The Rushmore Report: Shaquille O’Neal – ‘The Earth Is Flat’

The controversy stirred up by Christopher Columbus in 1492 – that business about the world being round – can finally be put to rest. Professor Shaquille O’Neal, NBA superstar turned astronomer, has spoken. And it turns out the world was flat all along. Shaq has considered all the evidence before settling the debate for all time. All you “flat-Earth” doubters need to keep reading.

A few months ago, Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving was the first NBA player to say what most of us have suspected but were afraid to say. In Dr. Irving’s own words – “Can you really think of us rotating around the sun, and all planets align, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what’s going on with these ‘planets’ and stuff like this?”

It’s hard to argue with such depth. For those of you who don’t have Irving’s mastery of the universe (and language), let me summarize. He is saying, “Any idiot can see the world is flat.”

Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green have jumped on the bandwagon, endorsing Irving’s flat-Earth theory. To his credit, Green has seen through the hoax of NASA’s “photos” of Earth from outer space which show the planet to be round. He explains, “Anyone can manipulate doctored photos of the globe on their phones.”

Case solved. NASA’s charlatans have been exposed.

Still, there had been a few hold-outs – until now. Predictably, much of the NBA, and intelectia at large, have waited for Mr. O’Neal to speak, as the final arbiter of all things rational.

O’Neal has spoken, and for those of you who do not subscribe to Science Monthly, we will bring you his statement here.

“It’s true. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. Yes, it is. Listen, there are three ways to manipulate the mind – what you read, what you see, and what you hear. In school, first thing they teach us is, ‘Oh, Columbus discovered America,’ but when he got there, there were some fair-skinned people with the long hair smoking on the peace pipes. So, what does that tell you? Columbus didn’t discover America. So, listen, I drive from coast to coast, and this land is flat to me. I’m just saying. I drive from Florida to California all the time. And it’s flat to me. I do not go up and down at a 360-degree angle. And all that stuff about gravity, have you looked outside Atlanta lately and seen all those buildings? You mean to tell me that China is under us? China is under us? It’s not. The world is flat.”

Unfortunately, like Galileo and Copernicus before him, Dr. O’Neal is facing a predictable level of uneducated opposition that holds to archaic ideas in the face of scientific reason. One commentator said, “You can’t drive from here to Asia, but there are things called boats and airplanes, and if you head west from California, you’ll arrive in China. And if you head west from there, you’ll eventually end up in California again. The Earth is a globe.”

Poppycock. I own a globe. And there’s no way Earth is that small.

Another backwards thinker criticized Shaq’s description of driving “up and down at a 360-degree angle.” They pointed out that a 360-degree angle is just a circle. “Why would Shaq think you would be driving up and down a circle on the way to California,” the anonymous critic asked. He then shared even more ignorance. “The Earth’s circumference is 24,901 miles. Think of an ant walking around a basketball, if you will. It might think it’s moving in a straight line, but eventually it will navigate the orb and arrive in the same place.”

Are you kidding me? This skeptic used basketball as an analogy for settled science? To his credit, Mr. O’Neal did not respond. What does he know about basketball? Nor did he dignify a question about why we have time zones or where the sun goes at nighttime.

What this all teaches us is that despite the brilliance of professors Irving, Chandler, Green, and O’Neal, there will always be doubters. There will always be those who inject their own limited worldview and bias into critical decisions. Unlike Dr. O’Neal, they aren’t willing to dig deep into the evidence, to learn the truth for themselves. They are cynics of the highest order.

They have yet to learn that “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). They lack the intellectual curiosity of the aforementioned scholars.

I, for one, am grateful for Shaquille O’Neal and his willingness to speak the truth, no matter the consequences. I suggest we all follow his example. For all who are as open-minded, as intellectually curious, there is a whole new flat world out there. So keep climbing those 360-degree mountains in your search for truth and reason, wherever it leads.

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