A recent poll of over 8000 Americans exposed the weight of flat earth theories. We can see the amazing results by projecting the percentages across the US population of nearly 330 million people. This means that 2% of everyone and 4% of millennials (18-24) don’t agree with what they have been “taught” in schools about the shape of the earth. Additionally, about 23 million Americans are on the fence. They may believe one way or the other but have recently become skeptical. We should be cautious about such a small segment being generally applied. However, the number of flat earth believers could jump to 12 million with a 2% margin of error applied to the results.
Polls can be a source of misinformation at times. Especially in politics, it is easy for the big fans of a candidate to have their hearts broken when the actual results don’t mirror the pre-election polls. Conversely, historical evidence tells it like it is. In research, we can see the output from flat earth believers has piled up over the years; creating a great treasure trove of information.
In 1904, One Person Convinced 5 out of 6 People In Town That The Earth Is Flat
This article is a great example of flat earth arguments that have been playing for more than 100 years. The numbers are astonishing even considering how remote agricultural Canada may have been in the last century. Did Mr. McClelland have to convince all the people in his town the earth is flat or were they “born” that way?
In our poll above, over 50% of people that consider themselves religious also believe the earth is flat. If McClellan’s town was fairly religious then he may have only needed to convince 2 out of 6. If any of us have known a small town farmer then we know they are hard to convince of anything. The depth of learning hands on about the earth can make any new ideas hard to swallow. In this case, McClelland’s knowledge about flat earth theories and his assertive behavior certainly skewed the numbers to an overwhelming majority.
Most interesting is the challenge to a debate. Many people today would take the bait ($100). Consider today’s equivalent as over $2500 and we can be quite sure that someone agreed to argue with him about the shape of the earth. We will be looking deeper into the Library of Congress archive to find the results.