We spoke to Leeds’ Flat Earth Society and just asked: Why?
‘To put it simply, gravity doesn’t exist’
They say at uni there's a society that suits everyone. And they literally mean everyone apparently, as Leeds now has a Flat Earth Society. Because, you know, you're at one of the best unis in the country, but you're still not sure about basic Year 6 science like gravity. So, we spoke to the people behind the society – Josh Clough and Tom Birchy – and just asked them 'why?'
Side note: yes gravity is a real thing, and no the earth is not flat. Fucking obviously.
Why do you believe the earth is flat?
There are different schools of thought within LUFES disproving the oblate spheroid theory. However, the more widely accepted theories are drawn from both philosophy and science. We use Descartes’ model of Cartesian doubt to view the world skeptically. Why would you believe the earth is round? People are generally amenable and will accept the information handed to them by other people.
Secondly, from a scientific perspective the Bedford Level experiment supports the Flat Earth Theory. It consisted of many tests carried out along a six mile stretch of water. The results held that the body of water was flat and did not conform to the supposed curvature of the earth.
*Editor's note: the Bedford Level experiment was disproved in 1870*
How do you explain gravity?
To put it simply, gravity doesn’t exist. Gravity is used as a theory to explain what we observe; it isn’t necessarily correct. We lend ourselves towards using density as an explanation as to why things fall and others rise. If you believed in gravity, then you would say a helium balloon defies gravity because you can send weather balloons high into the atmosphere – how silly!
What's at the edge of the world?
To best answer your question, I think I need to set out the correct model of the earth. The earth is disc-shaped. What some people call the North Pole makes up the centre. At the edge of the world is a giant ice wall encircling the earth, I believe this has been called Antarctica by the round-earthers. In between the North Pole and the Ice Wall are the major land masses.
So, why has no one ever seen this ice wall?
People have seen the ice wall, it's Antarctica. We are attempting to lead a trip to the ice wall in summer 2019. Obviously not the actual ice wall, but to the Antarctic if we are granted permission by the relevant bodies.
Why are you not going to the actual ice wall?
Nobody has ever reached the ice wall, so how could we?
Why has no one ever reached the edge of the world?
People of course do go to Antarctica, albeit not that often. We don’t have all the answers ourselves as to what is in fact beyond the wall or if anyone has been beyond it. If have they have they obviously certainly haven’t lived to tell the tale.
Do you have much interest from Leeds students?
Yes! After the conception of our society on Sunday I stood outside Bakery 164 for a bit preaching the truth. A day later our page gained 100 likes and our post reach went over 1000. At the end of the day it’s become as fashionable to believe the earth is flat as it is to wear a technicolor windbreaker in Conference Auditorium 1.
How did you get into flat earth theory?
Well, without saying too much a couple of mates and I went on a Law Soc trip to Amsterdam for a few days. So, it was a sort of a natural progression from discussing Carl Jung to move on to flat earth. Especially when arguably some of the greatest thinkers of our time; B.O.B, Freddie Flintoff and Shaquille O’Neal have recently cast doubt on the round earth model.
Do you think it's possible to dig through the bottom?
No of course not! In 1970 the Kola Superdeep Borehole was made. It was an attempt to reach the bottom of the earth. It ultimately failed, reaching just 7.5 miles deep I doubt the best effort from modern technology would get much further to be honest.
What are your thoughts on other conspiracies? Did Bush order 9/11? Is Theresa May a lizard?
Nobody can be sure who did 9/11 to be honest. However, we as a society are willing to keep an open mind. We can certainly see how the Bush administration would benefit from a terrorist attack on US soil. A reason to invade the middle east generally suits the Interventionist American Foreign Policy. Secondly, The Patriot Act 2001 was signed into law on the back of the 9/11 attacks and increased the power of Bush as the executive and the power of central government.
The reptilian men have infiltrated the higher echelons of society so that is quite plausible, although I do not personally subscribe to that view.
If the earth is flat how comes I have to walk up a hill to get to uni?
I can't explain the hills, but at least you get to walk down on the way back.
If the earth is flat, how do you explain today's Space X orbit and successful re-entry?
Firstly, people need to exercise caution when they approach online content. Just because it has been live streamed on YouTube does not make it legitimate. The nature of the video with the tesla car in ‘orbit’ leads me believe the video was produced in a studio. This idea is more convincing when considering that there is an ulterior motive for Space X to further Elon Musk’s interests with regards to Tesla. The live stream was effectively an over the top advertisement for Tesla cars.