Every once in awhile, it actually feels like we’re regressing as a human race. And never is that feeling more prevalent than when citizens of the 21st century begin insisting that the Earth is flat. In a phenomenon that reads more like a bad sitcom joke than a serious theory advanced by people who were born after Pythagoras (the first Greek thought to have correctly suggested a spherical Earth), there is a new “flat Earth truther” movement going around. But alas, friends — sometimes it is a sad, sad world we inhabit, and it would appear that there are those who are spitting in the face of hard, scientific facts. And now, to set them straight, Neil deGrasse Tyson has taken to the most trusted medium of all — late night television.
The first I heard of the bizarre claims of a flat Earth actually came from Tila Tequila, who started tweeting her #FlatEarth theories in early January.
Why are all the buildings in NYC standing straight up? If earth was round then some of the buildings would have a slight tilt. #FlatEarth
— Tila Tequila ☺ (@AngelTilaLove) January 7, 2016
As absurd as this was, I chalked it up to a former Myspace star looking for more attention — surely, I told myself, no one else thought this was the case.
But as per usual, humanity proved me wrong, and soon thereafter, rapper B.o.B. began advancing the same notion. The popular artist began with a series of truly bizarre tweets that questioned the existence of a “curve,” then pointed out that the horizon is “always flat,” and then concluded with an apology to the billions of people he believes have been deceived for literally millennia, saying, “I didn’t wanna believe it either.” And then, because things can always get weirder, this somehow devolved into a series of diss tracks calling out acclaimed astrophysicist Tyson.
y'all be like… "you're not high enough to see the curve…keep going" pic.twitter.com/dzgYpIIao3
— B.o.B (@bobatl) January 25, 2016
But thankfully, the wise always have the last word, mostly because they have legitimate evidence and not delusional ramblings to back their claims up. “Listen B.o.B. — once and for all,” Tyson said during his appearance on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.” The earth looks flat because 1) You’re not far enough away at your size 2) Your size isn’t large enough relative to Earth to notice any curvature at all.”
I won’t ruin the whole thing for you, but Tyson’s own epic freestyle included the following gem: “If you want to think the world is flat, go right ahead. But if you think the world is flat and you have influence over others, as with successful rappers, or even presidential candidates, then being wrong becomes being harmful to the health, the wealth and the security of our citizenry.”