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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Who believed the Earth is Flat???      Home login  
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 JMars
Joined: 10/14/2006
Msg: 1
Who believed the Earth is Flat???Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
It is commonly believed that our preIndustrial ancestors believed the Earth was flat, and us moderns often cite this fact as a form of mockery of them and their ignorance ... compared to our presumed brilliance.

BUT, the fact of the matter is that sailors knew from the earliest times, ie. predating the supposed birth of Christ, that the Earth was in fact a sphere. And this fact is echoed in a wide variety of European historical documents from about the 4th century BCE onward.

It was in fact common knowledge in Europe by the Middle Ages.

Sure makes one wonder about who the ignorant ones really are. Who the arrogant ones are is quite apparent. lol
 RocketMan_Len
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 2
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/3/2009 2:50:26 PM
Heck - I know a guy who *to this day* believes the Earth is flat. When I ask him about how he thinks things orbit, he describes a series of wormholes that surround the 'rim' of the Earth... anything that enters one is transported to the opposite side.

(I STILL think he was yanking my chain... but he sounded utterly convinced of it.)
 A.F.D.
Joined: 2/4/2005
Msg: 3
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History
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/3/2009 3:01:02 PM
It was really only a commonly held belief in the dark ages, and that was mostly because the church would burn people who said otherwise.

Aristotle knew the earth was round, because the shadow of the earth on the moon during a lunar eclipse was round.

The viking knew the earth was round because when ships came over the horizon you saw the sails before the bow, so it must be coming over a curve.

By empirical observation, it's always been pretty obvious that the earth was round, there was just a few hundred years of enforced ignorance in the middle there.

But I guess if you didn't go too far, for all intents and purposes it may as well have been flat.
 quietcowboy
Joined: 12/25/2007
Msg: 4
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History
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/3/2009 3:32:08 PM

It was really only a commonly held belief in the dark ages, and that was mostly because the church would burn people who said otherwise.


This simple isn't true. A writer in the early 1900 made the myth that the world was believed to be flat in the not to distance past, but even in the dark ages they knew better. When you go back and read what people in written history believed with what tools they had, they were truly remarkable people.
 A.F.D.
Joined: 2/4/2005
Msg: 5
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History
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/3/2009 4:05:10 PM

This simple isn't true. A writer in the early 1900 made the myth that the world was believed to be flat in the not to distance past, but even in the dark ages they knew better. When you go back and read what people in written history believed with what tools they had, they were truly remarkable people.


Yup looked it up, and you're right, my mistake. the only place it seems to have been prevelent even remotely recently is pre 17th century china
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 6
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/3/2009 4:08:19 PM
Ah, c'mon, the earth IS flat.

I put a marble in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot and didn't roll.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 7
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/3/2009 4:53:17 PM
Ya, jeez, sorry. My bad...but hey, in my defense, I live in Winnipeg at the time. It was a pretty convincing argument at the time.
 ForeverLong
Joined: 11/22/2007
Msg: 8
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History
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/4/2009 9:30:39 AM
I tend to think they do this to get attention....Flat Earth Society, I've heard of it.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 9
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/4/2009 12:14:19 PM
Of course the world is flat. Look, I'll prove it to you.

If you drop a marble on top of a ball, it will always roll off unless it is dropped on the exact top-centre. Now go to at least two distant places and drop marbles. Do you ever see them roll away after they're dropped? No.

Since only at most one place can be top-centre, if the world were spherical, the marble would roll away in all but at least one location (unless it landed in mud).

Therefore, since the marbles don't roll, they did not land on an incline. Since every place on a sphere is on an incline except two (there is also a bottom-centre) it follows that Earth can't be spherical and must have at least large regions of flatness. It is logical to assume that regions that haven't been tested are also flat (though without empirical testing it may not be stated to be strictly true, and therefore the Earth may not be provably flat everywhere, but it's statistically safe to assert a high probability of it). It IS however, sufficient proof that the world is not spherical.

Oh Yeah?....WHAT flawed assumptions?

BTW, before you guys start knocking my post, I'll have you know I've done this experiment myself!...Well, maybe not with marbles, but (usually on Saturday nights) I've fallen down all over the place and NOT ONCE did I actually start rolling (it only felt like it). This led me to conclude that alcohol somehow affects my perception of gravity, not gravity itself, which always pulls STRAIGHT DOWN on a FLAT EARTH.

If you're gonna try and disprove my empirically determined, scientific proof your gonna have to come up with better evidence than "so-and-so said..."; You'll have to cite proper sources of your information.

So whatcha got to refute me?...
 Vancer
Joined: 10/29/2006
Msg: 10
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/4/2009 1:46:12 PM
Maybe something was lost in translation, and the belief was actually an insult claiming that the earth was no longer carbonated.
It had become too homogeneous and ran out of zing.
Then a bunch of aliens came along and shook it all up, to get it bubbling again.

I don't know.
Leave me alone.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 11
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History
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/4/2009 4:24:50 PM
RE Msg: 15 by JustDukky:
Of course the world is flat. Look, I'll prove it to you.

If you drop a marble on top of a ball, it will always roll off unless it is dropped on the exact top-centre. Now go to at least two distant places and drop marbles. Do you ever see them roll away after they're dropped? No.

Since only at most one place can be top-centre, if the world were spherical, the marble would roll away in all but at least one location (unless it landed in mud).
I love your experiment, JustDukky. Only one problem with it. It's not to scale.

If you wanted to duplicate the effect of a marble falling on the Earth, you'd have to use a bead that was to the ball, what the marble is to the Earth. Say the marble is 1 cm across, and the ball is 20 cm across. The Earth is 12,756.32 km, which is 1,275,632,000 cm, over 1 billion cm. So the ratio of the marble to the Earth would be 0.000,000,000,78 and the equivalent bead would be 0.000,000,015,6 cm = 156 picometres, which is close to the diameter of a single Argon atom, at 71 picometres. But even then, at that size, a ball has huge holes in it, that the atom could easily fall through.

OT....

It really doesn't make any sense to me that anyone would think that anyone in Medieval Europe believed in a Flat Earth. But it would be great to claim that other people believed that. Just think: if we would only claim that the Taleban believe the Earth is flat, then we could claim that the only reason that they fight the US is because they are just ignorant, and if only we forced them to accept our values and our education, they would see just how right we are.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 12
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/4/2009 4:49:01 PM
No Star, you do not live on flatland. Where you live is concave.....until next month


Lived, past tense. Dropped the 'd' originally. Every now and then, though, my mind goes back. Especially when I hear the phrase "but it's a dry cold."

Spent my 11th birthday filling sandbags with my family. that was a ton of fun!
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 13
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/13/2009 6:18:04 AM
@ Scorp


<div class="quote">I love your experiment, JustDukky. Only one problem with it. It's not to scale.

Okay Mr. Smartypants... You asked for it!... Let's scrap the "marble" argument for the moment. If the Earth wasn't flat, all the water would quickly run off and the oceans would dry up. In fact even on a flat Earth that would happen (albeit more slowly). It is therefore logical to conclude that Earth has a raised rim to keep the oceans in, or is slightly bowl-shaped (support for the Concave Earth Theory). I of course subscribe to the former hypothesis since those "Concave Earthers" are a bunch of nut cases with no scientific credibility!
 Mr.Twist
Joined: 2/11/2009
Msg: 16
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History
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/14/2009 11:29:20 AM
I will fully support the flat earth theorists until someone buys me a(or multiple, if needed) plane tickets so I can fly 'around' the planet.
 Damienevil
Joined: 2/22/2008
Msg: 17
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/28/2009 9:21:48 PM
the avg person thought the world was flat sailor did not and people who traveled alot on water did not.

Do remember the avg person back in the day did not really travel much beyond their little valleys in their life.
 RocketMan_Len
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 18
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/29/2009 5:22:20 AM
Which thread are you talking about...? I haven't seen one that discusses a growing earth.

Also...

-If you're talking about the ones who say that the earth gains several hundred tons per year due to meteorite impacts... that's pretty much the accepted norm.

-If you're talking about people who say that the earth is growing at a rate that causes gravity... well, we call a spade a spade, and nonsense is nonsense.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 19
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/29/2009 8:01:04 AM

it's sad to see history repeat it's self as a select few geologists are stepping forward with growing earth and growing universe theories that are laughed at by the scientific community.


The growing universe is not being laughed at since there is more than sufficient evidence to support it.

As discussed (and you flatly refused to believe, regardless of the evidence presented) the growing Earth "theory" - along with growing Moon, Europa and other planets - is laughable at the get-go as it lacks any real evidence beyond lovely little graphics created by a cartoonist. It's not science. It's fantasy.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 20
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/29/2009 11:04:03 AM

Obviously the earth has always been the same mass and gravity since it's birth. Kinda like believing in Adam and eve... created the way we are today nothing ever changes or transforms into something more.


Non-sequitor. A believe in Adam and Eve is based on religious faith and has no basis in science. And no one said anythin about the Earth being unchanging. In fact, for a period during it's initial formation, it changed in mass quite a bit. Then, mass acquisition halted or, at least, slowed to significantly less than a trickle. However, those mechanisms are observable and confirmable.


James Maxlow is a geologist and proponent of Expansion Tectonics. He can pretty much answer any question about growing earth with the exception of an explanation to how... just that it is... and he would like more people asking the question of how instead of just laughing like the earth was flat.


And perhaps that's a hint to the problem presented by this "theory." Proponents including yourself offer no conceivable mechanism for how it might happen. As I remember the discussion, you not so artfully dodged a basic question...where did all the water come from.

You know, the hallmark of junk science is usually some proponent declaring how they are taking on the "established" science with their "revolutionary" theory without actually offering more than counterarguments to the actual science. Kind of how the Creationists argue evolution...not with actual evidence of their own, just supposed "weaknesses" with the established theory.

Indeed, established science is established because it has the backing of actual, real evidence.

In addition, there is a certain danger in this kind of denial. For instance, one of the places at risk of earthquake and tsunami is on the west coast due to the Cascadia fault. It is a type of fault that is best understood through conventional tectonic science. Preparations depend on understanding that fault and trying to use the present science to try and come up with the best prediction for it's next upthrust event.

Somehow, I don't think Dr. Maxlow, tilting at windmills, is going to be much help in those preparations.
 Confident-Realist
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 21
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/29/2009 11:49:21 AM
Yep. Duped people still believe Columbus was the first to think the earth was round and everyone thought he'd fall off the edge of the earth and he was a renegade to show the earth was round... Complete nonsense, but it was coined by a book in the late 1800's I believe, and everyone bought into this fable -- because it was posited as 'history'. So everyone ate it up. Again, nonsense, they had GLOBES back then lol

It's about things passed along to us by our family/community/etc., as kids... and since everyone else believes it -- it can't be false, right? That's conspiracy-theory talk! Well, no conspiracies required. It's called false information that can be easily believed with confidence by mass people.

It's a taste of how easily things like politics & religion can be passed along as well without thinking about how things really came to be and what things are really all about.

If you have popularity of the belief + you were told that as a kid = truth. At least that's how non-independent thinkers are. :)
 RocketMan_Len
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 22
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/29/2009 12:14:57 PM
@ Light Storm



RocketMan Len "well, we call a spade a spade, and nonsense is nonsense."

Kinda sounds like something someone might have said about the earth being round... don't you think. It's amazing what can be happening when we truly don't understand how it works.


Not even the same. If the 'theory' were right, and the earth WAS expanding at a rate of 9.8 m/s^2... do you have any IDEA of how big it would be? It would run counter to every observation we've made over the past five thousand years.

You're right - it IS amazing what will happen when we don't understand how things work... some people will believe ANYTHING.
 Damienevil
Joined: 2/22/2008
Msg: 23
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/29/2009 2:43:58 PM
sorry but if you dont kn0w science then the shadow on the moon is nothing that does not indicate that the earth does not cast a shadow which it would if it was flat

you do have to remember that the avg person only believes the earth is round because of others telling them it is or due to personal experience like flying
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 24
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History
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/29/2009 3:46:20 PM
Here is a list of some of the christian theologians who taught that the earth was flat, based on scripture: Lactantius, Cosmas Indicopleustes, Theophilus of Antioch, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, Theodore of Mopsuestia, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Jerusalem, Ephraim Syrus, Athanasius of Alexandria, Diodorus of Tarsus, Epiphanius of Salamis, Hilary of Poitiers, and Severian of Gabala.

"The earth is flat and the sun does not pass under it in the night, but travels through the northern parts as if hidden by a wall" ~ Severian, Bishop of Gabala
 Go Rin No Sho
Joined: 1/9/2009
Msg: 25
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History
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/29/2009 6:36:06 PM
Can anybody in this thread conclusively prove that the world is not flat?

The world is now available projected on flat panel LCD's.

Ergo, the entire world is flat.

Now, piss off with your reality is this and your theory is that B.S....

The TV is your world.

And your world is flat.

Thus spake Zarathustra.
 jal7
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 26
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/30/2009 12:55:47 AM

Ah, c'mon, the earth IS flat. I put a marble in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot and didn't roll.


haha that was pretty funny :)
 Confident-Realist
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 27
Who believed the Earth is Flat???
Posted: 4/30/2009 1:42:48 PM
You do have to remember that the avg person only believes the earth is round because of others telling them it is or due to personal experience like flying

... or if they proved it with help of a friend. They each being directly 50 miles apart and put a stick in the ground on a non-cloudy day and at high noon measure the shadow. If the shadows are different, you know the earth is curved, not flat. AND you can also measure how big it is, too (obviously it won't be very accurate due to a poor-man's lab experiment, and the earth is not a perfect circle).

OR by looking at photos OF the earth from space... and live tv cameras of Nasa hovering over the earth showing it... (and from many other sources, verifying it, eliminating any conspiracy that it's all a sham, despite no motive to say it's not) and actually watching on a large lake or an ocean, a boat in the distance disappearing with it's bottom gone but top still visible at the end...
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