One-time Star Trek star William Shatner wants you to know that he does not support Flat Earth thinking.
The “British Flat Earth Association” today tweeted an image depicting Shatner’s face along with the quote “I was fooled by science, the Earth is flat” and the date April 15, 2017. That came with the text “Great to have the support from another leading figure in society. The more we get voicing their views, the more credible our argument is for the wider public.”
Shatner responded: the quote is a “lie,” and that he does not support the Flat Earthers.
The British Flat Earth Society Twitter account represents a group that promotes exactly what you think, as their website says: “The field of Flat Earth is as the name suggests. We live on a Flath Earth as apposed[sic] to the more common ‘Globe’ model.”
Planet Earth is a rotating, lumpy spheroid, approximately 4,000 miles in radius. Your iPhone relies upon globe-orbiting GPS satellites to function. The tides, the weather, sunsets and sunrises, eclipses: all of that stuff occurs because the Earth is round. There are places where you can even see the Earth’s curvature.
Some self-styled Flat Earthers, however, choose not to believe this incredibly obvious fact, and instead twist math and science to “debunk” something humans have known for thousands of years. Their evidence is inconsistent, based mainly on misunderstandings, and generally no amount of demonstration or reasoning will change their minds. Their proposed model of a flat Earth is incompatible with the most simple processes you experience every day. You know, like, gravity and having an atmosphere.
I’d like to think that most of these fools are just trolls. But after a few extended conversations (and the dozens of abusive emails I’ve gotten this year), I can tell you that some folks really do believe the Earth is flat. They’ve been reported on increasingly by the media, and folks like rapper B.o.B. have joined their ranks. As one Flat Earther told me, most flat Earthers are either fundamentalist Christians who believe that the Earth is exactly as described in the bible, or those who simply won’t trust anything that a government agency, like NASA, says.
For what it’s worth, William Shatner isn’t a shining example of positive human behavior. He’s tweeted some surprising alt-right language by calling other users “social justice warriors” and “snowflakes.” But as the portrayer of the one-time captain of the USS Enterprise, I’d like to think he knows at least something about space.