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Columbus and the "flat world"

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posted on May, 4 2006 @ 08:44 PM
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I recently had a teacher in my high school tell our class that the fact that Columbus, and others around his time period thought the world was flat, was a complete lie that is knowingly preached to young kids in their elementary years as an easy way to explain various things to them, without them asking questions about what they were learning; only to be revealed later that Columbus and others of his time never thought the earth was flat. I have never heard of this before this incident, and haven't heard of it again since. Is this just a made-up theory of my teacher's own personal collection, or does it have some basis in fact?

[edit on 4-5-2006 by Omniscient]




posted on May, 4 2006 @ 08:57 PM
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I think your teacher is a nut job. Mainstream thought was that the Earth was flat, what was supposedly at the end was the big debate.....here there be monsters. Of course their were always some that did not believe the Earth was flat but they were the exception not the rule.



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 09:00 PM
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Yeah, he has said various things all year that I believe to be untrue, and don't think he could prove them for his life. Not to mention I have proved several of his "theories" wrong...

Nutjob - 2
Not - 0



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 09:22 PM
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Yeah, now that I begin to think of it, I can think of quite a few individuals that did believe the earth was spherical long before the 1400s; I guess it just wasn't the general population.

I know that Eratosthenes, the head librarian at the Library of Alexandria, had a fairly accurate model on how to determine the circumference of earth, based on all they had discovered of it. I find it hard to think that he believed he could find the circumference of a "flat world". And this was in 240 BC, 1600 years prior to Columbus' timeframe.

I still can't find any evidence that the general population though the world was spherical, however. I did find something about how text books spread lies to elementary students in the 80s, regarding:




A 1983 textbook for fifth-graders misinformed students by reporting that Columbus "felt he would eventually reach the Indies in the East. Many Europeans still believed that the world was flat. Columbus, they thought, would fall off the earth."1 A 1982 text for eighth-graders said that Europeans "believed . . . that a ship could sail out to sea just so far before it fell off the edge of the sea. . . . The people of Europe a thousand years ago knew little about the world."2

www.americanvision.org...

Though that talks about how text books taught partially incorrect information, it does state that the majority of Europeans DID think the earth was still flat.

I guess I'll continue my research on this.

[edit on 4-5-2006 by Omniscient]



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 01:50 AM
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Sadle there are people who still think the Earth is flat now even, I think the issue is that we didn't have the communication means in the past to educate people on a large scale. We have had higly advanced and intelligent members of our society for countless years, only recently have we acquired the capability to share this knowledge with the masses, though you still get some tearaways who think they know best.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 03:57 AM
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I have heard all kinds of crazy things from teacher such as....


"America was discovered by african explorers"

"Christopher Columbus was in fact black or arabian"

"Adolf Hitler was a black man"



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 04:54 AM
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I don't think there's much question that Colombus, and most other educated people of his time, believed the world was round. Why else would Colombus have set out west in order to reach China and India, in the east


And anyone who lives close to the sea or has been to sea, would also know the world wasn't flat (because you see ships vanish over the horizon). That includes, of course, all of Colombus' crew.

There's a short article from Canadian Historical Review about the flat earth fallacyhere

This is confirmed in the relevant wikipedia entry.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 05:57 AM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
I have heard all kinds of crazy things from teacher such as...."America was discovered by african explorers"


America was first mapped and colonized by Chinese explorers in their quest to circumnavigate the globe according to this theory...1421



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 07:30 AM
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Originally posted by Essan
(because you see ships vanish over the horizon).


They actually explain that in text books as "they thought the ships were falling off the earth"



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by Omniscient

Originally posted by Essan
(because you see ships vanish over the horizon).


They actually explain that in text books as "they thought the ships were falling off the earth"


Not seen that explanation before ...... but in any case it fails to explain how the fishing boats fell off the edge of the world every morning only to return again by evening



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 08:01 AM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
I have heard all kinds of crazy things from teacher such as....


"America was discovered by african explorers"

"Christopher Columbus was in fact black or arabian"

"Adolf Hitler was a black man"



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 11:42 AM
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People understood that the world was round in Columbus's time. The average guy in the fields might not've though much about it, but educated people since the time of the greeks have understood, measured, and demonstrated that the earth was round.

What was at question was the circumference. Columbus thought that the earth was actually much smaller than what everyone eles thought it was. He calculated the circumference, and figured that he could sail from europe to china in a short enough period of time to make it, because of that calculation. Others, correctly, realized that the earth was a lot bigger than Columbus calculated, and didn't attempt to make the suicidal voyage from europe to the coast of china. Columbus lucked out, because there was a whole continent part-way through the real distance.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 11:32 PM
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So, now that we've sort of established the fact that most people around Columbus' time did think the world was round, including Columbus, what is the purpose of text book companies publishing incorrect information regarding this, and teachers being told to teach this?



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by Omniscient
So, now that we've sort of established the fact that most people around Columbus' time did think the world was round, including Columbus, what is the purpose of text book companies publishing incorrect information regarding this, and teachers being told to teach this?


It's not uncommon for schools to try to "dumb down" history to make it more accessable and easier to remember. That's why most of the US thinks the Civil War was about slavery, and slavery alone. Look at the very well-written posts in this thread. Most high school kids would be lost, and even some teachers too!



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by el_topo
It's not uncommon for schools to try to "dumb down" history to make it more accessable and easier to remember. That's why most of the US thinks the Civil War was about slavery, and slavery alone. Look at the very well-written posts in this thread. Most high school kids would be lost, and even some teachers too!




Yeah, but that's beyond the line of dumbing it down.

They are giving completely fictional, and actually, the antithesis of the actual facts.

[edit on 8-5-2006 by Omniscient]



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 05:07 PM
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One vote for teacher is a "Nut job".



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
"Adolf Hitler was a black man"



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 05:34 PM
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I had a teacher show us a movie that cost like a $150 that was trying to prove that the earth is flat. i dont understand why she was showing us this because it was my biology teacher. The craziest part was that these so called scientists belive that the earth was flat. Theres a group of people/club who made this movie that still think that the earth is flat.



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