Who Discovered The Earth Is Round?
Posted In: Astronomy.
Earth, as everyone knows and thus takes for granted, is spherical or round, as globes or cleverly painted sporting equipment will attest to. This indisputable fact was not always considered to be the truth, as many of the great thinkers and philosophers of the 16th century accepted that Earth was flat, since most of them couldn’t conceive of any other shape.
A group effort was needed to see things differently
It was somewhat of a group effort in coming to the conclusion that the earth couldn’t possibly be flat because of several key elements, when applied to the concept of Earth as seen through the eyes of the greatest thinkers of their time, pointing to a round planet, with no absolute beginning or ending. Copernicus began the domino effect by theorizing that the sun was the center of universe, while Earth and other planets and stars revolved around the sun. During the time of Copernicus’ epic theory, however, the teachings of the church trumped all else, and the church proclaimed that Earth was the center of the universe; anyone who thought different was considered a heretic.
The times of the Romans
Most intellectuals of the Roman Empire took for granted that the Earth was flat, but their main problem with that theory was the fact that explorers had yet to reach the edge of the world and be swallowed by the great abyss. Also, the philosophers couldn’t explain the tides in the oceans, and where the sea water eventually went once it reached the edge of the planet. It was Plato who suggested a spherical model of Earth, because this made the most sense in his theory; a planet with no extreme edges, but a circumference that was continuous. The great mathematician, Pythagoras, confirmed Plato’s theory of a round Earth using mathematics, that takes into consideration only undisputed calculations as opposed to fear of heresy and punishment by the church.
Finally, it was proven that Earth is indeed round
Mathematics and deep philosophical thinking didn’t come easily to most people, so Pythagoras and Plato didn’t have the majority of people trusting their hard facts since it was simpler and safer to accept what was deemed the truth by the church. For most people, it would take a physical form of proof to change their beliefs. This proof ended up being provided by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. He was funded by the Spanish crown to circumnavigate the world, and he did so without falling into the deep abyss of the universe, providing indisputable proof that the earth was, indeed, round.
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