Reclaiming the rituals of death: 12-28-17
A time for discovering healthy faith: 12-30/31-17

The 'Hollow Earth' conspiracy theory: 12-29-17

As anyone who has ever heard of the book of Genesis, much less read it, knows, the first creation story begins this way (at least in the Common English Bible version):

Earth-core"When God began to create the heavens and the earth -- the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God's wind swept over the waters -- God said, 'Let there be light.' And so light appeared."

What that story -- and the second creation story later in the same opening book of the Bible -- never says is that our Earth ended up hollow and that Vikings and Nazis live inside it in a kind of paradise.

And yet that, Newsweek reports, is what purveyors of a new conspiracy theory believe.

Look. I'm as intrigued as anyone by the crowdy pile of conspiracy theories floating around. Well, let me reword that. I'm intrigued by how many such theories there are and by what makes people susceptible to such nonsense.

But the level of individual and societal delusion must be much, much higher than I ever imagined it to be for people to fall for such theories as the Hollow Earth.

And yet for some reason Newsweek, drawing on a report in the British tabloid The Daily Mail, felt compelled to set the record straight about what's really at the core of our planet -- as if rational scientific explanations could possibly change the mind of someone so disconnected from reality as a believer in the Hollow Earth.

And here I am taking up your time with my thoughts about all this. Maybe it's all due to year-end nuttiness. Let's stick with tried and true stories about God speaking the world into existence, about the parting of a sea, about a Virgin birth and about a resurrection. You know: the stories that are ancient and fascinating, not brand new, unscientific and weird.

(Does the NASA depiction here of the core of the Earth confirm or deny the Hollow Earth theory? Well, technically neither, though what it labels "Inner Core" doesn't look very hollow to me.)

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A new poll shows that “being a better person” is the top New Year's resolution for 2018. The RNS story to which I've linked you asks a good question: How will you know if you've succeeded? (One obvious answer: You'll read my blog and columns more often. Right?)


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