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According to a recent YouGov poll, around two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 believe that the Earth is round. This is both surprising and frightening.

Recently, Netflix released a documentary titled “Behind the Curve,” which brings viewers into the world of the Flat Earth movement; these are a group of people who believe the Earth is, well, flat.

Proponents of this conspiracy theory claim that our planet is covered by a massive dome, with the sun and moon rotating in circles above us.

Antarctica isn’t a continent, but rather a giant ice wall surrounding the continents of the Earth, similar to the one featured in the fictional series “Game of Thrones.”

Despite empirical scientific evidence and two experiments conducted within the documentary which disprove the theories of the Flat Earth movement, proponents refuse to accept defeat.

At first, one might laugh at the views of the flat-Earthers, calling them names or mocking their intelligence, as there is no logical reason to believe the Earth is flat.

Yet those who mock the Flat Earth movement and ridicule those within it have not fully understood the lesson within “Behind the Curve” and the dangers of propagating such a conspiracy.

Psychologist Per Espen Stoknes states in the documentary, “Say you lost faith in this thing. What then happens to my personal relationships? And what’s the benefit for me doing that? Will the mainstream people welcome me back? No, they couldn’t care less. But, have I now lost all of my friends in this community? Yes.”

Throughout the film, flat-Earthers describe how they have lost friendships, marriages and alienated family members. They’re mocked by the rest of society, ultimately leading them to dig their heels further in their belief.

These people have fallen into a category of society that denies scientific consensus and, ultimately, reality. They’ve created a world of their own and seek to bring others into it.

The rest of society needs to bring them back.

At one point in the documentary, a group of NASA scientists are playing trivia at a bar close to a Flat Earth movement convention. One of the NASA employees gives a short speech to his fellow co-workers emphasizing that they should not ostracize nor ridicule the flat-Earthers.

His reasoning was that instead of pushing those individuals to the fringes of society, we should speak with them, understand why they think the way they do and try to bring them back to reality.

Later in the film, NASA astronaut Commander Scott Kelly highlights an all-too-real danger of anti-science beliefs. “Then, all of a sudden, you get people that maybe work in our government that don’t believe what 97 percent of what all climate experts say.”

Perhaps it is natural to ostracize those in the Flat Earth movement given how ridiculous the conspiracy is. That does not mean that we should not try and bring back those within the fringe circles of society because leaving them in the fringe presents a much larger danger.

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(3) entries

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HattieWilliams

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Christina Robinson

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