JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: BELIEF THAT THE EARTH WAS FLAT: THE OLDEST NONSENSE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
RESPONSE TO A POSTED COMMENT IN THE INDEPENDENT

Belief that the earth was flat?

Sorry, no educated person believed that in Henry VIII’s time or even long before.

That is a loose notion from six-grade geography teachers.

Eratosthenes calculated a fairly accurate diameter for the earth in about the third century BCE.

Ptolemy, centuries later, calculated a much less accurate one.

The issue amongst early explorers was really over whose calculation was right, the differences representing vast distances to Asia.

It is only the views of educated people that counts in matters like this since there will always be people who have odd superstitions and ill-founded ideas.

Even today, I’m sure there are inhabitants of remote Africa, Indonesia, or South America who believe the world is flat.

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