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Gutenberg gav mig en hel del att tänka på i dag — mer än jag kan redovisa i ett enda inlägg. Den kanske roligaste boken är nog "One Hundred Proofs that the Earth is Not a Globe", från 1885, av William Carpenter. Nu var förstås Williams avsikt med boken inte att vara rolig för, som Wikipedia uttrycker det var Carpenter "a passionate advocate of the flat earth theory, which holds that the earth is not a globe, but a flat square which revolves on a central axis with the sun stationary over the center", och hans hundra teser var avsedda att omvända oss "globalister".
Här följer några av Williams bevis:
1. The aeronaut can see for himself that Earth is a Plane. The appearance presented to him, even at the highest elevation he has ever attained, is that of a concave surface—this being exactly what is to be expected of a surface that is truly level, since it is the nature of level surfaces to appear to rise to a level with the eye of the observer. This is ocular demonstration and proof that Earth is not a globe.
5. The lights which are exhibited in lighthouses are seen by navigators at distances at which, according to the scale of the supposed “curvature” given by astronomers, they ought to be many hundreds of feet, in some cases, down below the line of sight! For instance: the light at Cape Hatteras is seen at such a distance (40 miles) that, according to theory, it ought to be nine-hundred feet higher above the level of the sea than it absolutely is, in order to be visible! This is a conclusive proof that there is no “curvature,” on the surface of the sea—“the level of the sea,”—ridiculous though it is to be under the necessity of proving it at all: but it is, nevertheless, a conclusive proof that the Earth is not a globe.
10. That the mariners’ compass points north and south at the same time is a fact as indisputable as that two and two makes four; but that this would be impossible if the thing were placed on a globe with “north” and “south” at the centre of opposite hemispheres is a fact that does not figure in the school-books, though very easily seen: and it requires no lengthy train of reasoning to bring out of it a pointed proof that the Earth is not a globe.
15. The idea that, instead of sailing horizontally round the Earth, ships are taken down one side of a globe, then underneath, and are brought up on the other side to get home again, is, except as a mere dream, impossible and absurd! And, since there are neither impossibilities nor absurdities in the simple matter of circumnavigation, it stands, without argument, a proof that the Earth is not a globe.
19. Every man in his senses goes the most reasonable way to work to do a thing. Now, astronomers (one after another—following a leader), while they are telling us that Earth is a globe, are cutting off the upper half of this supposititious globe in their books, and, in this way, forming the level surface on which they describe man as living and moving! Now, if the Earth were really a globe, this would be just the most unreasonable and suicidal mode of endeavoring to show it. So that, unless theoretical astronomers are all out of their senses together, it is, clearly, a proof that the Earth is not a globe.
20. The common sense of man tells him—if nothing else told him—that there is an “up” and a “down” in nature, even as regards the heavens and the earth; but the theory of modern astronomers necessitates the conclusion that there is not: therefore, the theory of the astronomers is opposed to common sense—yes, and to inspiration—and this is a common sense proof that the Earth is not a globe.
51. A “Standing Order” exists in the English Houses of Parliament that, in the cutting of canals, &c., the datum line employed shall be a “horizontal line, which shall be the same throughout the whole length of the work.” Now, if the Earth were a globe, this “Order” could not be carried out: but, it is carried out: therefore, it is a proof that the Earth is not a globe.
62. It is commonly asserted that “the Earth must be a globe because people have sailed round it.” Now, since this implies that we can sail round nothing unless it be a globe, and the fact is well known that we can sail round the Earth as a plane, the assertion is ridiculous, and we have another proof that Earth is not a globe.
85. There are rivers which flow east, west, north, and south—that is, rivers are flowing in all directions over the Earth’s surface, and at the same time. Now, if the Earth were a globe, some of these rivers would be flowing up-hill and others down, taking it for a fact that there really is an “up” and a “down” in nature, whatever form she assumes. But, since rivers do not flow up-hill, and the globular theory requires that they should, it is a proof that the Earth is not a globe.
100. The Sun, as he travels round over the surface of the Earth, brings “noon” to all places on the successive meridians which he crosses: his journey being made in a westerly direction, places east of the Sun’s position have had their noon, whilst places to the west of the Sun’s position have still to get it. Therefore, if we travel easterly, we arrive at those parts of the Earth where “time” is more advanced, the watch in our pocket has to be “put on,” or we may be said to “gain time.” If, on the other hand, we travel westerly, we arrive at places where it is still “morning,” the watch has to be “put back,” and it may be said that we “lose time.” But, if we travel easterly so as to cross the 180th meridian, there is a loss, there, of a day, which will neutralize the gain of a whole circumnavigation; and, if we travel westerly, and cross the same meridian, we experience the gain of a day, which will compensate for the loss during a complete circumnavigation in that direction. The fact of losing or gaining time in sailing round the world, then, instead of being evidence of the Earth’s “rotundity,” as it is imagined to be, is, in its practical exemplification, an everlasting proof that the Earth is not a globe.
Och som kronan på verket avslutas boken med klipp från positiva recensioner av en tidigare upplaga av boken.
Med tanke på att Martin Behaim redan 1495 tillverkade den äldsta bevarade jordglob vi känner till, förefaller det märkligt att "pannkaksteorin" har varit så svårutrotad.