What Flat-Earthers Believe about the Sun, Moon, Stars, and the Space Program

When I was a child, we lived in Central Florida not too far from Cape Canaveral. On May 5, 1961 we were all marched out onto the school playground and looked to the east. Then we saw it! A very small, shiny object went up into the sky. It was astronaut Alan B. Shepherd, the first American to go into space. He went up and then splashed down just as planned.

We were part of space program history!

Another really big event was when Americans landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Flat-earthers say it never happened. Along with other moon landing conspiracy theorists, flat-earthers claim that it was a hoax.

Moon Landing Hoax Conspirators

A few years later, I worked a part-time job while attending college in Tennessee and met my first moon landing denier. I ask him where the photos were taken if not on the moon. ‘Copper Hill,’ he said. I could see his point; Copper Hill was an old copper mine nearby and was a very barren landscape. But I was unconvinced.

Flat-earthers represent only a small minority of those who consider the first manned moon landing to be a hoax, so not all the arguments are the same because flat-earthers also reject moon landings for different reasons. Wikipedia has a good article on moon landing hoax conspiracy in general, but we will focus on what flat-earthers believe about the sun, moon, and stars.

The Vault, Dome, or Firmament above the Earth

flat earth95

Both flat-earthers and Young Earth Creationists (YECs) are science deniers and depend heavily on biblical inerrancy. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that flat-earthers tend to be YECs as well.

An important biblical passage that guides flat-earthers is found in Genesis 1:

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it…

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.

According to this passage, the vault separates the rain from the surface water on the earth but it also houses the sun, the moon, and the stars. They are not a great distance away but right there just above us. And they all rotate around a central point over the North Pole.

The Sun

One of the most surprising beliefs is that the sun is a sphere with a diameter of 32 miles located about 3000 miles above the surface of the flat earth. It rotates around the North Pole. It seems to ascend to noonday and then descend because of the law of perspective.

The Moon

The moon is also said to be a sphere with a diameter of 32 miles located about 3000 miles above the earth. So the sun and moon are essentially the same size and distance away. What appears to be the phases of the moon are caused by a natural shadow from the sun illuminating half the spherical moon. A New Moon is when the moon is below the sun’s altitude and the moon is dark; a Full Moon is when the moon is above the altitude of the sun and is fully lit.

A Solar Eclipse occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun, but a Lunar Eclipse happens when an invisible satellite of the sun, about five to ten miles in diameter, passes between the sun and moon.

The Stars

Stars are thought to be very small objects a few thousand miles above sea level. Sometimes stars are seen to pass in FRONT of the moon.

The Planets

The planets are also said to reside in the vault of the flat earth—and they are spheres! But this does not suggest that the earth is a sphere because the earth is not a planet. The planets revolve around the sun.

How Flat-Earthers Understand Gravity

You might remember my comment earlier about Australian flat-earthers down under who claimed that they were not hanging from the earth by their feet. This statement shows the flat-earther denial of gravity pulling from the center of a spherical earth. They do believe in gravity. However they believe gravity is created by the constant and stable upward motion of the flat earth.

Two different models are offered to explain this phenomenon. One involves a Universal Accelerator, which sits underneath the Earth and accelerates anything it touches, while the other involves Dark Energy, which accelerates all celestial bodies. It does not appear to me that the same flat-earther would embrace both explanations, but all deny that gravity is produced from the center of a spherical earth.

This is Only an Introduction to Flat Earth Theory

These four articles are a mere introduction to flat earth theory. There are many more issues and much more detail to their views. If you wish to pursue the subject further on your own, you may wish to check these sources:

The Flat Earth Society

Flat Earth Fully Explained: video (6 minutes; 34 seconds)

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25 Responses to What Flat-Earthers Believe about the Sun, Moon, Stars, and the Space Program

  1. Ken Hogan says:

    I wasn’t enthusiastic about this latest series, but with each passing post I develop more
    interest in understanding the mindset. What DRIVES someone to embrace this worldview?

    500 years ago the church clung to an Earth-centric view in an attempt to retain POWER. Something different is going on here. Is the truth somehow threatening to their inerrancy views, or is it a lack of education? It’s likely both. Perhaps to admit otherwise would cause their argument to cascade into series of failures, which would be disconcerting and thus avoided.

    Opening one’s God-given, questioning mind, made in the image of God, can be a very scary thing – too scary for some, so they construct an elaborate latticework of irrational defenses.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Perry says:

    Your past 2 flat earth writings have been impactful analogies for me. I’m thinking of how angry conservative evangelicals get in the face of science that contradicts inerrancy. Reminds us of torture & even executions by the church hundreds of years ago to intimidate the faithful into ignoring newly discovered facts. It is often painful to accept facts when it’s more comfortable to ignore them. Unfortunately or fortunately, many of us have an inquisitive, analytical mind that wants truth regardless of the consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is fascinating. I’ve discussed these views with several flat earthers online, and this lines up nicely with what they told me. Do they have pictures of stars passing in front of the moon?


  4. tonycutty says:

    Unusually for one of your posts, I found I could not read it to the end! In fact it’s not just unusual, I have never stopped reading one of your articles!

    However this is not because of your writing ability, it’s your subject matter. Your writing skills are so good that you have presented the arguments of the flattards very weill. So well, actually, that I couldn’t read any further, because it was a trigger! How you have presented their ideas demonstrates perfectly how they just make up one thing after another in order to try to re-explain that which has already been explained by proper science, and using more and more ludicrous concepts. And it amplifies once again that these people are utterly ignorant; I sometimes wonder whether they are capable of rational thought at all. I think they are so deranged that I don’t think these people should be allowed even to drive a car, or maybe even a shopping trolley.

    As an aside, did you read about the video where one of the leaders of the FE movement was recorded saying that he didn’t want a particular piece of evidence (for globe Earth) to become public knowledge because it would torpedo their cause? It was plainly obvious to the listener that actually that guy doesn’t believe it either, and the inference is that it’s all about making money from these idiots. The link to an example of the video is here http://tinyurl.com/y4zarvbs and that’s a really interesting article too in its own right. There have been experiments where the FEs have proved that the Earth is a globe and their glaringly obvious bias against even their own experimental evidence is absolutely didgusting, to me as a professional scientist. So if they don’t even believe their own experimentalt evidence, what hope is there for anyone else to discuss results with them in any rational manner? This is why I gave up interfacing with these gormless oiks a long time ago. Unless they can talk about something interesting like the weather or watching paint dry, I just walk away.


    • Chas says:

      Tony, Their beliefs and actions suggest that they are mentally ill, because only those who are mentally ill can be so irrational, so we ought not to denigrate them, but have sympathy for them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonycutty says:

        Some of them are, yes. But my beef is with those who are deliberately lying, and spreading their lies, and then accusing most of the world’s professional population (astronomers, scientists, pilots, seafarers, governments, cellphone engineers and the list goes on) of lying. I just hate duplicity like that.

        I don’t think that irrationality is always linked with mental illness, though. Some people just don’t know how to think properly, or, worse, don’t know how to think properly *and believe that they are the only ones who do*! In positions of power, people like that can be truly dangerous.


        • Chas says:

          Tony, deliberately lying and then accusing others of lying sounds like Trump. Is he sane?

          Liked by 1 person

          • tonycutty says:

            Hehe good point. Sometimes I wonder… 😉


          • Chas, I think Trump is absolutely sane. The legal definition of insanity is not knowing right from wrong. So, in other words, you can’t be held accountable for your actions because you genuinely did not understand what you were doing. I won’t give Trump the benefit of saying he doesn’t understand what he’s doing. He definitely does, he just doesn’t care.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. This viewpoint that Flat Earthers have is, in my opinion, very insulting particularly because of the racism, misogyny, and hatred that the African-American, female mathematicians that made the Space Race possible had to endure. And then, of course, the male, white scientists took credit for their work. It’s only recently that those women have started to get the accolades they deserved a long time ago. A movie was recently made about this–Hidden Figures, I think it was called.

    Do Flat Earthers honestly believe that those women went through all of that for absolutely nothing, for just a hoax?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just created a reddit community called “Jesus Not Religion” for anyone who resonates with the message of this blog. It’s a place for alternative interpretations of the bible, intellectual discourse, and peaceful fellowship with other followers. It’s for anyone who left religion and found their own relationship with God and Jesus. Please consider joining and sharing your own stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not that this has much to do with Flat Earth beliefs, but I’ve just learned that a fundamentalist Baptist church from Illinois is hosting a convention in Florida in June.

    Their convention is called–Make America Straight Again. Yep. It is meant to coincide with the gay pride parade. They had some promo videos on Youtube that have since been flagged and taken down for discrimination and hate speech. Be glad you didn’t see it. The pastor used gay slurs, they called for the genocide of all LGBT, etc. It was really awful.

    Things like this are the reason I never want to set foot in a church again.


  8. Drew Chastain says:

    Hi everyone,

    If you’re wondering why Tim has not responded to your comments, it’s because he’s in the hospital right now. But he’s expected to be released at some point in the future. He says he really misses your comments and looks forward to responding to them.

    Tim’s son,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Drew Chastain says:

      Also, when he resumes blog activity, you can expect new blog posts on a new topic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonycutty says:

        Hope he’s ok. Thanks for letting us know, Drew, and please give him his fan club’s regards 😉


      • newtonfinn says:

        He already knows it, Drew, but please let your dad know how much he is loved by his extended JWOB family. Tell him, please, to just take his time and get back in the saddle only when he’s good and ready. None of us are going anywhere. Where else on the internet could we possibly feel this close to Jesus?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ross says:

          Oh, I hope Tim is okay within himself, Send him my best wishes, as said above we do appreciate him and what he does.


  9. newtonfinn says:

    While Tim is recuperating, perhaps some of us would like to shoot around this overly long but provocative article, which touches on things Tim has often talked about. Just a thought.



    • newtonfinn says:

      Let me start by saying that what concerns me most about the subject matter of this article is that it is describes an official decision of a mainline Protestant denomination, one similar to my own (American Baptist), not a fundamentalist or evangelical organization. While Tim’s vigorous blog and numerous comments made by its readers demonstrate a liberalizing trend away from fundamentalist/evangelical thinking, there seems also to be a substantial counter-current in the opposite direction, as some formerly liberal churches like the United Methodists adopt more conservative positions. Rev. Alberts tries to put his finger on the driving force of this polarization when he states that “many other Christians use The Bible to stress belief in the uniqueness of Jesus himself, not in the universal ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’-ethic of humanness he taught.” Is he right, or is there a better way to explain the source–the driving force–of these counter-currents? Come on, JWOBers, let’s try to keep the back-and-forth going, at least a little bit, until Tim, by God’s grace, is able to return to us and get the juices flowing as only he can.


  10. issythedizzy says:

    I don’t seem to have received a post since this in April. I’m feeling deprived. Is all OK?


    Issy Tomkins

    On Mon, May 6, 2019 at 9:01 PM Jesus Without Baggage wrote:

    > jesuswithoutbaggage posted: “When I was a child, we lived in Central > Florida not too far from Cape Canaveral. On May 5, 1961 we were all marched > out onto the school playground and looked to the east. Then we saw it! A > very small, shiny object went up into the sky. It was astronaut Al” >


  11. newtonfinn says:

    It hurts me deeply to provide this link. I know that those of us who love this blog were growing apprehensive after Drew let us know what was going on with his dad. Let’s thank God for what Tim gave us, pray for his family, and keep Jesus Without Baggage ever alive in our hearts.



  12. fiddlrts says:

    Tim, my heart aches to hear you have passed. You were a tremendous encouragement to me as I processed my own journey away from fundamentalism/evangelicalism. It is not too much to say you were one of those who helped save my faith by showing me an alternative that looked more like Christ and less like hate.

    May you be enveloped in the love of the Divine, and may we meet in person some day in eternity.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. ad says:

    Tim passed away??? This is so heartbreaking!


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