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Thread: What makes you more angry? The fact that belief in the Flat Earth is up...

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    What makes you more angry? The fact that belief in the Flat Earth is up...

    or that belief in the idea of Galileo/Columbus discovering the world was round still hasn't gone away?
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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    morans!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    To elaborate, this section of the forum is for astronomy and space exploration questions with straightforward, generally accepted answers.
    This isn't even close to an appropriate question for Q&A. I've moved it from Q&A to S&T, for the moment, though I wonder if CT might be a better location.

    I know we tell people that moving threads is not a big deal (it isn't), but I expect established members to give a little more thought to what is appropriate for Q&A.
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    The fact that belief in the Flat Earth is up...
    I question that the percentage of people who believe the Earth is flat has increased. Just because the crazy guy with the stream rocket and some celebs get PR for this nonsense, does not indicate a general increase in this belief.

    I can't say either of the things in the OP make me angry. At most they make me slowly shake my head. If anything, they are just some of many symptoms of scientific illiteracy and illogic among a significant percentage of the population.
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    Some of it is people rejecting parts of science that does not make sense to them and keeping the stuff that does.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
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    Plus people are a bit more separated from how their technology and how the technology works. You really do not need to how you iphone works along as you can press the right buttons or use siri.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I question that the percentage of people who believe the Earth is flat has increased. Just because the crazy guy with the stream rocket and some celebs get PR for this nonsense, does not indicate a general increase in this belief.

    I can't say either of the things in the OP make me angry. At most they make me slowly shake my head. If anything, they are just some of many symptoms of scientific illiteracy and illogic among a significant percentage of the population.
    The Flat Earthers actually had a conference this year.
    http://fe2017.com/
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
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    I wasn't aware that they still teach that Columbus discovered the world was round. I thought that idea had pretty much ceased to be stressed in elementary curricula, along with the idea that "discovery" of a New World is a discovery for anyone but a given culture.

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    But the parents of the children probably still think Columbus discovered the Earth was round and still tell their kids.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotimer View Post
    The Flat Earthers actually had a conference this year.
    http://fe2017.com/
    So?
    How does that demonstrate an increase in the belief?
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    It doesn't make me angry, just sad... and a little amused.

    Anti-intellectualism is having a moment for two reasons: simplification of social media, and; overcomplication of most other current human systems.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    So?
    How does that demonstrate an increase in the belief?
    Maybe not shows an increase but there people of the general public who really believes this stuff.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
    Don't Panic THGTTG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    I wasn't aware that they still teach that Columbus discovered the world was round. I thought that idea had pretty much ceased to be stressed in elementary curricula, along with the idea that "discovery" of a New World is a discovery for anyone but a given culture.
    I learned it (proving the world was round) in Elementary School, but then learned that it was wrong in Middle School. That the New Workd was already inhabited by thousands of cultures was thankfully something we learned at every level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I learned it (proving the world was round) in Elementary School, but then learned that it was wrong in Middle School. That the New Workd was already inhabited by thousands of cultures was thankfully something we learned at every level.
    Perhaps the situation is rather muddled in the current curriculum, I'll bet a lot depends on the teachers you happen to get. Hopefully people are starting to get the iota of cultural awareness required to recognize that Columbus' "discovery" was very fortunate for one population and disastrously unfortunate for another. That's really just a historical fact that even children can be made aware of without destroying Thanksgiving or other cultural holidays. Except Columbus Day, of course.

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    I was actually was taught that the Vikings were first. The Vikings were eventually forced out by the Beothuks in Newfoundland. The reuniting of the groups of humans was going to happen no matter what it as just a matter of time. It could of been handled a lot better. Humans are curious and love trade so one group or the other was going to go out to find something new or to get a resource they lacked.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotimer View Post

    The reuniting of the groups of humans was going to happen no
    matter what it as just a matter of time.
    I have never seen or heard this idea even mentioned by anyone
    before, though I have thought about it for many years. I just
    wanted to mark this event for its possible future historical
    significance to the development of my own thinking.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
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    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

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    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

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    And as long as I'm here ...

    I'll repeat my thesis that many people -- possibly a majority of all
    the people alive at the time -- must have been aware long ago, say
    ten thousand years ago, before the invention of writing, of the idea
    that the Earth is spherical, even if they didn't believe it. There was
    lots of evidence to suggest the idea of a spherical Earth, and the
    people who noticed it would have told others about it. The idea
    must have been widespread throughout history and throughout
    prehistory. It would not have been an even slightly novel idea
    when Eratosthenes measured the Earth's diameter. He may not
    even have been the first to do so -- He is just the first to have his
    measurement recorded for history.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

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    One line of my reasoning is that before you become a spacefaring race you have to know a lot about your own planet such as shape exact size, mass, etc.

    If you take the Inuit of northern Canada, Russia and Greenland they expanded int Canada and Greenland because I think it was iron that they did have access to in northern Russia so they expanded, Eventually they ran into the Norse who had iron nails they wanted and wanted ivory from walrus tusk. So they traded and they traded with everyone they could from the northern parts of Muslim countries up thru Russia and across Europe along with the plundering. If people need or want stuff they will travel and trade to get it.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
    Don't Panic THGTTG
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    Recent studies suggest the Americas were found several times before the Vikings wandered around and Columbus tripped over the Caribbean. The first may have been over 100,000 years ago. The next set of invaders may have come over 20,000 years ago. Then there was the well established invasion around 15,000 years ago. Then there may have been independent Polynesian invasions of South America somewhere in there. Each one may have brought new diseases and parasites that may have had bad effect on the previous inhabitants.

    I've read that the Roman Goddess of the Earth, Tellus Mater, was associated with the sphere of the Earth (as opposed to the element of earth, sometimes distinguished and referred to as Terra Mater) by writers in AD 400.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis View Post
    I've read that the Roman Goddess of the Earth, Tellus Mater, was associated with the sphere of the Earth (as opposed to the element of earth, sometimes distinguished and referred to as Terra Mater) by writers in AD 400.
    The Romans were strongly affected by the Greeks. The Greeks had not only inferred the Earth was a sphere, Eratosthenes measured its circumference before 200 BC. The very notion that geography can be a science, and not a kind of mythology, was invented by him, and the idea still has not caught on with everyone these two millennia hence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Perhaps the situation is rather muddled in the current curriculum, I'll bet a lot depends on the teachers you happen to get. Hopefully people are starting to get the iota of cultural awareness required to recognize that Columbus' "discovery" was very fortunate for one population and disastrously unfortunate for another. That's really just a historical fact that even children can be made aware of without destroying Thanksgiving or other cultural holidays. Except Columbus Day, of course.
    The last two schools I have worked at marched through the various voyages to the Americas. Usually, the teacher picks one group to highlight usually based on what comes next in the course outline. It could be early history like Leif Erickson or very late - the Pilgrims, or something in between. It all depends on what is next.

    One interesting activity from this subject was about the Plymouth Colony. They found a house, fort and European implements. The students were given a list of explorers and dates, then were asked to build a case for one of those voyagers arriving in the Plymouth area before the Pilgrims. It isn't necessarily the first people to arrive. There isn't likely one correct answer, it is more about doing a bit of math to see what explorers could have arrived in time and then researching one of them. Funny thing is, many students get excited about research and forget to build the case. I kick 'em back into play... "You obviously picked this person for a reason... what was that reason?"
    Last edited by Solfe; 2017-Dec-03 at 10:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    or that belief in the idea of Galileo/Columbus discovering the world was round still hasn't gone away?
    These are completely different categories of errors. Like comparing being bombed with napalm to being pinched by fingers--they both hurt, right?
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    And as long as I'm here ...

    I'll repeat my thesis that many people -- possibly a majority of all
    the people alive at the time -- must have been aware long ago, say
    ten thousand years ago, before the invention of writing, of the idea
    that the Earth is spherical, even if they didn't believe it. There was
    lots of evidence to suggest the idea of a spherical Earth, and the
    people who noticed it would have told others about it. The idea
    must have been widespread throughout history and throughout
    prehistory. It would not have been an even slightly novel idea
    when Eratosthenes measured the Earth's diameter. He may not
    even have been the first to do so -- He is just the first to have his
    measurement recorded for history.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    I remain just as skeptical as ever about your idea that it must be so. I will offer some remarks for the benefit of newer members who may not have seen an earlier thread in which we debated this topic at length.

    First let us consider primitive land dwelling hunters or farmers who never traveled more than a few miles from their birthplaces. They could easily recognize and remember the periodic diurnal and annual motions of the Sun, Moon and stars without it ever occurring to them to contemplate a large-scale shape of the Earth as opposed to local hills and valleys. Traders going long distances north and south might notice the changes in the positions of certain stars in the respective parts of the sky, but they conceivably could misconstrue that as merely a result of getting closer to or farther from the stars in question. With all the other position cues they would have had they would have been able to navigate adequately without having to think about the large scale shape of the Earth's surface. Even ancient seafarers would have had a hard time seeing the visual cues that would indicate that the ocean surface was anything other than flat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    First let us consider primitive land dwelling hunters or farmers
    who never traveled more than a few miles from their birthplaces.
    Gatherers and hunters usually end up having to travel enormous
    distances to find food and game. Fur trappers in North America
    in the 1600s and 1700s regularly travelled hundreds of miles in a
    single year using technology not much advanced over that of ten
    thousand years earlier. Herders typically travel great distances
    to find good forage. They certainly never stay in one place.
    Farms and farmers are virtually never self-sufficient. They depend
    on resources from distant places, which means people regularly
    and frequently travelling long distances. I can walk ten miles in a
    day without too much stress. A person or family or tribe that had
    to move to survive could probably walk hundreds of miles in a few
    weeks. They had hurricanes and floods and droughts back then.
    People likely had to move as often due to bad weather back then
    as they do today. Lots of wild animals migrate. Some people
    learned to migrate with the animals to live off of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    They could easily recognize and remember the periodic diurnal
    and annual motions of the Sun, Moon and stars without it ever
    occurring to them to contemplate a large-scale shape of the Earth
    as opposed to local hills and valleys.
    Of course. But what if it *did* occur to someone? What if it
    occurred to just ten thousand people out of a population of a
    hundred million? Wouldn't any of them talk about it with their
    buddies? Would every one of them keep it to themselves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Traders going long distances north and south might notice the
    changes in the positions of certain stars in the respective parts
    of the sky, but they conceivably could misconstrue that as merely
    a result of getting closer to or farther from the stars in question.
    Conceivably, sure. But they would be corrected by others who
    were more observant. They knew the stars follow circular paths
    through the sky. They knew that all the stars go around the north
    pole. They could see the stars scattered all over the inside of a
    giant sphere surrounding the Earth. How difficult would it have
    been to imagine a spherical Earth inside that celestial sphere,
    with the celestial north pole above a point on the Earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    With all the other position cues they would have had they would
    have been able to navigate adequately without having to think
    about the large scale shape of the Earth's surface.
    I've never argued that knowing about the spherical shape of the
    Earth was necessary to navigation. It is, however, something
    that would frequently be noticed. Especially by people living on
    coasts with land high above the water level, and by anyone sailing
    away from those coasts, who would see the land gradually sink
    below the horizon. And they would see that the water made a big
    circle around them. A circle, like the Sun and the Moon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Even ancient seafarers would have had a hard time seeing the
    visual cues that would indicate that the ocean surface was anything
    other than flat.
    Some of them wouldn't have seen the cues. That doesn't mean
    nobody would have seen them. It doesn't mean tens of thousands
    of seafarers wouldn't have noticed and pointed them out to their
    buddies, or told their families about it when they returned home.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    http://www.FreeMars.org/jeff/

    "I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

    "The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
    point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves

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    Don't forget that as you get closer to the poles, several things happen. Southern stars start disappearing below the horizon, which isn't as easily explained by a merely reduced angle, since it is obviously occluded by the land. At high enough latitudes, one would see the sun doesn't set. At slightly lower latitudes, they would see the moon not set, then move much lower in the sky two weeks later, because of lunar standstills.
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    Here's an earlier thread where we discussed that. As noted by many people in that thread, although there are a fair number of clues that the Earth is spherical, that could in principle be observed by very early people, what evidence we have suggests that the earliest people thought that the Earth was obviously flat (when they considered the question at all). Is it possible that some people realized the Earth was spherical many thousands of years ago? Sure. Do we have any evidence that they did so? Not that I'm aware of.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

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    Let me add that I have never encountered a Flat Earther. I have met plenty of literal fundamentalist true believers who believe the Earth was created in six days just a few thousand years ago, but not anyone who believes it is flat.

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    Columbus was a horrible person. Even 15th century Spain said he was horrible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Columbus was a horrible person. Even 15th century Spain said he was horrible.
    And that is saying something, pretty rough times. Yeah it should of been someone else but you really don't have a choice.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
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    I feel insulted more than angry.
    ...I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
    You cannot run away from the truth, the world is not big enough. DI Jack Frost
    Don't Panic THGTTG
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Einstein
    http://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

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