A Flat Earth Believer From Capetown
Dear Sir,— I am very pleased to hear from you and thank you for papers sent. I may say that I have always questioned some of the teachings of astronomers but had not the means at hand to support any objection I wished to make. Now, however, the case is altered and I can see very clearly that a “plane” earth and that alone is compatible with Bible teaching. I am especially thankful that the means of proof are now within the reach of every man who knows the multiplication table and uses his eyesight — that precious, though abused, God given sense.
What puzzles me more than everything else is that common sense people have been so deluded as to believe in the fearful monstrosity that the earth is a whirling ball! I went to a lecture here a few weeks ago, by a gentleman from the Royal Observatory (near here). His advertised address was on “Glimpses of the Solar System,” illustrated by limelight views. He said he had had a good deal to do with astronomy, having been employed at Greenwich when a boy in connection with the Royal Observatory there. Well, this “ authoritative” lecture amused me most of all for the “blind credulity” it manifested the audience to be possessed of. I simply smiled and sometimes laughed at what I plainly saw were mere suppositions.
The lecturer fairly knocked the legs off his own theories by saying, “we may ASSUME, we may SUPPOSE,” etc.. He said, “the accepted theory of astronomy is true, at least, WE ASSUME IT TO BE TRUE!” I just laughed’ outright at such “science.” Well, the learned man went on, being considerably helped by the pictures. He said there were places on the moon which appeared to be the same as old craters on the lops of volcanoes, and showed a few of them.
“How wonderful!” an old lady behind me kept repeating. The next picture shown was a volcano with lots of smoke issuing from its summit. The man of figures, paused just long enough to give his audience time to hold their breath at seeing a picture of an actual volcano on the moon— and then said that the volcano of the picture was not on the moon—it was Vesuvius ! Well, well, the chagrin and disappointment caused by that statement plainly made it evident that—so far as I could see— everybody but myself believed the volcano to be on the moon’s surface! This serves to show the gullibility of human nature. The man of figures quietly smiled at his dupes. I should think so! (But as a flat earth man, these men of figures never smile. Ed. E. R.)
During the lecture he referred to the “flat earth” people, and said that until they could do what astronomers had done some spots on the sun) they would have lo be silent! Wonderful! exclaimed the lady behind me. After the lecture I wrote to the learned man and said, I was sorry he made reference to the “ flat earth” people without giving-them a chance of replying, and that if he would take the affirmative in the preposition “ that the earth is a revolving globe,” I would gladly take the negative on the same platform as his lecture was delivered. In his reply, he said, “ I have neither the ambition nor the leisure to join in such a discussion as you suggest, especially as from previous experience I well know its uselessness.”
Such a debate would have fairly roused Capetown, but, of course, a good situation is not to be so easily thrown away. If I had been allowed to ask a few questions at the lecture, I think one or two would have taken as long to answer as it would take a science lecturer ” to walk to his 93.000,000 to the sun.
Being an amateur navigator I am much interested in the truth of the earth’s planarity and would much like to get a chart on the natural principle if there are any to be had. I am at present living right east of Table Mountain, and therefore cannot determine where the Southern Cross sets; but should I go to live in the city I shall have great pleasure in observing it and reporting to you.
Now I must close, wishing you God speed in the propagation of truth.