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Late at night, as a child snuggles up in his bed sheets, his father tells him a silly bedtime story of strange beliefs from the past. The boy giggles when he hears that the people of the 1400's believed the earth was "flat as a pancake" because, to him, it sounded so absurd. The story had been told to the father by his father, who heard it from his father, and so on. However, throughout the years, these generations have blindly been passing down a lie, without taking care to research in order to detect the validity of the folk tale. The father doesn't know that in reality, almost every educated person of that time knew that the earth was round. To deeply uncover the mystery of the "flat earth myth" we can travel back in time to discover what really happened, why it happened, and the consequence that has developed with time. Up until the 1830's, there were no rumors about the medieval people thinking that the earth was flat. The confusion of the entire matter occurred afterward because of two men: Antoine-Jean Letronne and Washington Irving. They both mixed fact with fiction to develop a story much like the father's bedtime story. Antoine-Jean Letronne was a Frenchman who was well-educated and held deep prejudice against religion. Washington Irving was an American author who distorted facts into fiction and sold them as true history. Irving played a major role in the development of the flat earth myth because it was he who slighted the story of Columbus's meeting at Salamanca in 1491. Irving stated that Columbus insisted the Earth was round, while the priests of the church that were present stuck to their belief that the earth was flat. In truth, there was a meeting, but, unlike Irving's claims, the priests didn't fight with Columbus because they too believed the Earth was round. The proof of the spherical earth had existed since the Greeks and Aristotle's time. These educated men, Columbus along with the priests, never doubted Aristotle or other scientists who had such proof, but Irving claimed just the opposite. The flat earth myth became another reason of conflict between the opposing scientific and religious worlds. Because Letronne was so passionate about anti religious views, he took advantage of Irving's story to make it look as though the church believed in ridiculous theories. This way, people would hopefully side with science in other areas of conflict such as Darwin's theory of evolution. So, Letronne used the myth to help science take the lead in the everlasting battle against religion by making the latter look foolish. The rumor caught on quickly because of its absurdity. People all over the world told others about how uneducated people of the past were. As time passed by, the story was still being told, but it began to lose the church aspect. People left out the specifics of who allegedly believed in the flat earth but rather generalized it by saying that "everyone" during the medieval time period thought so. To this day, people still swear that the people of Columbus's time believed the earth was flat. However, like the little boy's father, many do not take the time to discover that what they are saying isn't true, but merely, a story twisted to favor the scientists of the 1830's.
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Columbus's Flat World
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Columbus's Flat World

Words: 567    Pages: 2    Paragraphs: 5    Sentences: 27    Read Time: 02:03
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              Late at night, as a child snuggles up in his bed sheets, his father tells him a silly bedtime story of strange beliefs from the past. The boy giggles when he hears that the people of the 1400's believed the earth was "flat as a pancake" because, to him, it sounded so absurd. The story had been told to the father by his father, who heard it from his father, and so on. However, throughout the years, these generations have blindly been passing down a lie, without taking care to research in order to detect the validity of the folk tale. The father doesn't know that in reality, almost every educated person of that time knew that the earth was round. To deeply uncover the mystery of the "flat earth myth" we can travel back in time to discover what really happened, why it happened, and the consequence that has developed with time.
             
              Up until the 1830's, there were no rumors about the medieval people thinking that the earth was flat. The confusion of the entire matter occurred afterward because of two men: Antoine-Jean Letronne and Washington Irving. They both mixed fact with fiction to develop a story much like the father's bedtime story. Antoine-Jean Letronne was a Frenchman who was well-educated and held deep prejudice against religion. Washington Irving was an American author who distorted facts into fiction and sold them as true history. Irving played a major role in the development of the flat earth myth because it was he who slighted the story of Columbus's meeting at Salamanca in 1491. Irving stated that Columbus insisted the Earth was round, while the priests of the church that were present stuck to their belief that the earth was flat. In truth, there was a meeting, but, unlike Irving's claims, the priests didn't fight with Columbus because they too believed the Earth was round. The proof of the spherical earth had existed since the Greeks and Aristotle's time. These educated men, Columbus along with the priests, never doubted Aristotle or other scientists who had such proof, but Irving claimed just the opposite.
             
              The flat earth myth became another reason of conflict between the opposing scientific and religious worlds. Because Letronne was so passionate about anti religious views, he took advantage of Irving's story to make it look as though the church believed in ridiculous theories. This way, people would hopefully side with science in other areas of conflict such as Darwin's theory of evolution. So, Letronne used the myth to help science take the lead in the everlasting battle against religion by making the latter look foolish.
             
              The rumor caught on quickly because of its absurdity. People all over the world told others about how uneducated people of the past were. As time passed by, the story was still being told, but it began to lose the church aspect. People left out the specifics of who allegedly believed in the flat earth but rather generalized it by saying that "everyone" during the medieval time period thought so.
             
              To this day, people still swear that the people of Columbus's time believed the earth was flat. However, like the little boy's father, many do not take the time to discover that what they are saying isn't true, but merely, a story twisted to favor the scientists of the 1830's.
Christopher Columbus Essay Expository Essay 
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