Somebody really needs to help clear this up for me because it’s becoming more than a blip on the radar. When did people honestly start buying into the idea that the Earth is flat again? I thought that was sort of off the table by sometime in the 1500s. But now there are not just some kooks in obscure Reddit forums talking about it, but celebrities as well. The latest one to come to our attention is basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal. I can’t tell for certain, but it actually sounds as if he’s serious. Come on… he can’t be, right? (Associated Press)
Count Shaquille O’Neal among the roster of NBA personalities who believe the Earth is flat.
The Hall of Famer and TNT analyst says he drives from Florida to California on a regular basis and that “it’s flat to me.”
O’Neal joins Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving in his belief that the world is a flat plane instead of an orb. Warriors forward Draymond Green and Nuggets swingman Wilson Chandler have supported Irving’s stance. Irving later suggested he made the statement in an effort to provoke the media.
As I alluded to above, I would gladly have written this off as some sort of publicity stunt or joke except for the fact that it’s been cropping up more and more lately. There are people talking about how it’s impossible to fly around the world north to south and there’s a giant ice wall in Antarctica which nobody can pass. Not too long ago I was listening to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts, the Unbelievable Podcast, and they were doing a segment on various people who’ve been making this argument for the past few years. In one of the more silly yet entertaining food fight which broke out, a rapper named Bobby Ray Simmons (also known as B.o.B.) released a single in which he took astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to task for talking about the shape of the Earth, insisting that it was all some massive plot by the Illuminati or the Masons or something to deceive us. Perhaps even more strange, Tyson fired back by having some friend or family member of his produce a different rap song to correct the record.
We can have spirited arguments about science here and I’m all for questioning the established wisdom. Heck, I even find myself going down some long rabbit holes on a variety of conspiracy theories just for the fun of it. But a flat earth? Even if you reject the idea of photographs taken from orbit (or the moon) this one really isn’t all that hard to check out for yourself. Back in the day, when I was in the Navy, I left San Diego heading west on a ship, arriving in Mombasa, Kenya. From there I took a plane further west to Rota, Spain. Another flight, still going west, took me to Virginia. From there, a final westward flight returned me to San Diego. Trust me, kids… there was no edge to fall off of.
There’s really not much more to add to this aside from some stunned disbelief that are actually people pushing this concept in 2017. But now that you know that Neil deGrasse Tyson was involved in a rap battle, I couldn’t possibly conclude without offering up the two music videos in question. Enjoy!