Creationism meets a flat earth

I was not going to write this up, really, I was not. But two articles on the flat earth within roughly a week of each other are too many to ignore.

Danny Faulkner of Answers in Genesis posted an article, What I Learned at the First Flat Earth International Conference. Dr. Faulkner has a degree in astronomy and has taught at a branch of the University of South Carolina for 26 years. He also as a researcher for Answers in Genesis must subscribe to their Statement of Faith, so he presumably believes in “a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ.” Now I don’t mean to be rude, but that is nuts. It is nuts for someone with an advanced degree in astronomy, someone who knows all the evidence, someone who writes authoritatively about astronomy, to believe that the universe is around 6000 years old.

Nevertheless, he wrote a good article critiquing some of the claims of certain other nuts, those who believe in a flat earth. To borrow (and adapt) a certain metaphor, how is it that he could see the beam in the eye of the flat earthers, but not the beam in his own eye? I simply cannot answer that question, but it puts me in mind of a statement by (I think) Carl Sagan to the effect that people frequently contact him to tell him that all the nonsense that he has just debunked is indeed nonsense, except for their nonsense.

The Washington Post ran an article the other day, This man is about to launch himself in his homemade rocket to prove the Earth is flat, in the “Speaking of Science” section, no less. Mike Hughes intends to build a rocket in order to “shut the door on this ball earth.” Mr. Hughes has already flown a quarter mile or so (horizontally, I take it, not vertically) and ended up in a walker for two weeks. He plans a bigger rocket and ultimately to launch a rocket from a balloon at 20,000 ft (6000 m). (At least Dr. Faulkner’s mishegoss is comparatively harmless.)

Mr. Hughes ought to be able to tell whether he can see Australia from a height of 20,000 ft. Unless he takes my advice and limits himself to a balloon ride, I am afraid we may have to nominate him for a Darwin Award.