The idea of a spherical Earth appeared in Greek philosophy with Pythagoras (6th century BC), although most pre-Socratics (6th–5th century BC) retained the flat Earth model. Aristotle provided evidence for the spherical shape of the Earth on empirical grounds by around 330 BC. Knowledge of the spherical Earth gradually began to spread beyond the Hellenistic world from then on. In the modern era, pseudoscientific flat Earth theories have been supported by modern flat Earth societies and, increasingly, by unaffiliated individuals using social media.
In the modern era, the proliferation of communications technology and social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have given individuals, famous or otherwise, a platform to spread pseudo-scientific ideas and build stronger followings. The flat-earth conjecture has flourished in this environment.
Even a third of young millennials in the U.S. aren’t convinced the Earth is actually round or flat either. The new poll by YouGov, a British market research firm, included 8,215 adults in the United States to find out if they ever believed in the “flat Earth” movement. Results from Feb 6, 2018 are weighted to be representative of the US population.
Only 66% of people ages 18-24 fully accept a round Earth and they have always believed that the world is round. 9% of millennials were always taught the world is round but more recently they started to have doubts about that. The reason young people don’t think with their heads can be found in the fact that many popular singers, rappers, so-called stars promote the theory that the earth is flat, affecting the seductive young people. They simply love conspiracy theories. In a disturbing display of indecision, 16 percent of millennials said they weren’t sure what the shape of the planet was.
Seventy-six percent of adults age 25-34 say they’ve always believed the Earth is round, compared to 82 percent of ages 35-44, 85 percent of ages 45-54, and 94 percent of adults 55 and over. Flat earthers find traction in their beliefs among a younger generation of Americans. Young millennials, ages 18 to 24, are likelier than any other age group to say they believe the Earth is flat (4%).
Data from YouGov Profiles suggests a link between belief in a flat earth and spirituality. For some flat earthers, evidence of the earth’s shape may be found in scripture – more than half of Flat earthers (52%) consider themselves “very religious,” compared to just a fifth of all Americans (20%). By comparison, 25% of people don’t belong to any organized religion, but among the conspiracists, that percentage drops to 17%.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia