Meaning of the Term “New World Order”

The term “New World Order” has two meanings. The original, benign meaning is a period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and balance of power. It refers to periods like after the First World War, the Second World War, and the fall of communism.

The second meaning is the one used by conspiracy theorists. In this case, “New World Order” means a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian one-world government. This second meaning is just a conspiracy theory, which is not an actual fact but believed as true anyway by its adherents.

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Hawaiian-Japanese-Buddhist Flat-Earth Map by Dr. Kobayashi

The lost world is a genre of fiction involving the discovery of an unknown world, popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s when the remnants of lost civilizations were being discovered by westerners. However, newspapers of the era often published such works in a way it might not be obvious that these are just works of fiction.

In 1907, the Hawaiian Gazette published one of such works titled “Was This World Map Made Ten Centuries Ago,” illustrated with the so-called Kobayashi map, for a more powerful story. Flat-Earthers fail to realize it was a work of fiction that was common in the era. The tale & the Kobayashi map spread in flat-Earth communities as a hoax.

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Crank Magnetism

Crank magnetism is the tendency of “cranks” to hold multiple irrational, unsupported, or ludicrous beliefs that are often unrelated. Crank magnetism also denotes the tendency of these people to accumulate more of such beliefs over time.

Those who believe flat Earth will tend to believe other “crank” ideas. Some of these ideas are necessary to support the belief in a flat Earth, like the hoax that moon landings did not happen. But most of these beliefs are not related to flat-Earth.

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“Moontruth” Prank Video

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In 2002, the advertising company Viral Factory filmed the “moontruth” video, which is a prank showing an “outtake” from the supposed faking of the “one small step” scene. The video shows “Neil Armstrong” (played by an actor) being interrupted by a falling studio light.

Flat-Earthers and other conspiracy theorists failed to realize that the video was just a viral prank video. It spreads in conspiracy theory circles as if it “proves” that the Apollo moon landing was faked.

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Georgia Guidestones

The Georgia Guidestones is a granite monument in Georgia, United States. In one of the stones, a hole is drilled through that points to the north celestial pole. And consequently, by looking through the hole, the star Polaris is visible at night.

Polaris is visible through the Georgia Guidestones’ hole every night, and flat-Earthers use the fact as “evidence” that Earth is stationary. In reality, due to Earth’s axial precession, in a few hundred years, Polaris will have moved far enough away from the north celestial pole and will no longer be visible through the hole.

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Flag and Emblem of the United Nations

The flag and emblem of the United Nations is a map of the world in the azimuthal projection centered on the North Pole. Flat-Earthers wrongly claim that the UN uses the so-called “flat-Earth map” in their emblem and use it as “evidence” that the UN “knows Earth is flat.”

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Fallacy of Appeal to Worse Problems / Relative Privation

The fallacy of appeal to worse problems (or relative privation) occurs when someone argues that efforts spent to solve a specific problem are a waste by pointing out that there are bigger problems that need to be solved.

Space research is a common target of appeal to worse problems. Flat-Earthers use it to discredit space research and to make people emotional. In reality, it is possible to care about multiple problems simultaneously, and solving the supposed smaller problems does not mean the bigger one is considered unimportant.

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Information that Involves Accusations of Malice

If a piece of information requires us to accuse others of malice before it is possible to believe it, then there is a high probability it is not true. Such information is usually highly emotional. It can be very tempting to believe it, and we need to be cautious.

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Saros Cycle and Prediction of Eclipses

Saros is a period of 6585⅓ days separating the occurrence of two eclipses. One Saros after an eclipse, a similar eclipse will occur. The eclipses that belong to the same cycle are grouped in a Saros Series.

Flat-Earthers claim that we can only predict eclipses using the Saros Cycle. In reality, it is impossible to determine many characteristics of an eclipse from its Saros Cycle alone.

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Seven Traits of Conspiratorial Thinking

These are the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking: contradictory, overriding suspicion, nefarious intent, something must be wrong, persecuted victim, immune to evidence, reinterpreting randomness. Flat-Earth is not a scientific problem, it is a conspiracy theory. Like other conspiracy theories, these traits also apply to flat-Earth.

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Doublethink

Doublethink is the holding of contradictory beliefs or opinions in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting all as true or correct, failing to recognize the contradiction.

Doublethink is prevalent in conspiracy theories, including flat Earth. They would believe the different concepts that individually appear to support a flat Earth but cannot realize that these concepts are in reality in conflict with each other.

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Nikola Tesla Was Not Erased From History and Modern Education

Nikola Tesla was a very influential physicist, engineer, and inventor. Due to his influences, various things are named after him.

Many conspiracy theories hijack the reputation of Nikola Tesla, including flat-Earth. They claim Tesla was a flat Earth scientist, and his name was deliberately erased from history books and modern education. In reality, Tesla was a genuine scientist, and it is not hard to find out that many things today are named after Nikola Tesla.

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Disaster Conspiracy Theories and Crisis Actor Hoaxes

Conspiracy theorists often make false and cruel accusations that some disasters are staged and that the victims and their families are being played by what they call crisis actors. Their “proofs” are just that persons resembling the victims or having similar names are still living. They will even go as far as harassing these people in real life.

Flat-Earth is an extreme conspiracy theory, and its followers are also susceptible to making the same claims about crisis actors for related disasters, like the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

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Flat Earth Denominations and the Lack of Agreement Among Them

Flat-Earth communities around the globe are separated by country borders, language barriers, prominent religions, the leading figures, etc. As a result, they form several loosely-knitted but distinct denominations. Because flat-Earth is believed, not based on facts, each of the different factions invents and endorses different sets of “explanations” and talking points. All of them only agree on a single thing, that Earth is flat, but they cannot agree on practically everything else.

Many flat-Earthers would incorrectly dismiss our explanations as a strawman. In reality, we address flat-Earth misinformation from all denominations, and we might address ones that do not exist in their specific denomination. These are, however, still flat-Earth misinformation that people might fall for and worth debunking.

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Education vs. Propaganda

In our education, we are taught that the Earth is a sphere because it is really a sphere. It would be wrong if our educational system were to teach us that the Earth is flat.

Flat-Earthers claim we know Earth is a sphere from years of propaganda in our educational system. In reality, it is precisely how they themselves can believe something that can be easily shown wrong, like a flat Earth, except that it did not need years to deceive them.

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Incitement: How People Can Believe Scientific Hoaxes, Even a Blatantly Wrong Ones, Like Flat Earth

People can believe scientific hoaxes —like flat Earth— not because of their sheer stupidity, despite the appearances; but because they are being misled into believing it emotionally. In another matter, these people can still function just like normal human beings.

If the concept being presented requires us to accuse others of malice before we can accept the concept, there must be something wrong with it, and we must be careful. Real science does not depend on such accusations to be true. And thus, we can rule out many of the things being presented as science, but actually not, without having to delve deep into them.

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Conspiracy Theory Spectrum and Demarcation Line

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Conspiracy theories — like flat Earth — exists on a spectrum, from the fringe to the mainstream.  Each of us has a different demarcation line where we divide the spectrum into the reasonable and the ridiculous.

Flat Earth lies on the extreme end of the spectrum. Anybody who believes in a flat Earth also has its demarcation line on the far extreme, too, and as a result, tends to believe all sorts of other conspiracy theories. However, less extreme conspiracy theorists might find flat Earth ridiculous. By learning how people can believe in a flat Earth, we can avoid believing other, baseless conspiracy theories.

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Pareidolia

Pareidolia is the tendency for the incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, inanimate objects, or abstract patterns.

Flat-Earthers like to find shapes, patterns, or meanings in random natural phenomena, abstract figures, or figures in an unrelated context. Then, they would use them as “evidence” of some wrongdoing. In reality, it is just an effect of pareidolia, giving them false ideas. They are not evidence of anything.

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Missions to the Moon, Post-Apollo

After the Apollo moon landings, we continue launching missions to the moon, but with uncrewed spacecraft. The Apollo program was not entirely a scientific mission. It also served as a political mission due to the Cold War. We can research a lot of things about the moon without risking human lives by sending them to the moon.

Flat-Earthers claim that there have not been any missions to the moon after the Apollo missions, and they conclude that the Apollo missions were fabricated. In reality, we continue sending spacecraft to the moon to this day.

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Apollo Astronauts and the Demand to Swear on the Bible

In the early 2000s, an unscrupulous Moon landing denialist lured Apollo astronauts into an audience with him under false pretenses. Then he insulted them as liars and pressed them to swear on the Bible that they went to the Moon.

Flat-Earthers use this incident as “evidence” that we never went to the Moon. In reality, the offender did not meet the astronauts with the best of intentions. This incident tells us more about the offender than it does about the astronauts.

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