Re: Fwd: Flat Earth?

From: Preston Garrison <>
Date: Tue Nov 22 2005 - 22:54:00 EST

>>A while back, someone recommended the book 'Inventing the Flat
>>Earth" by Jeffrey Burton Russell. Russell seeks to show that the
>>commonly held notion that the "medievals" believed in a flat Earth
>>is a historical invention of the 19th and 20th century. I found
>>the book extremely intriguing but must remain skeptical - his
>>arguments are very convincing but it is hard for me to accept that
>>his "Flat Error" (as he calls it) has been willingly propagated for
>>so long without anyone crying foul. If true, this must rank as one
>>of the most outrageous "historical hoaxes" of the last 200 years -
>>willfully permitted to persist by the academia! Can anyone
>>recommend other references on this topic?

There are plenty of 20th century scholarly accounts of the medieval
view of a spherical earth in a geocentric universe derived largely
from Ptolemy. C.S. Lewis gives an account in The Discarded Image. It
would be interesting if you could show that the medieval view was
deliberately misrepresented by 19th century polemicists, but you
can't maintain that academia hasn't responded to correct it.

This is only tangentially related, but look at this page and included
pages for an account of Charles K. Johnson, who may have been the
last real hard core flat earther:

The account is by Bob Schadewald, also deceased now. I believe Glenn
Morton knew him. I found this stuff fascinating, especially the
argument from highly selective lighthouse statistics used by 19th
century flat earther Samuel Rowbotham.

Preston G.

Preston Garrison, Ph.D.
Biochem. Dept. MSC 7760            Insert the usual disclaimers here.
7703 Floyd Curl Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78229-3900
Received on Tue Nov 22 22:56:29 2005

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