Is Earth Really Round?
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
Without a doubt, Earth is round, or nearly so. Using careful measurements from the ground and observations from space we can be certain it is essentially a sphere, with only minor bulging near the equator. If reduced to the size of a billiard ball, it would be perfectly smooth, and we wouldn't even be able to feel the highest mountains or deepest oceans. The erosive action of rainfall, glaciers and wind couple with gravity to relocate material from higher elevations to lower ones, rounding the globe. We actually observe these familiar mechanisms at work in the present.
By the way, the Bible has always taught a spherical Earth. There are, of course, instances of phenomenological language, where the author refers to what the viewer can see, just as we do today when communicating. We talk about "flat" terrain or a "flat" ocean even though we know they follow Earth's curvature. It is flat to our eyes and to our listener's eyes. But when the issue of Earth's shape is addressed in Scripture, the Hebrew wording implies sphericity (see Isaiah 40:22, etc.).
This may seem unimportant, but evolutionists often belittle creation thinking by comparing it to belief in a flat Earth. Certainly most who do so are merely repeating catchy insults from others, even though there are many who make the claim maliciously and purposively. While this may make them feel superior it belies a great misunderstanding (or misrepresentation) of creation and of the nature of science itself!
Of course creationists and evolutionists agree fully on Earth's shape. It involves observational science. Earth can be observed to be round. This is not a matter of interpretation. This is simply an observational fact. To deny it is to deny observation, and no one does.
Compare this with macroevolution, the theory that basic plant and animal types have changed into others. This is not and has never been observed. Instead, we observe stasis, that things "stay" the same, with only minor adaptations to the basic types. Evolutionists recognize this fact of the present too, but they claim things underwent major changes in the unobserved past when no one was present to observe it, and that all of life experienced these major changes. Indeed, their claim is that all of life came from a common ancestor. They argue about the mechanism by which this happened, but not the truth of the claim.
Thus evolution must deny the ubiquitous observation of stasis, relying on an unobserved mechanism to accomplish great changes. Evolution must confuse facts about the present operation of the universe based on observations in the present with speculation about its history which ignore present observations.
So in reality, evolution claims bear more resemblance to flat Earth claims than does creation thinking. Based as it is on a rather unsupported view of the past, and a denial of present observations, its supporters really shouldn't be throwing stones at those who are doing better science.
Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 2006. Is Earth Really Round?. Acts & Facts. 35 (3).