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flat earth-urban legend


solbjerg

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Hi all

I was also in school told the story of the flat earth concept, but I never really believed it. To my mind the evidence right before my eyes contradicted it.

I recently came across an explanation.

In around 1800 the American writer Washington Irving wrote a book about Columbus discovering America. (1828)

I this book he told the story of the sailors being afraid to fall off the edge of the world. This book was widely circulated in Europe too - and I suppose it wormed its way into the history books ever since without anyone bothering to check the facts. The story was simply too good!

Even the catholic church knew that the earth was round - it had been known long before Christ, but what the church balked at accepting was that the sun was the center of our solar-system.

Cheers

solbjerg

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Hi all

I was also in school told the story of the flat earth concept, but I never really believed it. To my mind the evidence right before my eyes contradicted it.

I recently came across an explanation.

In around 1800 the American writer Washington Irving wrote a book about Columbus discovering America. (1828)

I this book he told the story of the sailors being afraid to fall off the edge of the world. This book was widely circulated in Europe too - and I suppose it wormed its way into the history books ever since without anyone bothering to check the facts. The story was simply too good!

Even the catholic church knew that the earth was round - it had been known long before Christ, but what the church balked at accepting was that the sun was the center of our solar-system.

Cheers

solbjerg

 

I think during the time there was a need for the Earth to be flat, because it was an some sort of explanation, a concept, a belief .. and perhaps some sort of control for the powers of civilization.

 

Which makes me wonder about ideas humans believe today and how they will be looked backed upon.

 

Some people currently believe the Earth does not revolve around the sun, many different types of ideas and concepts have been around before computers, Internet and media.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6jBK1ZV-qs

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcIQiyvRH_k&playnext=1&list=PL818CA79A85DFB977

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I think during the time there was a need for the Earth to be flat, because it was an explanation, a concept, an idea to believe .. and perhaps some sort of control for the powers of civilization.

 

Which makes me wonder about ideas humans believe today and how they will be looked backed upon.

 

Some people currently believe the Earth does not revolve around the sun, many of these ideas and concepts were realized and around before computers, Internet and media.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6jBK1ZV-qs

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcIQiyvRH_k&playnext=1&list=PL818CA79A85DFB977

 

 

This is an interesting post.:-)

 

There is much amusement in reading the comments there.

 

In the first link... the depiction (animation) is valid except that it is depicted from a moving point in space (the same speed and direction as our solar system). So the depiction itself has a flaw. It depicts the sun traveling in a straight line through space, which it does not. The sun is itelf on a spiral trajectory to the center of our galaxy... but it will never make it there.

 

It is true that from that firm point, the path of the planets would appear to carve a spiral through space. But one must understand what space consists of... mostly nothing... there is no physical resistance to the masses involved... so our entire solar system travels through space at a great speed with very little impediment. So relatively speaking... the planets trajectories around the sun are stable on their plane, even as the solar system hurtles through space.

 

The issues of dark matter are still unresolved. In Europe a particle that travels faster than light has recently (and substantially) been documented... thus proving Einsteins theory of relativity incomplete.

 

This is only a brief response and commentary...

 

I found great amusement in the comments on the links you gave! Thanks!!:mrgreen:

 

Sincerely,

-Mel

Live long and prosper!

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This is an interesting post.:-)

 

There is much amusement in reading the comments there.

 

In the first link... the depiction (animation) is valid except that it is depicted from a moving point in space (the same speed and direction as our solar system). So the depiction itself has a flaw. It depicts the sun traveling in a straight line through space, which it does not. The sun is itelf on a spiral trajectory to the center of our galaxy... but it will never make it there.

 

It is true that from that firm point, the path of the planets would appear to carve a spiral through space. But one must understand what space consists of... mostly nothing... there is no physical resistance to the masses involved... so our entire solar system travels through space at a great speed with very little impediment. So relatively speaking... the planets trajectories around the sun are stable on their plane, even as the solar system hurtles through space.

 

The issues of dark matter are still unresolved. In Europe a particle that travels faster than light has recently (and substantially) been documented... thus proving Einsteins theory of relativity incomplete.

 

This is only a brief response and commentary...

 

I found great amusement in the comments on the links you gave! Thanks!!:mrgreen:

 

Sincerely,

-Mel

Live long and prosper!

 

You may have missed the point to the start of the thread.

 

The links to the videos are not mine.

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Hi sunny

Then suddenly you notice a top gallant sail on the horizon and after a while you see a ship approaching you.

In New York city the city blocks are approximately 80 meters if you go north-south, if you go east-west they are approximately 320 meters.

Setting the foundation for a block east-west with a theodolite will be an acceptable half width of thumb out of true level. (8 millimeters)

=SQRT(1608^2+6378160^2)-6378160 (Pythagorean theorem utilized - a²+b²=c²)

this formula will tell you the difference between the line of sight (fx. through a theodolyte) and the true level that take the curvature of the earth into account (fx. a tube filled with water)

If you insert it into Excel or the calculator in Open Office/LibreOffice you can play with the distance (first number in formula)

The result of the above formula is that the true level over a mile is 20 cm below the line of sight.

The distance of 2 nautical miles (3704 meters will yield a little more than 1 meter in difference.) (about 108 cm)

6378160 is the close approximation of the radius of the earth in meters.

If you stand on a beach with your eyes 2 m above sea level there will be 2^0,5 * 3704 m= 5,2 km to the horizon

If in the water swimming with your eyes 10 cm above sea level your horizon is only 37 m away. Stupid calculation in my head, sorry!

Sorry I made a stupid mistake 0,1^0,5 is 0,3162277660 which then gives you the distance to the horizon 1171 m

In a boat with your eyes elevated 2 meters above sea level you wiil be able to see an area of ~85 km²

Years ago in Norway I was on a hilltop (729 m) on the island of Stord and could overlook an area about 3/4 the landmass size of Denmark. (~30.000 km²)

Cheers

solbjerg

p.s. my point was that Washinton Irving had a large part in spreading the concept of the flat earth.

Erastothenes in about 200 years before Christ calculated the circumference of the earth. (rather precisely)

The fact that it was round is a very ancient knowledge (probably from the hunter/gatherer period)

p.p.s If you are out in a boat especially a small one the waves or swells will make the sea look far from flat :-)

 

being out at sea with no land in sight and 360 view of empty sea makes the world look flat.
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p.s. my point was that Washinton Irving had a large part in spreading the concept of the flat earth.

Erastothenes in about 320 years before Christ calculated the circumference of the earth.

p.p.s If you are out in a boat especially a small one the waves or swells will make the sea look far from flat :-)

 

Wasn't Irving a story teller, one who used various types of European concepts and myths to embellish his stories? Perhaps as a kind of literature freedom of his time?

 

Flat Earth theories have not been accepted within Western Civilization by most educated people from the 3rd century BC. onward.

 

I do remember from early schooling, being introduced to various flat earth theories and models as myths, partially to explain how science evolved in proving that the Earth is spherical.

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hi esdcah

W. Irving was an American novelist - I think the "problem" was that his story about Columbus became so popular that it was also sold overseas in Europe in large numbers. But he certainly wasn't a historian or a scientist.

So a bit of drama was a welcome thing for an author - even if he had to invent it himself.

I think the real problem with the sailors accompanying Colombus was that Columbus thought the world was much smaller than it actually was - I think he thought in the neighbourhood of 25.000 km (wishful thinking?) and consequently the journey was taking much longer than they had anticipated.

(They had to think in the terms of the point of no return - they had a finite amount of stores and possibly also water)

I do not know how Columbus arrived at those numbers - Archimedes had thought that it was as large as 80.000 km and Aristotle came up with the figure 55.000 km (he was the teacher of Alexander the Great)

Columbus wasn't a scholar or a scientist!! He was self-taught and had read what he found interesting.

He may have thought that the trip eastwards over land and the trip westwards from Portugal were about equal.

(he was trying to find the seaway to India!) Vasco da Gama found that about the same time going south of Africa)

Cheers

solbjerg

p.s. Melvin - please take a look here: http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/03/new-cern-test-finds-particles-didnt-move-faster-than-light-1.php

EDIT :On July 12, 2012 OPERA updated their paper by including the new sources of errors in their calculations. They found agreement of neutrino speed with the speed of light. (Equal, confirms solbjerg's edit note. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light_neutrino_anomaly is updated on Dec. 15, 2012 )

 

Wasn't Irving a story teller, one who used various types of European concepts and myths to embellish his stories? Perhaps as a kind of literature freedom of his time?

 

Flat Earth theories have not been accepted within Western Civilization by most educated people from the 3rd century BC. onward.

 

I do remember from early schooling, being introduced to various flat earth theories and models as myths, partially to explain how science evolved in proving that the Earth is spherical.

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