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    BELIEF, erroneous

    Studies show that sugar pills, or placebos, can alleviate many symptoms if a sick person believes he is getting treatment. Current research reveals that 1 in 3 people find such medication to be helpful--even when they are told they are getting a placebo. This illustrates the power of mind over body. It also shows that a belief may be temporarily effective, even when it isn't true.

    Forget what you learned in elementary school--the earth is flat as a pancake. All that stuff about the earth being round and the sun being the center of the universe is a big joke, insists C.K. Johnson, president of the International Flat Earth Research Society, a group that takes great pleasure in poking fun at "globites." The organization, backed by 1400 members from around the world...or rather, from across the plane, gets scads of mail from dedicated teachers and students who blast it as a group of kooks and charlatans. Maybe it is, but Johnson claims the society's largest single group of members is doctors. Then come lawyers and other professional people, like engineers and architects. The Flat Earthers dismiss modern science as a club for sun worshippers and write off the American and Russian space programs as multi-billion dollar hoaxes. "The moon walk was done in a Hollywood set. All faked," says Johnson, a former airplane mechanic. Furthermore, he and his followers insist the sun is not stationary and does not set. They figure it to be a gigantic spotlight, 32 miles across, that moves in an ellipse just 3000 miles ablve the center of the earth. The other stars are just a lot of tiny holes poked in a huge canopy covering this planet. Do Flat Earthers believe in anything? "We believe the Earth is flat. Everything else is pure conjecture," Johnson replies. 

    Campus Life, December, 1979, p. 15.