A Question I Was Asked:

Can You Solve the Globe Earth/Flat Earth Controversy? What Are Your Thoughts?

Currently there is a huge debate, much of it on YouTube about globe earth verses flat earth. Can you solve the Globe Earth/Flat Earth Controversy? What are your thoughts?

UK Apologetics Reply:

Recently I was asked this:

"YouTube currently has a lot on it regarding the 'Flat Earth or Globe Earth' controversy. I would love to have your thoughts on this."

Okay. Whilst, strictly speaking this goes beyond the realm of theology or Christian Apologetics, it is not entirely disconnected, so, for what its worth, here are some of my thoughts. I am going to address this by making a few numbered comments; none of these, of course, will finally solve this matter to everybody's satisfaction but maybe they will help some of those people who are confused by the present debate.

But, right up front, let me say that I don't care whether you believe the Earth is an onion shape, a pear shape or even a carrot shape; we will all learn the truth about some of these things one day, but what really matters for the present is our response to the Lord Jesus Christ and what He offers to us spiritually.

So here are my comments; please try to read them through in an unbiased manner.

1. The Bible Does Not Specifically Teach a Particular Earth Shape

First of all, let me state that the Bible does not 'major' on this subject; the Bible plainly has a message which it is not slow to reveal: like it or not (and many people today do not like it), the message is that the Eternal God made the world and we are all accountable to Him, we will all be held to account for how we have behaved and how we have treated others and we have been given consciences to assist with that. Yet we can be saved, forgiven for our shortcomings, and live on into Eternity after our physical deaths through the saving work of Jesus Christ. That, in a nutshell, is the message of the Bible.

The shape of this Earth? The Bible is not particularly concerned to teach that; it only possibly touches on it in passing on a very few occasions, yet it is plainly not something which the Bible is concerned to specifically teach; this is undeniable. This should tell us all that Christians should not fall out or argue over this issue.

The Travel and Compass of Both Sun and Moon Work Perfectly Well on a Geo-Centric Circular Earth Model

* As has been pointed out many times, the travel and compass of both the sun and moon work perfectly well on a Geo-Centric model in which the Earth is not a globe, but a circular plain. Also, going around the whole world by ship (which has been done more than once), also works fine.

* Also note how this model shows the true size of Africa and South America and corrects the ridiculous size distortion of countries like Canada, Russia and Greenland on the world atlas which we currently use.

* A further point is that this map places the North Pole at the centre of our Earth, this too makes sense because the astral bodies continually circle our North Pole.

Time-Lapse Photography Shows the Astral Bodies Circulating our North Pole

2. Can Our Earth Really Be Flat?

With some huge mountain ranges, such as the Himalayas, our Earth is hardly "flat," so 'flat earth' is not, in my opinion, a very helpful term, it is also a term which quickly encourages ridicule, abuse and derision. The term 'Flat Earth' immediately brings to mind the rather silly comment that goes something like this: 'Hey, if the Earth is flat surely people could fall off the edge of it?' But, of course, nobody is claiming that that is possible, and this is to misunderstand, or to purposely mis-represent, what the term means! That being so, I am surprised that the term 'flat earth' is popular, what most 'flat-earthers' really mean is that they support a circular, but non-globular Earth, yet you cannot 'drop off the edge' because, in this view, ice surrounds the entire edge of a circular Earth. So, in this view, Antarctica is not a comparatively small continent right at the bottom of a globular Earth at all, rather, it surrounds the entire Earth. Before one laughs and mocks too quickly, one should just be reminded that this basic shape appears on the official symbol of the UN and is also published by the USGS (United States Geological Survey), being called the Azimuthal Equidistant Map (please check the graphics at the foot of this page). Moreover, this view of our Earth has actually been supported by some pretty clever people over many centuries; Interestingly, for this point of view, Antarctica has been circumnavigated three times by Captain Cook (1773), James Ross (1839), and more recently by the British ship 'Challenger' and all experienced unexpected compass confusion; it appears that one will 'clock up' something like 60,000 plus miles in doing so (that is, in travelling right around Antarctica) - yet this should not be the case if Antarctica is the small continent at the bottom of the world which it is usually depicted to be on a globe-shaped Earth, yet these figures make very good sense on the circular but non-globular world model in which Antarctica surrounds the world. No, my mind is not entirely made up on this but we need to be honest to evidence which is well-based.

All land surveys and aircraft routes actually assume a flat earth; no curvature is ever built into an aircraft route. Don't believe me? Ask any experienced aviator, especially 'long haul' pilots! Similarly, long distance land surveillance works perfectly fine on the belief and assumption that the Earth is flat; I mean, I am reliably informed that no allowance for earth curvature is ever built in. I am told that the distance from Johannesburg to Cairo, for instance, has been measured and it only took account of hills and valleys, no earth curvature built in to the calculations, yet the claimed Earth curvature would have made a notable difference to the distance. Earth curvature theory states that we should lose 8 inches per mile squared, that is, beyond that, things are supposed to disappear over the horizon; the simple truth is that this is erroneous; if the Earth is curved at all, the curve has obviously been wrongly measured and exaggerated. One can look through strong binoculars or, better yet, a telescope and see well beyond that distance with nothing having disappeared below the horizon. The only limitation here seeming to be the inadequacy of human eyesight. Surely, the very least one needs to accept here right now in this 21st century is that if Earth curvature exists, it has been greatly exaggerated; we are not losing eight inches per mile squared at all and, in fairness, 'flat earthers' have successfully demonstrated this.

3. Geo-Centrism

Most of those who don't support a globe-shaped earth are Geo-Centrists. What is this? Geo-centrism puts the Earth at the centre of our system, whilst Helio-Centrism - as is obvious from the term - puts the sun at the centre.

Geo-Centrists claim that the Helio-Centrist belief, that is, that line of cosmology which substantially came from Copernicus (putting the sun - and not the earth - at the centre of our galaxy, with the Earth continually travelling through space at well over 1,000 miles per hour), is in error. Strangely enough, it is usually - but not always - still admitted that Geo-centrism could still be correct, that one can predict all the movements of the planets etc., by using either system. Some popularists of modern science like to suggest that the older pre-Copernican cosmology is now discredited but it is not and, in fact, it has never been disproven. This is just a simple fact and we must not be embarrassed about simple, well-evidenced facts.

Certainly, in Andreas Cellarius's illustration of the Copernican system, from the Harmonia Macrocosmica (1660), it is stated that the future positions of the sun, moon and other solar system bodies can be calculated using either a geocentric model (the earth is at the centre) or a heliocentric model (the sun is at the centre). Both work, but it has to be said that the Copernican/Heliocentric model arrives at the same conclusions through a much more complex system of calculations than the Geocentric model. It was pointed out in the preface to Copernicus' first edition of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, that both systems work for calculations of heavenly body movements.

It has to be stated that the most logical of the two systems remains - to the chagrin of modern science - the pre-Copernican model which states that our Earth really is at the centre of everything and is not moving at all; undeniably this model is also supported by all our human experiences; I mean, do any of us actually feel our Earth shooting through space at 490,000 miles per hour? Of course not. The Copernican system (which, from now on, I will call Copernican cosmology) - accepted lock, stock and barrel by modern science - requires huge mathematical calculations in order for it to be correct, yet it is not what we sense, feel and observe. it also goes firmly against that law of philosophy called 'Occam's Razor' (see companion article to this, link at end of this article). Whilst this 'razor' is a law of theology and philosophy, without question, - it has a wider application (again, see the accompanying article). In short, 'Occam's Razor' states that the simplest explanation for any puzzle, mystery, conundrum or phenomenon is almost always the correct explanation. Do you have an 'explanation' for a puzzle which is very dependent on a huge amount of guesswork and numerous assumptions or calculations? Chances are it is incorrect. The very clever mathematical calculations of Copenicus fare very badly here. Do we need to use such amazing and intricate calculations to overturn what we may all witness and observe?

4. Geo-Centrism Has Never Been Disproven

Many are surprised to discover that the older cosmology has never been disproven, moreover it can be demonstrated. Even worse for Copernican cosmology is that it remains no more than a theory, and a theory which cannot be demonstrated. It is a true and fair complaint coming from Geo-centrists that the movements of the stars around the polar star (which is always directly above the north pole) would appear to be sufficient proof that our Earth is not moving. All human observations tell us that the body of stars revolve constantly around our Polar Star and the Earth remains still (even Copernicus admitted this). Here, then, one has a simple, easily-observable model which we throw out in favour of a theory which requires numerous calculations, a lot of guess work and a concept of "gravity" which often borders on the ludicrous. Again, if one throws out all biases, this is simply undeniable.

5. Our Earth Probably Not Globular in Shape But Would Still Look Round From Space

Truth is: our Earth is circular but may well not be globular at all. Hey, the objector may quickly retort: haven't we seen all those pictures of Earth taken from space? Actually there are less than twenty official pictures which are claimed to have been taken from space; they simply show a circular Earth; but is it not possible to see some of the continents on those? Those parts were put in later, NASA willingly admits this, they are 'photoshopped' to show bits of continents and clouds; in some cases this has been done very poorly, in one case the Americas seem to cover about half the entire 'globe'!

So all those images really show us is a circular Earth, it is nothing more than 'artistic licence' which later caused people to put in parts of continents and some cloud formations. Again, this is admitted, not just my personal view. Where those pictures are genuine (probably everybody reading this will know by now that claims have been made that some of these pictures are bogus - I take no view on that because I am not a conspiracy theorist), they will show a circular Earth - they do; we just assume the 'globe' part.

6. The Currently Accepted World Atlas is Incredibly Inaccurate

The Official UN Map Does Not Support a Globe Earth

In the United Nations logo, the Earth is circular, but not globular, being based on the Azimuthal Equidistant Map.

Why do we all accept the great inaccuracy of the world atlas? It's a good question. Experts tell us that we have to accept some map distortion because the Earth is a globe and maps must be made flat but this explanation does not explain all the inaccuracies. The truth is that our currently accepted world map is based on the old belief that the northern world should always be the map's chief focus because it is the 'civilised world'; so world maps focus on the northern world and areas south of the equator are assumed to be smaller and more insignificant. Greenland, for example, looks huge but is much smaller in reality, much smaller than South America. South America is nine or ten times larger than Greenland! On the Mercator world map (which we all tend to rely on), Greenland looks almost as big as Africa, but in truth, it is only 1/14th of Africa’s size! Greenland is nowhere near the massiveness of Africa. It is tinier than the Democratic Republic of Congo – just a single one of Africa’s 54 nations. Greenland is so misrepresented that cartographers used to call the size distortion of the Mercator map the 'Greenland Problem,' but the problem extends much further than that. The world atlas also seems to assume that the equator runs through the northern United States and on to France and on through southern Russia; it infers (but does not state) that the equator is further north than it actually is. Why? Because it has a bias toward the northern world. Canada usually looks bigger than the continent of Africa, but it is not and is much, much smaller, there are other inconsistencies too, Mexico is one. In reality, Mexico is much larger than Alaska but appears smaller on most world maps. Often, North America looks bigger than Africa, but it is not. In fact, North America, including United States, Canada, Mexico, and even Greenland, could easily fit inside Africa with plenty of room left to add Central America, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia too, so the inconsistencies are stark. The question must be asked: We are told that we now have all this satellite imagery, but do we? If so, why are we not correcting world maps? We tend to laugh at the odd shapes of very old maps when we see them but how many contemplate the inaccuracy of the current world map with its exaggeration of the northern world?

It is, of course, assumed that we must accept some atlas distortion because our world is a globe shape and a map needs to be flat, yet the Azimuthal Equidistant Map does exist but we were all taught from schooldays never to use it! Yes, it's basic shape is even in the United Nations logo.

Robin A. Brace. September 3rd-30th, 2017.

* I quote the relevant Bible verses on the earth shape in the accompanying article to this called 'OCCAM'S RAZOR' - it is HERE.