Astrophysicist and science popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson recently took aim at the Flat Earth conspiracy and attempted to debunk the controversial concept once and for all.
In an episode of his StarTalk YouTube program, Tyson explained to his co-host, comedian Chuck Nice, how scientists know that the Earth is, indeed, round and not flat.
Citing his most recent book, he detailed how the laws of physics "conspire to make things round" and noted that "almost everything in the universe is either a sphere or a slight distortion of a sphere."
Tyson also pointed out how lunar eclipses also serve to confirm the round shape of the planet and the simple observation of a ship sailing into the horizon and disappearing proves that the Earth is round.
As to why the Flat Earth theory has exploded in popularity, the Cosmos host opined that there are two reasons for this sudden surge.
The first factor, he mused, is that our country's free speech laws allow for the propagation of even the most outlandish ideas and this is coupled by the worrisome observation that "we live in a country with a failed educational system."
To that end, Tyson called for schools to do a better job of teaching students to think critically rather than merely absorbing information.
Although he was largely respectful of Flat Earth fans throughout the video, the astrophysicist did note a rather odd quirk of the conspiracy community in that they seemingly believe that the moon and all of the other planets are round, leaving just our home world afflicted by the flatness.
"Something doesn't square there," Tyson mused, no doubt anticipating a barrage of rebuttals to his video from Flat Earth fans around the world.
Coast Insiders looking to hear more from the popular astrophysicist can check out his many previous appearances on C2C in our archive.
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