The Misunderstood History Of Flat Earth Theories
Being call a flat Earth, for most people, insulting. Flat Earth is not only a false notion, it’s also a model for wrongness. This is because most people who are call flat Earthers don’t believe the Earth is flat. Flat Earther, simply scientifically season variant of idiot.
Recent example: US President Barack Obama expressed frustration with climate change denier’s persistent objections by saying, We don’t have the time for a meeting at the Flat Earth Society.
The real Flat Earth Society released a statement supporting the hypothesis of anthropogenic global climate change in a move one could either read as very lucky or very unfortunate.
How do we respond when someone believes that the Earth is flat? This was the question B.o.B, an American rapper, recently asked. It seems that the usual route is block. It’s hard to insult someone using a term they happily use.
The Edge Of The World Earth
What exactly is the flat Earth theory? There has never been a flat Earth theory. Different cultures have presented a wide range of worldviews at different times. This makes it difficult to sum up the idea of a flat Earth theory as only the West has one.
Even a cursory historical overview will show that the notion that the Earth flat was share by a wide variety of cultures, and linked to vastly different metaphysical systems.
It was common belief in ancient Greece as well as India, China, and a wide variety of indigenous or pre-state cultures. Homer and Hesiod both described a flat Earth. Thales, who was consider to be one of the first philosophers, Lucretius (avowed materialist) and Democritus (founder of atomic theory), maintained this view.
The ancient Greek concept has many parallels to that of Mesopotamian and early Egyptian thought. Both believe that the Earth was a huge disc that was enclose by a massive body of water. Although the Earther was flat to the ancient Chinese, they were almost unanimous in their belief. However, in this system the heavens and Earther were spherical.
Jainism, Buddhism, And Hinduism
Many ancient Indian concepts, which are similar to Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, link their cosmography with botanical images. The earther is made up of four continents that surround a mountain. This is analogous to how petals surround a flower’s bud. Ancient Norse thought suggested a flat, circular Earther that was surrounded by a sea and inhabited by a giant snake.
Others, such as the Mountain Arapesh of Papua New Guinea see a world that ends at the horizon. This is the point where the giant clouds congregate. Even though there are commonalities across these traditions and many different metaphysical or cosmological narratives, the stakes are high.
To make matters worse, we have to add intellectual traditions and cultures to this mix. For them, the shape of Earth is irrelevant. For example, many pre-state or tribal societies don’t care about cosmography.
All The Way Down Turtles Earth
The theory of a flat Earther started to lose popularity around the 6th century BCE. The idea of a spherical earth is now commonplace among educated people, by the time we reach Aristotle in 4th century BCE. It is now a well-known fact by the 1st century BCE. The theory of a flat Earther is still a minor thought tradition, just like a few theories in science such as Lamarckianism or vitalism.
Despite historical trends having long change, the 20th century saw establishment of the Flat Earth Society. It was founded in 1956 by Samuel Shenton. Charles K. Johnson, a retired mechanic for aircraft, continued his work in 1972.