Charles Osgood and John Kerry Perpetuate Flat Earth Myth

Not only do we have to contend with a federal judge that doesn’t know the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of a independence, but we also have to tolerate a Secretary of a State who misleads about science and is ignorant of history.

When liberals say the debate about global warming is over, what they really mean is that if people knew more of the facts they would demand a recount.

Almost every time conservatives dispute some scientific claim, liberals compare them to people who believed the earth was flat.

For example, “during his weekly Sunday morning program CBS News Sunday Morning, [Charles] Osgood touted a recent speech by Secretary of State John Kerry in which Kerry ‘likened deniers of climate change to those who once believed Earth is flat.’”

First, there is ample evidence to show that nobody of any significance ever believed the earth was flat. The claim that Christopher Columbus had to convince the scientists and cartographers of his day that the earth was round is pure fiction, manufactured by Washington Irving in his 1928 two-volume biography of Columbus. The dispute with Columbus in the 15th century was over how big around the earth was not whether the earth was round or flat. Columbus was wrong; the map makers were right.

Here’s some good information about the topic from medieval scholar Jeffrey Burton Russell, author of Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians: Flat Earth

“This vast web of falsehood was invented and propagated by the influential historian John Draper (1811-1882) and many prestigious followers, such as Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), the president of Cornell University, who made sure that the false account was perpetrated in texts, encyclopedias, and even allegedly serious scholarship, down to the present day. A lively current version of the lie can be found in Daniel Boorstin’s The Discoverers, found in any bookshop or library.

“The reason for promoting both the specific lie about the sphericity of the earth and the general lie that religion and science are in natural and eternal conflict in Western society, is to defend Darwinism. The answer is really only slightly more complicated than that bald statement. The flat-earth lie was ammunition against the creationists. The argument was simple and powerful, if not elegant: ‘Look how stupid these Christians are. They are always getting in the way of science and progress. These people who deny evolution today are exactly the same sort of people as those idiots who for at least a thousand years denied that the earth was round. How stupid can you get?’

“But that is not the truth.”

For decades, the flat earth myth was standard historical mythology that was written into our nation’s textbooks and his pulled out as a hammer every time some liberal lie is questioned.

Kerry and other global warming enthusiasts are using one myth to perpetuate another. They are counting on an ignorant people to get away with the mythology in order to raise taxes, implement more regulations, and control our lives.

Second, I don’t know anybody who denies that the climate is changing. It changes every day. We’ve had hurricanes, snow storms, torrential rains and flooding, and droughts in the past, and we’ll have them in the future. A little historical digging will prove the point.

Third, making predictions about future weather conditions based on present temperatures and weather patterns is a risky predictive business.

Third, there isn’t universal agreement that man-made global warming is a fact. It’s the “man-made” qualifier that’s the issue. I suspect the sun – that fiery star 93 million miles from earth –has a lot to do with climate change.

There are good scientists who dispute the evidence presented by global warming advocates.

Fourth, too much of the scientific community gets its money from grants that come from the government. There is a reason to fudge evidence or at least put the best spin on evidence if your job depends on the outcome. It’s not much different from how Republicans defend Republican presidents when they’re in office and how Democrats do the same for their guy. Power and money are the deciding factors on how the “facts” are spun. It’s no different when it comes to global warming, abortion, homosexuality, the debt, taxation. You name it, and I can show you how advocates spin the evidence.

Charles Babbage (1791–1871), an English scientist and mathematician who conceptualized the idea of a programmable computer, understood that scientists were often guilty of manipulating evidence to add credibility to a theory for fame, prestige, or profit.

Babbage described three types of misconduct: forging (the outright invention of data), trimming (the cosmetic ‘massaging’ of data, so as to display them to best advantage), and cooking (hiding or ignoring data that do not support the operating hypothesis).1

A careful and practiced eye will be on the alert for attempts to manipulate the evidence out of necessity to support a preconception of a theory in order to satisfy some special interest group that holds barrels of ink (today it’s digital keystrokes) or stacks of money.

Leftists have a good game going on Climate Change. It’s almost impossible to verify. “Whatever happens,” Joel B. Pollak writes, “it’s ‘climate change,’ because even the extreme cold must have been caused by some kind of heating somewhere else in the world.” He goes on to make another terrific point:

“Philosopher Karl Popper described the essence of a scientific theory as ‘falsifiability’ — i.e. it must be possible to conceive of a way to disprove the theory, so that its validity can be demonstrated and defended. Climate change, at least in popular discourse, is unfalsifiable. Everything is taken as proof that it is happening, and the repeated failure of sophisticated climate models to predict the actual, observed results is hardly noticed. Even the name of the phenomenon itself has been changed to fit the rather contradictory outcomes ascribed to it.”

Misleading people on any given topic is made easier if the general public is ignorant on a subject or does not have the inclination or the ability to check the facts. This is especially true of science and history where many Americans are woefully misinformed as recent surveys seem to indicate.

Consider this from Jimmy Kimmel’s “Lie Witness News” on the RECENT death of FDR who was born in 1882 and died in 1945:

  1. Walter Gratzer, The Undergrowth of Science: Delusion, Self-Deception and Human Frailty (Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000), vii. []