of the universe since basically, space only extends a short distance above the flat surface of the planet. It really was fascinating, and no, he wasn’t a millennial.

        • I can see how sunset could be caused by recession of a circling sun if the viewer lived in a narrow valley running north-south. However, in open water (a Caribbean cruise) a circling sun would be seen to circle the northern horizon similar to the way the sun circles the horizon when viewed from the north pole in summer. Also, on a disc world as described, the sun would appear to circle to the north when viewed from southern hemisphere islands such as New Zealand instead of setting south of west as observed.


        • To my surprise, a comment I made here just 5 minutes ago is in moderation. I’m wondering why, and for how long?


          • My comment still has not appeared. Neither has the replacement I posted hours ago. Both described visible discrepancies that would occur if the Earth was as described in the post by Tom O. (Tom did not make the faulty description.)


        • My first response died in moderation, so 2nd try:

          A flat Earth believer might not be swayed by the setting sun appearing larger at sunset as he may have heard that that is a psychological phenomenon, but that explanation only applies to the spheroid Earth situation where there is no measurable difference. The Sun should appear to noticeably dwindle as the afternoon progressed if it is traveling thousands of miles in its daily circuit over the Earth’s surface.

          While an observer living in a narrow valley that runs north-south, or lives in a forest would not be able to distinguish a setting sun from a receding sun because of the limited view, anyone living on a plain or an island would observe another notable difference. If the Sun was circling over a flat Earth it would appear to circle the northern horizon overnight and approach from the east early each morning, visible all night from all latitudes, not just the northern polar region.
          If the counterclaim is made that the sun moves too far away from southern hemisphere locations to be visible all night, the sun would still appear to move to the north as the afternoon progressed, even for those southern hemisphere observers.


      • What percent is confused as to which restroom to use?
        Maybe the dumbing down of our young is very effective.

    • I always throw out a few anomalous answers to any poll. It’s no fun otherwise. Particularly good for some of the dumb wording in politically motivated polls.

    • Why would they NOT question the Moon landings?

      After all, they want to “decarbonize” all sectors of society. This based on the idea of fast progress of all technologies, the idea that progress of micro electronic is a model that applies to the energy industry, batteries and all industries.

      Assuming all technology makes progress at about the same rate as computing, we should all be able to take vacation on the Moon now.

      If NASA cannot send a man to the Moon now, assuming rapid progress of technology, it’s unthinkable that it was capable before the game of PONG was implemented.

      (It’s also unthinkable that they had the technology to fake it back then when they still don’t have it now. But they don’t think that far.)

  3. Look at the statement:

    “I have always believed the world is round.”

    If a person ever thought the Earth was flat (say when that person was 4 years old) then the statement would be false. The implication that 18% don’t believe the earth to be round does not fit the literal meaning of the statement.

          • run in the same gutter? I believe that’s the way the line goes, but it’s usually “great minds.” I think you are overanalyzing the question and the probability of responses. When you are doing a survey, you don’t deep dive into logic and analysis to determine your response. You choose the one that best fits you at the moment. Most of us don’t remember if we even gave a thought about what shape the world was before we started school and was introduced to a globe, though there would have been those exposed to globes at younger ages.

            If you don’t know, yougov surveys are paid for surveys, the more you take the more you make, so they aren’t going to sit and ponder about answers, they are just going to go with the flow. Yes, they may just say “I’ll have fun with this one,” and wing it, choosing answers that are foolish, but they won’t spend time deep thinking it.

          • run in the same gutter? I believe that’s the way the line goes, but it’s usually “great minds.”

            Hmmm…never heard of that one (i.e., “run in the same gutter”) Tom. I guess we “run in different circles”? 🙂

            The one I am familiar with is “great minds think alike,” however, I’ve chosen to apply my own poetic license to the phrase, as I am wont to do on flippant occasions such as these (you know the kind, where the subject matter is more something of a curiosity as opposed to the survival of the human race, etc.).

            I think you are overanalyzing the question and the probability of responses. When you are doing a survey, you don’t deep dive into logic and analysis to determine your response.

            Thanks Tom. Well, I appreciate your analysis and response regarding my response to HotScot, to which further regarded our (i.e., mine and HotScot’s) response to the subject matter at hand. I hope to retain these lessons going forward.

            Take care!


      • As always, with polling the art is in how you ask the questions.

        Like the 97% of scientists who “believe” in global warming, when you frame the question as being is CO2 a GHG. Of course everyone agrees. They then disingenuously report that as the same 97% said it is causing run away climate change and is an existential crisis for humanity ie CAGW.

      • #metoo 🙂

        I’d go so far as to say that there’s a pretty good chance that the question was worded that way to try to elicit confusion and get a lower percentage.

        If you asked the question, “is the sky blue?” a certain percentage of people will just answer yes. The rest of us require the question to read “is the sky usually/sometimes blue?” in order to agree with it, and since it implies that the sky is always blue, we will answer No.

        • Oh the irony that most people, especially myself, read # as pound.
          Hahaha stupid broads riding the bandwagon when if they experienced what they claimed, they should have went to officials decades ago when it happened. That whole movement is another attack on males to dissuade the ones still interested in sex to hesitate from pursuing it. Just another attack on normal, healthy sexuality. Sure, a few of them are psychopaths, but this agenda reaches far past protecting women.

    • exactly. I remember clearly when my third grade teacher held up an apple to illustrate the (rough) shape of the earth. I don’t remember ever thinking about it before that-so I would probably have answered no to the question if the source was, for example, a student of child development. Hard to believe a question that bad.

      • It seems to me schools always had globes when I was young, but less so nowadays. Plenty of flat maps of the entire world hanging on the walls, but no globes. If the shape off the Earth isn’t even brought up until third grade, most kids would have no reason to think the world was anything other than flat before then.

        On a related note, my American history class in middle school taught that Columbus had trouble getting funding for his voyage, and sailors to man his ships, because Europeans in the 15th century believed the Earth was flat.

        • It’s astonishing how many kids were taught that lie, and still believed it as adults. The story was made up by fantasy fiction writer Washington Irving.

          The issue of course was the size of the Earth (and length of Asia), not its shape. In 1492, the Portuguese had already sailed farther south from Iberia than Columbus proposed to sail west. Of course, they could get water and supplies along the coast of Africa.

          So, unless Earth were cylindrical, there was no edge off of which to fall in the western ocean.

          • Eratosthenes calculated the size of the Earth using a north-south line between Alexandria, Egypt and Syene to the south. That eliminated the possibility that the Earth is a cylinder with a north-south axis.


          • I know. But an accountant of my acquaintance who learned in school in Los Angeles in the late ’40s that Columbus was opposed because the Church taught a flat earth wasn’t convinced when I pointed out that the Portuguese had already sailed farther south than CC proposed to sail west.

          • I got my Columbus history from the Johnny Carson skit.

            Columbus was trying to convince flat earth types that “the earth is round, like a chicken”.

          • sycomputing

            According to Billy Connelly, if the world were to be given an enema it would be administered in Adelaide, Australia.

            Evidently the world does have a hole, but it’s not in the ozone layer. 🙂

          • I’ve only seen Mr. Connelly on American PBS (a.k.a., “Public Bullcrap Station”) television doing travel stuff…for a bit I got he and John Cleese confused. Imagine that?

          • What on earth were you smoking?

            I wondered if such a thing (not the smoking but the confusion of a Scot for a Brit) should be considered blasphemous…

            Now I know!

          • sycomputing

            If you’re not a Brit, you’re forgiven.

            Except that, well…….Scots are Brits, kind of, in that we live on the British Isles. You could have done worse though and referred to us as English.

            That is blasphemous.

          • If living in the British Isles counts, then Irish and Manx are British.

            Natives or residents of the Hebrides and Orkneys, being in Scotland, must qualify as British, plus even the Shetlands. But otherwise, my apparently false impression was that you had to live on Great Britain (aka the Big Island) to be British, ie English, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, etc.

            Bretons being, to their sometime chagrin, French.

          • Sgt

            If one falls under the auspices of the British government, then one is British. Which includes most of the commonwealth although I think the choice has been largely consigned to history in the desire for cultural recognition. But as a child of a British family, I am also British despite being born in the Far East.

            I am also by heritage, a large part English. My Paternal side is landed gentry in the North of England. But I suspect we were the rotten apples as I have never received an income from our apparently substantial estates.

            However, my heart is in Scotland, where I would like to retire to in a few years, but sadly, I might not as I object to the borderline communist SNP who govern the country.

          • Of course if your parents are British, it doesn’t matter where you were born, unless you chose to renounce your citizenship (I can use that term now that Britons are no longer subjects if the Crown but citizens of a nation-state).

            My point had to do with the Republic of Ireland. The island of Ireland is part of the British Isles, but citizens of the Republic would bridle at being called British.

    • Exactly what I was about to say. It seems odd that so many are claiming they believed the Earth was round from the moment of their birth.

        • I suspect if the question had been worded:
          “I believe the world to be spherical: Y/N”
          The answer would have been…”Huh? What’s spherical mean?”
          When dealing with the public you must use words that a 10-year-old will understand.

          • To be fair the full set of questions use round and flat as the two options so I doubt there was confusion. It’s just this article that’s confused.

    • Exactly right. And one might wonder why the question was asked that way. Maybe getting an alarming response which makes a nice headline was more important than properly assessing people’s real understanding of science. And “round” is not an accurate description of Earth so those more thoughtful might not agree – “roughly spherical” would make more sense but would confuse some who missed geometry class.

      • They should have asked whether it was an oblate spheroid, Then they could have claimed 97% of people believed it was flat.

    • This study demonstrates that older people are more likely to “round off” their answer to a poorly-worded question.

    • OTOH … Captain Planet WAS a two-dimensional cartoon character. And I believe CP was the source of all Millennial scienci-education

    • “I have always believed the world is round.” A fair question would be “I believe the world is round.” It seem the “Poll Writer” wanted people to read into it.

    • The problem with all polls is wording the question in a form that gives useful results.
      “I have always believed the world is round.” is a lousy question- believe doesn’t belong there. The question is about facts. “I understand the world is pretty much shaped like a big, blue, marble” yes/no

      You can get almost any answer you want with a properly biased or confusing question.

    • Or maybe some of them understood ‘round’ as a 2D concept. I think it was a misleading question – you could say a sphere and a flat earth are both round.

    • You have identified one of the reasons I never respond to polls, and have to down a large adult beverage every time I fill out my employer’s annual “Employee Opinion Survey”. My employer acts as if the results are important; I believe they are delusional.

      *Every* survey should include the question:

      How well do you think the questions on this survey were worded and cover what you believe is most important on this topic?

      If surveys did that, they would be forced to admit that a large percent of the responses are meaningless.

  4. Of course the Earth is flat.
    You merely need to represent it on a spherical coordinate system.
    Plain as day.

    • It actually is flat, or almost, in parts of the Permian basin in west Texas. When I was working in Andrews back in the ’70s you could see the street lights on a highway overpass over 20 mile away. One explanation given was that it was due to all the oil that had been removed.

      • I think that part of West Texas was flat long before the first well was ever drilled in the Permian Basin.

        • Nah. Bowl shaped (for those, like me, living in a valley surrounded by more or less high mountains).

          There is pedantic accuracy, and practical approximation. I treat it like a bowl. People in flat plains treat it as flat. Those who go down to the sea treat it as a spheroid. Orbital engineers, concerned with satellites, treat it as this somewhat spheroid thing with a lot of bumps and bulges in odd places.

      • Try driving out of Hay towards Sydney.
        There is a creek near Bollards Lagoon that flows South if it rains in the North and North if it rains in the South.

    • Clever, but hardly correct.
      Actually our present system of mapping the earth with latitude, longitude and altitude is a spherical coordinate system.
      A spherical coordinate system has 3 dimensions, same as a cartesian (x,y,z) system. Its just mapped differently. One can depict 2 dimensional ‘sections’, but not the surface shape.
      lets just say it is an imperfect spheroid with flat spots.
      The simplest retort to an obtuse flat earther is to ask them, “Why you can’t see Europe from Florida?”

  5. David:

    I didn’t bother to go very deep into the article but I wonder how the questions were asked:

    “…about 82.5 percent of millennials (as YouGov called 18–24-year-olds) agreed with “I have always believed the world is round.”

    So, when I was five I might’ve evaluated the planet’s shape only by what I could see with my eyes???

    • I don’t think I ever thought about it before my Kindergarten teacher had someone point a flashlight at the globe while she rotated it on its axis.

    • When you were five, wouldn’t it have been a bit more like, “What’s a planet?” I have no recollection of when I might have transitioned from that phase to understanding it, let alone considering the shape of the one on which I exist.

      • Keen Observer:

        Keen observation? 🙂

        The main point was not a literal interpretation of the 5 year mark, but rather that at some point in my early years it certainly may have been the case that if I’d been asked the shape of the earth I might have suggested it was flat…

        No quarter for hyperbole around here!

      • I wanted to be an astromer at age 8, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that at five I knew what a planet was.

  6. Probably just trolling the pollsters. Millennials have grown up in the post truth world and are keen on throwing up the middle finger on a YouGov poll.

  7. The earth is neither round (a 2-d shape) nor spherical (a 3-d) shape but some bizarre ellipsoid type shape. But nor is it that – instead it is a diverse fractal, that as we look at it in ever more detail, the actual shape changes and becomes more complex.

    So technically, the earth is flat – if you are looking at a football pitch size with a large allowable error. And it is spherical and ellipsoid.

    So, to be precise , it is neither round nor flat nor spherical.

        • Old joke from the late great Pat Burns. “The best thing about Winnipeg is that if your dog runs away you can wait a couple days to get him because you’ll still be able to see his tail wagging in the distance.

      • On a drive through Kansas it looked pretty flat. Upon entering Colorado, as the Rocky Mtns began looming in the distance, the kids piped up from the back….Dad, were not in Kansas anymore.

    • Earth isn’t a sphere. It is a spheroid… Which is round-ish. If Earth was shrunk to the size of a billiard ball, its surface would be smoother than the billiard ball’s.

      That said, Earth is a large enough spheroid that both football pitches and football fields (American and Canadian) are effectively flat.

      • The earth is more spheroidal than any other object you are likely to encounter such as a cue ball or ball bearing.

        • given an equatorial diameter of 7926 miles, and a polar diameter of 7900 miles, the relative difference of 3280 ppm should tell us that we are anything but spheroidal.

          The earth diameter is only 7900, so the equatorial bulge (More than 3000 ppm) is likely going to cause positive rotational & gravitational feedbacks that will tear the earth apart if we don’t do something (within the next twenty years).

          The feedbacks causing the bulge aren’t new, the fact that the earth has the largest relative bulge in the solar system shows that we are nearing the point of no return. We need to act … NOW.

      • football pitches and football fields (American and Canadian) are effectively flat.

        Actually David their Not.

        A properly designed grass football field does not lie perfectly flat. The surface of the field often arcs a foot or more from the sidelines to the midfield to allow excess water to drain off.

  8. “I have always believed the world is round.” If when you were three years old you had formed no beliefs about the earth being round, or thought it was flat, then you would answer false to this question, and fall into the group that here is being described as a flat earrther.

    Really! This is not better than the complete misinterpretation of the Doran Zimern questions in order to support CAGW!

    • Even the flat earthers accept a round earth, with the north pole at the center and a cold forbidding antarctica around the circumference.

  9. I also think a whole lot of people have decided to just give stupid answers because surveys annoy them. I even confess I’ve done that sometimes, if it’s some obviously robotic survey method and no real person is trying to contact me. I figure if the machine asks a stupid question, the machine deserves a stupid answer.

  10. btw, this is a little bit OT, but Hooray! Malcolm Turnbull and all of his climate plans are finished in Australia! He deserved this end ever since he knifed Tony Abbott in the back.

  11. Oh yeah, this is a good subject.
    I completed a B.Sc. in geophysics ( 1957 was “International Geophysics Year”) in 1962 and it was very cool to hang out at the Physics Building. Especially down in the basement where guys in the labs had wired up Heath Kit “Hi Fidelity” sound systems. And played Bach!
    I have a vague recollection that if one submitted a seemingly serious, but nonsensical, paper and is it was good enough one would be invited to join the “Flat Earth Society”.
    One of the proposals of the society was that the United Nations General Assembly should debate building a fence along the edge of the Earth. After all, the Assembly has debated more foolish things.
    And of course, there was (is?) the motto of the Flat Earth Society:
    “We Are On The Level”
    Bob Hoye

  12. If nothing else, this confirms my observations that Millennials just want to have a laugh and flat earth and global warming both fit in this light-hearted approach to life, along with comedy shows and urban legends. Attempts by Sierra Club to use and abuse them will likely not succeed over time except for the small percentage that become eco terrorists with similar percentage impact as Taliban recruits from madrasahs in Pakistan.

  13. What the researchers are missing is that PEOPLE LIE —– they spoof surveys — they get a kick out of giving weird answers.

    Ask anyone who was at uni in the 1960’s — extra bucks earned for going to the Psych Building and signing up to get paid to mess up someone’s research by giving odd and misleading answers while being paid to take part in some study — very anti-establishment.

    • And in states with open primaries like Wisconsin they vote for the worst candidate the other party is running. I didn’t vote for Mrs. Clinton in the primary because it was well known by that time she had it in the bag. But I would have crossed over and voted for that loser had it not been decided yet.

    • I wish it were a send up by millennials, but I see consistency in belief in agw and flat earth belief. I submit it is a result of the monumental collapse of critical thinking skills over the last several decades. Everyone has to have a guru to teach them what the “real” truth is. In the sixties we were taught to be skeptical of authority (except our guru). The millenials are taught postmodernism. From “test everything, hold to that which is true” to “everything is relative, you have your truth, I have mine,” it’s devolution to a herd of (shall we say?) zombies. Settled science my nether parts. Real science is still hammering at relativity.

    • Yeah. I remember a survey that showed that 83% of Swedish teenagers had watched porn on the internet. Some insightful person noted that the survey showed that 17% of swedish teenagers lies when asked whether they have watched internet porn.

  14. Good discussion of both the problems with polling and milennials. Someone should bring up John Vasconcellos, the California politician who was a leader in the “self-esteem” movement. H e would have approved of participation trophies.

  15. Surveys and polls have no redeeming value. They are the building blocks of group-think and the weapons of consensus mind control. They are the enemy of creative thought, intellect and imagination. They are the best friend of would-be dictators, the reason why music has deteriorated to electronic ear-pablum, and most new movies have numbers after them. They are the mechanism by which the tyranny of the majority is inflicted on free individuals.

    • Along those lines, what kind of crummy statement is this: “I have always believed the world is round.”

      It has many problems. It seems unaware that the earth is an oblate spheroid, and not ’round’ at all, unless that term is defined clearly. It also includes an historical spin via the word ‘always’, which excludes people learning about the form of the world at some point, or (at least) the beginning of awareness of belief. Hmm… that last word is a problem, too. Why is ‘belief’ anything to do with thoughts about what is true.


  16. We could exploit this roundness for tansportation. Tunnel into the earth on a shallow straight heading and roll in on rails under gravity. Half way, you would stop, of course and take an elevator up to the surface using free electricity from windmills. For very large centers like New York, Chicago…you would tunnel in and continue until you re- appeared back on the surface with Chicago, say, halfway between portals. This way you could have rails in both directions for getting to Chicago.

    I would put a sarc tag in, but hey, the solar windy folk don’t use arc tags – my carbon free transportation is in their league.

    • Better put the entrances away from sources of water. They discovered in Chicago not long ago what happens when you poke a hole in a subterranean tunnel.

      Oh, and the energy required to dig the tunnels, and produce the steel for the rails… another matter.

      They’ll still go for it, if pitched right.

    • This has been a serious discussion for at least 50 years. The point is you wouldn’t stop half way. You free fall and then decelerate almost to your end point where some small amount of energy input gets you to your goal. Theory works. Technology and resources are “minor” sticking points. The remake of “Total Recall” uses the concept. I suspect the flat earth thing would put the kabosh on it anyway:)

  17. I dated a woman about a year and a half ago, a grown woman in her late 50, very nice looking and very fit. On our second date, we were having pizza and she started talking all kinds of crazy stuff. Then she leaned towards me and whispered that the moon landings never happened and that the earth is really flat. I’m not kidding.

    That was my last date with her and my first (an only so far) experience with somebody who believes in these crazy ideas. That said, my current girlfriend is a hard-core socialist and she usually calls me a science denier when the temperature goes up or a storm happens somewhere. Yet she often suggests getting my horoscope fully read and analyzed or may mention the psychic who gave her a ‘reading’ a little while back… (I got an earful from her yesterday on the news of Trump, Cohen, and Manafort and all the things that happened with their court verdicts and then had to watch an hour of Rachell Maddow last night. Yikes, not fun!)

    On a related note, I’ve met a lot of people who think jet contrails are chemtrails, both right and left wingers. I reply back to them that the only way I’d believe there was something to them is if a credible scientist charted a jet plane and flew into the exhaust streams of some high flying jets, both who were leaving a trail and not leaving a trail and took air samples of their exhausts and then had the air samples analyzed for differences. When I tell them this, it doesn’t sway them in the least, they are adamant that they are being poisoned or that the earth’s climate is being cooled or messed with.
    Oh, and the woman who told me the earth is flat thinks the “chemtrails” are being used to deposit materials on the earth so that everything can catch on fire easier. : )

    • “and then had to watch an hour of Rachell Maddow last night. Not fun!”

      That’s got to be rough! Torture, even.

    • Kramer I’m a mechanic on commercial jets and it doesn’t help in dealing with chemtrail people. One said the government puts the stuff in the fuel so I as a maintenance guy wouldn’t know. How he knows is still a mystery.

    • Well, the chemtrail people are sorta right. Jets leave behind the chemicals water and CO2, both of which can suffocate you. Both are greenhouse gasses too.

      • Jeff, you need to make it more alarmist sounding:

        Jets leave behind the greenhouse gas chemicals CO2 and DiHydrogen Monoxide (the most deadly of the greenhouse gases) if we don’t do something about it now (at great expense to the taxpayer), we’re all going to die!

    • Dude, ditch that psycho. I told my woman before we were engaged if she voted for Hillary I’d leave her. I wasn’t kidding.
      BTW, no one ever goes back to statism once they understand voluntaryism. My woman, an architect, couldn’t believe the way she thought 2 years ago when she first met me.

      Amazing what two years of incessant logic and questioning everything does for one’s mind.
      What a difference!

      There isn’t a hot enough, sexually insatiable, incredible in bed enough woman that would ever get a moment of my time is she were a socialist or watched Rachel wishes she had a dingus madcow. That thing is an abortion to humanity.

      Trust me, you can and will do better, or you better learn voluntaryism because conservativism isn’t sufficient to change them. They are broken

  18. I could not honestly claim that “I have always believed the world is round.”

    I have no knowledge of what I believed prior to age about 4.

      • I think 90-some percent of the readers of this site had the very same reaction to that question. It makes me wonder whether the people who wrote that that question were blind to what they were actually asking, or whether they merely wanted to form the question in a way to get interesting results.

        On another note, when someone asks me “May I ask what you are doing” I always answer “Yes”.
        They may ask, I’m not promising to answer. Most people don’t realized what they actually asked, so just look puzzled.


    • In 1954 at primary school I was given an atlas (which I still have). I immediately noticed that South America fits neatly into the corner of Africa. I pointed this out to several adults, who ridiculed the idea that the continents could move around.

      • Identical thing happened to me in 1958. Teacher said others in the past had that idea, but science had shown it to be wrong.

        • Technically, science cannot prove or disprove the idea, only supply evidence in one direction or the other. No one was there and no one can know.

          • Sheri,

            Science now can observe seafloor spreading and measure the speed of “continental drift”, so the fact that the continents move isn’t in doubt.

            It can also show that the directions in which they are moving, the distribution of rocks and fossils and every other evidence supports the conclusion that Africa and South America were conjoined for over 100 million years.

  19. This is an ad hominen attack, usually made by a low IQ person to try and impress other low IQ people.
    If you consider a flight from Los Angeles to New York, the Great Circle Distance is not that different from the “Flat Earth Distance”, the Rhumb Line.
    Indeed, before we had GPS, many navigators would use a straight line on a flat map.
    So, did the navigator actually believe the Earth is flat.

    • Walt D.

      If you consider a flight from Los Angeles to New York, the Great Circle Distance is not that different from the “Flat Earth Distance”, the Rhumb Line.
      Indeed, before we had GPS, many navigators would use a straight line on a flat map.
      So, did the navigator actually believe the Earth is flat.

      Well, the explicit purpose of the Mercator Projection method was to present the illusion of a flat earth specifically because the navigators (ship and airplane) needed to plot a straight-line curved course on a flat map of a spherical earth. Once adequate latitude-longitude points were pulled off of the Mercator projection map, the navigators would replot those points on area scaled maps to get the daily (hourly) course needed to approximate the arc. The pilot (or ship’s officer of the deck) used the scaled map, not the big one.

  20. Anthony, why don’t you do a poll on this site.
    1) Do you think the Earth is flat?

    2) Do you believe that Climate never changes?

    Publish the results.
    (You are not allowed to use 97% ! )

          • Basically it stands for the likelihood of the statement in the parentheses being true. I am saying the likelihood of the earth being flat is the same as the likelihood of climate change never happening. Since I am certain the earth is not flat and that climate does change, I am declaring the likelihood of each statement to be 0 and therefore the probability of the earth being flat is the same as the probability that the climate will never change.

      • Longer answer: surface of oceans is a sphere equidistant from the barycenter of the Earth-moon gravitational field. (or would be if moon was tidally locked with the Earth’s rotation). This means the surface of the ocean is perpendicular to the gravity that you feel when you gaze upon the sea. That is the definition of level. The sea surface is flatter than the the land surface because it has less rigidity, but both curve on such a grand scale that it takes well over a mile to curve down 1 foot from a straight line.


      • But the sea is not level. One of the first clues that led thinking people to surmise the Earth is round(ish). When a ship is approaching the first thing to come into sight was the topsails.

  21. Even more oddly, the majority of the ~18% of survey respondents who didn’t believe the Earth was round(ish) also didn’t believe it was flat

    Only odd if you don’t read the survey. The options were, always believed it was round, always believed it was flat, used to believe it was round but am now skeptical, or always believed it was flat but am now skeptical. The percentages also include “other / not sure”.

  22. I surmise that the group who said it wasn’t round were the best educated. Of course it isn’t ROUND like a penny is round: it is roughly SPHERICAL- an oblate spheroid to be pedantic

    • Round is relative. Earth is about as round as a billiard ball… despite being an oblate spheroid.

  23. It is actually quite small the number of people that are correct in believing that the Earth is not round, but an oblate spheroid. Flat Earthers and Round Earthers are wrong.

    Educated people in the times of Columbus already knew that the Earth was close to a sphere (hint: the shadow of the eclipses). The Greeks had already measured the circumference a couple of times. The discussion was about how big it was, because a correct size meant the Indies were out of reach. Columbus thought it was small, and so he was wrong, but nobody knew there was an entire undiscovered continent between Europe and Asia. The vikings didn’t tell anybody, and probably were unaware of what they had stumbled upon.

    • The Scandinavians knew there was land west of Iceland (Greenland), and since Greenlanders had requested Roman Catholic priests, so did the Vatican. Columbus had sailed up to Scandinavia, so he certainly knew about Greenland, if not Newfoundland.

      2 groups of people in 15th century Europe definitely knew that the Earth was a sphere:
      1. Educated, such as the priesthood and royalty because, as you noted, the Greeks knew.
      2. Sailors, because they experience the Earth’s curvature daily. (hint: crow’s nest lookout)

      None knew because they had seen roundness in the Moon’s shadow on the Earth. At over 2,000 miles across, only a tiny part of it can be experienced.

      I’ve seen the edge of the Earth’s shadow fall upon the Moon, but it was so fuzzy edged I couldn’t be sure of a curvature that wasn’t due to the Moon being a sphere. Even if the curved edge of the Earth’s shadow was clearly visible, how could one know it wasn’t because the Earth was a round, flat disc that always faced the Moon?

      For me, the strongest visual evidence that the Moon is a sphere (not just a disc always facing the Earth) is the curvature of the terminator visible on the Moon except at quarter Moon (half phase). This combination of curvedness and straightness only works if the Moon is a sphere.


      • In the Europe of 1492, most people knew that Earth is roughly spherical, not just the clergy and mariners. Even Iberian Visigoths in the seventh century knew this.

        The flat earth myth regarding Columbus was made up by early 19th century American fantasist Washington Irving.

        Besides the size of Earth was the issue of the extent eastward of Asia. Columbus underestimated the size and overestimated the extent.

        He probably knew that land lay not much farther west than the longitudes of Iceland and the Azores, ie within sailing distance of late 15th century ships. In both places as a mariner, he heard stories of land to the west. Greenland had been abandoned by the Norse earlier in the 15th century. In the Azores, bodies sometimes washed ashore which didn’t look like Christians. And sailing west of the Azores, one might encounter signs of land to the west, such as floating vegetation coming from and sea birds heading toward that direction.

        So he was willing to bet that the Greeks’ pretty good estimate of the size of the Earth was too big. In any case, the issue was its size, not the shape.

        • Only Queen Isabella fell for his claim that the Earth was smaller than Eratosthenes calculated.

          I think he believed Eratosthenes was correct about the size of the Earth. His line about the Spice Islands being within sailing range was a ploy to get funding so he could explore westward for new lands. I think his gamble was that if there was land within sailing range in the north (Iceland and Greenland) there was probably land within sailing range in the south.

          He never expected to sail all the way west to the Spice islands. He found land at the approximate distance he claimed the Spice Islands to be to the west. Had he believed he had reached the eastern edge of the Indies, he would have reprovisioned and continued his journey westward. Instead, he sails back to Spain and claims he almost got there.

          Even on his second and third trips west he never went any further west. Clearly He believed there was a lot of ocean between his new lands and the Indies.


          • Columbus was right as to where he thought he’d find land, but he still thought that he was in the Indies. That’s why he thought he saw a minaret on Cuba.

            So IMO he wasn’t lying. He really thought that Earth was smaller than it is and Asia extended farther east than it does. IMO the information he gained in Iceland and the Azores convinced him that Asia was reachable. I don’t think he imagined that two new continents lay in the Ocean Sea.

          • I thought I saw maps of his explorations throughout the Caribbean, and he definitely went west of where he established his “colony”.

  24. It isn’t perfectly round, the best description I could find was that it’s a bumpy oblate spheroid – maybe some of the respondents actually know more/are more pedantic, than the survey setter!

  25. It may be the question: “I have always believed the world is round.”

    When I was 4 I didn’t believe the earth was round or spherical, so I would have to answer no to that question. Since then I have believed it to be round/spherical, but which category would I be in if the poll doesn’t take into account that kind of honest answer?

  26. One of my jobs was designing and contracting with polling firms for public opinion polling and focus groups. There are reasonably good pollsters and some big named truly awful pollsters. The 2016 election clearly indicated that the last out numbers the first. Some of the worst polling groups are at universities. Against my judgement I was required to contract with one of them. Many of those designing polling apparently took a course called “statistics for non-statisticians.” On one survey, in spite of contract requirements, they didn’t stratify the sample prior to conducting the survey, then collected the data, only then tried to stratify the sample, and then applied the most basic of statistics. Before providing us with survey results they went to the news media with their “profoundly amazing results”. It was not pretty. We were lucky because even the reporter they tried to use didn’t believe their results and came to us.

    Polling has always had problems. They require extremely careful design, sampling stratification and a good use of the statistical model. However the world has changed dramatically when it comes to polling. Besides polling being misused, misreported, selectively reporter, just getting a reasonable accurate sample is tough due to call screening, mobile phones, etc. My rules of thumb for political polling are (1) if the answer is more than yes, no and no comment I pay little attention. (2) if the results show close to a 50-50 split I ignore the results, (3) if they results are a 60-40 split or more then I begin to pay attention, though I delve into the “banners and tabs” if available. And (4) if the no comment, don’t know, undecided or similar answer is more than 20% again I pay little attention to that specific poll.

    • Edwin,
      Though I am long retired, in my corporate life one of the areas of responsibility which always landed in my lap was market research due to the fact that I had significant statistical educational background. Obtaining samples which were truly representative of the population from which one was attempting to obtain information was always the key issue, ie, sampling. Interview methodology had significant effect upon the accuracy of results along with question and questionnaire design. At times I used structured panels such as those offered by organizations such as NFO. All in all obtaining results which accurately predicted behavior were many times hit or miss. In the real world sometimes people really don’t know or just won’t tell you. Personal interviews, telephone interviews, mail interviews, or structued panels all have their pros and cons. Tabulating what people actually do vs demographic information was sometimes very helpful in predicting what they would do next. Stratified samples, with significant enough sample size in each cell was also very useful. Focus groups were a joke and only marginally useful in questionnaire design at best.

  27. The baby boomer pastime of crapping on Millennials carries on, I see. You really don’t understand the generation you birthed and raised, do you? If somebody asked me, unironically, “do you believe the earth is round?” My first thought is, time for some fun, and my answer would be.. “no… I believe it’s shaped like a starfish and smells like raspberries and has a big unicorn horn sticking out of the side of it that barfs rainbows at the moon!” What this poll represents and what the post represents is the desire of closed-minded old farts to bash the younger generation just like they were bashed (and rightfully so) when they were young. Just more entitlement from the ME generation. My attitude got you mad? In the words of Boomers everywhere, TOO BAD.

    • Now that you have that rant off your chest, do you have anything intelligent you want to add to the conversation?

    • You really don’t understand the generation you birthed and raised, do you? If somebody asked me, unironically, “do you believe the earth is round?” My first thought is, time for some fun, and my answer would be.. “no… I believe it’s shaped like a starfish and smells like raspberries and has a big unicorn horn sticking out of the side of it that barfs rainbows at the moon!”

      With all due respect to “the generation;” it would appear you’re argument for these answers is to blame your parents for birthing and raising a smarta**?

      Why exactly is that mommy and daddy’s fault now that it would seem you’re grown up enough to, in Mark’s words, “rant” on the subject matter?

    • I think a fair number of my boomer cohorts went in for the starfish, raspberry, unicorn thing also. That may be why I was not attracted by their joints and sugar cubes.

  28. “the scientifically established view on the cause of global warming”

    “But it was impossible to reconcile the data with the original report’s results for a number of technical reasons,”

    “Although there are transparency standards in survey research, such as the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls, they are, regrettably, not universally followed.”

    Oh, the irony.

    A negative self-awareness of this magnitude forces us to reconsider not just whether the Earth is round, but whether the entire space-continuum may, in fact, be bent.

  29. Really, why would anyone respond to such a poll honestly? Wouldn’t such questions bring out the inner troll in all of us?

  30. Somewhere there is a video of graduating seniors at an ivy league school trying to explain the seasons. It is sobering to think of the resources spent educating them, and what results.

  31. During the Apache Wars, a group of warriors being held prisoner at a Texas military base was asked if they knew the world was round. No, they all thought it quite obvious the world was flat. The officer in charge asked them to consider how, when they traveled away from a mountain on a flat plain, the mountain appeared to sink into the earth. He then made a diagram to show why this was so. They understood and accepted the explanation but failed to see why they should care.

    • I’m surprised an Apache didn’t respond that as the distance to the mountain increased, of course the angle of the line of sight to the peak lessened. He might add that in his experience a man’s apparent height reduced with distance even while his feet were still visible. (not yet over the horizon)

      P.S. My experience of approaching the Rockies from the east was that the plains may be flat, but they are tilted up on the side nearest the Rockies. This tilt means the base of the mountains is visible as far away as details can be made out. If you are far enough away for the base of the mountains to be over the horizon, a local ridge is already blocking the view.


  32. My bet is thst except for a tiny number of mentally ill people nearly all those claiming to believe in “flat earth” are indulging in trolling.
    The music video is incredible!! lololol

  33. There used to be a globe in every classroom. Orbits within the solar system were a big deal. Now there is apparently just global warming brainwashing.

  34. “I have always believed the world is round.”
    Not only invites a negative response because its spheroid but also because they believed it was flat when they were 5yo. How hard is it to write a proper survey?
    And now my pet hate. The very left leaning online Encyclopedia Britannica on Columbus no longer points out that the flat earth myth is that it was never believed.

  35. What are they smoking? The Earth is round and “our civilization actually exists on the inside of the globe. We are held fast to the ground not by gravity, but by centrifugal force as the Earth rotates. The stars, so goes the theory, are twinkling chunks of ice suspended high in the air, and the illusion of day and night is caused by a rotating central sun that is half brilliant, half dark.”


  36. I wonder if respondents to this 2017 Gallup poll on evolution lied.


    It shows that only 38% of Americans surveyed now agree that, “God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years”. That’s the lowest level of support for Young Earth Creationism found in 35 years.

    Even so, that’s still twice as many (19%) who believe that, “human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process”. Another 30% thought that evolution with God somehow involved was the ticket, for overall support for some kind of evolution at 49%.

    Big differences in geography, religious belief and education level have been found in such surveys of US opinion.

        • Sheri, I don’t think Sgt meant the Bible says the Earth is flat. I think he said silly Millenials believing the Earth is flat is comparable with silly Christians believing statements found in the Bible are true. His point was that since many people believe silly things, those Millenials may have actually believed the Earth is flat, that they may not have been kidding the pollsters.

          On the question of whether the Bible says the Earth is flat, see:

          Job 26:10 English Standard Version (ESV)

          He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters
          at the boundary between light and darkness.
          (Other translations use “compass”, which means “circle”)

          This is the Earth’s terminator – the curving edge of the sunlit side of the Earth. It makes a circle because the Earth is a sphere. The Bible reveals that the Earth is a sphere by describing a view of the Earth from space at a time in history when none could have known the terminator makes a circle, or that there is a terminator.


          • Okay, but I find people who call religion silly to be offensive. One could equally claim the silly ones are the nonbelievers.

          • I didn’t call religion silly.

            I’m merely stating what the Bible plainly says, taking its meaning literally.

          • Steve,

            You are correct as to my point.


            The Earth is clearly flat in the Bible, to include both Testaments. For the Old Testament, that’s no surprise, since the standard Near Eastern cosmological model was a flat Earth covered by a solid dome. Until the beginning of Greek science c. 600 BC, that was also the classical European “consensus”.

            An Old Testament passage showing a flat Earth is Isaiah 11:12 (KJV):

            “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

            A globe-shaped Earth does not have corners. Other translations render “corners” as “quarters”. The Hebrew word, also used in the same way in Ezekiel 7 and twice in Job, is כַּנְפ֥וֹת (“kanaph”).

            The Greek equivalent is so used in Revelation 7:1, ie γωνίας (“gonias”).

            Another New Testament passage showing a flat Earth is Matthew 4:8 (KJV):

            “Again, the devil taketh him (Jesus) up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them”.

            Obviously, this would not be possible on an Earth shaped like a ball.

            When you combine passages such as these with those showing an immovable Earth, supported by pillars, over which the sun passes, and covered by a “firmament” or “vault of heaven”, it is clear that biblical cosmology is that of the ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, which is only to be expected.


            In the OT, God walks upon the vault of heaven, from which hang the stars, which can fall to Earth. He opens and closes the storehouses of snow, rain and other precipitation. God also sits on the edge of the Earth, from whence people look to Him like insects. He personally laid the foundation of the motionless Earth.

            Isaiah 40:22 (KJV):

            “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:”

            The Hebrew word here translated as “circle” is elsewhere rendered “circuit”, as in “edge”. It also shows, yet again, that the heavens are solid. In Genesis the Hebrew word for the dome of heaven is “raqiyeh”, an onomatopoetic word, like English “racket”, which means something pounded out, as a bowl.

          • Sgt,

            When I look at any weather site on the internet, watch any weather program on TV, read the weather page in any newspaper, I see or hear “The sun sets at xx:xx” and “The sun rises tomorrow at xx:xx”. – The sun clearly circles the Earth in our culture. That is what I might think if I took what was plainly printed (or plainly said), taking the meaning literally, just as you said you do of the Bible. Of course, we all know the phrases “sunrise” and “sunset” are not literal , but are descriptive. The sun merely appears to rise and set. I should not take a phrase literally when it was used descriptively, figuratively, metaphorically or any other way not meant to be literal.

            And neither should you. Yet, that is what you did. None of your Bible references were intended literally. Most were metaphorical or descriptive.

            “Isaiah 40:22 (KJV):

            “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:”

            The Hebrew word here translated as “circle” is elsewhere rendered “circuit”, as in “edge”.”

            You state at the end that the word “circle” means edge. Yes, it is elsewhere rendered “circuit”, and used as an equivalent for “circle”. Nowhere is it used like “edge”. The Hebrew is “chuwg” as best I can type it, meaning “a circle”

            The actual word of interest in that verse is “upon”. You quoted the KJV, which was written in English as used 400 years ago. Every version translating this verse into current English uses “above”.

            Isaiah 40:22 New International Version (NIV)
            He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
            and its people are like grasshoppers…

            This is a description of appearances. God is looking down at the Earth as if from a great height. People look like bugs on the apparently round disc of the world. This verse describes how a sphere in space would look from a distance.

            “sitting upon the edge of the Earth” is clearly wrong, as people would be up close, not distant.

            How about verses written to be understood literally:

            Job 26:7 New International Version (NIV)
            He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
            he suspends the earth over nothing.

            Job 26:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
            He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters
            at the boundary between light and darkness.

            If you take only the literal verses literally, the Bible describes a spherical Earth suspended in space, half lit by the sun.


          • SR,

            While we use “sun rise” and “sun set” figuratively, the Bible doesn’t.

            I’ve replied with some biblical passages showing a flat earth and geocentric universe, but am under moderation.

            Please check this space.


          • Sgt, I am interested in what you have to say, but I cannot agree that the Bible does not use figurative, metaphorical, descriptive, etc words and phrases:

            John 10:9
            I am the door: by me if any man enter in…

            P.S. I was in moderation for most of the night upthread, for no reason I can figure.


          • SR,

            Of course the Bible uses figurative language. But not in its Old Testament cosmology. The Greek New Testament is a very different kind of compilation of writings from the Old.

            If my citations of obviously flat earth and geocentric passages is lost forever in cyberspace, I won’t reassemble them. Knowing how often this happens, I should have saved my long, original response.

            Suffice it to say that for 1500 years all Christian denominations were in agreement that the Bible supported geocentrism. The Church abandoned the biblical flat earth from about AD 400 because Augustine wisely argued that propagation of the faith among educated pagans was more important than adherence to biblical literalism.

            So the Church accepted a spherical earth, while retaining biblical geocentrism.

          • What Church Fathers believe about the universe and what the Bible says about it definitely are not the same thing. Many verses are not understood when written. Understanding comes later when more is understood.


          • Sorry, I had to truncate my 7:59 response. I intended to say:
            Understanding comes later when more is revealed, or when world events shed light on a prophetic scripture.

            I am sure no one could make sense of Job 26:10 until photos of Earth from space were available. The 2nd half of Isaiah 40:22 was a puzzler before Edwin Hubble came along. Those Scriptures may have been put into the Bible long ago so that people of this day would realize God is the guy behind the curtain.


          • Sr,

            People made proper sense of Job 26:10 millennia before photos of Earth from space were available. It doesn’t mean what you think it means. Much of Job was indeed obscure, however, until elucidated by the discovery of the Ugaritic texts.

            That goes double for the 2nd half of Isaiah 40:22. How can you possibly imagine that a verse which has God sitting on the edge of the Earth, looking down on people, who appear as insects, bears any relation to what is now known of the Earth as a planet orbiting the sun?

            Contrary to your interpretation, the idea that the heavens are spread out like a tent, ie a solid structure, over the Earth, was one of the passages which Augustine said harmed the propagation of the faith, since educated pagans knew how unphysical it was. It’s just another version of the “firmament” or “vault of heaven”, the solid structure covering the flat Earth.

            It bears no relationship whatsoever with Edwin Hubble’s observations. You read into passages whatever you want, without justification, while declaring others obviously meant to be taken literally to be “figurative”.

            Just one question. How do you interpret Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12, in which “a man in Christ”, apparently himself, visited the Third Heaven?


            And in Ephesians 6, whom do you suppose are the “principalities and powers” with whom Christians wrestle?

            The Books of 1 and 2 Enoch will make all clear, with much else mysterious in both Testaments. Enoch, as you may recall, was the father of Methuselah, hence an ancestor of Noah. Enoch lived 365 years, then, “walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him” (Gen 5:21–24), which some Christians interpret as Enoch’s entering Heaven alive.

            The Books of Enoch (except the third, which is bogus) are now in the Jewish apocrypha, but were very popular in Jesus’ time, being the second most common book in the Essene Dead Sea Scrolls. Snippets were incorporated into the Roman canonical New Testament. All of 1 Enoch is canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and the entirety of 2 Enoch survives in the Bulgarian Orthodox canon. Bits of its Aramaic and Greek originals or version have also survived.

            There are good theological (rather than cosmological) reasons why the two books of Enoch didn’t make it into the Masoretic text of the OT, but they show what biblical cosmology truly was. Paul clearly was familiar with them.

            In the apocryphal books, Enoch visited the ten heavens, saw God both from afar and close up, and encountered various angels, fallen and not, to include principalities and powers. There is no way to equate 21st century cosmology with the heavens described in Enoch and in the canonical Bible. One of the heavens has the constellations, and in the next heaven lives the personage responsible for moving them.

            Nowhere in the Bible is Earth a spherical planet going around the sun, with outer space between it and its sister planets, with the whole system orbiting the galactic barycenter. Not even close.

            I refer you to John Calvin, to whom it was obvious that biblical cosmology didn’t reflect physical reality. For him, it was the waters above the firmament. His explanation was perfectly rational. The author of the first creation story in Genesis was writing for a prescientific audience. He took standard Mesopotamian and Egyptian cosmology (reworking old myths about which Calvin had no knowledge) and injected the God of Abraham into it. No problem. What mattered to him, as to Augustine, was the propagation of the True Faith, ie revelation of doctrinal issues critical to salvation, not the lack of science in the Bible.

          • If you look for it, you can see that scriptures using phrases like ‘Pillars of the Earth, the vault of the heavens, are indeed metaphorical or figurative, etc. It isn’t that God was saying one thing for then, and another for now. It is and was, that God speaks to us using concepts we can understand. The pillars of the Earth in first Samuel 2:8 are figurative. The wordage tells people in 1000 BC that God maintains the Earth. They would know the pillars are figurative because Job 26:7 was written earlier. Yes, they paid that close of attention.


          • SR,

            My long list of flat earth and geocentric passages appears permanently lost or moderated out for some reason.

            So I’ll just comment on Job 26:10, which does not imply with a spherical Earth.

            “He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.”

            This passage probably refers merely to the horizon as seen at sea, the line that terminates light and commences darkness, called here עד תכלית אור עם חשך ad tachlith or im chosech, giving “until the completion of light with darkness”.

            Or, if תכלית tachlith here be the same as תכלת techeleth, in Exodus 25:4 and elsewhere, translated as “blue”, it may mean that somber sky-blue appearance of the horizon at the time of twilight, i.e., between light and darkness; the line where the one is terminating and the other commencing.

            Or, He so circumscribes the waters, retaining them in their own place, that they shall not be able to overflow the earth until day and night, that is, time itself, comes to an end.

            But most likely the first interpretation, IMO.

            Nowhere in the Bible are the vault of heaven or pillars of the earth figurative. As shown by Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Canaanite myth and art, the ancients thought of the earth as flat and covered by a dome. The sun ran over earth under the dome, then returned to the place of his rising, either under the earth or outside of the dome.

            The earth-dome complex is surrounded by waters below and waters above, not by outer space. God walks on the solid dome, from which hang the singing stars. He personally operates the levers of the storehouses of snow and other precipitation on the dome.

            “Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see; And He walks on the vault of heaven.” Job 22:14 (NASB)

            “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?” Job 38:22-23 (NIV)

            The Book of Enoch was the second most popular among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which belonged to Jesus’ sect, the Essenes. The book didn’t make it into the Hebrew Masoretic text (7th to 10th centuries AD), upon which Christian OTs are based, because Enoch went straight to heaven, like Jesus.

            Bits of Enoch are quoted in the Bible, but only the Ethiopian Orthodox canon preserves the whole book. It makes clear the ancient cosmology underlying passages in the canons lacking Enoch.

          • Sgt,

            Many words have multiple meanings, and multiple uses foe each meaning, and multiple derivatives. A simple example is the word “day”. It can be used to indicate a period of time equivalent to 24 hours, or just the sunlit portion of each 24 hours. We decide which is meant from context.

            Note the word “vault”. It derives from the Latin “volvere” which means to “travel a circular course”. Revolve, as in planets revolve, also derives from this word. “vault” merely means “curved”. A vaulted ceiling is called that because it is formed into a circular curve, not because it is solid. A soap bubble is a vault. A dome is one form of a vaulted ceiling. Think of it as an arch that has been rotated around its apex. Domes are hemispheres (semi-spheres).
            Again, “vault” means “circular curve”

            He walks on the vault of heaven.” Job 22:14 (NASB)

            “Vault” is rendered in 16 translations, as “dome” in 4 translations, as “circuit” in 6 translations, and as “circle” in 6 translations.

            The Hebrew is “chuwg”, commonly understood as meaning “circle’ or “circuit”.

            Many translations use “in” or “above” instead of “on”.

            KJV … and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.

            Sgt, I don’t think your claim that “vaulted heaven” = literal solid dome, is confirmed by the text at all. That phrase is just as figurative as our modern phrase “celestial dome”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky

            Job 26:10 has always been problematic for translators, because they couldn’t make sense of it. It contains that same Hebrew word “chuwg”, meaning circle or circuit.

            Job 26:10 He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.

            “Chuwg” often gets translated, as above, as”horizon”. This is a problem because the horizon at sea does not actually divide light from dark. In my experience, during the day the horizon divides light blue from darker blue, unless the sky is overcast, then it divides 2 shades of gray. During the night it divides dim from very dim. I think “light and darkness” is context that disallows the use of “horizon”. Thus 19 translations use “circle”, the most straight forward translation.

            Job 26:10 also contains ‘owr, meaning light, or daylight;
            choshek, meaning darkness, or night;
            ad, meaning “as far as”, used for distance or time (until);
            and choq, meaning decree, enactment, appointed, bound.

            So many possibilities just could not be resolved. That is, until you see a picture like this: https://twistedsifter.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/earth-terminator-from-space-nasa.jpg

            Job 26:10 NASB
            He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters At the boundary of light and darkness.

            P.S. If you still hold to your position, Sgt, there is no point in us going further.


          • SR,

            Were the firmament not solid, God could not be said to walk on it in order to let precipitation fall down from the storehouses of the rain, snow, hail, etc.

            The Hebrew word “raqiya”, translated in the Greek Septuagint as “stereoma” and thence by Jerome into Latin as “firmamentum”, whence English “firmament” literally means something pounded out.

            The firmament, dome or vault of heaven is variously described in the Bible as crystalline, metallic or spread over Earth like a tent, but always solid. The biblical flat Earth is surrounded by the waters above the firmament and the waters below, not by outer space.

            Earth in the Bible is flat, covered by a solid dome. No other interpretation of its plain words is possible. The passages in which God Himself lays the foundations of the Earth with his own hands aren’t figurative, but meant literally.

          • RA,

            Is that question directed to me?

            There are tendentious translations which try lamely to render “raqiya” as “expanse”, but they’re totally bogus.

            The word, like English “racket”, is an example of onomatopoeia. The Greek-speaking Jewish scholars at Hellenistic Alexandria who translated the Septuagint in the last centuries BC rendered it as “stereoma”, having to do with firmness and solidity.


            The Greek root is “stereoo”, which means to make solid, firm, strong or strengthen. The ancient Hebrew scholars knew what “raqiya” meant.

            It’s not just in the first creation story in Genesis in which the firmament or vault of heaven appears. Everywhere in the Bible, the Earth is flat and covered by a solid dome.

    • ” Another 30% thought that evolution with God somehow involved was the ticket, for overall support for some kind of evolution at 49%.”

      Adding the 30% for God directed evolution to the 38% believing God created humans within the last 10,000 years yields 68% believing God made humans compared to only 19% believing in no God.

      Interesting that the percent of people who believe that life could spontaneously start up (19%) is so close to the percent of Millenials (17.5%) who claim to doubt the Earth is round.


  37. I have been warning people for years. I have been mocked by WUWT readers.

    (The following isn’t truthism.)

    Why do people accept the official WTC structural failure explanation?

    Maybe because it’s sound. But then, the same people get their news from sources that still can’t use the correct unit for energy (while claiming that energy is the most serious issue in geopolitics or for Earth survival) or ionizing radiation dose rate, many years after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. So these people wouldn’t be able to recognize a sound description of a structural failure. Not credible.

    They accept an explanation because it sounds legit, it comes from a trusted source, or they like it.

    You can’t tell x people accept the official explanation when these people have not been exposed to the “refutation” of that official explanation. They accept it by default. Until every person has heard the 9-11 truth “arguments” you can’t say anything.

    Round Earth came from a trusted source and they accepted it. Now the Internet says there is a debate on the shape of Earth so maybe it’s flat, trihedral or a torus.

    Same for the Apollo missions, some people believe they happened as described only because they worship NASA. Nothing NASA did or might have done can be questioned.

    For the same reason, until someone vaccinated has been in contact with a pathogen, you can’t say anything about the effectiveness of the vaccine.

    • And if people HAVE researched it, you likely will call them stupid or an idiot and dismiss them for disagreeing with you. I’ve seen it—NOTHING is evidence to those who “BELIEVE”.

  38. Did you consider that the actual questions asked might have affected the way people responded?

    For instance, asking someone to agree with the statement “I have always believed the earth is round”, might elicit a “no” response from someone if they remember that as a 7 year old kid they assumed it was flat, because that was their life experience at that time.

    This survey result should probably be ignored because many people, if being totally honest, could not agree that they had “always” thought the earth was round.

  39. According to special theory of relativity, if you’re approaching Earth’s north pole from space at 99.9999999999999% the speed of light, Earth would be a flat disk 12,768 km in diameter and 56.8 cm thick.
    According to general theory of relativity, only the Earth’s two-dimensional surface is round. Earth’s three-dimensional space is flat. To prove this, three points on Earth’s surface connected by three lines on the surface form a triangle with angles greater than 180 degrees. But connect the north pole, south pole and a point on the equator by three lines passing inside Earth, they form a triangle with angles equal to 180 degrees.

    She’s not a flat Earther or a millennial


  40. Polls are garbage

    Take this propaganda BS poll:


    “82% of Americans say the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine should be required for healthy schoolchildren in order to reduce public health risk”

    OK then they tell us 4 in 5 Americans are so brainwashed then want to suspend basic rights, constitutional right to privacy and the Nuremberg code because “health”.

    (…)”parents should be able to decide not to have their children vaccinated even if that creates health risks for others”

    So the pollster or shall I say fraudster is putting his absurd propaganda claim in the question, so any answer has to include the propaganda. And no answer “this is a propaganda BS poll” is proposed, which in itself nullifies the exercice.

    But then:

    “55% of Americans perceive strong consensus among medical scientists that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is safe for healthy children.”

    Nearly half of Americans DO NOT see a consensus on MMR vaccine safety. But “An overwhelming majority of Americans (82%) support requiring all healthy schoolchildren to be (MMR) vaccinated”. LOL

    “Nearly half of Americans (47%) say that medical scientists understand very well the risks and benefits of the MMR vaccine”

    More than half of Americans don’t even say that scientists fully understand the risks and benefits of MMR. LOL

    “Some 52% say that scientists’ research on childhood vaccines is influenced by the best available evidence most of the time,”

    Half of Americans are not convinced that medical research is based on the evidence even most of the time. IOW they don’t believe it’s scientific. IOW half Americans distrust most researchers.

    So one third of Americans support mandatory injections of drugs that are the product of research that isn’t correctly done most of the time, by people who don’t mostly care of the well being of the children, who don’t understand the risks and benefits well…


    This is a as phony as a Russia interfered in our vaccines study and a Mull her probe combined.

  41. Didn’t run the Micah Tyler video — guy has a look of anger, intolerance, ignorance and hate. Exactly what they are taught.

    • OK, watched it, he’s making fun of ’em. My bad — he’s a good Joe.

      And, to add to the topic, something like 60% of millennials think socialism (communism) is OK? WTF?!? Are they completely loony? Do they not understand even the tiniest modicum of very recent history and even current events?

  42. And as we say in the UK, they could have just been pulling your plonker Mr Polster.

    Stupid questions tend to bring forth stupid answers.

  43. Of course the earth is not flat! I know this because when the aliens abducted me I was able to see the earth from their spaceship orbiting high above our “round” planet.

  44. All that is shown by a survey to the average population about whether the Earth is flat or not, is that a large percentage of the population will think it is some kind of joke, and thus give a joking response….I think I would answer “flat” myself, just to poke fun at “dumbness researchers” with their smarter-than-everyone-else attitude.

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