Sunday, February 11, 2024

The Earth Is Flat! (Maybe)

Previously: We Are Against Israel Because We Are Jews

My detractors are certainly going to have a field day with the title of this one. "Did you hear? Rock Waterman believes the earth is flat!"

Well no, that's not what I said.  The truth is, I don't "believe" the earth is flat.

I don't believe the earth is round, either.

The fact is, I don't know what shape the earth is.  How can I, when even the experts are not in agreement?  Today, some have theorized that the earth might actually be more of an oblate spheroid, like this:

Others surmise it might be sort of pear-shaped like this:

Or this, which they also consider pear-shaped, though to me this looks more like a potato made of Play-Doh:

Remember, these are the experts, the current mainstream scientists, not those wacky flat-earthers.

So by now you may be asking, "what does all this have to do with Mormonism, anyway?"
Well, the reason I'm addressing the flat earth controvery is to illustrate a larger point which I'll get to soon enough, so stay with me. I'm going to demonstrate how discovering what is true and what is not true can be applied to some fundamental controversies currently taking place among Mormons and non-Mormons alike.

Believing Vs. Knowing
Epistemology is the philosophical discipline that asks the question, "How do we know what we know"? That's a fundamental question that almost no one asks when confronted with an idea that, on the surface, may seem utterly absurd.  So when, for example, we hear someone tell us that the earth is flat, we tend to reject that premise out of hand because we know the earth is round. We never apply epistemology to ask ourselves how we know the earth is round.  We just know it, that's all.

In a previous post I spoke briefly about Rene Descartes, generally recognized as the father of modern Western philosophy.  Descartes devised a set of rules by which a person could determine the truth about just about anything.  Rather than try to prove that the earth exists or the universe exists, or even that God exists, Descartes first applied these rules to what has to be the most fundamental question of them all: "how do I even know that I exist?"

Applying his own Rules For The Direction of the Mind, Descarte proved his own existence, resulting in the famous conclusion, cogito,ergo sum. or "I think, therefore I am."  In other words, he knows he exists because he has the ability to think about whether or not he exists.  Applying these rules also led Descartes to conclude that God exists as well. 

Rene Descartes is also famous for saying "doubt is the beginning of wisdom," which might strike the modern mind as being antithetical to his overall philosophy.  But that's because these days people tend to think that doubting an idea that seems foreign to them means the same as dismissing that idea out of hand. Far from it. To doubt means to question.  Question what?  Well for one thing, you can do what Descartes did and question the very existence of God.    

A suggestion like that might horrify some believers, but trust me, God doesn't mind you questioning Him. Like Descartes, God also knows that doubt is the beginning of Wisdom, because sincere doubt leads to sincere questioning.  He wants you to inquire about Him, not to simply dismiss His reality as unlikely.  One way to ask is embodied in Janice Kapp Perry's song for children, "Heavenly Father, Are You Really There?"  No formality required; just lie in bed and ask.  That method of inquiry works for us grownups just as well as it works for children.

So, to go back to our earlier analogy: W
hen I was first confronted with the proposition that the earth might be flat, my first reaction was "well, that's ridiculous. It's not flat, it's round."  That was my skepticism kicking in.

But since I like to think of myself as a sincere skeptic, it would be wrong to simply dismiss that proposition out of hand, especially given the number of otherwise intelligent people who were beginning to take this apparently wacky thesis seriously. (I soon learned that virtually everyone I came across who was promoting the flat earth theory started out intending to disprove it, and were now its most ardent proselytes.)  I knew that if I was to approach this topic intelligently I would have to apply epistemology to the matter, and ask myself "how do I know the earth is round?"  And the answer to that question is that I only know it's round is because way back in the recesses of my childhood somebody told me it was round.

Ever since I was very young I've been repeatedly taught that the earth is round.  That teaching was reinforced in every classroom I ever attended when the teacher pointed to California on the globe and showed me that is where we were right now, right there in Anaheim, which was so tiny the name of our town wouldn't even fit.  So all my life it was a "given" that we live on a globe that is constantly spinning through space. I had no reason to question it, but now I have to admit that the only reason I "know" the earth is round is because everybody says so.

Well, I've been a grownup for some time now, and I have come to learn that "everybody says so" is no way to determine whether a thing is true or false.  

So again, if you want to know what I believe about the shape of the earth, I'll say this: "belief" is not the word I'd use.  In the epistemology canon, a belief is an attitude that a person holds regarding anything that they take to be true.  Since I have no way of knowing whether the earth is truly flat or not, I can't say I believe it is.  

By way of illustration I have a firm belief that God exists because I have experienced Him; in February of 2007 I experienced the baptism of fire and felt His presence in me all the way through to my bones. That is my evidence that God exists, that He knows who I am, and that He loves me in a way that is impossible to describe.  But like anything else, I can't transfer my personal experience to you. I can't use my experience to provide proof to you that God exists.  Whether it's the shape of the earth or the existence of God, each of us has to make our own inquiries and come to our own conclusions.

As for whether the earth is flat, round, oblate, like a fruit, or like a lump of Play-Doh, I have no way of knowing.  I've determined that I would have to have the powers of Superman and be able to fly far above the earth in order to get a proper look at it; I can't think of anything other than an experience like that to persuade me one way or the other, because the photos of the horizon provided by NASA were taken with fish-eye lenses, which give the false appearance of curvature. 

So is the earth flat? I remain a skeptic -which means I remain in the question- until I can figure out how to see it for myself. So I guess I don't believe the earth is flat, but I'm open to the possibility that it might be because to be frank, it no longer makes sense to me that the earth is a globe.  After watching Eric Dubay's 200 Proofs The Earth Is Not A Globe, I don't believe the earth is a globe spinning through space at a thousand miles an hour.  The globe earth theory, to me, now seems like the wackier hypothesis. Sorry, but I'm just not buying it.

Happily, I don't think my eternal salvation depends on my knowing the shape of whatever this thing is that I'm standing on.  I realize that others feel this knowledge is somehow essential, but I see the whole controversy as an intriguing intellectual oddysey that I may engage in further sometime down the road.  Or I may just wait until I die and find out then. As the late great rabbit hole chaser Mae Brussell was fond of saying, it's all food for thought and grounds for further research.

Did Abraham Lincoln Free The Slaves?
No, he did not.

Now, I may not be able to offer an informed belief about the shape of the earth, but I can give you, without any reservations, my sincere belief that Abraham Lincoln was a cad.  A monster, actually.  In fact, I agree with Chuck Baldwin, who puts Abraham lincoln first on his list of a America's Ten Worst Presidents.

History is another area where we can benefit from the epistemological query, "how do we know what we know?"  Most of us have unquestioningly accepted what we learned in school, but by simply asking that simple question and then applying Descartes' rules and the Socratic line of reasoning, we can find out if what we think we know is the truth or not.

My awakening to the sinister character of Abraham Lincoln first came while reading Lerone Bennett's
corrective history, Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream.  Far from actually freeing any slaves, Lincoln's fraudulent Emancipation Proclamation managed to keep slaves in bondage for at least two years after the proclamation was announced.  Lincoln's proclamation allowed the Northern states to keep their slaves (yes, there were slaves in the North; in fact Union General Ulysees S. Grant kept two slaves with him on the battlefield to serve as his valet and cook). 

Most tellingly, that famous proclamation did not free any slaves in the Southern states. Not a single one.  As for that "white dream" referenced in the title? That refers to Lincoln's hope of one day shipping all the negroes back to Africa and killing off the Indians so the American continent would be inhabited only by white people.  We don't know if Lincoln would have been able to see that plan fulfilled because thankfully he was killed before he had the chance to implement it.  

Lerone Bennett was a black historian and one-time editor of Ebony Magazine, which back in the day was what Life Magazine was to us white folks.  You can watch him discuss how lincoln really felt about the negroes infesting his country by clicking here.

Since then I've found that Lerone Bennett was far from the lone voice in this area.  Many historians have awakened to the bill of goods sold to us by the court historians.  Another book I own on this topic was written by another black author who wasn't fooled, the late Stanley K. Lott, who wrote The Truth About American Slavery I also recommend Samuel Mitcham's It Wasn't About Slavery: Exposing The Great Lie About The Civil War.  No matter what you've heard or read, the war wasn't fought over slavery; it was fought over money; specifically Abraham Lincoln was in a panic over the Southern states no longer providing him the tariffs he depended on. I bought this book several years ago but I just found a free download in pdf format here. If you want to get right to the meat of it, jump to chapter XI, "The Real Cause of the War."  You can also hear a forty minute interview with the author by clicking HERE.

But if you really want a smorgasbord of offerings on this topic, Thomas DiLorenzo has written a slew of articles available at  I've pulled up a link to some of them HERE.  You can also find quite a number of videos featuring DiLorenzo on Lincoln. Here's one where he proves the reason Lincoln started a war that killed 600,000 Americans had nothing to do with slavery. If you can't invest the time for that video, here is Thomas DiLorenzo compressing everything you need to know about Abraham Lincoln in just nine and a half minutes.

DiLorenzo's books are well worth owning. They include The Real Lincoln, Lincoln Unmasked, and his most recent volume, The Problem With Lincoln. Within these pages you'll not only learn the truth about our 16th president, but also why the Lincoln cult historians are still covering for him a century and a half after his death.  And if you want to read Abraham Lincoln's actual sentiments toward people of African descent before those words were scrubbed from the history books, you may be interested in Lochlainn Seabrook's The Unquotable Lincoln.

And speaking of going against the conventional narrative: before the internet was a thing I came across a stunning eye-opener of a film that I've had a hard time finding again, but here's a fifteen minute clip from it assuming I was able to get it to load properly. I don't know how long it will stay available, but that video led me to this jaw-dropping download that was originally published two decades ago and is now impossible to find in its print edition.  I have no opinions to express about either of these items, not the least because bucking the official narrative on this is a taboo that can get a person arrested in some European countries.  So make of it what you will. 

And Now We Come To The 'Mormon' Part Of Our Program (Finally!)
As I hope I've successfully demonstrated above, whenever you see or hear of something that sounds so absurd that it goes against everything you think you know, the proper response -especially if you notice that growing numbers of intelligent people are embracing that supposed absurdity- is to take a cue from the epistemological discipline and ask yourself "how did I come to know what I think I know about this topic?" Then follow the rule of skepticism and investigate to see if what you think you know can be verified as true. 

Another way I have learned to separate truth from error was by learning to think like a lawyer. Now, I get it if your understanding of "thinking like a lawyer" means to think in a way that is cunning and crafty, because goodness knows there are lawyers who behave in that manner.  But thinking like a lawyer doesn't mean trying to twist the truth. It means working to uncover the truth, to suss it out, filtering all the false detritus until only the truth remains. To think like a lawyer, in a nutshell, means to follow the admonition of the apostle Paul: investigate all things, then hold fast to that which is true.

So how do you do that? First, you learn to question everything, especially your own assumptions. Don't cling to your own favored prejudices, which is another way of saying keep your feelings in check.  Don't get emotional about your opinions.  These are not your living, breathing, children; they are only ideas you have lived with so long that in some ways they may feel like living "children" that you're reluctant to let go of.  Wrong opinions are often based on emotion rather than independent truth. Let them go.  Learn to depend only on reason, logic, and common sense when evaluating evidence, even if what you are investigating strikes you as unreasonable.  A good lawyer does not simply dismiss the views of the other side; he learns his opponents arguments so well that he could argue his opponent's case.  In other words, he trains himself to be able to see all sides of an issue, not simply his own. 

Denver Snuffer is a lawyer, which is one reason he was so perfectly positioned to put to bed the controversy over the Book of Abraham.  You may have been aware of arguments made the past few years that the Book of Abraham was a fraud. Denver investigated the topic so thoroughly that he was able to show that the popular narrative had been proceding on a number of false assumptions.  You can find a link to that video presentation in my post titled The Book of Abraham Controversy Finally Laid To Rest, but I recomend the book because it contains footnotes and sources. (the Kindle version is only $3.99.)

This blog you are currently reading is chock-full of essays documenting my discoveries within the Church that were introduced after Joseph Smith's death, but that, upon investigation, are clearly undoctrinal.  That's one reason they are so easily dismissed by our enemies.  Although I embrace the Book of Mormon, the divine calling of Joseph Smith, and the core doctrines of the Restoration, I have come to discover that much of what I was taught growing up in the Church was based on what our scriptures warn us are "the traditions of men."  Asking yourself "how did I come to know what I think I know?" makes a very handy tool for figuring out whether some "doctrine" you cling to came from scripture, or from some faith promoting rumor you picked up in Seminary.

The Two Greatest False Teachings In The LDS Church Today
To begin, I will assume you believe as I do that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, appointed to that role by the Lord himself as revealed in D&C 124, D&C 112, and elsewhere.  So here is the question: Given that Joseph Smith was a prophet, does it then naturally follow that any or all of the men who succeeded Joseph Smith as presidents of the Church were also appointed by God to be His prophet as well?  Or is it possible they were never actually appointed as Joseph was or given the gifts and authority the Lord bestowed upon Joseph?

I created a post on this platform that I believe proves that the authority these men claim is not the same as was given to the prophet Joseph, and that the method they claim to follow that asserts their claims is contrary to the very instructions God provided in the scriptures.  That proof is contained HERE.  If you have not read that piece already, I hope you will give it the epistemological test and ask yourself "how do I know what I think I know about succession to the presidency, and does what I think I know agree with the instructions the Lord Himself gave on that topic? Or do I just believe it because that's what I've always been told?"

If we are going to go around admonishing each other of the importance of following the prophet, shouldn't we want to make absolutely certain that the man we are referring to actually was appointed by the Lord to be His prophet? 

Here is the second greatest false teaching in the Church today: It is widely taught that Joseph Smith was the one who originated plural marriage, and that he did so because he was instructed to do so by the Lord.  Now the question: Can you provide any contemporary evidence to support that claim?

Before you attempt to answer that question, allow me to direct you to the incredibly informative Youtube Channel hosted by Michelle Stone, titled 132 Problems: Revisiting Mormon Polygamy.  Michelle has created a channel that has become Information Central for all things relating to the provably false claims that Joseph Smith originated and sanctioned plural marriage.  This is where you will learn that far from promoting polygamy, Joseph spent the last weeks of his life attempting to stamp out that vile practice that had begun to take hold in the Church. His vigorous campaign to expose the true villains is very likely what got him killed.

A few weeks ago I was a guest on Michelle's program, and if you want a decent introduction to what Joseph was really on about before he was taken from the earth, I think that interview is as good a place to start as any.  Here it is:

The number of faithful Mormons now coming to realize that we have been lied to about Joseph's role in polygamy is massive and growing, and like I said above, if you see a concept in opposition to a belief you consider already settled suddenly gaining acceptance on a large scale, it may be time to start asking yourself "how do I actually know what I know about this?"  Lately, in addition to Michelle Stone, a number of skeptics have been uncovering incredible new findings.  People like Amberli Peterson, Whitney Horning, Jeremy Hoop, Rob Fatheringham, Shanhi BuddyJustin Griffin, and many others have, in the past several weeks, been digging through dusty tomes and discovering things about this topic we never knew before.  So get ready for some bombshells to come. 

At this stage, given all the information that is right out in the open and readily available, it seems to me that those who continue to stubbornly insist that plural marriage originated with Joseph Smith can no longer just claim simple ignorance.  A more accurate word to describe such people would be gullible.  You think I'm being too harsh?  Check out just a few of the resources available from the six names I listed above, or just a few of the discussions taking place over at 132 Problems and decide for yourself.


Notes & Asides:

One Final Recommendation
If you enjoy going down rabbit holes as much as I do, you'll want to check out the latest series at Book of Mormon Perspectives, where the author is currently juggling more crazy possibilities than even I can keep up with, such as where did those impossibly intricate buildings come from? And what was Brigham up to on those curious trips he took to Boston?  I'm particularly intrigued by the account of Brigham Young's connection to the prominent Jesuit Priest Pierre De Smet.  De Smet's close acquaintance with Brigham Young and his many conversations with him concerning the Rocky Mountain region, as the Knights of Columbus history gives the account, "probably determined the choice of the Mormon prophet, and led to the decision which ultimately settled the Latter Day Saints in the fertile lands they now occupy in Utah." 

Or you can just believe the traditional narrative, which is that Brigham had intended to take the Saints to California before deciding the Salt Lake Valley was close enough. It's your call.


A Note To Readers:
This blog now does accept anonymous comments, which means you don't have to use your real name if you don't want to.  Make up any fake name you want, but please don't post as "Anonymous" because that just serves to confuse others who may want to respond to your comment. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I have found that for some strange reason, my fellow Mormons WANT Joseph to be a polygamist. They don't want to let go of that one. Even more fascinating, is that by hanging on to their position, that means they are actually in total alignment with the anti-mormons. Most fascinating of all is that against ALL contemporary source documents, the LDS church leadership and "historians"want' Joseph to be a polygamist too.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Hey, what did I say about posting AS "Anonymous"? Please at least sign a names to your comments, people, even a fake name is fine.

That having been said, Church leadership has no choice but to lay the onus of polygamy on Joseph Smith. You KNOW they would rather not discuss it at all, but if they show Joseph to be innocent, it proves that Brigham Young was a false prophet, and there go all their claims to a legitimate line of authority. Before the internet, the corporate Church ignored the topic of polygamy but since they can't do that anymore, their only avenue (short of admitting they are not the legal successors to Joseph Smith) is to throw Joseph under the bus.

Steven Retz said...

YHWH Elohim had nothing to do with LDS D&C 124, nor did Joseph Smith. I go verse by verse showing why I believe that is the case.

Dave Dickson said...

Sorry, didn’t mean to be anonymous...that's what it defaulted to, this is my first post. That's my real name above now. I came to the same conclusions as you did. They are protecting the organization..."for the good of the outfit" nonsense. They need to tell the truth. I'm sick of people throwing EVERYTHING away, because they say to themselves...even the church says Joseph did those things.

Travis McKenzie said...

:-)Of the only 5 million active mormons,
now net zero growth church,

many are waking up to :

Joseph denied polygamy, last 2 years of his life, to his death,
called it adultery,
as does the book of Mormon,

and the Jacob chapter 2 does not say sometimes GOD commands it,
just the opposite,

and that Jacob 2, and D&C 132 ( brought forth in 1852, 8 years after Joseph's death )
are contradictory.,

That of the 9 or more versions of the "first vision",
the one in Joseph's own handwriting states seeing one person, Not 2 .

etc., etc. etc.

This is a powerful You Tube page of mormons waking up.

Vibrant Michelle Brady Stone

100 ++ You Tubes over just the last 1 ½ years

Dozens & dozens of interviews
some even 2 and 3 hours long,

with many of the big names of these last dramatic 10 years

( “times of the gentiles over”, D&C 45: 28 - 33 )


Clearly about to see the gathering out,
Prophesied restoration back to the House of Israel,

D&C 45: 28 - 33 fully rolling forth,
Places of safety,
Out of violence & death,
3 ½ years before the ineffable Second Coming.

One just has to read the titles.

I am sure the mormon church would like to excommunicate
this vibrant ACTIVE mormon, mother of 12,
but must be afraid to touch her.

Somebody said, if they did,
that many people would leave,
she has that big a following.

and they can't afford this,
they are now only 5 million active,
net zero growth.

James Huntsman and other class action lawsuits, now suing the church

Toni said...

Mind-blowing post, Rock.

I believe the earth is a kind of off-oval shape. None of the flat earth arguments convince me. And you have got to be kidding about the pear shape, play dough mess, and so on!

You got me thinking about Lincoln, and I did read some of that magazine's articles about the holocaust (even downloaded it in case it disappears from the internet).


Lilli said...


It seems the reason most members like to believe that Joseph Smith started polygamy is because it keeps the Church true for them, (cause they need it to be true, it feels easier to just be able to let a book or prophet or person do the thinking and get the revelation/inspiration for you), and because it seems most people in and out of the church actually like the idea of polygamy in some form, either serial or concurrent. Polygamy is and always has been one of the most alluring things known to the natural man, thus it's been very popular throughout history in most all societies, in one form or another, like it still is today. All Christian and other Churches based on the Old Testament believe in polygamy and polygamous OT prophets, like also Joseph Smith did, because they likely support it themselves in some form. When your prophet does it then it gives them a pass for it too. Thus even though Jesus taught lifelong monogamy it never became very popular, thus no church seems to teach his teachings anymore.

Linda Gale said...

I always wondered if the earth is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and is spiraling around the sun which is also zooming through space. If that is the case, then how can we easily locate the North Star, STILL IN ITS POSITION IN RELATION TO THE SPINNING GLOBE?
Truly unimaginable.

Several years ago I took a flight from LAX to Japan, Narita airport. It was a long 16-hour flight. During the flight, the pilot announced that we were currently flying over ALASKA? Alaska???? What???? Wait a minute! Don't you mean we are flying over, maybe Hawaii? Go nearly straight west from Los Angeles to Tokyo; why fly over Alaska?

Whatever shape the earth is ......... it's probably not a spinning globe.

PNW_DPer said...

Actually, on a globe or round sphere, the shortest distance between two points is called a "great circle route", which is not often the route if travelling in a straight North, South, East, or West direction. The shortest distance if travelling near the Equator may be very close to what looks like a normal straight line, but if closer to the poles, the shortest distance looks more curved, and more curved the closer to one of the poles.

The shortest distance from Southern California to Japan is far enough away from the Equator that it looks more like a curve or a circle than a straight line, and in fact does curve up to Alaska, thus the phrase "Great Circle Route" to describe the path. This is best seen on a ball-shaped map of the globe.

Here is a simple illustration showing the "Great Circle Route" from New York to Paris, and that the shortest distance actually circles Northward from the expected "straight" direction route.

Rhone said...

Rock, here's a great video that supports your assertions about Lincoln. Razorfist makes some compelling arguments. He tends to use a few of colorful metaphors, so be warned. Enjoy.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Dave Dickson, all is forgiven.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Ah yes, Rhone, the ever stimulating Razorfist, the man who has elevated the rant to levels never before attained.

I catch him now and then and enjoy his contributions because he is ALWAYS RIGHT. It's too bad his too-frequent use of profanity makes it impossible for me to share with my friends. That being said, I thank you profusely for bringing this one to my attention. And I'm gratified that Razorfist is bringing this information to an audience that normally might not be exposed to it. I'm glad he put the focus on how Lincoln's legacy of tyranny completely changed the constitutional nature of the country as I didn't even touch on how his legacy still affects us for the worse today in ways we have never recovered from and probably never will.

At any rate, it's an AMAZING presentation, and I hope readers will check out the comments below his video, which are extremely entertaining in and of themselves. Norm MacDonald's quote was a gem, as always.

Thanks for letting me know I missed this epic rant, Rhome.

P.S. on the topic of "things I missed," I did not mention another book that tells the truth about Lincoln, "The Unpopular Mr Lincoln" by Larry Tagg. At 576 pages and 2 lbs, this looks like it may be the definitive resource. Alas, used copies start at 59 dollars, so I'll never own this treasure. Thankfully, the books on Lincoln that I do own are sufficient to make the argument against that evil tyrant.

Thanks again for the link!

Jeremiah Stoddard said...

Hey Rock, thanks for the heads up on the Book of Abraham materials. I didn't know about the new book. I think the Book of Abraham is fascinating and, looking at its content rather than the Egypt stuff that I'm unqualified to judge, one of the greatest pieces of evidence of Joseph Smith's status as a messenger from God.

Quick question: Is there anything of value in the video presentation that's not in the book? I've ordered the book, and I'm not a big video watcher, but I don't want to miss anything, especially if it's worth seeing.

Mr. Flat Earth said...

Of course the earth is flat. I consider it to be a flat plane under the FIRMament which is like a protective dome. In other words, it's similar to a snow globe. Flat on the inside, and spherical in shape on the top. The bible specifically talks about the firmament, and yet somehow no one considers that today.

Thomas said...

We live in a world of lies. I appreciate your perspective on that and I agree with much that was said in your blog post. When I consider how many lies are spread far and wide about current events, it makes me wonder how much of what we have been taught about history is lies.

I watched a few minutes of the flat earth youtube video but it was not very convincing. It seems the producer of the video is assuming we live on a perfect sphere, in which case the horizon would drop at the rate he is claiming. However, we know, there are mountains and valleys. Also the idea of an airplane going off into space was pretty stupid as the plane is constantly falling and needs to be pointing upward to maintain altitude.

I try to keep on open mind on things and would still be open to being corrected. So far, my best evidence of the earth being round is seeing several lunar eclipses. The shadow cast upon the moon was round.

Thomas said...

Consider a golf ball. It is as perfectly round as humans can make. It rolls true and will cast a round shadow. But if you increased it to the same size as the earth, the dimples in the ball would create huge, deep valleys more than a thousand miles across. You would have line of sight for more than a thousand miles. It would be possible to have dimples many times larger and retain the near perfect round shape.

Thomas said...

It also seems pretty strange that the moon and all the other planets are round and the earth would not be.

Rhone said...

I agree Thomas. In geometry, if you place two points very close together on a circle then the curve of arc between those points will be nearly imperceptible. The larger you make the circle the further away the points can be while still appearing planar.

Mike T said...

Brock, “The Living Lincoln” is a book of Lincoln’s personal handwritten papers and speeches that is a fascinating read, and thoroughly demolishes the public myth of Lincoln by Lincoln himself. Second, I had been taught Joseph knew of the Salt Lake Valley, and intended to move from Navou as a place of safety for the saints. I had never heard Brigham intended to move to CA, and wondered where you got that tidbit from.

Linda Gale said...


Here is an experiment for you to prove your opinion of the planets being round. Do you mean the planets are round like a ball or round like a pizza?

Take a baseball and wrap it in a reflective material, maybe aluminium foil. Turn off all the lights and shine a flashlight from a distance, onto the center of the shiny ball. What do you see? Do you see the light reflected in a true pizza shape? Probably not as the ball will reflect only the area where the flashlight is focused. The entirety of the shiny ball will not reflect and spread onto the entire surface of the ball, as that is impossible on a round object.

Linda Gale said...

Dear PNW_DPer,

The UN map shows how easily one could fly an airplane from So.Cal to Tokyo by going in a straight line, if one flew over Alaska. No curvature needed.
This seems to be what I experienced all those years ago.

Is the earth flat? Probably not, but the UN map makes one wonder about its shape.

Parker Johnson said...


I quite like Tolkien's narrative that the world WAS flat until a divine cataclysm happened to change the world to a round shape in order to remove the Sacred Land from off the mortal plane.

PNW_DPer said...

Any flat representation of a sphere or sphere-like object (obloid, pear, lumpy play-dough ball, etc) will have distortions. Attempts to show a map or features of a ball-like object are called projections, and different projections have different distortions.

One of the most common projections is called the Mercator Projection which is especially useful for long-range navigation because a straight line for navigation drawn on a Mercator Projection map closely (but not perfectly) follows a real life Great Circle route.

But the Mercator Projection introduces the distortion of making objects and land masses near the Poles look much larger than they really are compared to near the Equator. For example, even though Alaska is the largest US state in area, a Mercator Projection makes Alaska look even 2 or 3 times larger than it really is compared to the lower 48 states.

If a "UN" map is using the Mercator Projection, it would likely show the shortest distance from SoCal to Japan going over Alaska, whereas a different projection might show landmasses in proper proportion, but straight lines would not show Great Circle routes that are shortest on the real world.,

Linda Gale said...

Thanks DPer for your explanation.
The UN emblem is not Mercator.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An azimuthal equidistant projection about the North Pole extending all the way to the South Pole

An azimuthal equidistant projection about the South Pole extending all the way to the North Pole

Emblem of the United Nations containing a polar azimuthal equidistant projection
The azimuthal equidistant projection is an azimuthal map projection. It has the useful properties that all points on the map are at proportionally correct distances from the center point, and that all points on the map are at the correct azimuth (direction) from the center point. A useful application for this type of projection is a polar projection which shows all meridians (lines of longitude) as straight, with distances from the pole represented correctly.

The flag of the United Nations contains an example of a polar azimuthal equidistant projection. The polar azimuthal equidistant projection has also been adopted by 21st century Flat Earthers as a map of the Flat Earth, particularly due to its use in the UN flag and its depiction of Antarctica as a ring around the edge of the Earth.

Anonymous said...

I guess I should have expected that readers might want to debate the flat earth hypothesis in this forum, and you're welcome to do so but I don't intend to participate in that discussion myself for the simple reason I don't know enough about the subject. A few years back I spent a considerable amount of time investigating that theory as well as looking for books and videos to refute it. What I found was the flat earthers made a compelling argument, while those hoping to defend the globe position rarely addressed the anomolies presented by the other side.

This is pretty much what I've seen whenever the "Joseph Did It" crowd attempts to refute what they call the "polygamy deniers." I continue to see a lot of smug ridicule from the other side that consists mostly of dismissing their opponents without ever taking on the evidence their opponents offer up. Justin Griffin presents some of that ridicule at the very beginning of his video, "What Is A Polygamy Denier?" You'll notice they all begin with the "everybody knows" assumption:

Dismissing is not the same as refuting. As for the arguments presented here in the comments in support of the conventional narrative regarding the shape of the earth, I can only say that those arguments HAVE been addressed elsewhere by the flat earthers, so I'm not the guy qualified to address them. There are, of course many more sources than "200 Proofs," which is the only one I cited. That video brings up some interesting anomalies; hundreds of other books and videos raise many more questions that would have to be addressed before assuming the matter is settled. I came across some guy known as Flat-Earth Dave who provides several videos he presents as a Flat Earth Crash Course, so those interested might want to look him up and begin their search with his recomendations. Some look to me at first glance to be more interesting than others, but if you're interested in going down that rabbit hole, you can pick and choose from among them here:

And of course there are plenty of books one can consult that refute the refuters. Mark Sargent's work is among the best known, and he often takes a lighter approach to the subject that I find more entertaining than some of the drier offerings out there.

As for the problem I continue to see among those who insist Joseph originated polygamy without ever addressing the arguments, what I saw was a lot of ad hominem arguments and ridicule instead of actual refutations. Dismissing an argument is not the same as debunking an argument. I address that in my post titled "Joseph Smith and Polygamy: Persistence of a Myth" where I discuss a panel that was assembled by the "Joseph Did It" faction to put the matter to rest once and for all. Instead of addressing the evidence, however, they simply dismissed and ridiculed those raising legitimate questions. In my way of thinking, that is not how you advance the dialogue in an attempt at getting to the truth of a matter. Here is the link to my reaction essay:

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Jeremiah, I think Denver's video is well worth watching, but then unlike you, I AM a big video watcher. The older I get, the more inclined I am to watch a video in order to get the gist of a topic than I am to invest 9-12 hours reading a book. But I also like tracking down footnotes and sources, which is why I also recommend Denver's book. (which won't take you 9-12 hours to read, by the way.)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Mike T,
Gosh I don't recall specifically where I found the information that Brigham Young's original intent was to settle somewhere in California (which, unlike the Utah territory, was not under the control of the U.S. government.)

We were all raised, of course, with the belief that the Saints were headed for the Rockies, when suddenly Brigham Young got the impression from God that "this is the right place." Revisionist historians later revealed that the Mexican territory of California was the ultimate destination, but I'm guessing the hardship of the long trip thus far was enough to easily convince the Saints that the Great Basin was as good a place as any to stop right there. They could have been wrong if one accepts the possibility that Pierre De Smet had scoped out the Great Basin are beforehand and recommended Brigham settle the Saints there.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I just noticed I broke my own rule above by inadvertantly posting my lengthy comment as "Anonymous"! I assure you all that was by accident; I simply wasn't paying attention when it got to the part of actually posting. Anyway, just so you all know, the comment comparing global earth proponents with the "Joseph Did It" crowd, with the time stamp of February 14th at 6:13 am was written by me, Rock Waterman, humble editor and proprietor of the blog you are presently reading.

Linda Gale said...

Hey Rock,

I am watching Eric Dubay's video, and wow, he even mentions certain stars being observed from the same viewing point all year around. I had commented (previous comment) about the North Star being steadfastly in the same position year round. I hadn't heard anyone mention that fact in any material that I have read or watched, so I feel vindicated. Thank you for suggesting that video.

I also appreciate the fact that people voice their opinions, because it helps me refine my thoughts on subjects. So "thank yous" go out to those who replied to my posted comments with their differing viewpoints. I appreciate their helping me think things through more thoroughly.

SMSmith said...

In 2019, I read a fascinating book: A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science: A Voyage from 1 to 10 by Michael S. Schneider. He doesn't write about flat earth, but his study of “the mathematics of ‘structure, function, order’” caused me to ponder the question: Could the earth be square? and circular? and flat? and cubic? and spherical? all at the same time? In other words, a flat square within a circle where we all live, sustained by a foundation cube, all of which is enclosed within a protecting sphere.
A number of selected quotes from Schneider’s book can be found in this "ponder" post inspired by his book:

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for that link, SMSmith. Definitely food for thought. I find it interesting how we try to outguess God when it's entirely possible there are things about his creation that we simply can't explain from out limited way of thinking.

David said...

The coriolis effect is a good indicator of the shape and movement of the earth. The fact that winds deflect to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere with no deflection at the equator gives you an indication of both the shape and movement. If the world was flat, then you would not have variation. If the world was pear shaped, then that variation would not be in the middle. If the earth was shaped like your Play-Doh potato shape, then you would detect a noticeable wobble in the rotation.

Your oblate spheroid is much more extreme than would actually be observed. The earth is wider at the equator and somewhat more narrow towards the poles.

Another good indication of shape is GPS coordinates. If the world was some funky shape, then the GPS coordinates would not map out like they do. The fact that you can find a specific location based on those coordinates is pretty good evidence that it is an object that is circular in its shape.