The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Is the Earth Flat? Options
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 9:14:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/14/2015
Posts: 3,106
Neurons: 526,989
The question on the title of this thread may seem stupid, but I couldn't believe it: there are still people who think the earth is flat. Do you want to know the arguments?

1. The crazy flight routes: For example, why, in order to travel from South America to Australia, do you go to the US and then you go to Australia? Or, to go to South Africa from South America, why do you go to Europe first and then you travel down to South Africa?
2.- People say that the Antarctica and the north pole are covering the edge of the earth and that's why nobody falls out of the planet.
3.- If the earth is flat, why doesn't it have a slope?

That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard! That's like saying that man never went to the moon, the Holocaust didn't exist, that vaccines provoke autism or that Michelle Obama is an alien. Anxious

And I wonder where they got that thinking from since at the school you're always taught that the earth is round. Maybe there's someone out there brainwashing people's minds...........
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 2:51:29 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
Neurons: 3,704
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
I find the idea that a tiny number of clearly intellectually-impaired people still believe in a flat earth far less disturbing than the fact:

- that between 25% and 40% (depending on your source) of Americans still believe that 'God' created the universe less than 10,000 years ago,
- that the pope, 'leader' of umpteen million Christians, still proclaims as divine truth the belief that contraception is wrong/immoral/a sin/whatever.
- that millions of muslims throughout the world believe that what they arbitrarily believe to be an insult to their prophet is a crime deserving death,
- that millions of christians/muslims/jews/hindus, etc, believe that love between two people of the same sex is immoral/sinful/disgusting/ punishable (by death in some places),
- that a believer in a 'religion' invented by a convicted conman should stand a moderately realistic chance in 2012 of being elected vice-president of supposedly one of the most advanced nations on earth,
- that a large minority of Americans still believe that a liar/hypocrite/tax-avoider/racist/misogynist/petulant narcissist/groper/slanderer/self-promoter is the person they want to lead their country.

Be realistic, Bedells. Belief in a flat earth is pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things.
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 3:45:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 18,001
Neurons: 73,042
I have no problem with the Earth being flat. It seems an eminently sensible deduction from the fact I am not walking uphill all the time and things don't roll around (if you can find something flat to put them on).

My problem is where the edges are. They clearly move. If you climb a hill or go up a mast, you can see a certain distance, and then it stops. That is not because things get to small to see, but because they hit sky. So clearly that must be the end of the world. But if I climb another hill, the edges have moved. The only conclusion I can draw from that is that the world only exists around me. Like an old computer game when a place only materialised when you entered it. That brings up profound questions of why the world should only exist around me. Is everybody else just in my imagination? Or do we each have our own worlds - in which case how do we interact? Or am I just god? My senses tell me one thing, and no amount of education will entirely convince me the Earth is round until I have been all the way around it myself. Without falling off anything or being eaten by dragons.
I remain equally unconvinced by both blue marbles and flat Earths - it is the magically moving edges which are so intriguing. Whistle

I will avoid the politics, but it does scare me that a large proportion of people are taught that evolutionary theory is dangerous to their masters' conceptions of the world and blindly toe that line. But they still expect to be given antibiotics when they get ill. When these people get hold of public policy around the world, flat or oblate spheroid - god help us all!
Flat-Earthers, on the other hand... I think if there is only one flat Earth, you might want to take more care of it. So it seems quite an environmentally-friendly camp, and I am all in favour of that!
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 5:58:08 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/20/2014
Posts: 676
Neurons: 1,017,596
Location: Grover Beach, California, United States
I don't want to comment on the actual earth being flat but here is a good book that explains how the world is flat:

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman was one of the better books I bothered to read in the last few months. It will give you some food for thought about how our "world" is changing.

As for the physical planet, well I am not so worried about it being flat or round, but I think we all should be concerned about it sustaining us in the near future.

One more thing, the earth is actually a flattened sphere according to some:

Check out the link and read the article from Universe Today a site written by scientists (I believe astronomers) who have a lot to say about this subject, if you want to learn more.

"Your life matters more than you will ever know, so live it well"
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 7:59:02 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 41,936
Neurons: 418,543
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Structure of the world, according to Finnish mythology.

"The world was believed to have been formed out of a pochard egg. The sky was believed to be the upper cover of the egg, alternately it was seen as a tent, which was supported by a column at the north pole, below the north star.

The movement of the stars was explained to be caused by the sky-dome's rotation around the North Star and itself. A great whirl was caused at the north pole by the rotation of column of sky. Through this whirl souls could go to the outside of the world to the land of dead, Tuonela.

Earth was believed to be flat. At the edges of Earth was Lintukoto, "the home of the birds", a warm region in which birds lived during the winter. The Milky Way is called Linnunrata, "the path of the birds", because the birds were believed to move along it to Lintukoto and back. In Modern Finnish usage, the word lintukoto means an imaginary happy, warm and peaceful paradise-like place.

Birds had also other significance. Birds brought a human's soul to him at the moment of birth, and took it away at the moment of death. In some areas, it was necessary to have a wooden bird-figure nearby to prevent the soul from escaping during sleep. This Sielulintu, "the soul-bird", protected the soul from being lost in the paths of dreams.

Waterfowl are very common in tales, and also in stone paintings and carvings, indicating their great significance in the beliefs of ancient Finns."

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 11:15:28 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 4,074
Neurons: 87,969

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 6:37:29 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,543
Neurons: 45,420
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

I look at the whole question differently. Rather than ask "When did people stop believing the earth was flat." I'm intrigues by which group, when, actually thought it was flat?

Long before even the Egyptians, the Babylonians knew that the earth was round. Cave art going back further proves that even 10,000 years ago human beings considered the earth a spheroid.

That, to me, is the bigger question: how did beings with no telescopes, or mathematical/scientific knowledge such as ours, know that the earth wasn't flat.

I've heard many young Americans talk about how Christopher Columbus thought he's sail off the edge of the land. A visit to any scholarly data-base about Columbus will show that he possessed a collection of maps - some ancient, some newer, - which prove that falling off the edge was not a problem which weighed him down!

Yeah, sure, there have always been groups of uneducated people through the ages banging on about a flat earth. If any of them happened to be a Monarch or a leader everyone would have had to pay lip-service to this idea - while keeping quiet about what they really thought. As Bob acknowledged, there are still people who believe in supernatural entities like gods, angels, devils even now. That some of them believe too that the earth is flat is just a result of human nature being what it is: some people believe things which seem strange - and often risible - to others.

Until such time as public education is overhauled there always will be.
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:19:20 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/21/2017
Posts: 130
Neurons: 699
CHARLES JOHNSON was for almost 30 years president of the Flat Earth Society, an American organisation that dissented from the widely held belief that the earth is round.
As a boy he had examined a globe at school and learnt about gravity from his teachers but, notwithstanding the work of Copernicus (whom he dubbed Copernicious), Galileo, Newton et al, Johnson had grave misgivings. From his ranch in the Californian desert - where, admittedly, the world does at times look flat - he published a quarterly newsletter packed with "proof" that mankind has been duped by a scientific conspiracy.
The earth, he claimed, is a flat disc floating on primordial waters, with the North Pole at its centre and Antarctica its circumference; the sun and the moon are each 32 miles in diameter and hover some 3,000 miles overhead - with heaven a further 1,000 miles in the distance; and Australians, he maintained with unassailable logic, "do not hang by their feet underneath the world" - as his antipodean wife was only too happy to testify. According to the Flat Earth Society's teaching, sunrises and sunsets are optical illusions and Nasa's space programme is a hoax.
Numerous historical documents and contemporary studies were called upon to support Johnson's thesis. Even Christ's ascension to heaven purportedly lent the Flat Earth Society credibility: if the earth was in fact a ball spinning in space, there would be neither up nor down. According to detailed and complex calculations undertaken by Johnson and his followers, a round world would throw up a 1,700ft-high hump in the Suez Canal, while the Mediterranean Sea would be 60 miles deep towards the middle. "Obviously water's flat," he told one interviewer. "They're trying to tell you water's bent?"
The society's literature pulls no punches. Its aims are to carefully observe, think freely, rediscover forgotten fact, and oppose theoretical dogmatic assumptions; to help establish the United States of the World on this flat earth; and to replace the religion of science with sanity.
Charles Kenneth Johnson, who dubbed himself "the last iconoclast", was born in San Angelo, Texas, in 1924. For 25 years he served as an aeroplane mechanic in San Francisco. During that time he was in contact with an Englishman, Samuel Shenton, who was president of the Flat Earth Society, previously known as the Universal Zetetic Society. Before his death in 1972, Shenton decreed that Johnson should inherit his work. Entrusted with this lonely task, Johnson moved to a remote ranch near Edwards Air Force Base and picked up the mantle with enthusiasm. At one time the society could boast some 3,500 members, each paying an annual membership fee of $25.
Although the world at large was slow to accept his work, Johnson remained cheerful and unruffled. He enjoyed smoking a cigar while watching the sun set over the flat desert. He was regularly interviewed by curious journalists and was often invited to speak about his subject. He received large quantities of mail, not all of it ridiculing his work, and on one occasion he starred in an ice-cream advertisement.
In 1995 Johnson's home burnt down, destroying most of his records. His wife died the following year and the society became a shadow of its former self. But his work continues both in America and also in Australia, where a local society, run by people standing upright, has been in existence for 14 years.
Source :Obituary of Charles Kenneth Johnson, mechanic and campaigner; President, International Flat Earth Society 1972-2001; published in The Independent on 30th March 2001

Just because the writer of an article is British doesn't mean that they use English correctly-DragOnspeaker.
Users browsing this topic

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2018 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.