Sterling Harwood Goes to Mars to “Prove the Bible Is Mistaken”

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Lawyer and philosophy professor Sterling Harwood, author of The Greatest Mystery of the Beatles, emailed me to ask: “Did the literal interpretation of Christianity just die on Mars?” He explained that one of NASA’s Mars rovers may have found traces of ancient microbial life. So how would that impact Christianity? Sterling: “Genesis, interpreted literally, implies life was created on earth, not independently (of God) on Mars.” Um, okay.

Sterling also claims that the Bible supports flat earthism, and supplies the following scriptural citations and flat earthism references, drawn from his assignment for philosophy students:

A COLLECTION OF 26 FLAT EARTH CONSPIRACY THEORY QUOTES YOU MAY CHOOSE FROM TO INCLUDE AS A-SECTIONS IN ABC SETS FOR TERM PAPERS AND/OR CLASS PARTICIPATION; REMEMBER: FLAT EARTH CONSPIRACY THEORY IS THE EASIEST OF THE 125 OR SO TERM PAPER TOPICS. NOW I’VE MADE IT EVEN EASIER BY ROUNDING UP THESE 26 QUOTES FOR YOU TO CONSIDER USING IN YOUR TERM PAPER OR CLASS PARTICIPATION ABC SETS ON FLAT EARTH CONSPIRACY THEORY.

* * * * *

FLAT EARTH CONSPIRACY THEORY QUOTES YOU MAY USE IN YOU A-SECTIONS &/OR C-SECTIONS (REMEMBER, SOMETIMES YOU CAN PIT ONE QUOTE AGAINST ANOTHER OR YOU CAN SOMETIMES CORROBORATE ONE QUOTE WITH ANOTHER). See biblehub.com for one good place to start reading interpretations of these parts of the Bible.

1. Daniel 4:11 = “The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth.” HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT = MAKE THE TREE AS HIGH AS YOU LIKE, YOU CAN NEVER SEE THROUGH THE OPAQUE EARTH IF YOU ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLOBE FROM THE TREE. SO, THIS PART OF THE BIBLE IMPLIES THE EARTH IS NOT A GLOBE.

2. Job 38:14 = “As the light approaches, the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal; it is robed in brilliant colors.” HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT = When softer material such as clay is pressed beneath a seal, it is flattened. The seal is not the animal ‘seal’ here. The seal is like a metal stamp you use to press wax flat across the back of an envelope to seal the envelop shut and prevent tampering with the envelope.

3. Isaiah 40:22 = “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT = The stretch something out suggests a flat result, since to get a sphere or globe, one would have to ball up the material rather than stretch it out. To stretch and to ball are opposites. So, this part of the Bible seems incompatible with the earth being a sphere, globe or ball.

4. “[According to many flat earthers] Earth’s gravity is an illusion.” ~ Natalie Wolchover and Live Science Staff, Are Flat-Earthers Being Serious?, Article, May 30, 2017 10:24am ET. Harwood’s Helpful Hint: Flat earthers are forced to deny the existence of gravity, since gravity — by pulling in all directions from the center of gravity — explains why the sun and all the planets we observe were formed as globes (spheres).

5. Revelation 7:1 = “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.” HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT = Spheres lack corners. Squares and rectangles, which are flat or flatter than spheres of the same volume or mass, do have corners.

6. Matthew 4:8 = “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.” HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT: See my hint in Quote #1 above. Make the mountain as high as you like, you can never see through the opaque earth to see anything on the opposite side of the globe from the mountaintop. So, this part of the Bible implies the earth is not a globe.

7. Job 37:18 = “… can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?” HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT = See my hint in Quote #3 above about how spreading suggests or implies flattening or a flat result, and how spreading — by being the opposite of balling (as in balling up a piece of flat paper) — is incompatible with forming a globe.

8. Job 26:7 = “He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.” HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT = See my hints in Quotes #3 & #7 to see how spreading is the opposite of balling and thus is incompatible with forming a globe.

9. Isaiah 11:12 = “He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT = See my hint in Quote #5 above about how globes lack corners but how thinner, flatter shapes (of the same mass or volume as a sphere) of squares and rectangles have corners.

10. “The leading flat-earth theory holds that Earth is a disc with the Arctic Circle in the center and Antarctica, a 150-foot-tall wall of ice, around the rim.” ~ Natalie Wolchover and Live Science Staff, Are Flat-Earthers Being Serious?,” Article, May 30, 2017 10:24am ET. HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT = Flat earthers are forced into this extreme position in order to try to explain why no one has ever simply walked up to the edge of the flat world and seen the flat edge of the earth. But since aircraft and spacecraft easily soar over 150 feet in altitude, the flat earthers still fail to explain why it is so hard or impossible to see the flat edges of the earth they claim exist instead of a sphere.

11. “Evidence that the earth is flat is all around us. For example, if the earth were a sphere, then the curvature of the earth would be manifested in the physical landscape. But we do not see any curvature of the earth.” ~ Edward Hendrie, The Greatest Lie on Earth: Proof That Our World Is Not a Moving Globe, Great Mountain Publishing, 2018, p. 22. HARWOOD’S HELPFUL HINT = See my file in Canvas “13 Big Problems for Flat Earthers.” There I tell you the stunning tale of how I, Dr. H, saw the curvature of the earth. I’ll never forget it. Now, you will never forget it either. Fun Fact: the way I saw the curvature of the earth is a way you can replicate yourself. Do try this at home or on a safe, high-rise balcony with an unobstructed 180-degree view of water taking up your entire visual field from left to right (or right to left).

12. For more quotes, see the film Behind the Curve on Netflix.

13. For more quotes, see all YouTube videos about the allegedly flat earth. Since so few publishers will publish views that the earth is flat, I make an exception to the usual rule that all A-section quotes must be published. Many YouTube videos are unpublished, but students may use them anyway to get A-section quotes on flat earth.

14. “It began with the Creation of the Creation. First the water…the face of the deep…without form or limits…just water.” ~ Robert P. J. Day, “Documenting the Existence of The International Flat Earth Society,” Article, 1993, p. 2. Note: flat earthers argue that since water always finds its own level, the role of water on earth means the earth is level (that is, flat).

15. “On Twitter, flat-Earth accounts posted about ‘FakeX’ and insisted that photos of Starman against a round Earth were Photoshopped.” ~ Stephanie Pappas, “Yup, Flat-Earthers Think the Falcon Heavy Launch Was a Conspiracy,” Article, February 7, 2018 03:13pm ET.

16. “Flat-earthers believe there must also be an invisible “anti-moon” that obscures the moon during lunar eclipses.” ~ Natalie Wolchover and Live Science Staff, “Are Flat-Earthers Being Serious?,” Article,May 30, 2017 10:24am ET.

17. “The sun is a sphere. It has a diameter of [only] 32 miles and is located approximately 3000 miles above the surface of the earth.” ~ Flat Earth Society, https://wiki.tfes.org/The_Ice_Wall , May 9, 2020).

18. “The evidence of a flat earth is easy to discern, once a person perceives what he is seeing around him. The horizon is always seen to be flat over water.” (Edward Hendrie “Chapter 13 Horizon Is Always Flat.” The Greatest Lie on Earth: Proof That Our World Is Not a Moving Globe, Great Mountain Publishing, 2018, p. 252.)

19. “Along the edge of our local area exists a massive 150-foot Ice Wall. [The] 150-foot Ice Wall is on the coast of Antarctica. The Ice Wall is a massive wall of ice that surrounds Antarctica.” (Flat earth society. https://wiki.tfes.org/The_Ice_Wall , May 9, 2020), hyphenation added.

20. “There is an unseen celestial body which moves around the Sun, located over the daylight side of the Earth. Known as the Shadow Object or the Anti-moon, this body occasionally intersects light between the Sun and Moon and causes the Lunar Eclipse.” https://wiki.tfes.org/The_Lunar_Eclipse, May 11, 2020.

21. “God has described the earth as his footstool. ‘Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest?’ (Isaiah 66:1) Footstools are not spherical,” (Hendrie, Edward. The Greatest Lie on Earth. Great Mountain Publishing. 2017. P. 319).

22. “The only interpretation of the phenomenon of being able to see lighthouses and other structures many miles out at sea is that the earth is flat,” (Hendrie, Edward. The Greatest Lie on Earth. Great Mountain Publishing. 2017. P. 25).

23. “Water cannot be anything but perfectly flat. There is never any convexity to water, as would be required by a globular earth,” ~ Edward Hendrie, The Greatest Lie on Earth, Great Mountain Publishing, 10th edition, 2017. p. 51.

24. “If the earth were a globe, the horizon would drop below the view of the observer on the airplane. The fact that the passenger sees the horizon always at eye level is proof that the earth is a flat plane. Eric Dubay explains the recent appearance of photographic trickery used in producing curved earth depictions in NASA and other high-altitude photographs.” ~ Edward Hendrie, The Greatest Lie on Earth. Great Mountain Publishing. 2017, p. 110.

25. “The Coriolis Force is very real. If the earth were in fact a spinning globe, the Coriolis effect would be manifested. The problem is that there is no such Coriolis effect taking place on earth. Which means that the earth is not spinning. The different directions of rotation of hurricanes in northern and southern latitudes has nothing to do with the claimed Coriolis effect of the spinning earth.” ~ Edward Hendrie, The Greatest Lie on Earth, 10 edition, Great Mountain Publishing. 2017. p. 124.

26. “Google Earth is a tool of propaganda designed to conceal the flat earth. Proof of that can be easily determined by anyone. Take any facing point on any physical sphere and rotate the sphere 360 degrees across and you will return the sphere to its original orientation with the starting point facing you. But when you take any facing point on Google Earth and then rotate the graphic of the earth in the [software] 360 degrees from east to west or vice versa, you will find that you have not returned to your starting point. You will need to continue turning the graphic an extra 90 degrees or so to get back to your starting point. Mike Helmick argues that the phenomenon described above is caused by the fact that Google Earth is a 3D globe being depicted on a 2D screen. He claims that it is therefore not possible to spin the Google Earth image precisely 360 degrees.” Edward Hendrie, The Greatest Lie on Earth, 10th edition, Great Mountain Publishing.

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