For my understanding as a German native speaker the mögen in Es mag paradox anmuten... has two purposes at the same time:
It implies an uncertainty about the rest: Maybe it seems to be paradoxical to you but it need not seem paradoxical to everyone.
EDIT: As some have noted in the comments, instead of uncertainty the phrase could communicate irrelevance: It does not matter if it seems paradoxical or not because...
It makes the whole phrase a concessive clause (Konzessivsatz/-konstruktion) as if a zwar was present (Zwar mutet es paradox an, aber...). It may seem paradoxical BUT IT ISN'T. So everything following the colon may seem paradoxical but is not. In my mind the X mag Y sein-construction provokes a big ABER.
There are other concessive constructions (with obwohl, zwar, obschon...) but they do not include the first bullet part of uncertainty. If the phrase was Zwar mutet es paradox an, aber die Erde..., then it would be certain that it seems paradoxical to everyone.
To make things easier I use another example sentence to compare a normal statement with a concessive construction using zwar and a concessive construction using mögen:
- "Sarah findet ihn nett." = normal statement
- "Sarah findet ihn zwar nett..." = provokes a continuation with "but" ("..aber ich finde ihn nicht nett."); additionally it is certain that Sarah likes him.
- Sarah mag ihn nett finden... = provokes a continuation with "but" ("..aber ich finde ihn nicht nett."); additionally it is uncertain if Sarah aktually likes him.
EDIT: For my taste, both the zwar-phrase and the mögen-phrase contain the same degree of irrelevance but not the same degree of uncertainty.