The Flat Earth Myth

Last night, I wrote on the view of women in Christianity. After pondering such a thing, I decided to write about another great myth. This is the belief that Christianity taught that the Earth was flat. In fact, it is generally assumed that people until the Middle Ages did believe that the Earth was flat.

Sadly enough, Christians have bought into this atheistic fable.

The truth is, the ancients knew that the Earth was round. They’d known it for several years. At the apologetics conference recently, Dinesh D’Souza gave one of the best evidences that I’ve seen of this. His remark was that they saw eclipses and saw that there was a round shadow. Of course, he gave other evidences, but this was the most enjoyable one.

However, consider some quotes. Aristotle’s work “On The Heavens”:

All of which goes to show not only that the earth is circular in shape, but also that it is a sphere of no great size: for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be quickly apparent. Hence one should not be too sure of the incredibility of the view of those who conceive that there is continuity between the parts about the pillars of Hercules and the parts about India, and that in this way the ocean is one. As further evidence in favour of this they quote the case of elephants, a species occurring in each of these extreme regions, suggesting that the common characteristic of these extremes is explained by their continuity. Also, those mathematicians who try to calculate the size of the earth’s circumference arrive at the figure 400,000 stades. This indicates not only that the earth’s mass is spherical in shape, but also that as compared with the stars it is not of great size.

This is one of the first quotes I’d point to, but he was not really the first one. Aristotle was widely accepted throughout the Middle Ages and that includes the doctrine that the Earth is a sphere. You will not find many an educated person who doubts the sphericity of the Earth.

I would even say at this point that Christianity gave rise to a culture that would allow science to rise. They showed a belief in a reasonable God with a reasonable faith where reason could be used to understand a reasonable universe. Islam and Judaism tend to be religions about right living more than right beliefs. No doubt, there are some right beliefs that are to be held to be orthodox in each of these faiths, but Christianity is the one that emphasized the role of reason.

When did the idea of a flat Earth really become popular? It was in the 1800’s. Until then, it was just known that the ancients knew that the Earth was a sphere. Some secular writers though decided to rewrite history. (Friends. Be cautious of much said in history in relation to the view of Christianity. There are myths about such events as Galileo and the Inquisition that have been repeated so much that they’re believed to be true but no one can say why.)

I’m not the only one to say something like this. This is from a writer for the American Scientific Association also.

And his last point is correct. This can be found to show a myth that Christianity and science have always been at odds. It really helps the evolutionary side in their case if this can be shown. This is why Christians need to learn to get rid of these myths and restore our heritage of science. We are the ones that were really doing it first.

Science is not the enemy of Christianity. Neither is reason. They all go together. All truth is indeed God’s truth and whatever is revealed about the natural order, we should embrace it. If it messes with our interpretation of Scripture, well maybe we need to change that. We cannot dare have it where Christianity teaches one thing and science one other thing. Of course, this is something that needs to be established. I have yet to see macroevolutionary theory established. If it was, it wouldn’t keep me up at night, but my reasons for not believing it are scientific and philosophical.

Be watchful though. Atheistic myths need to be brought down. We are often told that ancient people were gullible and would believe anything. The more I think about it though, the more I think that it is actually the reverse. It is modern people that believe anything and this over things they can find simply by doing a little bit of reading.

The myth of the Flat Earth. It’s one sign modern people are gullible.

Support Deeper Waters on Patreon!