I was a bit astounded, even in this age of alternate facts and pseudo-science, to hear Kyrie Irving express his belief that the earth is flat. My first reaction was what my Dad used to say when someone said or did something that was ridiculous …. What and idiot! But of course, I know Irving isn’t an idiot or is he dumb. He attended Duke University, for Pete’s sake, even if it was to play basketball. I wondered if he was joking or trying to make a subtle point about fake news, but given a chance to retreat, he stood by his assertion. Several other players, including LeBron James, defended his right to believe that the earth is flat. It is certainly his right but why would he … or his friends … want him to look incredibly uninformed in front of the world, especially when there are so many simple ways to see that the earth is indeed round?
He could, for example, refer to a very nice article in Popular Science titled Ten Easy Ways You Can Tell For Yourself That The Earth Is Not Flat. To me the most stunning evidence are the photos of earth taken during the space program. I find it hard to believe that Kyrie thinks that the entire space program was fake science. He could also take a pair of binoculars to the beach on a crystal clear day and watch a ship appear on the horizon. He would first see the highest mast appear, then gradually, the lower portions of the ship would appear to rise above the horizon. This would not be the case of the earth were flat … the entire ship would either be visible or too far away for his binoculars to see. He could also notice during one of his coast-to-coast trips to defend the Cavaliers NBA Champinship that at any time of year, the constellations visible in the sky at night differ from place to place. Again, this would not be the case if the earth were flat.
As splendid basketball players with wealth beyond most of us, I suppose Kyrie and LeBron think it makes little difference in their lives whether Kyrie is a flat earther. We live, after all, in intellectually lazy times where confirmation bias guides research of many of our citizens and our leaders speak of alternative facts and fake news when they disagree with something. But remember, it was, in part, an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning that led us out of the Dark Ages. Every time we accept intellectually laziness as OK, we take a little step backwards as a country. And we get a president who doesn’t read or believe in science. And even you, Kyrie, have to live with that.