Archive for September 25th, 2010

September 25, 2010

Flat Earth Society

The Flat Earth Society is an organization that seeks to further the belief that the Earth is flat rather than the scientifically accepted view that it is a sphere or a geoid. The modern organization was founded by Englishman Samuel Shenton in 1956. The belief that the Earth was flat was typical of ancient cosmologies until about the 4th century BC, when the Ancient Greek philosophers proposed the idea that the Earth was a sphere, or at least rounded in shape. Aristotle was one of the first thinkers to propose a spherical Earth in 330 BC. By the early Middle Ages, it was widespread knowledge throughout Europe that the Earth was a sphere.

Modern hypotheses supporting a flat Earth originated with English inventor Samuel Rowbotham (1816–1884). Based on his interpretation of certain biblical passages, Rowbotham published a 16-page pamphlet, which he later expanded into a 430-page book, ‘Earth Not a Globe,’ expounding his views. According to Rowbotham’s system, which he called ‘Zetetic Astronomy,’ the earth is a flat disc centered at the North Pole and bounded along its southern edge by a wall of ice (Antarctica), with the sun and moon 3000 miles (4800 km) and the ‘cosmos’ 3100 miles (5000 km) above earth. As of September 2009, two web-based discussion forums exist devoted to the Flat Earth Society is also represented on Twitter and Facebook.