One of the more interesting, completely unexpected, and entertaining story lines of the NBA season is the revelation that the NBA is sprinkled with “Flat Earth” theorists. About a month ago, Cleveland Cavalier’s Kyrie Irving (proud product of Duke University) came out in an interview as believing the Earth is flat.
“This is not even a conspiracy. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat.”
“For what I’ve known for many years and what I’ve been taught is that the Earth is round, but if you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move and the fact that — can you really think of us rotating around the sun, and all planets align, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these ‘planets’ and stuff like this.”
When he was talking about his theory, it was recognized as being pretty crazy, but just an isolated opinion of someone who thinks he is smarter than the rest of the class. But then something odd and unexpected happened: other NBA stars started coming to his defense! Some were tame, not wanting to create controversy. LeBron James, his teammate, said, “If Kyrie says the earth is flat, then the earth is flat.” Obviously, he was just trying to avoid creating an issue with a friend and teammate.
But then players started coming out of the woodwork, saying they, too, thought the earth was flat. Wilson Chandler and Draymond Green, among others, came out in support of Irving’s claims, saying they not only supported him, but agreed. Even Shaquille O’Neal, never one to shy away from attention, initially claimed to believe it, only to days later say he was just trolling everyone.
My first reaction is to recognize the complete absurdity of this. All one has to do is fly in one direction for long enough to end up back where you started. These are all players who have gone overseas for exhibitions, made trips to China, and have seen the curvature of the earth from an airplane on a weekly basis. Never mind the fact that Kyrie Irving was born in Australia! I’m sure he has travelled plenty. And does the water flow off the edge of the earth? Why has someone never been ‘underneath’ the Earth? This is clearly shooting fish in a barrel.
But it was my second thought that had me making an uncomfortable connection. You see, when I read everyone’s quick criticism of the statements, I realized that this is the way that many see Creationists. Creationists, myself included, have been heavily criticized for ignoring ‘evidence’ and slammed as being blind to the obvious truth of Evolution.
Here are some criticisms of the Flat Earthers:
“it is really concerning when you have people in the public eye, or you have people in general who think that the Earth might not be round because it devalues the scientific method.” Bill Nye
Irving defended his view saying, “It’s OK to have your own thoughts and be able to function and be able to formulate your own thoughts and opinions and still be able to convey them to other people.” The columnist responded by writing, “The problem, of course, is that not all thoughts are equal. Facts require evidence. That is essentially the point of science. Sigh.”
It doesn’t take too much of an imagination or memory to recall similar things being said of those who reject the claims that the theory of evolution has been proven out scientifically. I had an epiphany. This is exactly how many view me. To many, Bill Nye included, I am just as crazy as Kyrie Irving.
We’ve seen it in the recent reaction to Ken Ham’s Ark Encounters museum in Kentucky. He’s just a raving lunatic. He ignores the obvious evidence. He should be ashamed of his convictions. He should be quiet and not have any influence over people, never mind serve as an educator.
But this is the world that we live in. And I’m content to be labelled an idiot, ignorant, or foolish for the sake of believing Genesis 1-2 is real. Don’t be surprised when the masses turn and let this serve as a small lesson and window into how Creationists are viewed in the world today.