Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Last year on Brainpoo I brought you news of those who still believe the earth is Flat.

However, I’ve discovered another group who are quite sure the ‘Flat Earthers’ are wrong.

The world isn’t flat, silly!

It’s concave.

That’s right. The surface of the world is like the inside of a football, not the outside. And what is more, they’ve proved it - with some string and a few sticks (particularly amusing is ‘The rods don't attach firmly’ argument).

But if you thought this was just another crazed Fundie scam, you’d be wrong. These sticks don’t just belong to some fruit-loop Hillbilly snake handlers. No, not at all.

They belong to some fruit-loop Scientists.

Scientists, I might add, who can use long words like ‘rectilineator’ and ‘geometrical proposition’ - i.e. not the 1 syllable-only grunting sort.

Of course, more syllables is a step in the right direction, and such problem questions as, ‘Why are there seasons like summer and winter if the sun is in the hollow of a concave earth?’ are answered with a lot more panache than the Flat Earthers ever managed to rustle. Indeed, add a bit of irrational suspicion of the wider scientific community, mixed with a liberal spattering of technical jargon, a final spoonful of name-dropping (i.e. ‘a relative of the famous scientists Keppler, going by the name of Rolf, believes this, ergo its scientific’, type of name dropping) and you have a cocktail powerful enough to persuade some. I kid not. Apparently, if the information provided by my brother-in-law is to be trusted, someone in this my own village is a believer.

As for corroborating evidence, we are in an altogether different league to the ‘the Earth is Flat because the sun is clearly smaller than the 1,390,000 km diameter as predicted by round-Earth scientists’. Think about it. What happens if you fill a bucket with water, then swing it round fast with the open end pointed nearest the centre? The water stays in the bucket due to centripetal force, right? Gravity. With a concave earth that same mechanism explains the whole phenomenon of gravity. I’m sticking to the ground due to centripetal force. Of course, the problem then becomes, why isn’t the sun and moon flung to earth as well, but I’ll let you do the research on such important questions …

Ahh, but what of the seasons? If the sun is at the centre of a hollow earth, then how come we get winter and summer etc.? You wont be the first to be troubled by such a piercing question. Here (under the ‘seasons’ tab to the right), they tell us not to worry ourselves, it can all be explained.

And what about night and day if the sun is in the middle? Again, don’t worry, all can be explained (cf. the ‘day and night’ tab). Particularly appealing in the last apologetic is the diagram provided:

Thus, at the centre of the Universe exists a big clump of ‘starry-sky’, or, sounding a bit more credible, the ‘celestial globe’. Unfortunately, it ends up looking like a King-Kong sized dump sits at the centre of all things, but that’s beside the point.

For those of you bursting to find out more and answer all your pressing questions:

And don’t forget, as quoted by one Concave Earth webpage:

“Unless you expect the unexpected, you'll never find the truth” (i.e. disengage brain)


At 1/11/2006 2:16 PM, Anonymous Ben Myers said...

Wow, that is one sophisticated cosmological diagram! My own three-year-old daughter could hardly have drawn a better one....

Anyway, for a true Bible-believer like me all this high-brow science is beside the point. Because, as all true Bible-believers know, the earth isn't flat or concave. The Bible makes it very clear that the earth is suspended on a set of pillars over a watery mass, with the stars set above the earth, just beneath the canopy of the sky and the upper chamber of water.

If only scientists realised this, they would also finally understand where rain comes from (instead of all their nonsense about evaporation, clouds, etc): the water drains down from the upper chamber through the doors in the sky, whenever God opens the doors.

Does all this sound a little too technical for the non-specialist? Don't worry -- I'll ask my daughter to draw a picture for you....


At 1/12/2006 1:14 AM, Anonymous Al said...

The first I ever heard of this theory was when I read Foucault's Pendulum a few months back.


At 1/12/2006 2:48 AM, Anonymous T.B. Vick said...

You mean the Earth is actually not flat?

Oh boy, I better go home and rethink my life. . .

At 1/12/2006 5:12 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Well Ben, that is all too technical for me, so I'll wait for your daughter's diagram to clear up the confusion. But be quick because like poor TB, my theological-worldview has been shattered to smithereens by these words. All this talk of a ‘canopy of the sky’ has left my Bergerian ‘sacred canopy’ in the lurch. Although I must say, I kinda knew all that evaporation mumbo jumbo was a con.

Glad to see you are being more biblical these days.


At 1/12/2006 5:13 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Hi Alastair,

What did Foucault's Pendulum have to say about this? I'm curious!

At 1/12/2006 7:52 PM, Anonymous Al said...

It was one of the many conspiracy-related theories that was mentioned in the course of the book. It didn't have an awful lot to say about it, but it introduced me to the theory.

BTW, if you haven't read the book, you really ought to. It is quite superb.

At 1/13/2006 1:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Odd that Foucault's Pendulum was mentioned, I'm actually working through it right now (I'm actually hoping to finish it tonight during my overnight shift).

I'm finding Eco to be an interesting fellow to read (apart from this work I have only read one other by him -- The Name of the Rose). He seems to be a scholar that delights in being playful -- understanding that play can be incredibly "meaningful". Of course what that meaning is, or where that meaning is located, seeoms to be something of a leitmotif in the Eco that I have explored so far.



At 1/16/2006 1:30 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

I have to say, I haven't read a word of Eco. A joy for the future ...

At 10/03/2006 1:35 AM, Anonymous byron smith said...

Chris, make sure you do get to Eco one day. Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum are both excellent. He's also got a wonderful little collection of essays called Faith in Fakes.

PS this comment is in the concave earth post months ago. You linked to it and I found it. - Just in case you couldn't find this comment.

At 10/03/2006 1:20 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Thanks, Byron. I've purchased Name of the Rose now, so I just need to maake time for it.


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