Object 3: Tweet from a flat Earth Twitter account, claiming “The Bible is a flat Earth book”
May 27, 2021
This object enriches this exhibition by demonstrating how our religious values allow us to interpret our surroundings and acquire knowledge from the exclamations of people’s religious jargon and ability combat, or ignore the values of science. Furthermore, this object represents, how the dispersion of knowledge via online platforms, in this case Twitter, and how algorithms trap individuals into what is known as an echo chamber. Today, people with opposing beliefs take to these platforms to argue their case and share ideas with like-minded users across the world. The modernity and reigniting of this flat earth theory also shows how the social media system is flawed. On a global scale, this makes us consider, but not necessarily accept, opposing opinions.
Religious beliefs and there affects can vary dramatically for individuals, and in this case, a community of 21st century Creationist Christians here, have collated all biblical evidences to illustrate their idea of how the earth is flat; that the promotion of a spherical world is societal conspiracy. This establishes a strong sense of conformation bias, by which most scientific
principles, contradictory biblical references, and verifiable historic and geographic evidence are blatantly neglected to ‘prove’ this theory. Showing that values can negatively hinder our ability to acquire but also to accept empirical knowledge (science’s objective methodology; see Object 1).
Launching off the previous point, a second link to the question shows that due to the sorting of these algorithms, people who believe the earth is flat often find themselves in the same online communities, and how this can amplify their beliefs, blinding them from other perspectives. The sentiment of a community and support from others is a strong power to feel; this support system can help accelerate the accumulation of data to ‘prove’ the theory but can also hinder the knower’s ability to acquire different knowledge, as this is going against their religious dogma but also their conformity to a group. Therefore, unchallenged erroneous values limit our abilities to acquire credible knowledge.
- Hawes, Lorin Lindley. Boomerang with Carving of Horse and Cow. April 9, 2021. National Museum Australia . https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/earliest- evidence-of-the-boomerang-in-australia.
- Flat as Flix. The Bible is a flat Earth book. December 19, 2020. Twitter.