- The Washington Times - Friday, January 29, 2016

Earlier this week, rapper B.o.B raised eyebrows when he insisted that the Earth is flat and engaged in a Twitter battle with noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, which culminated in the “Nothin on You” singer dropping a dis track called “Flatline.” 

The rapper, whose given name is Bobby Ray Simmons, riffed about the shape of the planet, which included out-of-context audio clips of Mr. Tyson discussing the formation of the earth. 

The bizarre song, which suggested listeners research Holocaust denier David Irving and discussed other conspiracy theories, was later taken down from Soundcloud, where is was originally posted. 

In response, Mr. Tyson released his own track “Flat to Fact” with his nephew, Stephen, doing the rapping. 

Then Mr. Tyson took the feud off social media and laid down his own rap on “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” on Thursday night. 

“Listen B.o.B — once and for all. The earth looks flat because 1) You’re not far enough away at your size 2) Your size isn’t large enough relative to earth to notice any curvature at all,” Mr. Tyson riffed on the show, CNN reported. 

“It’s a fundamental fact of calculus and non-Euclidean geometry. Small sections of large curved surfaces will always look flat to little creatures that crawl upon it,” he continued, to audience applause. 

The “Cosmos” narrator said that people are free to think the earth is flat, but cautioned those with influence over others not to spread their false ideas. 

“There’s a growing anti-intellectual strain in this country. It may be the beginning of the end of our informed democracy,” Mr. Tyson said, taking the freestyle from a rap to the tone of an evangelical sermon. “Of course, in a free society you can and should think whatever you want.

“If you want to think the world is flat, go right ahead. But if you think the world is flat and you have influence over others, as with successful rappers, or even presidential candidates, then being wrong becomes being harmful to the health, the wealth and the security of our citizenry,” he said. 

Mr. Tyson then brought it home with a quote from a world famous physicist: 

“Issac Newton, my man, said, ‘If I have seen farther than others, it’s by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ Can I get an Amen?!’

“So that’s right B.o.B — when you stand on shoulders of those who came before you might just see far enough to realize the earth isn’t [expetive] flat.”

He finished his fact-filled rap with a final dis: “And by the way, this is called gravity,” he said before dropping the mic.

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