Friday, May 18, 2018

Quickly Refuting the Flat-Earth Folly

The position mentioned in the title argues that the earth is a flat disk and for geocentrism, and that this is the Biblical position.

This is a great folly, and is quickly refuted by one point:

Antipodal volcanism.

This is best seen in the Chicxulub crater and the Deccan Traps, lava flows which occurred nearly half-way around the earth following the Chicxulub impact.

See: Antipodal Volcanism and the K-T Extinction Event

This is a problem for the Flat Earth position as it does not believe in impact craters as they are incompatible with its geological model; instead, voices within that Flat Earth community call them sink holes due to childishly not understanding that the impactor disintegrated upon impact. See the following infographic:
It’s pure madness as described in 1 Timothy 6:4.

This problem has been humorously depicted in this graphic spread around the Internet that uses the Chicxulub impact as an example:

As should be self-explanatory, only a globe could withstand an impact of that nature, whereas a disk would be thrown-off balance or possibly even shattered.

But here are two potential replies and my responses:

Potential flat-earther reply 1: “Where’s the asteroid that reportedly made the Chicxulub crater?”
Me: Disintegrated. The only reason why impactors are rejected is due to being incompatible with Flat-Earth geology, which is circular reasoning.

Potential flat-earther reply 2: “Why couldn’t the Chicxulub crater and Deccan Traps have occurred independently of each other as they were only recently connected in time?”
Me: They could have occurred independently of each other, but that would leave the Deccan Traps without a clear cause, so it’s far more compelling that it was caused by the shockwaves of the Chicxulub impact. This is only compatible with the globe model, not the Flat-Earth model.

Impact craters and their associated antipodal volcanism are a gift that informs us of the earth’s spherical character. To deny this is to deny God’s Word in nature.—Romans 1:20.

It’s thus hard to imagine a position that’s more unreasonable than this. Unreasonableness of this type is a “work of the flesh” listed together with depraved sexual sins that Christians are admonished to avoid like the plague. (Galatians 5:19-21) As James said: “This is not the wisdom that comes down from above; it is earthly, animalistic, demonic.” (James 3:15) The NET Bible footnote explains that this “describes life apart from God, characteristic of earthly human life as opposed to what is spiritual. Cf. 1 Cor 2:14; 15:44-46; Jude 1:19.” It is totally depraved in its fallaciousness.

  1. Hugh Ross Explains
  2. Flat Earth falls flat on the South Pole
Hugh Ross Explains
Recently, Astronomer Hugh Ross commented on the Flat-Earth folly on Facebook:

Question of the Week: What are the best scientific evidences for a spherical Earth that is best understood by laypeople?

My Answer: The three that I have found to be most effective are 1) to point out that airlines have their planes fly to faraway cities along curved paths rather than straight paths, 2) when on Earth you look at a faraway tall mountain the top of the mountain is visible but not the bottom, and 3) when you take a flight from Athens to Johannesburg on a clear night you can watch the constellation Orion gradually turn upside down.

Question of the Week: How can one refute the claim made by atheists, skeptics, and even some Christians that the Bible a flat-earth book?

My Answer: First of all, the idea that the Bible promotes a flat-earth doctrine presupposes that people living 2–3 thousand years ago lacked the capacity to determine the true shape of Earth. That presupposition is incorrect. The fact that at different locations on Earth different stellar constellations are seen and they are seen at different orientations was sufficient to persuade ancient peoples that they were living on a spherical body. Aristotle wrting in the 4th century BC cited this evidence as proof that Earth is spherical. However, documented mentions of a spherical Earth by Greek philosophers date back to the 6th century BC. Erastosthenes in the 3rd century BC used the sunlight lines at summer solistice in wells at different latitudes to determine the diameter of Earth to 1 percent precision.
Both ancient Greek and Egyptian astronomers pointed to the semi-circular shadow of Earth on the Moon during lunar eclipses as evidence for the sphericity of Earth.

The biblical texts most often cited in the claim that the Bible teaches a flat Earth are Job 38:5, 12-14, Isaiah 11:12, 40:22, and Revelation 7:1, 20:7. Of these passages, the most cited is Isaiah 40:22. The relevant part of Isaiah 40:22, referring to God, states, “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.” Whether the “circle of the earth” refers to a human on Earth or God looking down on Earth from above, in both cases the phrase would be consistent with a spherically shaped Earth. It is worth noting that only a sphere always looks like a circle when seen from above.

The Isaiah 11:12 and Revelation 7:1, 20:7 all refer to the “four corners of the earth.” However, even today, astronomers, physicists, and educated people around the world recognize and use the “four corners of the earth” as phenomenalogical language referring to the most distant parts of Earth from the standpoint of an observer at a specific location of Earth. It is clear from an examination of the context for all three of these passages that the most distant parts of Earth is the intent implied by the use of the idiom, the four corners of the earth. As the Theolological Wordbook of the Old Testament points out, the Hebrew word for “corners” used in Isaiah 11:12, kanap, in most of its appearances in the Old Testament is used figuratively.

The passage in Job 38:5 referring to Earth states, “Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?” The inference made by those claiming that the Bible is a flat-earth book is that the “measuring line” is a straight line which would be suitable for measuring a flat disk but not a sphere. This is an overinterpretation. Lines can be straight or curved. Also, it is customary to measure the diameter of a sphere with a straight-edge ruler.

Job 38:12-14 refers to the dawn seizing “the edges [or ends] of the earth” and earth taking “shape like clay under a seal.” What is interesting here is that for a spherical earth the arrival of dawn first shows up at the most distant horizon, end, or edge of the point of view of a human at a fixed point upon Earth’s surface. The taking shape like clay under a seal would apply to either a disk or a sphere and may be saying more about Earth’s rotation or its manufacture than its actual shape.

The irony of choosing Job 38:5, 12-14, Isaiah 11:12, 40:22, and Revelation 7:1, 20:7 to sustain the claim that the Bible is a flat Earth book is that these biblical texts better fit a spherical Earth than they do a flat Earth. While it would be an overinterpretation to conclude that these texts explicitly teach that Earth is a sphere, no where in the Bible do we find any text saying that Earth is flat. The Bible remains the only holy book for which we can say that it contains no provable errors or contradictions.

Flat Earth falls flat on the South Pole
An official outlet for the Flat Earth Society reveals a division of opinion on Antarctica, the continent where the south pole is: it is either an ice wall boundary or a continent. This division in that geological model is a fatal flaw making its folly extremely obvious. This division is expressed in these terms:

There are two main theories concerning the nature and extent of Antarctica. The first and most widely accepted theory says that Antarctica is a portion of ice surrounding earth, and that in its end there is a huge wall of ice (with different sizes depending on the subtheory) which is the edge of the earth. The second theory says that the center of the earth's surface is the point where the Equator and the Prime Meridian meet, and therefore Antarctica is a distinct continent located at the South.

With this significant division of opinion over the south pole, with the later theory divorcing Antarctica from the south pole, the Flat Earth falls flat. As absurdity refutes itself, so the Flat Earth Society has explained the Flat Earth into oblivion.

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