Quote# 2107

Didn't scientists used to believe the earth was flat because that's what the evidence suggested? That's what a "rational" scientist would have believed. My point is reason usually fails because it isn't based on exactly what you said it was, EVIDENCE!

King Russ, POD Warrior Forum 7 Comments [1/1/2003 12:00:00 AM]
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No, see, people believed the world was flat because when you look over the landscape, it appears to be so - that was the best evidence at the time. When new evidence came to light, people changed their minds. The rational scientists of the day collated the evidence and came up with a new theory: the Earth is round. That's what reasonable scientists do.
A good Flat-Earth fundamentalist, say, would read an old book which says \"the Earth is flat\" and accept it as truth, point to this \"documented fact\" as the reason the Earth is not spherical.

2/4/2007 7:13:13 AM


Um, no. People believed the world was flat for two reasons:

1. Hubris. They thought the Earth was the center of the universe, and everything else moved around it. They also thought God held the Earth with a chain, but that's another story.

2. Much of the knowledge from ancient Greece was not known to exist. This includes Erastothanes' calculations of the Earth's circumference.

2/4/2007 2:09:45 PM


Yeah - the \"flat earth\" thing comes from the fact that the curvature is too shallow to notice directly.

The ancient Greeks figured the world was spherical, based on two things, one right, one wrong.

The one they got wrong was that they believed that a sphere was the most perfect shape, ergo the Earth is a sphere (this argument persisted for planets and stars for many years - in some ways it's not incorrect as \"perfect shape\" doesn't really have any meaning, unless you define it. As it happens, any malleable mass, in the absense of another significant gravitational field, will eventually pull itself into a sphere so this isn't as wrong as it sounds).

The correct reason for believing the Earth is a sphere is that lunar eclipses always cast a circular shadow.

2/4/2007 4:01:43 PM

Hawker Hurricane

No, 'scientists' didn't. A couple hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the Greeks not only figured out that Earth was round, but how big it was.
Unfortunately, a bunch of guys had written down in thier holy book that it was flat. So, in the 1300's, scientists had to say in public that Earth was flat or be executed... meanwhile, in thier private writings they said it was round.

'Scientists' didn't believe Earth was flat... religionists did. And religionists had the power to make 'scientists' say things they didn't believe.

2/4/2007 4:05:18 PM

Quantum Mechanic


3/1/2013 9:41:42 AM

Quantum Mechanic


1/6/2015 3:15:11 AM


'1,500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was the centre of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.'

-K (Tommy Lee Jones), "MiB"

Ferdinand Magellan, numbnuts.

Even Ferdinand de Bargos knows more than you, and he's a fictional character.

1/6/2015 5:21:42 AM

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