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Project; Does 19th Century Evidence Tell You Whether Earth is Flat or Rotund?

Bruce Williamson's picture
Do You Believe that the Earth is a Rotund Object in Space?


Is your belief based on personal observation of evidence or is it only because a large number of teachers, including your parents told that this was the case?

In this project you will be asked to suspend your belief in what space traveling cameras have shown you, namely that Earth is an oblate spheroid. The Earth looks roughly spherical from space. But pretend that you were living prior to any space travel and had to use only evidence you could gather rigth here on the surface from direct observation. What story best explains the evidence? Might a Flat Earth Story work better than a Round Earth Story?


Test the evidence yourself and see what you think. One caveat is that as far as can be determined: All the evidence used in this project has been gathered from people who were not joking around but seem to have seriously considered the matter as scientifically as they were able. None of these observers were being dishonest, satirical, or fooled by tricksters. None of the sketchs or photographs have been deliberately falsified.

Note that at this time photographs are rare and not considered accurate proof of anything if they do exist. Any photos you see will have to be thought of as places you have actually gone yourself or have heard about first hand from a trusted person who went there themselves.

[No Back. This is the start.]        Forward to: Evidence and Experiment One