Showing posts from August, 2017

Columbus and The Flat Earth Myth: Washington Irving's "Mischievous Nonsense"

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He took three ships with him, too, And called aboard his faithful crew. Mighty, strong and brave was he As he sailed across the open sea. Some people still thought the world was flat! Can you even image that?
- A traditional child’s poem -
In a recent post we remarked that conventional wisdom assumes a perpetual conflict between Christianity and science—perpetual and inevitable—because the two are inherently irreconcilable.[1] The history of science is said to be the history of the emancipation of the human race from the ignorance and superstition foisted upon society by two millennia of Christian teaching by obscurantist clergy who suppressed (sometimes violently) discoveries that undermined the view of the world as depicted in the Bible.
John William Draper, for example, accused the Catholic Church of “ferociously suppressing by the stake and the sword every attempt at progress.”[2] This idea of the violent persecution of sc…