Friday, July 13, 2012

The Flat Earth Society

Charles Johnson: Original Founder of the Flat Earth Society

The Flat Earth Society (also known as the International Flat Earth Society or the International Flat Earth Research Society) is an organization that seeks to further the belief that the Earth is flat instead of an oblate spheroid. The modern organization was founded by Englishman Samuel Shenton in 1956 and was later led by Charles K. Johnson, who based the organization in his home in Lancaster, California. The formal society was inactive after Johnson’s death in 2001 but was resurrected in 2004 by its new president Daniel Shenton.

Members of the Flat Earth Society believe that the shape of the earth is flat as the bible commands it. Johnson's belief was that the Earth was in the shape that the ancients perceived it; circular and flat, not spherical. To them, the earth is shaped like a coin, not a ball. References in the bible to the "four corners of the earth" refer to the cardinal directions, more relevant are references to the "circle of the earth", implying a two dimensional flat plane. While the Flat Earth Society represents an insignificant percentage of the anti-revolution movement, with only two hundred current members; it does represent the most extreme biblical literalist theology: the Earth is flat because the bible dictates, scientific evidence is of secondary importance.

The Flat Earth Society recruited members by attacking the United States government and all of its agencies, particularly NASA. Much of the society’s literature in its early days focused on interpreting the Bible literally to mean that the Earth is flat, although they did attempt to offer scientific explanations and evidence.

Sources for Entry #3:

The Creation-Evolution Continuum. (2004). Skeptic, 10(4), 50-54.


  1. That fact that this society still exists and has members makes me laugh. I can understand way back when and I guess maybe trying to believe along with the bible, but it's been proven for a long time now that it's not flat. Some people.

  2. This is a great example for this subject because it is describes people who will reject science for what they truly do believe.

  3. This post was so interesting! I've never heard of the Flat Earth Society and although I'm not surprised that it exists, it definitely is completely absurd! I cannot believe that people take the Bible so literally. It is certainly okay to have faith, but to go completely against scientific proof is completely unreasonable.

  4. I enjoyed this post......It appears that some groups of people band together and support their beliefs as a means of developing cohesion between the group members regardless of the unscientific nature of their beliefs. It is their common goals and beliefs that bind them together, providing direction and purpose which supports these common beliefs. I am also under the opinion that this society is completely absurd. I would enjoy speaking to some of their members to gain a different perspective and try to understand why this is so important to the members. Their perspective of earth appears somewhat bazaar in 21st century America.