Simon Smith told everybody that the world was flat. He believed in the Flat Earth Theory.
When he went to school, he explained that the teacher’s globe was, in fact, incorrect and that the world really looked more like a giant frisbee. With trees and mountains in the middle and lots of water and ice falling off the edges.
When he went to Henry’s house to play, he informed Henry’s mother that the photographs taken of the Earth from orbiting aircraft were either inaccurate or falsified. He was able to reference an obscure article written in America in 1972 to back up his comments.
While eating dinner with his family, he spent much of the time maneuvering his meatballs and peas around the plate to demonstrate the organisation of the solar system around our flat planet. He explained that the Earth was flat, but all of the orbiting bodies were spherical, especially Mars. When his father asked him why only the Earth was flat, he harrumphed, squinted and said ‘just look at the evidence dad.’
On the playground, when Matthew Barnes told him he was wrong about the Earth being flat, Simon became rather upset and pushed Matthew over. Matthew fell to the ground but didn’t begin rolling sideways. Simon saw this as a great victory for his cause.
But Simon Smith was wrong about the flatness of our planet. He was wrong about the false photographs, and the peas on his plate were in the wrong places. He was actually wrong about the whole silly lot of it.
You see, Simon Smith had decided that the Earth was flat after watching a Flat Earth Theory video uploaded to the internet by someone with a rather silly name (it was Flat3arther579). Simon had watched this video and enjoyed the music and the way the man spoke. Simon hadn’t thought to check the man’s references or to read other peer-reviewed literature on the subject.
Flat Earth Theory: Simon had been the victim of what is commonly known as ‘fake news’
But did Simon ever come to realise his mistake? Did he hold his hands up to the world and say ‘yep, sorry guys, I got it wrong’? No, he didn’t.
In fact, by the time Simon Smith was 45 he also believed that aliens were responsible for dead cows. He believed that one of the old American presidents had been killed by a renegade CIA operative and that the banking industry was led by a group of smartly-dressed men who also happened to run the entire planet all by themselves.
Simon Smith was what we call a ‘buffoon,’ a ‘wally’ or a ‘nincompoop.’
Simon Smith never learned his lesson. Unfortunately, he began to make his videos which he also uploaded to the internet.
At the last count, almost five million young girls and boys had watched his videos. Thus the Flat Earth Theory lived on.
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