Don't stop with creationism; teach flat Earth theory, too
By Robert N. Bostrom
This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the Flat Earth Society's founding, and I'm sorry to say that the media have largely ignored our organization and its contribution to contemporary thinking and the quality of life.
The society was founded to defend the right of Americans to insist on equal treatment by the school systems and a balanced approach to the teaching of science. It has been well established that the beliefs of individuals must be considered when schools design curricula.
Imagine the feelings of a child whose family believes in a flat Earth and has to hear that some of their most precious beliefs are ignored, or worse, derided. Oppressive government and lock-step educational institutions insist that they know everything, in spite of the massive evidence to the contrary.
If you've ever been to Kansas, you know the Earth is flat. If you've been up in a lighthouse and looked out at the ocean, you can see that this planet is as flat as can be. In spite of the evidence of our senses, schools everywhere in America are continuing to teach about the round Earth as if it were an established fact and not just a theory, which it is.
We of the Flat Earth Society want equal time in the schools to see that our point of view is presented as an alternative to the established view that the Earth is round. We want to start out by having the globes in schools and publicly funded institutions carry a warning sign that they represent only one view of the shape of the Earth and that other theories are worth our attention.
All of the so-called evidence for a round Earth theory is indirect and can be interpreted in many ways. We know that Magellan actually sailed in a great circle and not around the world as he claimed.
And recently, we have seen pictures taken by so-called astronauts that purport to show a round Earth. If you really believe the astronauts went to the moon and not to Arizona, you are dumber than we think.
Nonetheless, Flat Earth members have not had nearly as much media attention as we would like. Our friends who espouse scientific creationism have done much better, and we believe that their success has been due to the support of churches and religious organizations.
At first it may seem odd that a church would have a point of view about scientific questions, but you can't argue with success. The creationists have browbeaten school boards and departments of education into allowing mention of their theories in school science classes, and we want the same respect.
From most science teachers' point of view, a flat Earth is no more ridiculous than a magical account of creation with floods and miraculous creation from ribs and stuff. So it is obvious that we need to enlist churches in our cause, and we are negotiating with some of the more enlightened groups to support us.
We were horribly disappointed when the Catholic Church announced that Galileo was right after all, and so we have given up on it. But if anyone out there is interested in forming an alliance, we would like to talk to you. Look in your Bible; you won't find anything about a round Earth in it.
In spite of hardship, the Flat Earth Society continues its efforts, and we think the next 20 years will be better. We know that liberal newspapers will pay us little attention, so we are going to rely on word of mouth. Our word to you is to trust your senses and don't let scientists pull the wool over your eyes.
If nothing else, we want views about a round Earth treated as the theories that they really are and not established fact. Equal time is the American way.
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