At first glance, the flat earth movement seems to undermine everything rational in science. Mainstream media and even dissident scientists like to point out how the flat earth movement is proof that the internet can spread scientific heresy to a gullible population.
But there is a larger more nefarious agenda behind mainstream science’s attack on the flat earth movement and that attack is far far more dangerous than the “flat earth society” itself.
For those old enough to remember crop circles, you will recall that when they first appeared in fields in the UK in the 1970s, the rumors flew about how these symbols in grain fields must have been created by extraterrestrials or the paranormal and were some sort of mysterious communication. Crop circles were studied, debated, and most important: they were sensational.
But in the end, the crop circles turned out to be an elaborate prank. Those who created them came forward and revealed how they were made. The entire stunt was created to play a huge joke on we humans who can be very gullible and believe almost anything – a viral moment before the age of the internet.
The flat earth society is today’s version of crop circles. With the ubiquitous availability of the internet, today’s pranksters created a fake community complete with fake enthusiasts who would push something so scientifically absurd, that those who are perpetuating this hoax probably expected that it would quickly die a quiet death. Instead, the prank movement has not only survived, but has thrived with more pranksters and even some true believers joining in on the mayhem.
Like a skit right out of Monty Python, the prank has generated a world-wide movement that has spawned YouTube channels, websites and even conferences.
And what has the mainstream media and mainstream science done? Something no one seems to have noticed but myself and a few others and is completely predictable: they are exploiting it to repress any and all mainstream science dissenters.
Science evangelists like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye have used the flat earth prank to point out the evils of how the internet allows anyone with any crazy theory or notion to have a platform and how this is dangerous to science. They point out the immense absurdity of the primitive idea that the earth is flat and make a point as to how the masses are easily persuaded by “fake news” and in science, “bad logic”. They anoint themselves the holy crusaders of scientific truth and use their voices to slash all “fake science” in their path.
Yet, there is a bigger question: why doesn’t mainstream media and science investigate this phenomena more deeply just as they did with crop circles decades ago? Why don’t they uncover the pranksters, and declare the entire movement as just another version of crop circles? There are two simple answers and predictable answers: money and power.
Sensationalism sells. It helps create YouTube revenue for science channels who stand up to this menace to scientific truth. It is clickbait for the millions of people on the internet who love a story of people who are crazy or stupid or as the Big Science community likes to say: “don’t believe in science.”
Yet, the intentions of mainstream science convenient failure to reveal the flat earth movement as a massive prank, has a far more subtle yet sinister motive.
The flat earth movement isn’t the only movement being labeled as “science deniers”. Disputing evidence for climate change, evolution, and even vaccines have also brought out the label of “science deniers” to anyone who questions the narrative of Big Science and the money that supports it.
Likewise, this has extended to physics and cosmology where many of us have been labeled in no uncertain terms, relativity deniers, Big Bang deniers, plate tectonic deniers, particle physics deniers, and quantum mechanics deniers – all of whom are labeled “science deniers”.
Unbeknownst to the majority of the science loving population, the flat earth movement has given big science the opportunity to squash anyone who disagrees with mainstream science labeling them all as those who do not subscribe to the scientific method.
Climate change is a perfect example of this organized repression of dissident thought. If you are a person who questions the science and data behind climate change, you are labeled as crazy and someone who doesn’t believe in science. The flat earth movement has given mainstream science the license to call Anyone who questions climate change as heretics. In science, all sides of every issue need to be looked at and debated yet in today’s climate Of “science nazis” calling large parts of our population “science deniers” is not only unethical, but also has the intended effect of squashing any dissident narratives and therefore stifles the advancement of science.
As I have pointed out in my ScienceWoke article “Science Evangelists, YouTube, and the Woke Movement“, mainstream media no longer practices proper journalism. World-wide media is controlled by a handful of mega media corporations whose interest is profit before truth. Those reading the news on conventional television news channels are mouthpieces who read what is put in front of them and are chosen for their looks, not their journalistic or critical thinking skills.
Big science has their self-appointed mouthpieces that carve out their living by becoming the spokesman who are called upon by the mass media giants to, as they say, “make the complicated theories and universe more intelligible for the masses.” They explain to us that the theories are too difficult for us to understand and that only those “trained” in the accepted scientific institutions can understand why big science theory is 100% correct. Theories like global warming are stated as 99.9% fact and that having a differing opinion on the subject only shows a person’s abandonment of scientific thought.
The flat earth movement is even more perfect than the climate change deniers because unlike global warming data, there is no believable data that one can find that supports the flat earth theory. Whereas there is data and legitimate arguments against climate change, the flat earth movement is a clear and shut case which has no supporting data. It is very convenient for big science on mainstream media to use the flat earth movement as just another example of “science deniers” and to try and squelch all scientific dissents, legitimate or not.
What the flat earth movement has unintentionally revealed is the greed and power that rules the scientific community at the cost of scientific progress. It would be easy for science writers and journalists to take the time to discover that the flat earth movement is a huge prank that can be finally dismissed as an elaborate hoax and a study in human gullibility and nature and simply move on to real scientific stories. But they do not.
Science instead chooses to follow the money and keep the oppressive power of mainstream science alive and well while squashing all dissidents in their path. Actually confronting and investigating oppositional points of view in science takes away science evangelists “expertise” and allows anyone with a logical brain and critical thought to join in the conversation rendering the “complicated double talk and illogic” for what it is: an institutionalized and even bigger prank.
But, even more surprising and disappointing are the dissident science voices who also use the flat earth movement to gain popularity and followers. There are YouTube channels who claim to be open minded that have been milking the flat earth movement for all the views, likes, and clicks they can get. Their channels grow with every debate they have with the flat earthers and subscribers lap it up.
Unfortunately, like everything related to the right of free speech, the flat earth movement is used to justify a renewed call for censorship of all those big science deems as “science deniers”. Science evangelists use the flat earth movement to show just how far “bad science” can go using today’s cheap an ubiquitous information highway. Instead of allowing and supporting free discourse and disagreement, they choose oppression of the very voices that have always moved science forward: dissidents.
It is not in the interest of big science to reveal the pranksters behind the flat earth movement. Like the fake political scare tactics of “red-baiting” where politicians accuse those political dissidents of being controlled by nefarious forces, big science accuses science dissidents of not believing in science and therefore delegitimizing any new science theories or models that could advance science.
The flat earth movement will stay around as long as mainstream science chooses to use it as a distraction to their broken and illogical models of the universe that has produced countless PHDs and dozens of Nobel Prizes in the fantasy world they call the standard model.
And until someone in mainstream science takes the time to point out that the flat earth movement is simply another scientific prank put on by a group of creative jokesters, big science will continue to use it as a way to suppress scientific progress.
And progress, although great for human society, isn’t so great for those who make a living at keeping science at a arms length and a university degree away from all is who love science and want to see it move forward.