Name and description and broad structure of myth – The Flat Earth myth and Spherical Earth myth:The myth of flat earth is that the shape of earth, instead of the currently widely accepted spherical (elliptical) shape, is flat. Depending on regional diversities this myth was propagated in slightly different contexts with the crux of the myth staying the same. The basic myth of earth being flat was accepted for a very long time. In different religions the myth prevailed with a tinge of variance in the way it was described but the main focus on earth’s shape was to agree it as flat surface.Some of the different mythical variants of flat earth over time have been as follows-The Hebrews thought that the earth is flat and the sky is a solid dome in which stars and planets are embedded. Egyptians believed that the earth was a disk floating on a ocean.China was one of the major believer in flat earth existence. Their belief added the fact the earth is flat but is enclosed inside a round cover like an egg.Several pre Socratic philosopher believed that the word was flat. The Spherical earth myth This myth on the other hand stands on the belief that the shape of earth is Spherical. The argument and key symbols of the myth – The flat earth myth symbolised the religious beliefs and imagination of people whereas the Spherical Earth society was based on scientific proofs, logic and mathematical explanations.Following were some of the observational and physical evidences posed by Aristotle for the spherical earth theory-The Earth’s component pieces, falling naturally towards the centre, would press into a round form. In an eclipse of the Moon, the Earth’s shadow is always circular: a flat disc would cast an oval shadow. Even in short travels northwards the Pole Star is higher in the sky. These were the key arguments that were the backbone of the initial spherical earth theory.Switch from one myth to another form past to present -The switch of myth from flat earth was towards the spherical earth myth however it was not sudden. It took years for people to transport their belief from one rail track to another. The earliest origins of the concept of the earth being spherical than flat can be traced back to Greece where Pythagoras, an Ionian Greek philosopher, in the 6th century BC and Parmenides, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, in the 5th century BC, stated that the earth is spherical based on observational evidence. On similar ideology in around 330 BC, Aristotle maintained on the basis of physical theory and observational evidence that the Earth was spherical. Further building on it, around 240 BC, Eratosthenes for first time measured the circumference of the earth by measuring the distance between Alexandria and Syene. It can be seen that Greece more or less acted as the epicentre of this new myth with the intent to make the earlier imaginary and baseless myth, redundant, and build a society based on scientific proof and logic rather than religious beliefs. This intention can be attested by the observational, physical and mathematical evidences provided by the Greek philosophers for this new myth.In the 1st century AD, Pliny the Elder, a Roman natural philosopher, was also in a position to claim that everyone agreed on the spherical shape of Earth. He also considered the possibility of an imperfect sphere “shaped like a pinecone” in order to explain how it was possible to keep oceans in a curved shape. This incident denotes the advancement of the switching myth and also the modifications occurring on the way in order to adapt the newly arising regional problems.During the early Church period, the spherical view continued to be widely held with certain extraordinary exceptions.The influential theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine, one of the four Great Church Fathers of the Western Church, similarly objected to this theory. He was familiar with the Greek theory of a spherical earth, nevertheless, he was firmly convinced that the earth was flat, and apparently saw this picture as more useful for scriptural exegesis than the global earth at the centre of an immense universe. This depicts how the new myth was not accepted easily everywhere and what may sound sane to someone may sound absurd and illogical to someone else in a different region or time. This resistance of acceptance of this new myth can be related to what caused the church to oppose the Spherical shape of the earth in the later centuries as well causing conflicts between science and religion leading to cases like that of Copernicus and Galileo.Today we have the modern age flat earth society that was formed by Birley Rowbotham, an English inventor in the early 1800s. One of the modern flat Earth myth is that the Earth is a disk of finite width and depth, always accelerating upwards, causing gravity. In the other myth the Earth is considered as an infinite plane, about 4000 km thick without a centre of gravity.Historian Jeffrey Burton Russell claimed that the flat-earth error flourished mainly in 1870 and 1920 and barring a few exceptions all of the educated people did no believe over the flat earth theory. In today’s digital age where the news spreads like wildfire this society is trying for another myth switch. A simple google search of flat earthers gives 4,86,000 results but still the myth hasn’t been able to take much ground. This shows that the society has now turned towards rational thinking. It now acts like a one way valve.Target audience of myth in terms of followers it seeks -The flat earth myth and the spherical myth has a major difference in the backbone that withholds its believers. Spherical myth has a strong scientific background behind it while flat earth myth was more based on intuitive and visual understanding. The main focus while preaching the spherical myth were the scientific community which include mathematician, scientists, philosophers,etc. Mainly the preaching was done in form paper publishing and book release. It was not very hard to get the followers of this myth since this myth spread faster than fire. The main reason was the myth gave scientific evidences that forced more and more educated people believe in. For the uneducated and local people gossip played an important role in getting the followers. In the second case where the INTERNATIONAL FLAT EARTH SOCIETY tried to re switch the myth. The main focus of preachers were children, since they wanted to deliver the message to before the school and society bombard them with the societal knowledge. Key instruments used in propagation of the myth -When the myth of Spherical earth was coined people used to live in smaller groups compared to today. The source of this new myth, Greece, had philosophers who had a high regard in the society and their word was considered supreme. It was them who coined these new ideas and preached them to the public causing the initiation of the propagation of this new myth. As we can see that slowly over time the myth started expanding over other regions as well which happened because of the travellers who used to gossip with the localites sharing stories and myths. Eventually when this new myth started gaining ground many people emerged who wanted to explore the world and really determine its validity. That is what lead to the emergence of adventure loving people like Columbus. He was the one to embark on the heroic journey to the age old flat earth myth. During his journey he took the myth with him and transported his experiences of the voyage and introduced a new gossip in every distant continents he visited. Who are the persons or groups the myth is trying to exclude or include – Special care was taken to hide this from church. From the initial phase the church neither in support of the flat earth myth neither it was in support of spherical earth myth, but it was opposite to any scientific advancement as its nature. The church followers and the orthodox people were excluded while preaching.In the second case where the INTERNATIONAL FLAT EARTH SOCIETY tried to re-switch the myth. The main focus of preachers were children, since they wanted to deliver the message to before the school and society bombard them with the societal knowledge. They tried to exclude the people who believed in the reality that is portrayed by NASA regime.
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