There are some people who still believe the Earth is flat

There was a time in human history when people truly thought the Earth was flat. The great thinkers of that era no doubt looked across the glorious plane before them and smiled to themselves. They had it all figured out. Figures like Emperor Constantine (272 – 337), the first Roman emperor to claim conversion to Christianity, claimed a round Earth was the belief of heretics, pointing to scripture as the final answer on the matter.

We live at a fortuitous point in time in many ways. The Internet, space exploration, ever-expanding knowledge on genes, an (admittedly slow) advancement toward more sustainable methods of travel and power and so on – it’s all happening right now. I say this knowing that many generations before us going back centuries marveled at their own point in time thinking they were the most fortunate or sophisticated. In the future, I’m sure more advanced people will look back on us and feel shocked that anyone lived like we do. Hopefully we at least got the shape of the Earth right.

It may surprise you to learn that, despite people as far back as Eratosthenes the Greek (276 BCE – 194 BCE) determining the spherical shape of the Earth without leaving Egypt, there are some who still firmly believe in a flat Earth. While many self-proclaimed Flat Earthers may not be serious about this claim, it’s difficult to tell (see Poe’s Law). Adherents are either the world’s most dedicated trolls or they’ve truly been sucked into the great conspiratorial unknown. (Fun fact: Even famous rapper B.o.B believes the Earth is flat, releasing a song called “Flatline” all about it.)

For proof that I’m not making this up, see the website of the Flat Earth Society, where I’ve had an active forum account for over six years. I can’t help it – I absolutely love conspiracy theories. Not because I believe in them, but because the fact that other people do fascinates me. And let me tell you from firsthand experience: Flat Earthers are fact-dodging, deflective, utter deniers of reality. They deny the moon landings out of necessity, claim that NASA is pulling a fast one on basically the entire planet (for… some reason) and, while they don’t outright claim a connection to Christianity, many seem to adhere to a kind of fundamentalist Christian dogma. Add in some Jew hating and you have one fun group.

It is not my goal or purpose here to debunk the concept of a flat Earth. Many other scientists and science enthusiasts have worked on this task already. As with anyone hellbent on believing in their conspiracy theory of choice, whether it be the supposed evils of vaccines or the flatness of the Earth, you can’t easily convince these people to abandon their beliefs with facts and reason, so I won’t even try. My only goal is to have a little fun discussing Flat Earthers and some of the crazy stuff that comes out of their (flat?) world. If you want a very entertaining overview on the issue, see this wonderful video by YouTube user Vsauce.

Flat Earth model
Illustration 1: The model of the flat Earth from the Flat Earth Society’s FAQ page.

So what are some things Flat Earthers actually believe? Basically, the Earth is a flat plane with the “north pole” as the central point and an ice wall (which we commonly call Antarctica) surrounding the entire edge, although I’ve seen some claims of an infinitely expanding flat planet. Gravity doesn’t exist and objects just fall (no hint as to why). A quick look at the Society’s FAQ page, archived here as of 9/26/2016, shows us some other gems. While I won’t go through every single point, some examples and my commentary follow.

Is the flat Earth connected to any religion?

“While almost every religion shares a common worldview of a dome shaped earth, we have no official connection with any established religions. However, it would be impossible to deny the strong historical ties with Christianity by past Presidents of the Society.”

While they are being honest on both counts, alleged proponents of the idea seem to betray their religion when replying to comments on various websites like YouTube. While one cannot say for certain if these people are in fact actual proponents and not just trolls or fakes, the issue comes up so frequently that it’s at least worth noting that there does seem to be a connection between Christianity and Flat Earthers. Although the Bible never explicitly says if the Earth is flat or not, there are some verses that have been used to back up flatness claims. Isaiah 40:22 says, “It is he who sits upon the circle of the Earth.” Job 38:14 states, “The Earth takes shape like clay under a seal.” Whether or not these verses intended to state the actual shape of the Earth is another story unto itself, but they have been used as biblical “proof” of the Earth’s flatness in some believers’ minds.

What is some of the evidence you have?

“There are several readily apparent proofs of the planets flatness. The horizon always rises to meet eye level – which is impossible on a ball earth. The surfaces of bodies of water has been shown to be level. If the Earth was a Globe, this would not be the case. There is no visible curvature to the horizon even from airplanes. We don’t even have a full shot of the Earth rotating from space! One almost has to ask – is there any real evidence the Earth is a Globe?”

This is where some of you may start head scratching. These are just brief answers in a FAQ collection, but hyperlinks are super easy to insert. Where is their support for their claims that the horizon “always rises to meet eye level” (what does that even mean?) and that bodies of water have “been shown to be level?” Unfortunately the author did not include them.

The curvature claim is where things get really interesting. Passenger jets fly at an altitude of about 30,000 feet (5.6 miles). At this height, it would indeed be difficult to detect the curvature of something as massive as Earth. (And while we’re on the subject, if we use the Antarctica-bordered model of a flat Earth as pictured above, wouldn’t a flat disc like that have a visible curvature as well where the planet’s boundary is? So if Flat Earthers are denying curvature, are they then denying their own non-infinite model?)

Setting aside space flight, NASA and any government-related proof of the spherical Earth since they simply won’t accept it, it’s fortunate for us that there have been numerous students and amateurs who have sent inexpensive, simple cameras into the atmosphere high enough to detect curvature. Typically, the setup requires a camera, a method to get the camera high enough (a balloon) and a tracking device. Photographs can then be taken without a conspiratorial government getting involved. I give you this project by a Cub Scout group and this one by a couple MIT students which both hit a height of 20 miles. In the former, the kids used a GoPro Hero 3+ (specs here).

Despite these experiments that anyone can do with a couple hundred bucks, there is still ardent denial, usually in the form of claiming the cameras are using a fisheye lens. But even if that issue hasn’t been corrected for, the central horizontal axis of all fisheye lenses will be an axis free of distortion. Despite this knowledge, the denial still occurs.

Why Would People Lie About The Shape Of The Earth?

“There are three common explanations for this, but in the end without toppling the Planar Conspiracy there is no real way to know.

  • To Maintain Legitimacy: During the Cold War we faked the moon landing. Shortly after they realized the reason they could not reach the moon was due to the flatness of the Earth. They were stuck in a lie, and had to continue it or lose legitimacy of our governments. Even today we would still hold onto this lie due to role Science plays in our ruling government.
  • To hide the truth of the Bible.
  • To Gain Power and Money: By siphoning off the space budgets and denying the world the resources of the Antarctic they gain a considerable amount of power and wealth.”

Planar Conspiracy. It has a ring to it, I must say. My comments to this trio of points are

  • Instead of owning up to the “truth,” they just dug their heels in for fear of their reputation? I don’t know where Flat Earthers have been, but people aren’t exactly thrilled with our government and somehow it remains legitimate. Also, I believe they are confused about science “ruling” our government. While I yearn for the day when all of our representatives consult facts and evidence when making decisions, right now many politicians are actively working against science and reason. Notable individuals include Matt Bevin, Mike Pence and Ted Cruz.
  • Earlier they claimed there was no connection between flat Earth “theory” and the Bible, but suddenly there are people out there trying to hide the Bible’s truth. Interesting.
  • Power and money. The goals of any evil organization or person. This could be the start of the next great Austin Powers plot.

What does the map of the Earth look like then?

“As evidenced by the logo of the United Nations the Earth is a round disk of indefinite dimensions. The geographic North Pole is located in the center of the disk, and the Antarctic lies around the outer edges.”

Even the UN is in on it. For reference, here is their logo.

The UN logo
Illustration 2: The UN logo.

Apparently it’s just not possible that the UN wanted a logo that was capable of showing all the nations instead of the limited view we’d have if it was a spherical representation or if it was a region-centric version we’d have with the typical north-up iterations of globe projections. Flat Earthers also don’t seem to put a lot of stock in mankind’s ability to measure things, what with the whole “indefinite dimensions” phrase.

What Is Gravity?

“Gravity as a theory is false. Objects simply fall.

In the flat earth community there are several theories as to why this happens. Some attempt to explain this with use of mechanics like electromagnetism, density, or pressure. Others make use of traditional mathematics, such as the infinite plane model, and others a new look at the problem – such as the non-euclidean model.

What is certain is sphere earth gravity is not tenable in any way shape or form.”

Despite the fact that recently gravity waves have been confirmed to exist which, you know, would require gravity itself to exist, Flat Earthers apparently maintain this position. Perhaps because under a flat model, the Earth simply couldn’t maintain its shape if gravity were to exert itself upon the disc. Or perhaps it’s because the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which made this observation, is funded by the National Science Foundation, which is a US government agency and obviously evil. Or something.

Lastly, we’ll look at this point.

Is There An Edge To The Earth?

“The Flat Earth Society, along with previous notable flatists such as Samuel Shenton and S. Rowbotham, believe there is no end to the Earth and that it continues indefinitely. The only edge to the earth is the one you are standing on. Some math describing this can be found in our blog article The Mathematics of an Infinite Earth.”

This is an interesting answer, and one that contradicts their response to the question about the map of the Earth when they stated, “…and the Antarctic lies around the outer edges.”

That earlier answer implies an edge, but this answer raises questions. Is there more of Earth to discover? More people, land, bodies of water or features? Or are we confined by an ice wall and whatever might lie beyond is inaccessible? Why have we not discovered more of the Earth in the past decades given our technological advancements? Why is there a model given on their own FAQ page of a limited disc when they then claim an indefinite plane? These are questions we may never know the answers to. Hypothetically, if the ice wall and indefinite plane ideas are combined, I’d like to see an adventure film where the characters find a way beyond the wall and explore the limitless expanse. It makes for interesting science fiction/fantasy at any rate.

There is so much more one could look at. From the FAQ page to the site’s library and forum, there is enough content to keep any curious individual going for a long time. While I don’t necessarily recommend following in my footsteps and sinking a large amount of your life into the site, it is worth a visit and it’s also worth being aware people like this exist. Perhaps they are all just trolling us, but there are stranger things in this world to behold, so I wouldn’t put this level of intellectually disingenuous thought beyond anyone. It is tin foil hattery, plain and simple.

I’ll leave you with this humorous comic.

Jesus and Mo comic
Illustration 3: Jesus and Mo talk the flat Earth and scripture. Source here.

Victory for the Separation of Church and State: Conner Christian Breakfast Club

Tri-State Freethinkers received an e-mail from a concerned parent and student at Conner Middle School in Northern Kentucky. The parent explained that last year, the school had a Baptist group come in the mornings to meet with students in the building, bring them breakfast, and minister to children. The group suddenly quit meeting last year, but to the parent’s surprise, the group was announced to begin again for the 2016 school year.


The Tri-State Freethinkers wrote a letter the day before the group was scheduled to meet, to the school principal, copying the Superintendent, informing them of the violation, and reminding them of the State’s duty to remain neutral with regards to religion. Here is an excerpt from our letter:

School endorsement of Christianity is particularly troubling for those parents and students who are not Christians. The “[s]chool sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents ‘that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community and accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.” Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290, 309-10 (2001)(quoting Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. at 668)(O’Connor, J., concurring).

It is a violation of the Establishment Clause for Conner Middle School to promote, organize, or host religious instruction in the school. Even the name of the program, Conner Christian Breakfast Club, sends a clear message to students and their families that this program is supported by the school.

Tri-State Freethinkers received word from a teacher working within the school that within a few hours of the letter being sent, an announcement was made that the Breakfast Club was cancelled. We then received a letter from the school district’s attorneys.

They stated that because the group had never met, that there was no violation, and the school was “proceeding in accordance with policy and applicable law”.

My Paint Instant.jpg

While we are disappointed that the school hides behind the fact that our notice was what prevented the group from meeting, we are nonetheless happy that the students of Conner Middle School will not be subjected to the school’s unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity.

UC SSA Students Letter to Gov. Kasich


The following is a letter sent from Taylor Haynes, President of the University of Cincinnati Secular Student Alliance, to Governor John Kasich, regarding his comments about atheism.

Governor Kasich,
As a group of concerned citizens, we were troubled by your recent comments regarding Daniel Radcliffe and atheism. Seemingly unprovoked, you declared that Mr. Radcliffe being an atheist is “a weird thing.”
For you to say that there is something “wrong” with him being an atheist singles out a considerable portion of your constituency. Based on the 2014 findings of the Pew Research Center, those not identifying with any religion made up 22.8% of the population, which is markedly higher than the 16.1% that identified as such only seven years earlier. Not only are the non-religious a sizable segment of the population, but they are a quickly growing one as well. In Ohio alone, the non-religious make up millions of citizens; they are all around you, and you likely interact with some of them every single day. Making such a comment that alienates such a large portion of your constituency indicates a certain separation between you and the people you are supposed to be serving.
Further, we find it especially troubling that your comments serve to suggest that you are no ally to secularism, a pillar of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a document which you are sworn to “support, protect, and defend.” We hope that this is not the case and that you fully support the First Amendment, but your comments are concerning in this regard.
The University of Cincinnati Secular Student Alliance is an affiliate organization of the Secular Student Alliance, a nationwide educational non-profit organization. We place high value in scientific reason and secularism. Many of our members are atheists, and there is nothing “wrong” nor “weird” about being so.
I hope that you will take some time to become better acquainted with the non-religious portions of your constituency and address your recent comments. I look forward to hearing from you.
Taylor J. Haynes
President, UC SSA

An Open Letter to Governor Bevin

This morning, Tri-State Freethinkers sent an open letter to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin regarding his recent statements made at the Values Voter Conference. TSF additionally invited Mr. Bevin to attend one of their events to better know his secular constituents and discuss some non-violent ways of resolving issues.

The letter was as follows:

Governor Bevin:

We were gravely disturbed by your comments at the Value Voters Conference in Washington D.C. this past Saturday.

“I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically,” Bevin said during an impassioned speech at the Values Voter Conference in Washington D.C. Saturday. “But that may, in fact, be the case.”

“It’s a slippery slope,” Bevin said. “First, we’re killing children, then it’s ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’ now it’s this gender-bending kind of ‘don’t be a bigot,’ ‘don’t be unreasonable,’ ‘don’t be unenlightened, heaven forbid,’ ‘just keep your mouth shut.’”

“Whose blood will be shed?” Bevin asked. “It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something that we, through our apathy and our indifference, have given away. Don’t let it happen.”

This hyperbolic fear-mongering is reminiscent of the dark ages when the Church, feeling threatened by new ideas of science and humanism, called its followers to pick up their pitchforks and resolve things with violence. The slippery slope you refer to is the positive movement toward more inclusive human rights.

You claim you support limited government to make our nation stronger, and yet you would use the law to impose radical Christian beliefs on the people of Kentucky. The government should not tell a woman that she cannot access reproductive health care such as contraception and abortion services. The government should not restrict who can serve in the military or use public restrooms based on sexual orientation or gender identity. You hide behind the guise of religious freedom to deny the most basic human rights to your constituents. If society is moving away from conservative Christian values, it is because they are immoral, and violence is never the answer.

As humanists, we respect a woman’s right to health care, we do not discriminate based on gender identity, sexual orientation, or economic status. The Tri-State Freethinkers invite you to a monthly meeting, so that we may have a discussion about humanist values and non-violent solutions for our problems as a community.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is mocked world-wide as the anti-science capital of the United States, thanks to the recent addition of the radical Christian theme park “Ark Encounter”. We urge you to not drag Kentucky back into the dark ages by encouraging violence and bigotry. Let science and reason guide your decisions instead of ancient mythology that has historically lead to mass genocide and the destruction of human rights.

We look forward to speaking with you.


Jim G. Helton
President, Tri-State Freethinkers


PRESS RELEASE: Tri-State Freethinkers to Protest KKK Rally in Madison, Indiana

September 13, 2016

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim G. Helton

Tri-State Freethinkers will protest a recruitment rally for the Confederate White Knights branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Madison, Indiana on September 24.

“Our first priority has always been to defend equal rights and the separation of church and state.  The KKK is nothing more than a Christian hate group. Their racist remarks and historical acts of violence are protected by the guise of religious freedom. They are a shining example of what can happen when the bible is read, cover to cover, and its words taken literally.  Our country gives the KKK the rights of free speech and assembly, but those same rights allow us to call out their hateful bigotry and discrimination. They would have us return to a time in this country when the law segregated people who were different from them. Religion is quite possibly the most divisive tool humanity has ever created. It prescribes a set of unquestionable rules that tell you what to do, what to eat, what to wear, who to love, and to hate those who are different from you. As humanists, we believe all people should be treated equally, regardless of race, sex, gender identity, or economic status. Religion has always been and remains the greatest obstacle to equality.” said Jim G. Helton, President and Co-Founder of Tri-State Freethinkers.

Tri-State Freethinkers recently staged a successful international protest at the site of the Answers in Genesis “Ark Encounter” park for their discriminating hiring policies in Williamstown, KY. The theme park, granted millions in state tax dollars and tax increment financing, required potential employees to sign a strict statement of faith, excluding most Christians, Jews, Muslims, and the entire LGBT community.

About the Tri-State Freethinkers
Tri-State Freethinkers is a social, academic, and activist group with over 1600 members in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. They are advocates for equal rights and the separation of church and state. They empower members to make positive change by giving back to the community. They encourage critical thinking and decisions based on facts, logic and reason, not superstitions, myths, or dogma.

A member of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan waves the Confederate flag during a klan rally on the steps of the Warrick County courthouse in Boonville, Ind., on Saturday, Oct. 17, 1998. (AP Photo/Evansville Press, Jonna Spelbring)

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator shouldn’t inform anyone’s daily life

Ghosts, psychics, horoscopes and demons. These are all things I, as a self-proclaimed freethinker, have rejected. There simply isn’t any hard evidence to support the veracity of these things. Sure, I allow that they may be real, but without any reliable to way to verify their realness, why should I spend my time thinking they are? Another example of such a weak idea is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Before I get in too deep, we need to clarify a term: Freethinker. It’s a word that calls up ideas like open mindedness, rumination and independence of thought. It’s also a word that tends to confuse people both inside and outside of the freethought world. In his recent book Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World, David Silverman wrote at length about the confusion words such as nonbeliever, agnostic, humanist and others have caused. Freethinker is no different.

A freethinker, according to Merriam-Webster, is one who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority or one who doubts or denies religious dogma. A freethinker is someone who approaches any given idea with an open mind – at least initially. Once one vets an idea, evaluating how well it holds up to rigorous scientific standards, one is free to embrace or reject the idea. This meaning sometimes seems lost even to those who claim this label as part of their identity. It’s not uncommon to hear one freethinker claim that another isn’t open enough to some concept or even that declaring a stance on some issue is the opposite of freethought, as if freethinkers should spend all their time in the most wishy-washy, indecisive states. Freethinker does not mean staying neutral on all matters and it certainly doesn’t require an inability to make absolute statements.

I used to be indecisive... Now I'm not sure.
What some imagine the freethought life to be like. Free use via Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos’s Flickr stream.

Allow me to make an absolute statement: MBTI is unscientific and should not inform anyone’s daily life.

MBTI was created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. The first handbook was published in 1944, although the two had been working on the idea in varying degrees of involvement as early as 1917. Based on prior ideas by Carl Jung, Briggs and Myers created a questionnaire designed to focus on a person’s perception and decision making processes to place them into a particular personality category. One of its original intentions was to help women entering the workforce during WWII identify which jobs would most suit their personalities, but its use has continued into the modern day, being used by anyone wishing to find out more about themselves.

I admit that the idea is appealing. Who wouldn’t want to more deeply understand themselves so as to interact with the world more fully and efficiently? It speaks to certain narcissism many of us have, whether we want to admit it or not. It’s the same drive that compels some to fill out those random questionnaires floating around on social media platforms, such as this one. We fill them out partly because they’re sort of fun, but we also have this secret hope that others will see our answers and somehow care or that the results will unlock secrets about ourselves.

However, MBTI holds about as much weight as a horoscope, despite what CPP (the test’s exclusive publisher – a group with a vested interest) may claim. Its validity, reliability, objectivity and other aspects have come under fire – and deservedly so. While there have been published studies supporting MBTI such as this one from 1986 by Thompson and Borrello or this one from 2002 by Robert and Mary Capraro, most studies tend to suggest otherwise. If you want to see these or summaries of these, click here, here, here, here, here or here for a few examples, bearing in mind some of these links are only to abstracts or to books in which the research is contained.

For MBTI to move into the domain of a scientifically rigorous personality test, it must attain approval of its validity. Does it measure what it claims to measure? In particular, do its four dichotomies (intuition/sensing, feeling/thinking, introversion/extraversion, perception/judging) hold water? David Pittenger’s writing is a good place to get an idea. To quote Pittenger’s words on MBTI’s validity, “Research on the factor analysis of the MBTI has not produced convincing results.” Using factor analysis in one study (as described in Pittenger’s linked work), 83 percent of the differences among 1,291 college-age students who participated in a study about MBTI could not be accounted for by MBTI. This number is very disconcerting. MBTI does not seem to be an adequate measuring tool when considering this situation (and there are others).

MBTI should also be reliable, meaning that when you take the personality test multiple times, you should get the same result. This has not been the case. Pittenger notes in his section on reliability that “Several studies… show that even when the test-retest interval is short (e.g., 5 weeks), as many as 50 percent of the people will be classified into a different type.” If a chemist were to apply a particular reaction test to a chemical to see its resultant chemical and, over a series of tests, that chemical changed differently in numerous ways, the test itself would be questioned. The same should go for MBTI. While some would argue that the human brain is obviously far more complex than one chemical and therefore could yield differences given the mood of a person, that argument is irrelevant because MBTI is claiming to measure your unchanging personality which you could then use to guide your course through life (which job one should apply for, for example). Failing to provide reliability violates the premise of the test itself.

Objectivity is yet another area MBTI falls short. Since this test relies on people being honest about their responses, there should be safety nets in place to account for participants exaggerating answers or choosing ones they feel are more socially acceptable even if those answers don’t align with the participant’s beliefs. Other tests have tools to do this, such the Personality Assessment Inventory. People could be embellishing their responses or choosing ones that don’t actually represent them and MBTI has no way of measuring or adjusting for this.

I have heard some claim that since MBTI has been used in the hiring processes of some companies so that the hiring entity can screen out applicants based on personality, it’s a valid and reliable tool. Why would it be allowed if it weren’t up to snuff? CPP itself has acknowledged it is unethical to use MBTI when hiring. And indeed, companies have turned to other tests over time for this specific purpose. As CPP has said, “It is unethical to use the MBTI tool for hiring. Completing the assessment must be voluntary (not required of job applicants), and the results are confidential and belong to the respondent. Furthermore, people of many different types excel at the same job for different reasons. Individuals should not be pigeonholed based on their personality preferences.” They say it can’t be used to hire but that you can use it to better assist employees in giving their best performance. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case thus far, given the issues discussed above.

Like the paranormal, horoscopes and other things of that sort, I do feel they are fun. I love going on ghost tours even though I don’t believe in ghosts. It can be fun to read my horoscope (I’m a Libra) despite not putting any stock in its veracity. I’ve even sat down with a psychic just to have the experience (apparently the military is in my future – we’ll see). So do I think MBTI can be fun? Absolutely. I enjoyed myself while taking the test and I can easily see people gathering together in a jovial, social setting to compare results and talk about their personalities while understanding it’s all just fun and games.

Test result image: ISTP - The Mechanic
I took the questionnaire and received ISTP: The Mechanic.

As shown in the image above (some it was cut off to conserve space), I received ISTP from the test, otherwise known as The Mechanic. Honestly, the traits it describes do seem to line up with how I perceive my personality to be, much like I’ve read the summary of my zodiac sign and felt the same way at times. I do feel I’m logical, easy going, realistic and open to new experiences. I do like James Dean, Clint Eastwood and Alan Shepherd who were listed as famous individuals who also received the same result. But at the same time I have to wonder if my responses were given because I thought that was how I was versus how I actually am. Or maybe I became a victim of social pressures, answering in a certain way that is more socially acceptable despite not really feeling that way. Maybe I interpreted the questions in a way that wasn’t intended. Perhaps if I take the test after at least five weeks I’ll unintentionally receive a different result (the likelihood is about 50 percent that this could occur).

To wrap this up, I’ll say that while I think MBTI is sort of fun and interesting on a certain level, given the clear shakiness regarding MBTI’s scientific alignment, it’s unreasonable to seriously apply this to your daily life.  Unless research begins strongly suggesting otherwise, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator should be shelved with the likes of tarot cards, horoscopes and star chart readings. Should we, as freethinkers, participate in something shown not to meet the standards of science? Should we promote this kind of bad science to our family and friends despite the possibility of unintended consequences? Should anyone be altering the course of their life based on this test? If the research is anything to go by, the answers seem clear.

Tri-State Freethinkers invite Governor John Kasich to meet some of his atheist constituents

Earlier this morning, Tri-State Freethinkers delivered an open letter to former presidential candidate and current Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, regarding recent statements made about Daniel Radcliffe and his professed atheism. The group ended the letter with an invitation for the Governor to join them at a monthly meeting or volunteer event to better know his constituency and their contributions to the state of Ohio.

The letter was as follows:

Governor Kasich,


We were disappointed to hear the news of your comments regarding Daniel Radcliffe declaring himself an atheist. “What the hell is wrong with him?” you stated, when only months earlier, while on the campaign trail, you agreed with his best known character stating: “I’m with Harry Potter. We’re not going to the dark side.”

For you to exclaim in disgust that there is something “wrong” with someone expressing their religious belief (or lack thereof) is both troubling and goes against what we stand for as a country. In 2014 Pew Research Center found that 22% of Americans identified themselves as unaffiliated with any religion, and over one third of young people do not consider themselves religious. These tens of millions of citizens are your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. They are doctors, teachers, scientists, and soldiers. To single out such a large and diverse group of people with such bigotry shows a disconnect from your constituency, as “Nonreligious” is the second-largest religious demographic in the state of Ohio.

Tri-State Freethinkers is a local nonprofit organization that provides activism, community service, education, and social opportunities for those in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana who consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or freethinkers. With over 1,600 members in our group alone, we can confidently say that there is nothing “wrong” with Mr. Radcliffe’s declaration of atheism. We invite you to join us for one of our monthly meetings or community service events so that you may become better acquainted with your atheist constituents, their views, and contributions to the great state of Ohio.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Jim G. Helton

President, Tri-State Freethinkers


The main obstacle to equality is religion.