Flat earth

I’ve recently heard this claim a lot: it is intuitive to think of the world as flat.

I don’t think this is true.

I think it’s intuitive to not think about what the world looks like beyond what we actually see and interact with. This is one reason I don’t think that the scriptures teach a flat earth. I don’t think they really teach much of anything about the way our planet is shaped.

When asked the question “is the earth flat?” we are bringing a very specific worldview to the question itself. It’s sort of like asking “in Hamlet is Darwinism true”? It’s not really relevant, nor answerable. When I ask a westerner this question they will think of very specific things, to them the question is actually something like: is our planet a sphere? In fact what’s really really meant by asking someone if the earth is flat you’re really saying something rhetorical. It’s like asking whether or not someone is an idiot. 

To make this even clearer look at modern depictions of Yggdrasil. 


Yggdrasil is the universe in Norse Mythology. It doesn’t exist anywhere, it isn’t connecting all the realms physically, the realms are connected within it. The Norse myths are about significance and meaning. They didn’t think the universe actually was a tree.

So is it intuitive to think the earth is flat? I don’t think it’s really relevant to intuition. What’s obvious to most people is they don’t have a grasp on how big the world is, so when they refer to the world they are usually referring to their world. And that doesn’t have much to do with planets. Unless we are specifically referring to the planet itself…

John Walton’s work on Genesis seems to make this very clear. The scriptures aren’t a scientific textbook. But they do maintain that the world is rational and orderly, which is a stark contrast to many other competing mythologies.

Is the planet flat? No. Is my world flat? Sorta. I mean most days I spend all my time in the same 5×5 mile area. I don’t take the earth’s curvature into account for my traveling to and from work. 


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