The point of this song is to reflect on how our immediate sense perception supports flat earth theory, together with geocentric concepts like sunrise and sunset, and how the flat continental plane of Australia seems immense when you are in the middle of it. I also have an ironic dig at the old idea that people living at the antipodes must either walk on their heads or be at risk of falling off the planet like people hanging onto a ceiling.
A consequence of the Scientific Enlightenment was the denigration of this whole incorrect naive perspective. The great scientist Carl Sagan explained as the Pale Blue Dot
the realisation that when our planet was photographed by the Voyager spacecraft from the other side of Saturn, humanity seems insignificant in the overall scheme of things. Sagan said
"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light."
When I wrote this song, I was exploring the idea that human existence is the only thing of significance, since significance only has meaning in relation to human goals. Until modern times, our normal family and tribal interactions with each other happened inside our visual horizon, for which the earth seems to be a flat disk, despite fancy pants observations of ships gradually sinking below the horizon. So flat earth thinking somehow validates normal experience.
Understanding the scientific realities that the earth is a globe, that it orbits the sun, and that the galaxy sits within the immensity of the cosmos, require an intellectual theory that stands in a strong and usually unrecognised psychological tension with normal everyday experience.
Irrational religious beliefs arise partly from this revolt of the normal, a sense that moral relationships require a comprehensible controlled cosmos in which our lives are at the focus. The solidity of a predictable flat earth beneath our feet seems to provide an emotional guarantee of stable order, within an enchanted universe run by God. Science has taken away that sense of magic, but in doing so has often also taken away a simple sense of meaning and purpose in life.