Young-earth and flat-earth views can use very similar rhetoric

(speaking of satire) I thought this was a good analysis of what happens when young-earth viewpoints try to counter flat-earth viewpoints without also countering their own.

Having grown up under similar circumstances as Libby Anne, I’d have to agree with her that the “conspiracy” nature of flat-earthism that seems so apparent to the rest of us was also quite present in YEC teachings as well. It really isn’t that big of a leap to go from one conspiracy to the other if you already believe that scientists are all lying to us.

I’d agree with Faulkner that too many people are taught more of the “what” than the “why,” but that can apply to religious communities just as much as public schools.

From the article:

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest something. Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis teach that essentially all modern scientists are lying to the public, claiming that life evolved and that the earth is billions of years old when in fact the earth was created just 6,000 years ago. Maybe—just maybe —individuals who already believe that there is a mass scientific conspiracy in one area—i.e. young earth creationists—are especially susceptible to believing the same in other areas—such as flat earth.


Good article. Thanks. I have to take time in reading it, as there are good details.

This all reminds me that “we are not as strong as we think we are.” Religious folks seem to be more susceptible to other fallacies, like the snake oil sold on Trinity Broadcasting Network and the prosperity preachers; some of it may stem from our conditioning in fundamentalist Christianity toward taking testimonies of salvation as proof. However, there are certainly instances (such as the “crunchies” anti-intellectualism, anti vax secular movements, and Lysenkoism (which was considered a crusade for better agriculture against the establishement). Whenever we think that we have beat our prejudices, it’s well to beware of falling into the opposite side of easy-believism.

“Perhaps out of frustration, they finally concluded that the earth must be flat. It never occurred to them that perhaps their education had failed them in not better preparing them for refuting the notion that the earth is flat. After all, if a person hasn’t truly been taught the why of believing something rather than the what, then they are an easy prey for all sorts of odd ideas.”

It’s similar to anti-vax and naturopathic practitioners–they take all sorts of conjecture and theory and then overwhelm people with pseudoscience, implying only their side is “Lyme literate,” and offer thyroid tests that are helpful only in certain situations (t3, etc) see this link

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Perhaps this belief of flat earth is as simple as riding a bike? Some kids believe they cannot ride, but balance is not a belief, it is just a barrier to think past. I found out in the last week that my youngest sibling is a flat earth evangelist, (if that is the going term).

Is it that hard to think the government is conspiring against general knowledge? European colonialism was the government conspiracy of sending humans off the edge of this flat earth, or was the conspiracy a knowledge the earth was flat, but the attempt to convince general knowledge the earth was round. Just imagine if the earth was flat, how would any one convince the public the earth was round? The conspiracy was to prove the earth was round even if no one had proof of that fact. The conspiracy would have to be continued by the government any time flat earth truth was about to be proven. Belief would be the ability to keep people accepting the earth may be round.

The conspiracy was never to prevent colonialism based on the fact the earth was flat. The Strawman was the point all would fall off the edge of the earth. This would never happen. The edge of the earth is Antarctica. The point about this new flat earth is that we actually exist in a closed system. A cube not a domed structure. There never was a dome, as that is a strawman existing before the edge of the earth argument. One can still circumnavigate a flat earth from east to west or west to east. The circle would be an equal distance from the north pole which is the center of this cube. In fact planes fly over the Arctic circle so distances are shorter. The paths of planes do not use the Antarctica for the same purpose. The proof the earth is flat will come when the New Jerusalem as a smaller cube rest on a flat earth. This cube will be several hundred miles square.

I do not believe the earth is flat, but there are compelling facts, regardless of the rhetoric being used by both sides.

I’m not really making sense of much of what you’re saying here. I assume you’re trying to summarize some of the flat-earth myths you’ve heard?

I have yet to hear any compelling “facts” in support of a flat earth. Most of the arguments depend on a general ignorance and/or distrust of basic science.


I listed some of the facts, yes. But did summerize the history of the round earth conspiracy. If it is a fact that the Bible was supposed to maintain the mystery or truth of the flat earth, such a fact is not fully appreciated.

As I pointed out proof may only be forthcoming when God adds the New Jerusalem. I never doubted that a cube could balance on a curved ball. If you convince me the New Jerusalem is not as big as described, then that would be a textual argument. A cube within a cube also makes perfect sense. Heaven as being a house with many rooms, seems to indicate from most houses I have seen squares and rectangle shaped rooms in a closed system. Just saying.

If God was not lying when Satan was put in charge over the earth, then Satan would be free to allow humans any believable concept of what the earth and universe is. So far no one claims Satan’s authority is a conspiracy.

The flat earth is more than a conspiracy. The conspiracy would be the earth is round. The earth is not fully understood, and by flat earth claims is indeed a closed system in the form of a cube. The earth is flat because there are no curved surfaces in a cube. Not that there cannot be, but there is no need for there to be. I am not going to go through the whole list of irregularities.

I do not see it as some major shift in belief system, but it is a cosmology that goes against common acceptance. Before colonialism, it was not an issue. It is a little coincidental that flat earth idealogy is becoming wide spread along with the push to once again go to the moon and this time Mars.

Your posts aren’t making much sense to me. A round earth is not a conspiracy, it’s a demonstrable fact.


You have started with a false premise of “it’s a conspiracy”. Basically you have created a straw man and are now refuting that straw man. You would be hard pressed to find AIG using the words "conspiracy"or "lying’.

Answers in Genesis are presuppositionalists (Dr. Jason Lisle “Ultimate proof for creation”) and know that we all have our presuppositions which are driven by our worldviews. If you are an Secularist scientist then you look at the world though secularist lens and if you are a creation scientist, you look at the world through creationist lens.

The question remains, whose presupposition is the correct presupposition to have.

I have not observed that YEC are more likely to believe in a flat earth. I think that is just an expression of the writer’s bias. I do know that major YEC groups such as AIG and CMI believe in a spherical earth just as the Christian Church has consistently for over 2000 years…

I don’t believe any of my YEC friends are flat-earthers either, but nevertheless, it is apparently a growing movement since there seems to be a need for a documentary refuting it from a YEC perspective. The narrator in the documentary is quoted as saying “With more Christians converting to this idea than at any time in history, it’s having a huge impact.” I’m curious about where they got statistics about that.

I find it telling that the very same things Faulkner argues against are also present in the argumentation of creationism.

Of course young people won’t be able to critically think and defend themselves from faulty worldviews if they have no education about any of these matters. And add to that that (presumably) every trusted person rehashes and hammers on these teachings that it’s just insanity to expect them to be able to reason any differently until they have been exposed to the other teachings.

And when that does happen. In school for example. They realize that the worldview they held for all those years has so many holes in it, and were told that it was the only possible way to be a Christian they end up throwing the gloves in the ring and walking away from faith all together.


It amazes me how some old earthers try to rationalize how YECs accept an absurd idea of 6 days creation, Noah’s flood etc… all the while ignoring just one teensy lil’ ol’ evidence of why that is, THE BIBLE.

I’m not sure why it amazes you when you’ve been around here long enough to know that interpretation is not as simplistic as all that.


Actually (pertaining to the book of Genesis) it is when someone’s sole authority is scripture. The only reason it is not as simplistic, is if you have a different authority running interference of the bible.

The book of Genesis could not be written any plainer. It does not require any great interpretation.

My premise, if I had given it, is that I have been told that all accepted a flat earrh, even the church until it was demonstrated that the earth was round. I pointed out how easy it was for the conspiracy (a round earth) could be accepted. It is not as simple as you are trying to make it out to be. I have always accepted a round earth, being caught up in the late 60’s moon landings. Which I am not saying are a conspiracy. If it was, then it is the same conspiracy used to get Colonialism to the new world. The proof it was not is because no one fell off the edge in the endeavor to do so.

Calling the arguments of YEC and flat earth similiar are because they both are grounded in the Bible. However the church of the middle ages was not grounded in the Bible. It was grounded on theology of human origin. Even athiest can be great theologians. Also there is a point where even a conspiracy can become standard acceptable knowledge, even if a lie.

The reason (a flat earth) and the point (a round earth may be a conpiracy) does not make sense is because we are taught that in school without the need of proof. We are told in a certain way to believe it as fact. That such a belief can be easily changed is the telling point. The point that it seems like flat earth reasoning is a growing phenomenon is because it is related in belief and not necessarily proof. The point of belief is what the Bible has stressed of God since Moses.

I think you must have a very simplistic idea of how we understand any text if you really think all one needs is that text itself.


It would help ex-YECs like me have a less jaded view of the position I left if it wasn’t only non-YECs who disagreed with what I quoted above. Surely there are some YECs who see Genesis as Scripture that invites and rewards close reading?

I encourage anyone who thinks Genesis is simplistic to spend an hour or so reading it (or listening to it) straight through, ideally in an unfamiliar translation. Robert Alter and Everett Fox both have recent translations that bring out literary features of the Hebrew that typically get lost in translation. They aren’t the clearest or easiest to read translations, but they help surface the complexity and beauty of the book.

Here are a few scattered things from Genesis that are not so plain, but worth deeper thought:

  • Why are the fish included in the creatures humanity has dominion over but excluded from the creatures given food?
  • Why does the text never tell us how or in what form the woman heard the prohibition God gave to Adam alone?
  • Is there any significance to how one Lamech speaks of 7 and 77 and another Lamech lives to 777?
  • What does it mean for the evil inclination of the human heart to be both the reason for the flood and the reason there will never be another?
  • Does Hagar actually see God, and what does it mean for her to give God a new name?
  • As Isaac follows his father’s example by passing off his wife as his sister, what causes him to be less successful in the deception?
  • Jacob wrestles a mysterious stranger who appears to be his twin in strength. Jacob is convinced he has seen God’s face, but who’s face does he later identify as looking the same?

Genesis is such a rich book, it’s a pity to think one already has it mastered.


Would Jesus leave those who followed him in the dark, and yet he told them not to reveal everything, but that the Holy Spirit would do that in God’s own timetable. The greater pity would be knowing the truth and rejecting it, not really knowing all truth. Is knowledge the double edged sword? We are warned about always learning and never arriving at truth, but also the point that once truth is known, it can be easily rejected.

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