Flat Earth Myth Is Just One Attempt to Discredit Christianity
To not believe in the Theory of Evolution is akin to being some kind of backward hick with four teeth, who left school after the sixth grade. At least that is what it seems. The “scientific” community has arrogantly pushed their agenda as absolute truth and anyone who believes otherwise is considered beyond ignorant.
For example, Daniel Dennett, author of Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life, wrote:
“To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant—inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write.”
To not worship at the feet of evolution is seen as ignorant, and anyone who does not do so is mocked as stupid, uninformed, or purposefully delusional.
The Claims the Earth Is Flat
If you are a student of American history, one story you will be told is that when Christopher Columbus left Spain headed for the East Indies that the big concern was that the world was flat, thus, if he sailed west his ships would fall off the edge of the earth. This idea arose out of a book called Our Wonder World where it states:
“All the ancient peoples thought the earth was flat, or, if not perfectly flat, a great slightly curving surface,” and “Columbus was trying to convince people that the earth was round.”
The truth is that virtually no one believed that this was true. The author of this book, Howard Benjamin Grose, had absolutely no proof of this claim at all. In essence, he made it up. This idea became “truth,” even being quoted in the Encyclopedia Britannica as such until 1961 when they finally acknowledged the account was not credible. This idea still remained in textbooks for children decades afterward.
However, his idea was not without prodding. It started in 1828 with the biography of Christopher Columbus written by Washington Irving. This was a fictional account of Columbus’ life, despite being called a biography, where Irving creates a fictional account of a meeting that the explorer had before a commission of the nobility where he tried to convince them that the earth is round, but they refused to listen to him because they quoted the “scriptural accounts” that make it clear that the earth is flat.
Why the Flat Earth Myth Arose?
The main question that many ask is why such a fictitious story was generated in the first place? What purpose did it serve?
Consider that as far back as the sixth century B.C., the Greeks were well aware that the earth was round. Pythagoras, who is one of the greatest mathematical geniuses ever, had long recognized that the earth was spherically shaped. While some would later challenge this belief, the vast majority of people throughout Europe believed the earth was round.
In the 18th century, the ideas of the Enlightenment were spreading across the globe, and one of the most essential of these was to discredit the church and the Bible. God was irrelevant, pure myth, and so it was time to do away with any belief in a supreme deity.
In 1834, French academic Jean Antoine Letronne sought to make that a reality. Letronne was hateful of the church and religion in general. To defend scientific reasoning and Darwinism, while also attempting to discredit the church as backwards and ignorant, Letronne took the words of Irving and made them fact.
In his book, On the Cosmographical Ideas of the Church Fathers, the Frenchman completely misquotes the writings of the church fathers, and makes it clear that they believed that the earth was flat.
Later, English philosopher William Whewell supported Letronne’s assertions, without any evidence it should be noted. This allowed supporters of the Darwinism to discredit any dissent from Christians, because who could believe those in a faith that believed the earth was flat?
The Fabrications and Misconceptions
In Capella’s Guide to Atheism, it is quoted that the Bible teaches that the earth is “flat and circular sitting on pillars with a rotating solid sky dome overhead which carried the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars and allowed water to leak through ‘windows of heaven’ or sluice gates to form clouds and rain.”
That would truly be disturbing if the Bible actually taught that, but it does not at all. In no way does the Bible teach that earth is flat. Yet, this is the common lie told.
The foundation for this belief comes from two verses in the Bible. Isaiah 11:12 and Revelation 7:1 both use the term “four corners of the earth.” It is solely out of this verse that the belief has been proposed that Christians, and Jews before them, believed that the earth was flat.
Despite the fact that the people of the Enlightenment were quite knowledgeable about Greek literature and the different forms of writing that are employed, they clearly did not understand the poetic nature of these verses.
The Bible is not saying that there are four literal corners, but that, in the case of Isaiah 11:12, that He would disperse the people of Judah across the globe in all directions, north, south, east, and west. Corners is really related to directions, and God is simply making a point here.
Any person who spends any time reading the Bible will quickly discover that there are many instances where this kind of poetic license is being used. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus is speaking of His death and He explains that just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish, so He would be in the “heart of the earth.” Was Jesus really in the heart of the earth? No, He was in the grave, but He was making a comparative point. This is a convenient way in which atheists and human secularists choose to be literal when it fits their purposes.
Truthfully, the Bible does not discuss the shape of the earth at all. While there are scientific principles that are contained in the Bible, it is not intended to be studied by chemists and physicists. It doesn’t discuss fusion, mitosis, or the laws of gravity, but it was not intended to. At least, God did not intend it to.
Over the last 190 years, supporters of Evolution have sought to discredit the truths of the Bible by creating stories meant to make Believers look like they are truly ignorant and living in an age long past. It is important that Christians understand that what the Bible teaches is not wrong at all. Often, when we are challenged, we must question those who challenge us.
The next time that someone questions you about how you could believe the validity of the Bible in lieu of scientific evidence, remember a quote by Dr. Karl Popper. He explains:
“Evolution is not a fact. Evolution doesn’t even qualify as a theory or as a hypothesis. It in a metaphysical research program, and it is not really testable science.”
Despite what you are told, evolution can never be proven as true because it cannot be tested. Until a cell randomly comes from out of nowhere this, will be the case.
By Robert Pannier