Flat Earth ‘Denialism’ and the Cold War


Like virtually all pseudo-scientific theories, the confirmed findings of conventional science must be attacked, misrepresented, denigrated and misinterpreted as an attempted means to demolish any and all logical and rational opposition. What strange situation these ideas create, whereby their proponents claim to be exercising ‘free-thinking’, but in so doing concoct theories that deliberately stifle not only free-thinking, but all human scientific development and progression. If a ‘flat earth’ is real, then the entire edifice of conventional science must be ‘wrong’. This sounds extraordinarily similar to the religious rhetoric of theology, which in its purest form also denies any and all material narratives and paradigms developed over hundreds (or even thousands) of years of human intellectual endeavour. This is an illogical position to hold, regardless of how entertaining (or even ‘intriguing’) the rhetoric of the ‘Flat Earth’ Movement happens to be. I am not saying that Flat Earth enthusiasts should not hold the views that do – far from it, I fully encourage diverse thinking in every way – but rather that I see a logical issue with the propaganda Flat Earthers espouse. Why, for instance, cannot Flat Earthers align themselves with the standards of conventional science and work toward proving their theory? The answer is that as a theory, Flat Earth does not stand-up to the rigours of scientific scrutiny, and therefore constitutes a profession of ‘faith’ against that of empirical fact.

At the following link, there is a particularly ludicrous statement from the Falt Earth Society Q&A which states:

People have been into space. How have they not discovered that the earth is flat?

The most commonly accepted explanation of this is that the space agencies of the world are involved in a conspiracy faking space travel and exploration. This likely began during the Cold War’s ‘Space Race’, in which the USSR and USA were obsessed with beating each other into space to the point that each faked their accomplishments in an attempt to keep pace with the other’s supposed achievements. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the conspiracy is most likely motivated by greed rather than political gains, and using only some of their funding to continue to fake space travel saves a lot of money to embezzle for themselves.

In light of the above, please note that we are not suggesting that space agencies are aware that the earth is flat and actively covering the fact up. They depict the earth as being round simply because that is what they expect it to be.’

The lunacy of this position is this: Although the capitalist USA and Socialist USSR competed at every possible level of existence to prove their respective socio-economic systems superior to the other, (i.e. through political, economic, military, scientific, technological, sporting, medical, cultural, art and social endeavour), and given the further fact that the USA built-up a vast nuclear arsenal to ‘destroy’ the Soviet Union – an objective justified as an act of ‘self-defence’ – whilst the USSR waited for the American working class to ‘rise-up’ and over-throw the US capitalist system from within (and thereby generate an ‘international’ friendship with the USSR), the Flat Earth Society would have us believe that both superpowers suddenly decided to ‘collude’ in a massive cover-up to ‘hide’ the fact that the Earth is ‘flat’! What would be the point in this? None at all. The USSR viewed the US as representing a primitive phase in human evolutionary development, whilst the US capitalists had no intention in empowering their own working class, let alone sharing their immense wealth. Far more logical would have been one side deliberately ‘revealing’ to the world the deceptive plan of the other. This action would have ensured a long-lasting Cold War victory for whomever got the allegation in first. As this never happened, it suggests that their was no conspiracy to hide a ‘Flat Earth’, and no point (or benefit) in propagating what would have been a false spherical world theory (and any apparent technological achievements premised upon that assumption). The idea that empirical science cannot perceive the Earth is flat (presumably due to a lack of insight), but that Flat Earthers can because they possess a superior wisdom, is delusional and nothing less than an allusion to the state of ‘grace’ supposedly experienced within the theistic religions.

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