Saturday, December 05, 2009

Oh for Pete's sake

Another sighting of the flat earth myth. In high school textbooks.

Discuss this post at the Quodlibeta Forum


Joel said...

I "learned" in ELEMENTARY school that Christopher Columbus proved the world was round. It's quite pathetic.

And even if it hadn't been known that the world was round in Columbus's time, there's no way his voyage COULD have shown it wasn't flat.

Karl said...

Hell, even the writers at Cracked know better then to believe that myth:

Madeleine said...

"Another sighting of the flat earth myth. In high school textbooks." and in University television commercials!

Anonymous said...

The flat earth myth was related as blunt fact in one of my textbooks for Research Class in my library science program. When I tried to correct it to the class, the prof insisted it was right. Unfortunately, this was in 1996, before the advent of the many internet resources I could have used. I had to let it go. I still feel like I let Library Science down a little in doing so.


Jim S. said...

All of this just blows me away. I was taught in grade school (in the freaking 70s) that everyone knew the earth was round at the time of Columbus, and claims to the contrary are false. I honestly thought nearly everyone knew this. I remember a Bugs Bunny cartoon which starts with Columbus trying to convince Ferdinand that the earth is round ("The earth is-a round! Like-a my head!" BONK! "She's flat like-a your head."), and thinking they didn't know what they were talking about. I can understand how some people slipped through the cracks, but authors? Historians? Educators? I'm just blown away.

Kendalf said...

I teach at a Christian high school. After a several week long unit addressing these various "myths" about the relationship between science and religion (Conflict Thesis, Flat Earth myth, the Galileo Affair, etc). one of my more outspoken students raised her hand and said, "I've talked to my history teachers, my other teachers, my parents, my pastor, and everyone else I know, and everybody except you says that these are not myths. Why should I believe you when everyone else says otherwise?

My response: "Because I read it on Quodlibeta." Well, not exactly, but close. I said, "Because historians of science, who have actually studied this stuff, agree that these are myths. Is it more reasonable to believe a hundred people who have no evidence for what they are saying, or one person who has actually done research on this stuff?"

It's troubling as a teacher that our society promotes the idea that "consensus" is equivalent to "true."