Saturday, February 23, 2019

Behind the Curve (2018)

Of all the conspiracy theories out there, flat Earth seems to be the hardest for me to accept.  With the anti-vaccine theories, Stuff is being injected into your child’s body.  It’s natural and understandable to be concerned.  However, there’s a point where I accept that the medical establishment knows what it’s doing and the specter of the threat of autism is outweighed by the fact that we no longer had to worry about polio and smallpox.

However, we’ve sent probes up into space.  We’ve sent people up into space.  We’ve seen the curve.  Granted, it’s a small group that has actually seen the curve, but people have seen it.  I have to ask why NASA and other agencies would perpetrate that kind of hoax.

To be fair, it’s easy to look from the outside and ridicule.  Behind the Curve does present those that believe in a flat Earth without trying to judge or ridicule them.  Most of the people seem to be regular people that have a belief outside mainstream science.  The documentary focuses on Patricia Steere and Mark K. Sargent, who have done videos about flat Earth.  Both would seem like normal people.

There are those that are more hard core about it.  One person even accuses Steere and Sargent of being CIA shills.  (Yes.  A flat-Earther accuses others of the same mind of being in on the conspiracy.)  However, most of the people in the documentary are much less emotional about it.

The documentary doesn’t really offer much in the reasoning of a flat planet.  I’ve often wondered why we can’t see the entire planet if it’s flat.  Couldn’t I see Toronto or Tokyo from Miami if there’s no curvature?  Much like the Spirit Level Flight Experiment video, much of the ‘evidence’ would seem to be anecdotal.  It lacks the rigor and structure that science has.  Those that say, “Do your research” seem to think that a Google search would replace centuries of trial and error.

The flat-Earth theory seems to be a self-reinforcing delusion in which contrary explanations are dismissed.  I’m not really sure how a flat Earth theory would explain things like time zones and eclipses or even gravity.  Would something fall off the edge of the Earth?  If the Earth is flat, then why are other planets round?  I’ve never had a really satisfying answer to any of these questions.

There’s a part of me that wants to let people believe what they want, assuming it doesn’t hurt anyone.  Vaccines do provide herd immunity and protect us from outbreaks, so not getting a vaccine can hurt people unnecessarily.  Then, there’s a part of me that feels like the whole thing is maybe a little backwards.   It seems like there’s so much evidence that the Earth is round and so little that it’s flat.  If it were flat, wouldn’t there have been some sort of major revelation?  Wouldn’t someone have found the edge by now?  A conspiracy seems like an awful lot of effort for something like this.

IMDb page

No comments :