The ancient Greeks knew that the Earth was spherical. Aristotle gave some convincing arguments for the spherical Earth, including ships sailing over the horizon. When ships sail away over the horizon the mast disappears after the lower part of the ship has disappeared. Similarly the mast appears before the lower part of the ship when a ship sails towards us over the horizon. This is consistent with the Earth being spherical. During lunar eclipses the Earth's shadow is always round. Eratosthenes used geometry and a hired pace man to estimate its circumference to within a few percent.
Medieval Europeans knew this, and had correctly warned Christopher Columbus that he would never get to India with his limited supplies. Columbus relied on a fallacious argument that the Earth was much smaller than the Greeks estimated.
Some writers have presented the mistaken idea that medieval Europeans used a literal reading of the Bible to conclude that the Earth was flat. They supposedly tried to convince Christopher Columbus that he would fall off the edge of the Earth, the story goes, but Columbus discovered America and Ferdinand Magellan proved that the Earth was round.
Problems with the Model
- Greatly distorted flight distances and times.
- The shadow of the Earth on the moon.
- Things disappearing over the horizon.
- Parallax problems with the Sun.
- Time zones.
- Different stars can only be seen from certain places.
- The missing South Pole.
- Circumnavigation of the Globe.
- Astronauts seeing the Earth from space.
- The Sum of Existence, by A.R. Barnes, Jr. - contains an account of how Eratosthenes estimated the circumference of the Earth.
- Flattening the Earth Sep-Oct 2002, Mercury Magazine, pp. 34–38. by Jeffrey Burton Russell
- Refuting flat earth by Robert Carter and Jonathan Sarfati, Creation Ministries International
- "Among various rude tribes we find survivals of a primitive idea that the earth is a flat table or disk, ceiled, domed, or canopied by the sky, and that the sky rests upon the mountains as pillars."
- "Eratosthenes concluded the Earth to be 40,000 kilometers in circumference, or approximately 25,000 miles. Within a few percentage points, this is correct.." The Sum of Existence, by A.R. Barnes, Jr.
- 'In the time of Columbus, did educated Christians believe the earth was flat? The correct answer is NO, but most modern people will say YES. Why? This wrong idea is due to a fascinating abuse of history that began around 1830 when two writers (a sloppy novelist and an atheist scholar) invented a false story about "belief in a flat earth" that, in the 1870s, was popularized by Draper.' (Craig Rusbult)
- Saying "to the ends of the earth", "the four corners of the world" or "the sun sank into the sea" does not make you a flat Earther.The Myth of the Flat Earth (Bede's Library)
- Robert Carter, "A direct test of the flat earth model: flight times," Creation Ministries International, 
- Robert Carter and Jonathan Sarfati, "Refuting flat earth," Creation Ministries International, 
- NASA,