Columbus begged the King (and various courts) for money to finance the voyage. The motive for the voyage was not scientific – it was financial. He pleaded that a maritime route to the lucrative Chinese trade would yield enormous savings, thus profits, for the kingdom.
But his pleadings fell on deaf ears. Why? Because it was generally believed that the earth was flat. Sailing west to arrive at a port of call in the east would be a fool’s errand – you’d fall off the edge of the earth!
But Columbus was persistent and after seven years he was finally granted his wishes. Along with the money to finance his venture, he was to me made “Admiral of the Seas” and given a generous royalty on all goods imported by sea from China.
Why the sudden turn around and why the lucrative royalties? Did the King have a change of heart and suddenly believe the earth was not flat? Probably not. He more likely had grown weary of Columbus’ persistent pleading and wanted to get rid of him. He didn’t believe that he would ever see or hear from Columbus again once he had set sail. I guess he got a bad case of buyers remorse when Columbus returned from the new world.
Even after Columbus returned, flat earth theory persisted. It took nearly 30 more years to put the flat earth notion to rest when Magellan circumnavigated the earth in 1519.
Believe it or not, there are still flat earthers today. I would love to encounter a flat earther and ask them a simple question. If the earth is flat, couldn’t we just walk to the edge and take a look? After all, what’s to keep the oceans from spilling into outer space?
Actually the issue was settled some 3000 years ago. Not by a scientist, but by the Psalmist David in Psalm 103:12
“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
But only if the earth is spherical would that be infinite. Assuming a spherical earth, if you travel either north or south, you will eventually no longer be traveling north or south. However, if you travel east or west, you will always be traveling in that same direction.
I find it truly amazing that proof of a spherical earth is found in a biblical passage written some 3000 years ago when it was generally believed that the earth was flat. It is further proof that the bible is divinely inspired. After all, the inspiration came from the one who created the earth – He knew the earth was spherical!
That’s what I think. I’m interested in your thoughts. There’s lots of ways to hit me up so let me hear from you.
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