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Saturday, 25 February 2017

Hyper-Creationism - A Great Shame

A was a beautiful clear mid-Spring afternoon in the late 1980's. We were at a Christian Conference Weekend which was held annually at the Links Hotel in the East Sussex resort of Eastbourne. Being Saturday, it was a couple of hours after lunch when we took a rest from ongoing worship, sermons, and note-taking. Whilst many in our group decided to visit a farm nearby, I preferred a lone stroll along the top of Beachy Head Cliffs, just west of the town. These chalk cliffs, being 162 metres (531 ft) high, making these the highest cliffs in Britain. From the summit I was able to look westwards over a wide expanse of sea to see the spine of the Isle of Wight, more than sixty miles away (100 km). This was possible by the coastline receding slightly northwards between Beachy head, itself a promontory jutting into the Channel, and that of Ballard Down, a chalk cliff at the start of the Isle of Purbeck (a peninsula) some eighty miles (approximately 130 km) as the crow flies, west of Eastbourne. The Isle of Wight, unlike Purbeck, is an island proper with ferries linking it from the mainland.

Beachy Head dwarfs the Lighthouse.
If it wasn't for the ridge of the Isle of Wight, there was that distinct possibility of just making out the summit of Ballard Down from where I was standing. Nevertheless, I was still impressed with the island itself within visibility across sixty miles of uninterrupted water. Then as I walked on, the cliff got lower until I wasn't that far above the beach. When I turned towards the where the spine of the Isle of Wight is located, it was gone. It was as if the entire island had just sunk beneath the sea.

This of course, isn't true - or was it? A repeat of history: the sinking of the island-continent of Atlantis? Or maybe the Isle of Wight remains exactly as it always has been - with myself moving in relation with the curvature of the Earth? If the latter explanation is correct, then this might explain the odd phenomenon I have noticed in the sky. Where I live, I have always been familiar with the Constellations of Orion, the Big Dipper and the Polar Star. Then how I could forget such a magnificent sight as I stared up into the night sky from the bottom of the Grand Canyon in 1995? (That was on the second trip - during my first trip in 1978 the sky was overcast with rumbles of thunder echoing through the vast natural chasm.) A magnificent display of countless stars, the vast majority I had never seen from where I live! My home in the UK is about 51 degrees North of the Equator. The Grand Canyon is 36 degrees North. So not surprising that from where I was standing near the Colorado River, all the stars appeared to have shifted North by about fifteen degrees. So where angle is concerned, it's not much of a difference to write home about. However, far more astonishing was when I was backpacking Australia in 1997. Right above my head was the Southern Cross, immediately recognisable by the same pattern on the Australian and New Zealand flags. Also a misty band of the Milky Way crosses the entire sky. The sight was stupendous, and there were many nights during that trip when I stood on the beach with my neck craned to stare into the heavens.

But all these experiences I had strongly suggests a curvature of the Earth. In other words, our home is a spinning ball orbiting the Sun, as the third Rock in the Solar system. And that was the belief held by the ancient Greek philosophers, at least that the Earth was round rather than flat. One Greek, by the name of Eratosthenes, who lived around 200 BC, not only knew that the Earth was round, but he actually calculated the circumference of the Earth without leaving his homeland of Egypt. He did this by measuring shadows during the Summer Solstice, when the sun was directly overhead at an Egyptian city of Syene, very close to the Tropic of Cancer, and comparing the length of a shadow cast by a vertical pole driven into the ground at the port of Alexander, some 500 miles (810 km) to the north, and by measuring the angle of the shadow's tip from vertical, which was just over seven degrees, an angle which was 1/50th part of a circle of 360 degrees, which gave an approximate answer of 25,000 miles (because 500 miles - the approximate distance from Syene to Alexander - times 50 {that is ~7 degrees} equals 25,000 miles). The actual mean circumference of our planet is 24,900 miles (40,075 km). I can't help but stand back and gasp in astonishment at this ancient Greek's intelligence, his mathematical and astronomical abilities, who was also able to work out the angle of the tilt of the axle from vertical.

Another Greek of superb intelligence was Pythagoras, who was living around 520 BC. He was the one who calculated that the hypotenuse of a right-angle triangle was equal to the square root of the two adjoining sides squared. To take a school-level example: a triangle with one angle of ninety degrees has one side three cm. squared, and the adjoining side four cm. squared. The combined total of the two areas - that is one square measuring nine square cm. and the other measuring sixteen square cm. is equal to 25 square cm. The square root of 25 is five, which is the length of the hypotenuse. However, although it was Pythagoras who made the calculation, many scholars are aware that this theorem was well known by the Babylonians long before Pythagoras' day.

Then whatever happened some time after the Crucifixion, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth? How could the Roman Catholic Church usher in the Dark Ages? Could the Bible be so scientifically ignorant as to teach that we are living on a flat world? This blog is written after a website link came up out of random from a You-Tube advert slot, and it was titled Celebrate Truth, whilst browsing the main video website. It was a serious two-hour documentary detailing by means of interviews with serious-looking professional men who wholehearted believe in the historicity and the truthfulness of the Bible. And this included belief of a gigantic Satanic conspiracy to deceive the entire human race, getting us to believe that NASA has lied to us about sending men to the moon, and the photo-shopping every photo taken of earth from space to deceive us that the Earth is round. This conspiracy affecting the whole of the Media, through all television, newspapers, and textbooks alike to make us all believe that we are accepting a lie. Celebrate Truth was certainly hostile to Pythagoras and Eratosthenes, as well as assigning numbers and mathematics in general as the work of the Devil to keep us from knowing God.

Celebrate Truth is by no means the only website available. Just type in Flat Earth on You-Tube, or simply Google Flat Earth, and a long list of websites and videos advocating the Flat-Earth theory comes up on the screen, from five minute clips to two-hour documentaries, all favouring the idea being linked to what the Bible teaches. Celebrate Truth lashes out against Darwinism, and fair enough, I'm a Young-Earth Creationist myself, who don't have a problem with the six literal days of Creation some six millennia ago. Nor do I have a problem with believing in Adam and Eve being our first parents, and the non-existence of death before the Fall. But to advocate that NASA has deliberately lied to us, along with labelling "Satanic" great men such as Pythagoras, Eratosthenes, Aristotle, and for that matter - Galileo - is what I have labelled Hyper-Creationism. Don't bother to Google it, it was a title I coined up myself for want of a better description. 

Of the documentary Celebrate Truth, I felt so discouraged that I turned it off after about ninety minutes. There was nothing edifying about the documentary, nothing to rejoice about, nothing to praise God for. There was nothing about God's love for a helpless race of mankind, and nothing about the Atonement Jesus Christ has made by dying on the Cross and his bodily Resurrection. On the contrary it was all about a worldwide Satanic conspiracy of universal deception, and I felt my spirit deflate as one interview followed another, and even feeling a sense of condemnation for believing in a round Earth and in a way, calling God a liar. It was also rather boring to watch, with no drama to illustrate their opinions. Other Flat-Earth videos I have watched has enabled me to build a picture on what they believe the Bible teaches. Much of this is based on Isaiah 40:22 which reads:

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its peoples are like grasshoppers. He stretches the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

Fig 1. The Medieval interpretation of the Universe. 

Fig 2. The modern Flat Earth Model
Flat-Earth advocates links this verse of Scripture to that of the first chapter of Genesis, where on Day Two, when God separates the waters above from the waters below, with what the King James version calls the Firmament, implying a solid shell-like dome over the Earth. The Septuagint, which translated the Hebrew into Greek between the third and second centuries BC, translated the Hebrew word Raqiya, which has a meaning for expanse, into the Greek word Stereoma, which implies something solid. And since these Christians believe that the Bible is infallible to the extent that every scientific evidence and proof are all Satanic lies and deception, the concept of the entire Universe contained in a solid dome as illustrated in Fig 1 is held as Biblical truth above everything else.

And here is something I consider an issue with the model depicted in Fig 2. The modern concept does not look at all like in Fig 1. First of all there is no dome, or firmament covering the flat disc, and secondly, all the other heavenly bodies are spread out across the vastness of the Universe, as taught by modern science, and not all contained within a solid dome. And thirdly, Fig 2 shows the Sun and the Moon orbiting each other on a fixed plane some distance above the disc. The sunlight distribution would have posed massive problems in defining day from night, as well as looking at a completely different sky over Australia from over the United Kingdom or from over America. Yet Fig 2 is as much Biblical truth to the Flat-Earth advocates as in Fig 1, although how will all the stars fall to Earth in the Fig 2 model, I cannot even speculate. Yet rather than thinking that our Earth is flat and is covered by a solid shell and the entire Universe is within that shell, I have always accepted that the firmament depicted in Genesis is merely a zone of the antediluvian atmosphere, enveloped by a sphere of dense water vapour, or expanse, as translated in the New International Version of the Bible.

It is this vapour which may, in my opinion, be the reason why man was able to live as long as 960 years, and the canopy might have made the antediluvian sky red rather than blue during the daytime. If this is true, then there was the likelihood that all the colours of creation were enhanced to a level we cannot experience at present. I wonder if this was why the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge looked so appealing to Adam and Eve? The collapse of the canopy, probably caused by volcanic dust particles thrown up when the fountains of the deep were opened, and the condensation which resulted, brought on the Deluge. And a quick read of post-Diluvian genealogy listed in Genesis 11, revealing the rapid shortening of human longevity. Put in proper scientific context, I find the Bible verified by Science when put into context of a spherical Earth orbiting the Sun within a vast Universe.

Over forty years of being a Christian myself, I have never come across a single brother or sister who believed in a Flat-Earth theory. Conversely, the majority of graduates I knew personally over those years were advocates of Theistic Evolution, which is Darwinism under the supervision and direction of God in opposed to being by chance alone. This line of reasoning is no doubt an attempt to present the Christian faith to the unbeliever without sounding or appearing out of touch with reality, or to feel foolish or ridiculous. But if death was not brought into the world through the Fall of Adam, but instead existed for countless pre-Adamic generations, then the Atonement made on the Cross by Jesus Christ would be totally ineffective. Really, it is impossible to be a true Christian and still believe in Evolution, theistic or otherwise.

But the rise and revival of Flat-Earth theories is just a click away on the Internet. It is so easily accessible. And it is dangerous. Dangerous because these videos and websites have followers by the multiple thousands. If there is a Satanic conspiracy going on around us, it is through these videos themselves promoting a flat Earth. The conspiracy is to make the Bible appear all so more ridiculous in content in the eyes of unbelievers - whether they be scientists or laymen. And the more ridiculous the Bible appears to unbelievers, even honest enquirers, the less likely for conversion and faith in God. Far more of the unsaved would scorn the Bible if they thought it taught a domed flat Earth. It would be flammable fuel for the fires of Richard Dawkins and other noted atheists.

The result will be that the scientific truth of a spherical Earth will always be advocated by unsaved academics to a vast crowd of unbelievers, confining the Bible and its believers to a realm of pseudo-science and crackpot ideas on the level of ancient space-god theories and the like. Indeed being a true Bible-believing Christian may be a source of shame and embarrassment within a well-educated and science-based world.


  1. Hiya i haven't come across any of those yet! Lol

  2. Dear Frank,
    Thank you for this excellent, most thorough exposition of this complex subject. There is a new documentary with very limited showing in theatres, "Is Genesis History?" We tried to see it, but the one-day showing was completely sold out, and we now have tickets for a repeat showing next week. Apparently it interviews several accomplished PhDs who give convincing scientific evidence supporting the Genesis account, set on a cinematically excellent backdrop of the Grand Canyon and other marvels of God's creation. Will keep you posted!
    God bless,

  3. Great post, Frank.
    Like so many other religious traditions, the flat earth tradition is based on man's opinion rather than the scripture, but because it is taught as fact many believe it. When it is proven false, people do not take the time to see if that is what the scriptures said, but just assume they cannot be trusted. As Jesus told the Pharisees, the traditions thus make the word of God on none effect, literally replacing it with the traditions.

  4. I have to admit that I have never had a problem with believing that the earth is round.