Evidence of a Spherical Earth
May 24, 2020 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

Given the number of heated protests we have received from flat-earthers in response to my previous blog, I wanted to take some time to list several, incontrovertible evidences that the earth is indeed a sphere.

This is, in fact, the only loving response possible: to present truth, to provide evidence, and to give opportunity to truth-seekers to embrace it. It is my hope and prayer that the following will be objectively evaluated by those who claim the earth is flat. Had I realized that there was this level of concern, then I would have listed this evidence in the previous blog.

  1. Observe the constellations from above and below the equator. If the earth were a flat “disc,” the constellations would be the same, regardless of where a person stood. But if the earth is a sphere, then the sky of the Southern Hemisphere would have different stars and constellations than the Northern Hemisphere’s sky . And, in fact, it does. The Southern Cross Constellation is only observable south of the equator. I have travelled to Australia, looked up at the sky at night, and have personally seen this constellation; I cannot see it from anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.
  2. Watch a ship sail over the horizon. If the earth were flat, the ship would get smaller and smaller until it is beyond your eye’s ability to see it, but binoculars or a telescope would be able to magnify it, so you could continue to see the entire ship no matter how far it sailed away. But that is not what happens. Instead, because the earth is round, the ship slowly disappears over the horizon, with the mast still observable, while the body of the ship drops below the horizon.
  3. Observe the moon. As the days of any given month progress, the moon goes through what we call phases, from a full, sun-illuminated disc (full moon) when the earth passes between the moon and the sun, to progressively becoming more and more side lit, creating crescent-shaped self-shadows (waxing/waning quarter phases), to fully backlit (new moon) in full shadow when it passes between the earth and the sun. This can only occur if the moon and earth are spherical, with the moon orbiting in a circular path around the equator of the earth. This optical shading cannot be created by any juxta positioning of sun and moon floating above a flat earth. Also, observe how the shadow of the earth is curved when the moon passes through its shadow during a lunar eclipse. Again, impossible to create such a shadow on the moon by a flat earth.
  4. Elevate yourself on an open plane, in a tree, a tower, or a hot-air balloon. If the earth were flat, elevation would not enhance the distance one could see; distance would be limited by visual acuity and the clarity of the atmosphere. But, in fact, the higher one goes, the farther one can see – looking farther around the curve of the earth. When we look out into space, we can see things millions of miles away on a straight line, but we cannot do that on the open planes of the earth, because the surface of the earth curves away, hiding the surface of the earth from our line of sight.
  5. Watch a sunset from a low-altitude position. After the sun sets, move quickly to a position of higher altitude and you will see the sun again. If the earth were a flat disc, this would not happen; because the earth is a sphere, the elevation allows one to see over the curve of the earth and make the sun viewable again.
  6. Fly a plane in one direction, east or west, and eventually one will return to their point of origin. If the earth were flat, this would not be possible.
  7. Measure shadows at different places at the same time of day. Take two sticks of the same length and measure their shadows at the same time of day. (You would need the two points of measurement to be several hundred miles apart; you and a friend could do this while using FaceTime so you could get simultaneous measurements). If the earth were flat, the shadows would be the same length, but because the earth is a sphere, the shadows will be different lengths.
  8. View the International Space Station. Any person on earth can view the international space station which has been orbiting the earth since 1998. One can see it with the naked eye, and if one uses simple optical magnification (i.e. binoculars or their own telescope) they can see the individual sections and solar panel arrays. NASA has a website which can assist you in spotting the station on your own at https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

Even with overwhelming evidence, God has given us the freedom to choose what we will believe and what we won’t. However, only the truth is healing; believing lies is damaging to the mind. Those who have not trained themselves to reason through evidence remain vulnerable to deception.

That’s why, in love, I invite every person to reason, to think, and to examine the evidence for themselves – and to be fully persuaded in their own mind.

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.