New Survey Finally Explains the Real Reason There Are So Many Flat-Earthers
In case you missed it, a DIY rocket scientist named Mike Hughes recently launched a homemade rocket over the California desert as part of an ongoing mission to prove that the Earth is flat, becoming the latest celebrity in the recently resurgent flat Earth movement.
Despite prominent scientists like Neil Degrasse Tyson explaining in detail how to prove that the Earth is indeed a globe, many still believe that the Earth looks more like a snow globe—a flat disc covered by hemispherical atmosphere.
The question is why—and a new survey by YouGov may have found the answer.
According to the poll, which took responses from 8,215 people, around 2 percent of Americans believe the Earth is flat.
On top of that, 5 percent of those surveyed have always thought the world was round, but now have doubts.
These numbers alone are pretty eye-opening, but even more remarkable is the correlation between those who believe that the Earth is flat and religion: around 52 percent of self-proclaimed flat Earthers say they are "very religious."
This makes sense, according to psychologist Michael Wood: according to him, many flat Earth YouTubers and videos explicitly say that "they find it more appalling to believe in the universe as a huge, uncaring place, and that it seems more reasonable to imagine Earth was made for humans like a perfect snow globe."
Indeed, one of the speakers at this year's Flat Earth conference, Rob Skiba, claims that NASA's motivation for supplying the public with false information about Earth's roundness is to cause people to disbelieve in God: "The bigger picture many of us have come to believe is hiding God. To me, that would be the ultimate motivation."
For anyone who graduated high school, the religious anxiety over the flatness or roundness of Earth seems to echo what happened when Galileo challenged the geocentric model of the solar system back in the 1600s—faced with evidence that the Earth wasn't the literal and symbolic center of creation, the Catholic Church realized that the information might cause a crisis of faith and tried to suppress it. It seems that the flat Earth movement represents a lot of those old fears, just dressed in new clothes.