[TRIPPY THEORIES] Ep. 2: Flat Earth theory

Mitchell: Disclaimer the theories included on this podcast are purely for entertainment purposes and are not included or discussed as a way of spreading misinformation

Burkhardt: I’m gonna say, fake science, Is a lot of the evidence.

Goings: That is senior Henry Burkhardt talking about the Flat Earth theory. Hi and welcome to trippy theories, where we talk to people in the SPA community about conspiracy theories. This is Charlotte goings, and today, I will be talking to Henry Burkhardt about his favorite conspiracy, the Flat Earth theory.

Burkhardt: You know, it’s a lot of people who believe that the earth is, instead of being a sphere, it’s actually a flat plane.

Goings: The Flat Earth Theory began early in history when the majority of people believed that the Earth was flat Prior to the discovery of the Earth’s spherical shape by the ancient Greeks around the third century BC. Even with science backing up the shape of the earth, there is still a group of people that have continued to believe that the earth is flat. There is currently a committed Flat Earth Society that began around the 1950s that still is active and it has members in it today.

Burkhardt: It’s like more than a conspiracy theory. It’s a whole like a group of people and like a community and there’s like conferences about it and stuff. There is a whole like flat earth youtube and social media, it’s a lot bigger than you would think, and it’s like, it’s kind of scary, how many people believe in it.

Goings: There are millions of resources about the Flat Earth theory out there, and it has continued to bring in the following making it easy to come across the conspiracy and be exposed to the world of Flat Earthers. Henry discovered the Flat Earth Theory through the Netflix documentary called Behind the Curve.

Burkhardt: I seriously heard about it one night when I watched a Netflix documentary about it, and it actually ended up being really interesting.

Goings: Flat Earthers, in general, believe that the earth is surrounded by an ice wall that is Antarctica and that the North Pole is at the center of the earth. Most of the evidence surrounding this theory is based around false science and math.

Burkhardt: It’s a lot of people like misusing curvature, curvature equations, and like kind of cherry-picking data, and I think that a lot of people, they try to use the same like scientific methods that real scientists use, but flat, you know, Flat Earthers start off with the assumption that the earth is flat, and then just look for any way that that can be proved. So I think there’s like one I’ve seen where, like, people will like, take photos of the horizon, and like, say things are farther away than they actually are. I’m gonna say, fake science is a lot of the evidence.

Goings: A piece of evidence that Flat Earthers often use is that when you look out into the horizon, you can see landmasses far away. So their claim is that it must indicate that there is no curve and the earth must instead be flat. The theory interests people for many reasons, and although Henry does not believe the Earth is flat, he is intrigued by the identity and community aspect of Flat Earthers.

Burkhardt: I mean, I think it’s really dumb. And like, it’s just like weird that so many people like take their identity from just like disagreeing with the basic scientific facts. And like, it’s very weird what people think they get out of it because like I said, I think like a lot of people are in it because they believe like, you know, one day like they’ll be like a day of reckoning and like the people who like really like believed in it and look for the truth will be like rewarded. And like in the documentary I watched, too, it’s like, a lot of people who are involved in the conspiracy theory are kind of like, left out of other, like, parts of life and like don’t have a lot of belonging. And so I think it’s a weird combination of like people looking for belonging but like, by supporting super weird theories.

Goings: Although many conspiracies like the Flat Earth theory have been proven wrong, many still believe in some sort of conspiracy. Henry thinks that this stems from a place of belonging.

Burkhardt: I think that for a lot of people, it’s like a source of belonging. And people kind of relish in like the anti-establishment, like feeling that you’re like taking down a big like global conspiracy or theory and I think it gives people like a sense of self-worth and like loving humanity by exposing lies, even if they’re not actually lies.

Goings: Thank you, Henry Burkhardt, for sharing your thoughts on the Flat Earth conspiracy, once more this is Charlotte Goings on Trippy Theories, where we talk about conspiracy theories. Be sure to listen to our other episodes about the freezing of Walt Disney’s body and the truth about pigeons. Thanks for listening.

Music: “Earth” from Voyager 1 by Adam Young
Link: https://www.ayoungscores.com/scores/voyager-1/