- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (18 April 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330432893
- ISBN-13: 978-0330432894
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea Paperback – Unabridged, 18 Apr 2008
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'...fascinating study of the relationship between science and religion.' -- Daily Telegraph
'Christine Garwood proves in this survey of mavericks from the 19th century onwards who have maintained the world is flat.' -- Sunday Telegraph
'Garwood proves in this survey of Mavericks from the 19th Century onwards, who have maintained that the world is flat.'
-- The Sunday Telegraph
'Garwood, historian of science at the Open University in England, presents a thoroughly enjoyable first book...'
-- Publishers Weekly
'Prodigiously researched, Flat Earth is a fascinating study of the power of ideas.' -- The Guardian
'She has made the most of the wonderfully rich archive of tracts and correspondence...' -- The Fortean Times
The first book to unveil the strange crusade to prove that science is fiction and the earth is flatSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
If you think that you would be wrong on all counts. This book not only shows this, it offers insights and understanding to anyone interested in the relationship between science and religion and how what we "know" can be shaped by personal factors we are unaware of.
As Garwood explains, the Ancients knew the world was round, and the Christian Church had no problem with the idea. Some figures in the early Church rejected the idea, apparently because it was part of the "pagan knowledge" they were turning their back on, but they were a minority. The idea that "the Church taught the Earth was flat" was promoted later by anti-religious writers pursuing their own agenda.
Similarly, those who opposed Columbus's proposed trip knew perfectly well the Earth was round; they were against it for sound reasons. In fact their ideas were closer to the truth than Columbus's, but he was very lucky. Again, the facts were misrepresented to suit later writers' agenda (putting down the Catholic Church and building up Columbus as a prototype for American "rugged individualism").
Flat-Earthism as a vocal pseudo-scientific movement actually arose in Nineteenth-Century England, whence it spread to the USA. It was established by fundamentalist Christians who were reacting to the advance of scientific knowledge, which they saw as a godless force or conspiracy aimed at destroying the Christian faith.Read more ›
Except sometimes, when science (or at least fringe perceptions of scientific understanding) takes a backwards stride of such length that one begins to question whether scientific "facts" mean the same thing to everyone. The concept of the Flat Earth may be a unique example of how a fact (the globularity of the Earth) could be established very early in the development of the rational analysis of nature, only to be rejected by a minor, but vociferous, cohort of "true believers". As this fascinating book by Christine Garwood relates, observations by Aristotle confirmed the true shape of the world, and there were no serious challenges to this idea until the 19th Century.Read more ›
Educated medieval people did not believe the Earth to be flat. In fact, if they studied their Plato, Aristotle, or Euclid, they knew the shape of the Earth. The Columbus story was appealing to those who unnecessarily wanted to promote a view of science in eternal warfare with religion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A balanced and sometimes amusing account of Flat Earth vs Globe.Published 19 months ago by Garry Hollinshead
Clearly a great deal of research has gone into this book, and Garwood deserves applause for it. The tale of stupidity and blind argument is told as any great story should be. Read morePublished on 25 Aug. 2011 by Matrimm
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this book for me was that as soon as I started to read the accounts of the nineteenth century flat-earthers I was immediately struck by the... Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2011 by E. Carter
With books like fermat's last theorem or zero a biography what the authors do is take the central concept and use it to guide you through the story of mathematics or physics. Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2009 by J. Duducu
The book gives a fascinating account into the debates that once raged over what is now generally accepted as fact, but in Victorian times was regarded by some as a crackpot... Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2009 by Albie
In historical study, there is a dangerous tendency to mask ignorance as pedantry and claim one understands a subject without context, knowledge of the relevant literature and only... Read morePublished on 7 Sept. 2007 by C. A. Justin
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