Modern crackpots: The Flat Earth Society
I’m often intrigued by those who willfully choose to subscribe to their own realities, living in outright denial of hard-wired scientific fact. The Flat Earth Society are people of this ilk. Although they seem like a group that should have expired shortly after Magellan’s complete circumnavigation of the globe, in fact, the modern incarnation of the Society was founded in 1956. In the 20th century.
According to the mission statement on their website, their aim is “to promote and initiate discussion of Flat Earth theory as well as archive Flat Earth literature,” with forums that “act as a venue to encourage free thinking and debate.” That last bit is especially compelling. A critical thinker myself, I’m a staunch skeptic at the best of times. But I’m led to wonder how many members truly, literally believe that our terra firma is laid out more like a pizza than an orange. Is the whole thing simply an exercise in alternate thought, in refusing to take statements at face value? Is it just a nod to forgotten ideas of days long gone? Maybe it’s a satirical jab at scientific establishment, akin to the rise of the Flying Spaghetti Monster “religion.” Or is the willful ignorance of these people actually this strong?