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Talk:Flat Earth

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Wait.... now you're insisting that the Bible _isn't_ to be taken literally at all times? Who are you, and what have you done with Rschlafly? And do you need any help disposing of the evidence? --BDobbs 17:41, 1 April 2007 (EDT)

While the bible is literally true the passages which seem to refer to a "flat earth" have generally be the subject of "quote mining" and taken out of context.--bill m 12:07, 29 March 2007 (EDT) 17:53, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
Man, those evolutionists seriously shouldn't be trusted. *putting it on watch for potential article improvement drive later next week (if it stays this way for a few days)* --Sid 3050 17:55, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
I dunno about that. Satan taking Jesus up where he can see ALL the countries of the world seems pretty straightforward to me. --BDobbs 17:57, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
I recall a story that prior to the explorations, there was an official church position on this matter: That the earth was round, and its size known approximately, but that the other side could be nothing but water. This position was based in part upon that 'all nations' verse, but mostly on something in revelation which says that all men will see Christ on ths Second Coming. Clearly, that couldn't happen if there were people on the wrong side of the earth (This problem since solved by the invention of television). Its just a rumor though, I dont know if there is any fact at all hidden in it. - BornAgainBrit
The article would certainly benefit from being structured in a more Christian format Sid. I trust that you will sincerely try to improve it in this manner. --bill m 12:07, 29 March 2007 (EDT) 17:59, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, we need equal treatment for the Scientific Geo-terrapinism theory and the so-called "Round Earth Theory" that the Secular Humanists are trying to foist upon us and shout down any dissenters about. --BDobbs 18:01, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
Terrapinism is an excellent idea. I'm surprised it doesn't have an article yet. --Sid 3050 18:10, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
I can't imagine why we should want a frivolous article on something like "Terrapinism". Perhaps a mention under "discworld" might be appropriate, but a full article would be nothing other than a grotesque parody of sincerely held Christian beliefs. I have doubts about whether some contributors are taking this issue with the necessary seriousness.--bill m 12:07, 29 March 2007 (EDT) 03:30, 2 April 2007 (EDT)

I agree, Bill. People are parroting skeptical arguments, which do have good answers from Christian apologists, just to make Christians look stupid. Just look at which articles some of these people are editing and what they're saying. MountainDew 03:31, 2 April 2007 (EDT)

Well, the door was pretty much opened when the Loch Ness Monster was cited as a possible proof that dinosaurs may still exist today. Conservative opened the door, we just walked through it. Myk 03:34, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
I'm an old earth creationist. Can you see me banging my head against my keyboard? MountainDew 03:43, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
I thought I heard something but I figured it was a tree banging against my window. Storm outside. Wow, OECs are really kinda caught in the middle on this site. How do you handle it? Myk 03:46, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
My support of the site's goals and reverting vandalism allows for some cognitive dissonance. I cringe at a lot of the stuff here, like the Kangaroo, Unicorn, and Nessie. I tend to avoid science-based articles, as I admittedly do not have a strong science background, and I came here more to write about history. Truth be told, I haven't completely made up my mind between OEC and theistic evolution. MountainDew 03:48, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
Well, do yourself a favor and don't read anything about evolution on this site. You'll just give yourself a headache. I'm not even Christian and I still believe in Theistic Evolution. Unless and until science can come up with definitive answers for abiogenesis and what initiated the big bang, "God did it" is a perfectly good reason for me. Myk 03:53, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
Myk, you need to let your faith lead you little further. If you can accept that "God did it" is a good explanation for the creation of the universe, why should a global flood cause Him problems?--bill m 12:07, 29 March 2007 (EDT) 04:42, 2 April 2007 (EDT)

Flagrant propaganda

This article is flagrantly anti-evolutionist: "The Flat Earth theory was mostly invented and promoted by evolutionists for the purpose of slandering Christians". 1) Very very few people actually thought the Earth was flat, especially not christians OR evolutionists. About 30 seconds of background reading will tell you that much. 2)The sources for this information are ALL from christian websites. 3) Evolutionists need not promote fake theory to slander christians, YEC's do that quite admirably themselves.

This page is a joke, and I made my edits to it in that light. Perhaps you would care to discuss the reversion RSchlafly. MatteeNeutra 11:22, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Yes, glad to discuss it. It is an evolutionist myth that medieval Europeans thought that the Earth was flat. It is disproved in the references provided. Please don't insert disproved myths. Your version has no sources at all, and is certainly not "encyclopedic".
I never hear anyone except evolutionists talk about the Flat Earth. The evolutionist don't believe that the Earth itself is flat, but they propagate myths about the Flat Earth. Read the references. RSchlafly 11:37, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Well, I've never heard anybody at all talk about Flat Earth theory that doesn't make me right and you wrong the same way your dismissal does not make you right.
It wasn't even a popular belief. It was brought to light in a fictitious novel based loosely around Columbus's journey and thereafter blown out of all proportion with regards historical significance. The article as it stands does not portray these facts and what is more, it appears to slander evolutionists. MatteeNeutra 11:48, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Two quotes from MatteeNeutra:
  • Evolutionists need not promote fake theory to slander christians, YEC's do that quite admirably themselves.
  • The article ... appears to slander evolutionists.
Ever heard, "if the cap fits..."? You accuse YECs of being self-slandering, but seem to overlook that perhaps this is a case where the evolutionists are self-slandering, with the article simply documenting that.
  • The sources for this information are ALL from christian websites
True, but does that automatically make them wrong? Of course not, unless you have an anti-Christian bias. Note that the link I added was to an article written by a "Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of California, Santa Barbara"[1] Does that count for nothing simply because the article was republished on a Christian web-site?
Philip J. Rayment 12:02, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
I'm not saying that just because its from a Christian source its wrong. However, if its exclusive to Christian websites then it does cast a shadow of doubt onto the facts portrayed there. And if it is a fact, then other websites that are not Christian should also be cited. MatteeNeutra 13:47, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
So being from Christian sources doesn't make it wrong, just suspect? Why? Because you can't trust scholars if they are Christians? Is that much better? Philip J. Rayment 06:51, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, the Flat Earth story was blown out of all proportion, and it continues to be blown out of all proportion to this day by evolutionists. RSchlafly 12:06, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Do you actually have any statistics to back that up? If not, then it is slander. Hell, I'm surprised this site hasn't already been sued for its bigoted, hate-filled, slanderous pages! MatteeNeutra 12:10, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
That was an opinion of RSchlafly's (and it is my opinion as well), so doesn't need citation. The article doesn't say that. What the article does say, is cited. Philip J. Rayment 12:17, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Try asking people on the street whether Columbus discovered that the Earth was round. RSchlafly 12:19, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
The page says that "evolutionists" peddled the lie. Actually the source does not mention evolutionists once. It briefly mentions evolution at the bottom but its not related to the issue. To say evlutionists were the only people to propogate the myth is a lie.
RSchlafly, you criticize Wikipedia for being mob rule, then say that I should go into the street and ask random people whether a historical discovery happened or not. What planet are you from? MatteeNeutra 12:27, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

(Big unindent) At Wikipedia, every discussion I've been a part of since 2001 has used "flat earth" as an example of a belief having so few adherents that it's not even worth mentioning. My own suggestion that maybe some sailors believed it, on the grounds that they were especially uneducated, was met was stern disbelief. --Ed Poor 12:38, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Really? It seems to me that the Flat Earth is usually an example of how Bible believers are unscientific and wrong. RSchlafly 13:00, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
<grin> My ignorance of that contention stems from my only hanging around with the intellectual elite at Wikipedia. The prejudiced ones avoided me, I guess. I'll look into that aspect next. --Ed Poor 13:07, 4 April 2007 (EDT)


All this chatter! It has taken me only a few minutes to look up the basic facts, using Google.

The Greeks knew the Earth was round by the 3rd century B.C., and so did the Christians in Columbus's time. Only primitive people have ever thought the earth was flat. I'm still digging into the suggestion that "superstitious sailors" may have believed in a flat earth in the 1400s, unlikely as that may seem. --Ed Poor 12:36, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Ed, I'm surprised it took you even that long to find those facts! The article still has some huge flaws and lies in it that need ironing out though. Especially so, is the lie that evolutionists invented the lie. It simply isn't true! MatteeNeutra 12:42, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
I did not 'find' these facts. I only used Google to get the details. I've know about Eratosthenes since I was a wee lad. My parents used the story to stimulate my love for math and science. I'm keen on the history of science, because it shows how hard it is for people to learn and accept new ideas. Galileo, for example, had a hard time navigating the rocky shoals of church politics and managed to alienate his most powerful supporter, a high-ranking Catholic who later became pope. Dava Sobel's book, Galileo's Daughter gives a fascinating account of this, based largely on letters from his daughter Maria Celeste. --Ed Poor 12:57, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Sorry, I did not mean to offend your obviously well developed passion for the subject! I was merely pointing out that the facts are not difficult to find and that perhaps people should read up fully on subjects before simply charging in head first! MatteeNeutra 13:10, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
I agree with your general idea, and that is part of my attraction to online encyclopedia projects. But to be fair, it requires a sound basic education for a person to learn new things. This relates to the race and intelligence issue, as well as the Dihydrogen monoxide 'petition' project.
When you know enough, no propaganda can sway you. When you don't know enough, you can be fooled. A good encyclopedia makes it even easier for people to "get a leg up" on the competition, i.e., partisans peddling nonsense. --"Eddie Neutral" 13:34, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Rewriting History

  1. Washington Irving (1783-1859), History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1837). Historical fiction that perpetuated the Columbus part of the "Flat Error." Many took this work to be real history, even though it was clearly a novel with just enough historical basis to look authentic to many people.
  2. John W. Draper (1811-1882), History of the Conflict between Religion and Science. Proponent of the "warfare thesis" of science and religion, within which the "Flat Error" grew considerably.
  3. Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, 2 Volumes of Nonsense. Another major proponent of the "warfare thesis" of science and religion.

The bibliography above was cribbed from The Flat Earth Pre-Lab. [2] --Ed Poor 13:27, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

This is all well and good, but nowhere does it say that the theory was put forward by evolutionists. MatteeNeutra 13:30, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Have you ever heard anyone else recite the story? RSchlafly 13:43, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Well, Irving, who is the first one to promote the myth, and who I'd imagine is the reason that most people think that people in Columbus's time thought the earth was flat, clearly wasn't an evolutionist. I don't think you can really argue that either Draper or White were more influential in promoting the myth than Irving was. It's true that Irving uses the myth to make the Spanish scholars look bad, but that's probably more anti-Catholic bias. He does point out that Columbus was a deeply religious man, and at the time he wrote the book, there was the definate prejudice in the United States of "See how evil and intolerant the Catholics are and look at all the nasty stuff the Inquisition did to Protestants, scientists, and other people who challenged Catholic religious dogma."--Epicurius 15:41, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

I predict it's going to be very hard to find anything on the web, with an Evolution supporter accusing Christian opponents of evolution of being Flat-earthers. Not unless we want to count blogs. NCSE is circumspect:

  • Eugenie Scott "presents a continuum with creationism at one end and evolution at the other. The strictest creationists are the Flat Earthers.... The International Flat Earth Society has only about 200 members (Schadewald, 1980) and is insignificant in the antievolution movement." [3]

Could this be verbal hype used more in conversation than in serious discussion? Like saying "Bush is an idiot", which is obviously a figure of speech. He'd have to have at least an IQ of 100 just to become a governor (!), and if he actually earned his graduate degrees possibly as high as 120 or 130. See my definition of idiot. --Ed Poor 15:58, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

It is very common for evolutionists to make fun of Christians as Flat Earthers. That E. Scott quote is one example. For another, one of them just inserted such a section into this CP page today! [4] RSchlafly 22:48, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
Here are a couple of more examples. "Dr. Gould resorted to the hackneyed argument that if creation is allowed to be taught in public schools, then the flat earth theory should also." [5] From S. Weinberg reviewing Dawkins: "A friend at the University of Kansas has formed a Flat Earth Society to demand – in mockery of the demand by Kansas creationists that schools present 'Intelligent Design” as an 'alternative' to evolution – that Kansas public schools teach flat-Earth theory as an 'alternative' to spherical-Earth theory." [6] RSchlafly 16:12, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
Here is another: "I recently discovered that some Baylor biology professors were having their students read papers and articles where evolutionists put forth the analogy between the flat earth theory and intelligent design. The idea is that flat earth theory is not scientific--even though Christians once believed it for theological reasons, just like intelligent design is not scientific--even though Christians believe it for theological reasons." [7] RSchlafly 16:17, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
I don't think I understand your point. It looks to me as though there was merely a contrast drawn between the two theories to show that neither is scientific. Also, I believe that (in your example) Intelligent Design was going to be taught in a biology lesson instead of evolution (i.e. a non-scientific theory being taught in a science lesson), and the Flat Earth Society was only made to show how ludicrous that idea is. How is that poking fun at Christians? Let's face it, if somebody today walked up to you and tried to convince you the Earth was flat you would laugh at them, regardless of whther they were Christian or of any other faith! MatteeNeutra 14:25, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
You comments don't make any sense. Drawing a contrast between two theories does not show that neither is scientific. I did not give an example of Intelligent Design being taught in a biology lesson instead of evolution. Nobody tries to convince anyone that the Earth is flat. RSchlafly 14:47, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

I agree that it (MatteeNeutra's post) doesn't make sense. You show them to both be the same (non-scientific) by showing their similarities, not contrasting them. But more to the point, the two are rarely if ever shown to be similar. Rather, they are lumped together as though they are both non-scientific, but with no attempt to actually demonstrate that. And that is the very issue being objected to here. Indeed, your argument itself is based on the idea that ID is not scientific, which of course creationists and ID people don't agree with, so you are basing your argument on your presumptions. Of course I would laugh at someone trying to convince me that the Earth was flat (actually, I probably wouldn't laugh, I would patiently try and show them they were wrong), because that the Earth is round is readily demonstrable, unlike ideas from the past about how things came to be. Philip J. Rayment 19:52, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
The point I was making is that the continual readiness to say that it is evolutionists who are making fun of Christians is wrong. The term "evolutionist" itself is such a huge umbrella term on this site that it is hard to know exactly what people mean by it. I think a clarification in this article and perhaps elsewhere on this site is in order.
Your other point about "creationists and ID people" not agreeing that ID is not a science is fairly irrelevant. If we go by general consensus (which, given that both mine and your countries are Democracy's, seems like a good idea) we can determine that ID is not a scientific theory. I'm not disrespecting ID by saying that! Hell, its a neat theory and if people want to believe it then kudos to them; it just isn't science. MatteeNeutra 20:06, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
Not agreeing that ID is not a science is not irrelevant at all, when the claim that ID is not science is used as the basis of an argument. You can't expect a conclusion based on a disputed proposition to be accepted. You should start from accepted propositions and build from there. As for being democracies, I see two problems with that. First, what is correct and what is not is not based on majority opinion. Second, at least in your country, ID might even be seen as scientific by the majority (I'm not sure, so I may be wrong on that). ID opponents don't usually quote the majority, but the majority of scientists. Of course using the latter argument is a rejection of the "democracy" argument in favour of an "experts" argument. Philip J. Rayment 23:24, 6 April 2007 (EDT)
Say I agree with you that ID is not scientific because it is not testable. How does that relate to the Flat Earth? At least the hypothesis that the Earth is flat can be tested. The analogy is just nonsense. RSchlafly 02:18, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
It was you who brought up Intelligent Design in the examples you gave, but yes, that discussion is probably one for a debate page! I am merely trying to point out that it is (or was) not so called "evolutionists" who "mostly invented and promoted" Flat Earth theory to slander Christians! I feel that that sentence should be removed or rewritten to more accurately represent what actually happened. MatteeNeutra 06:31, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

(big unindent) Actually, I just read the sources and had a brief trawl on the www. It was supporters of Darwinism who promoted Flat Earth! My bad! Peace out y'all MatteeNeutra 06:35, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

I was about to point that out, having realised that it apparently hadn't been mentioned on this talk page. I was also going to respond to an earlier point of yours (that I omitted to do earlier) about the term evolutionist. Surely the meaning is obvious and doesn't need spelling out; it is someone who believes evolution to be true. Philip J. Rayment 06:45, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
That is the meaning that most people would use. However, on this site it seems to mean "anyone who doesn't believe in God" and has even been used by some users, as a sort of insult, for anyone who doesn't agree with them. (On an unrelated note, what time is it in Australia atm?) MatteeNeutra 06:52, 7 April 2007 (EDT)
Which part of Australia? That's like asking what time it is in America. In the eastern states where I am, it is currently 9:11 p.m. Philip J. Rayment 07:11, 7 April 2007 (EDT)


When Columbus presented his theory of sailing around the world, he was laughed out of the room. This was NOT because people thought the world was flat. Most educated people (that includes scholars, kings, clergy and academia) knew the world was round. In fact, they knew the circumference of the globe. Columbus' tried to mathematically show that China was located at the point where he expected to find make landfall in the West Indies. This was regarded as preposterous by well-educated people because he had vastly underestimated the size of the world.

This is well-documented in a book (who's title I don't remember) as part of a theory that Columbus had a map of the new world. I don't remember the book's name, but it's probably one of these references.

God hates Globes

I found one website called God Hates Globes claims that the earth being round is a myth. I'm going to debunk that myth.--Edtropolis 14:21, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

It's a parody site, trying to convey the idea that opposing evolution is like opposing a round Earth. About the only debunking needed is to point out that the site is comparing apples with oranges, as we observe a round Earth, but we don't observe goo-to-you evolution, because that's history, and history is something in the past, which we cannot observe. Philip J. Rayment 21:58, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

Samuel Rowbotham

If you read any history of the flat earth (try Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood), the biggest proponent of flat-earth theory was Samuel Rowbotham in the 19th century, who based his ideas on literal interpretations of the Bible. Now I'm fully aware the great majority of Christians aren't flat-earthers, but how does this tally with the assertion that it's an atheist smear? The entire flat earth movement is based on either 'alternative' science, conspiracism or biblical literalism. —unsigned contribution by Paulb

He wasn't in the scientific mainstream, biblical literalists or allegorists alike. I understand it was Washington Irving who gave the Columbus story its impetus, and materialists ran with the story without corroboration. So how is it not an atheist smear? VargasMilan (talk) 15:31, 16 October 2015 (EDT)
That he wasn't in the scientific mainstream is irrelevant to his motives; I only asserted he was a leading flat-earther. Prominent flat-earthers--such as Rowbotham, Lady Blount and Charles K Johnson--all based their views on interpretations of the Bible. There's no shortage of Bible verses that refer to the earth being immovable; there are also several references to a firmament and the "four corners of the Earth". This model was the general consensus prior to the ancient Greeks, who correctly deduced the sphericity of the earth. It's simply disingenuous to say that the flat-earth movement (or at least a section of it) never had religious motives.Paulb (talk) 08:22, 17 October 2015 (EDT)

Is the Flat Earth theory liberal?

Conservapedia calls the flat earth theory liberal, and Liberalpedia calls it conservative. In my opinion, since most Flat Earthers are Christians, and most faithful Christians are right wing, the flat earth theory sounds more conservative. Or maybe we should just keep politics out of this one? --Toby Chester (talk) 07:00, 9 June 2020 (UTC)