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#183442 - Wed Jul 02 2003 09:06 PM When the world was flat
Copago Offline
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This is just one of those things that just pop into my mind when I'm trying not to think of anything.

When people believed the world was flat what shape did they think it was? Circle, square, jagged or what?

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#183443 - Thu Jul 03 2003 12:53 AM Re: When the world was flat
sue943 Offline

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We need to ask one of our older members, one might remember. When I was a school (they had by then realised it was not flat) I recall a teacher saying that they thought it was flat like a plate, I therefore visualised them thinking it was round as plates tended to be round in those days but now you have raised the point, why would they have thought it round, that was just me. Presumably they would have thought it just went on forever therefore no shape at all, no edges.
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#183444 - Thu Jul 03 2003 01:06 AM Re: When the world was flat
snm Offline
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"The four corners of the Earth"...

Btw, I think that's a biblical phrase, and if it is then the Hebrew version doesn't mention anything about four corners (the phrase is "all edges of the Earth").
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#183445 - Thu Jul 03 2003 01:13 AM Re: When the world was flat
sue943 Offline

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Four corners of the Earth is familiar to me, then square it might have been, I wonder if anyone wanted to peer over the edge.
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#183446 - Thu Jul 03 2003 01:20 AM Re: When the world was flat
snm Offline
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I vaguely remember something about there not being an edge to peer over, and the ends of the earth just disappearing into mists. This may come from some kind of mythology though, so I don't know.
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#183447 - Thu Jul 03 2003 02:00 AM Re: When the world was flat
gtho4 Offline

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It is a hexagon, according to The Flat Earth Society.
They are also conducting a campaign under another banner: The Flat Earth Liberation Front Against Television (FELFAT)
.. and if you've got some time to kill: The International Flat Earth Society has further reading.

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#183448 - Thu Jul 03 2003 02:16 AM Re: When the world was flat
sue943 Offline

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Where's Ren when you need her, she is old enough to remember
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#183449 - Thu Jul 03 2003 03:30 AM Re: When the world was flat
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14270
Loc: Australia
Yes! Where is Ren when you need her?

What facinating reading, Gt!
Quote:

22. Any other places which are believed to exist but really don't?
Yes, Australia . And then there are the cryptogeographica, places such as Kadath, Carcosa, Hobbiton, Narnia, Hy-Brasil, Hell and such whose existence has not been satisfactorily proven.





I'm not quite sure what to say to that but that I hope they're taking the mickey! How bizarre! HA!
And this is the explanation to photos from space 'apparently' showing that we live on a sphere

Quote:

There exist some genuine photographs from high altitudes, which appear to the untrained eye to show a spherical Earth. The reason for this effect is that the Earth's atmosphere becomes denser the further one ascends, after thinning out at about 5 miles. This causes light to be refracted more at high altitudes, giving the appearance of a spherical Earth.





Of course!

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#183450 - Thu Jul 03 2003 03:51 AM Re: When the world was flat
ozzz2002 Online   FT-cool
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Jill, do I detect a wee tad of cynicism in your post?
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#183451 - Thu Jul 03 2003 04:07 AM Re: When the world was flat
Copago Offline
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Perhaps just a little. It really is worth going through the links that Gt has up there, it's really quite bizarre!

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#183452 - Thu Jul 03 2003 09:35 AM Re: When the world was flat
thejazzkickazz Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 14 2000
Posts: 3232
Loc: Utah USA
I think this question must be broken down a bit. Did people really ever believe the Earth to be flat? From a simple look around one can easily determine that the Earth is quite bumpy, with mountains, valleys etc. Also, a well-trained observer in a relatively 'bump' free area can see the slight curvature of the horizon.

Among the earliest Greek philosophers, the shape of the Earth was an object of much debate. The earliest of the philosophers, among them Thales and Anaximander, believed the Earth to be disk-shaped, with that disk being curved. Around 500 B.C. Pythagoras and his followers begin promoting the idea of a spherical Earth, an idea that caught on with most of the learned community from that point on. Most astronomers since the time of Pythagoras believed the Earth to be spherical in shape, as did Columbus.

The point of the above is to suggest that, aside from some eccentrics (even up to the modern day), most people who did consider the shape of the Earth probably did not believe it to be flat. Of course, the key here is 'consider', it seems to me that the overwhelming mass of people probably never even really thought about the topic. For all they cared, the Earth could be shaped roughly as a banana...

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#183453 - Thu Jul 03 2003 01:12 PM Re: When the world was flat
fjohn Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 06 1999
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Loc: Wyoming USA Way†Out†West
I recall what I was taught in elementary school about the ancients concept of the shape of the earth: Mariners thought that they would fall off the edge of the earth if they sailed far enough. Anywhere outside of the sight of land was "far enough."

Columbus deduced that the Earth was round, or at least curved, by observing the gradual disapperance of ships as they sailed away, i.e., the ship's hull disappeared from view first and then the sails.

Living in those times, it just didn't matter if the Earth was round or flat if the difference didn't affect you.
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#183454 - Thu Jul 03 2003 03:55 PM Re: When the world was flat
A Member Offline
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Registered: Fri Nov 23 2001
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Don't you read the other threads - Ren has left the building! (lol both versions - and I hope it's not true)
It's blatently obvious that the earth is flat otherwise Copago's photo's of Conor (Happy birthday To You! (bit early but wanted to be first!) would be upside down!
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#183455 - Thu Jul 03 2003 04:29 PM Re: When the world was flat
superferd Offline
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I cannot believe that you guys are serious about the Earth not being flat. What is next? No Santa Claus?
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#183456 - Thu Jul 03 2003 07:38 PM Re: When the world was flat
thejazzkickazz Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 14 2000
Posts: 3232
Loc: Utah USA
Fjohn...stories of mariners believing that they would 'fall off the edge of the Earth' are largely apocryphal. Most mariners, even from ancient times, undrestood the nature of the Earth's shape. This is how Pythagoras made his 'discovery', he hitched rides with explorer/businessmen who would sail throughout the Mediterranean (and beyond). Expert seamen could clearly see the changes in the positions of the stars at different point along their routes, and they were able to deduce that the Earth was sphereical from such observations. Pythagoras just happened to be the first major figure to expound upon the spherical conception of the Earth in his writings and teachings.

As for Columbus, I will just suggest that he did not have to deduce anything about the spherical nature of the Earth, it was already well known by his time. The men on his three ships also knew well that the Earth was a sphere, so stories of their 'fears' are distorted at best. The things they did fear were the possibilities of running out of water and food during the great voyage across the uncharted sea, and possible meetings with 'savages'. Perhaps they were concerned about old creepy Columbus too, he was a bit pious...

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#183457 - Fri Jul 04 2003 11:04 AM Re: When the world was flat
skylarb Offline
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Registered: Thu Jan 30 2003
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Do they still teach this misnomer in school--that all of the people of the world ignorantly beleived the earth was flat, and Columbus was contending with ignorance when he tried to sail around to India? I believe they taught it when I was in school.

People have known the earth was round since the time of the Ancient Greeks, if not before. (Indeed, the Old Testament implies the earth was round, not flat.) The Greeks even measured the circumference of the earth, and they weren't all that far off!

Opposition to Columbus's plan, I think, came more because people didn't think it would be a better path to India to sail that way. And they were right. There was a big land mass in the way!
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#183458 - Fri Jul 04 2003 11:44 AM Re: When the world was flat
superferd Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 15 2003
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LOL! "Indians" that are Native Americans will collaborate with you on that one, Skylarb
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