The edge of the earth

Discussion in 'Science & History' started by Mirage, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    If you were an explorer in the 16th century do you think you would have ventured far into the sea? The big concern back then was that the earth was flat and that eventually you would "fall off" the earth if you sailed too far.

    Knowing full well (it wasn't true but it was fact at the time) that if you ventured too far you could fall off the earth do you think you would have gone on journeys across the ocean?

  2. Major

    Major 4 legs good 2 legs bad V.I.P.

    I've always dreamed of being an explorer. I think it would be awesome having a blank map, not knowing what's out there. Of course everybody is afraid of the unknown, but without taking risks you can never find the truth.
  3. viLky

    viLky ykLiv

    I would have also loved to explore back then, but not in the ocean. I would be afraid the current would pull me over the edge and I would have no control over it. At least on land if I get attacked by a bear I can at least try to fight it off before I died. =P

    I want SOME control.
  4. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    Not on water. If it were a land journey, I'd search. Part of my family lives in Finistère (that's in Britanny, extreme west of France touching the Atlantic Ocean). The place is so called (from finibus terræ) because they thought it's the end of the earth. Little did they know that across the ocean is the USA, lol.
  5. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Sorry to burst the bubble on this thread but as its in the history section I feel obliged to correct a common myth.

    The Earth was never thought to of been flat, it was a myth conjured up in the 19th century by fiction writer Washington Irving to ridicule creationists.

    For a very long time it has been known that the Earth was a sphere;

    The ancient greek diety Atlas famously carries the Earth on his back represented as a sphere.

    Since humans first started casting boats to water they would watch the boats dissapear over the horizon and then return, they knew this was only possible if the Earth was spherical.

    It was also assumed the world was spherical as the moon was clearly spherical, plus when the Earth eclipes the moon it will cast its spherical shadow on it giving more evidence to its shape.

    Finally you have trigonometry, a system of maths that has been calculated for at least 4000 years but came into real significant with the Greeks. Trigonometry says that Three sides of a triangle must equal 180*, if you calculate the angle between 3 points on the earth you can prove its spherical and make a conservative guess to its size using Pythagoras' theory.This could also be proved by observing the stars form the equator and then agian from further up the hemisphere as Aristotle provedin 350BC.

    When Columbus set sail he did not fear falling off the edge of the Earth, he was looking and exploring for an alternate trade route from Europe to India again something only possible if he believed the Earth was spherical. This also explains why Native Americans were called Indians and why the West Indies are no where near the East Indies.:)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2008
  6. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    Creationists or Catholics? I can see the Catholics, but its hard to see there being a evolution movement in the early 1800's.
  7. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Creationists or Catholics; basically anyone who opposed the idea of Darwinism in the 1830s.

    The specific book to which the myth derives is 'The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus' it was written with an alternate notion by Irving as a snide attack on those who rejected Darwins theories. In essence he was saying look how stupid you are to believe the world is flat, the truth was that they did not think the world was flat before or after Columbus voyages.
  8. Doc

    Doc Trust me, I'm The Doctor. V.I.P.

    I'd love to be one of the first people to get here after the Native Americans were pushed back.

    No offense, of course, it was a wrong thing to have happened. I just think that I'd love to have explored all of that land before we took over completely. Maybe find my way to the West Coast?
  9. Cheomesh

    Cheomesh Registered Member

    If you're wondering about the lack of exploration beyond Europe for a long period of time, I would like to invite you to begin to plan the logistics behind sailing for an unspecified period of time on an ocean that would love to kill you.

  10. dDave

    dDave Guardian of the Light V.I.P.

    I think that it'd be pretty cool to be in unexplored waters going where no one has ever gone before, but nowadays it's impossible to do that.

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