Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, many people still believe in the flat earth theory – with numbers of believers actually growing in recent years.
Those who believe in the flat earth theory are now gathering for their annual conference in Birmingham, and despite the large amount of scientific knowledge we have to draw upon, there is still a significant population that doesn’t believe the Earth is round.
Many people who put stock in the flat earth theory believe that the proof that the Earth is round just isn’t convincing enough. Whether it’s “artificially assembled” photos from outer space or the testimony of astronauts, they can’t be sure that the Earth is round because they haven’t seen it with their own eyes – instead believing in a flat Earth theory based off the knowledge of the peers in their community rather than the knowledge of scientists.
ValueWalk's Raul Panganiban interviews Kirk Du Plessis, Founder and CEO of Option Alpha, and discuss Option Alpha and his general approach to investing. Q1 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The following is a computer generated transcript and may contain some errors. Interview with Option Alpha's Kirk Du Plessis
There are a number of ways in which it’s easy to prove that the flat earth theory is incorrect, but it’s difficult to convince someone who is already set in their ways and convinced that the Earth isn’t round. It seems as if for every scientific proof you offer them that suggests the Earth is round they have a lengthy rebuttal – no matter how flawed or misguided said rebuttal may be.
And so there are a large number of people who believe in the flat earth theory, and it may be an uphill battle trying to convince them otherwise. That doesn’t mean you can’t approach the conversation armed with some good talking points, however – perhaps making it just a little bit harder to believe in the flat earth theory for those who are open to hearing reason.
When discussing whether the flat earth theory is incorrect, it’s easy to point to a number of situations in which it’s easy to prove that our Earth is, indeed, rounded. However, the issue with the flat earth theorists is that they insist that any sort of possibility that the Earth is not round is a confirmation that thousands of well-respected scientists and the collective knowledge of the human species is wrong and that it may be “arrogant” to assume that scientists are correct when there’s even a slight possibility to the contrary.
The issue with discussing the Earth with those who believe in the flat earth theory is an issue of context. Their response to any sort of evidence that proves that the Earth is round will likely be along the lines of “but can you really be 100% sure?” suggesting that there’s some of global conspiracy with millions of people incorrect and following scientists like sheep when there’s not necessarily a 100% certainty that everything is correct.
If you approach the situation from a normal context, it’s easy to see that the Earth is round. Those who believe in the flat earth theory, however, approach it from a context in which nothing can be trusted and mountains of evidence should be continually doubted. All in all, it’s difficult to argue with a flat-earther as your evidence will likely be discounted at every step of the way. The best way to have the discussion is to do so with the understanding that they’re looking at things from a different context. While it may seem obvious to you that the evidence is clear, their uncertainty and skepticism took things in the opposite direction – allowing them to arrive at a conclusion that flies in the face of modern science.