The Evolution of Scientific Thought Essay There use to be a time when all of humanity thought the earth was flat. But it didn’t start that way; all it took was one man to say the world was flat, and no one disputed him. No scientific experiments were conducted to test the accuracy of his statement. Instead everything was based on hearsay and physical observation. But the world has evolved, into a place where nothing can be taken for face value.
But the question is, how the world went from thinking the earth was flat, to knowing the earth s and always has been- elliptical? The purpose of this report is to discuss the evolution from physical observation, to scientific investigation. I will do this by elaborating on the evolution from the earth being flat to the earth being round. The flat Earth theory states that the world is a flat disk rather than a sphere. As early as the fourth century B. C. however, philosophers and scientists realized that the Earth was actually a sphere.
Aristotle was one Greek philosopher who advocated that Earth was a sphere. This debate has raged on in many cultures throughout the centuries. Now, some believe that most educated people since around the fourth century B. C. and on realized that the Earth was a sphere, and that the belief that the flat earth theory was widespread is Just a myth that took root in the 19th century. This theory was prevalent because it helped navigation on ships easier if explorers knew if the earth was flat or round.
One experiment scientists have conducted to disprove the theory that the earth is flat is to find a canal or similar tretch of water running in an uninterrupted straight line for at least six miles, like the one used in the famous Bedford Level Experiment during the 19th and early 20th centuries, then place a set of three poles fixed at equal heights above the water level along this length. Assuming the water is level; the middle pole will be almost three feet higher than the poles at each end when viewed carefully through a Theodolite, showing the curvature of the Earth.
Another experiment that dates back to (276-195 BCE) was when Eratosthenes did a famous experiment on measuring the angle of the sun at noon in Alexandria, Egypt, and in Cyrene. Finding the difference in the angles and knowing the distance between the two points, the circumference can be calculated. Therefore proving the earth has a circular, or near circular shape. At last! We have reached our destination! Through scientific investigation and long hours of debate, the world can finally agree that the world is indeed elliptical.
It has een scientifically tested and proven accurate as opposed to philosophical based reasoning. This discovery and acceptance of this idea has been very beneficial to humanity in that the way people reason with seemingly impossible has been altered. Instead of going off physical feelings and observations, the world now relies on hard core evidence and facts to solve problems. I believe the world is a much more invention of helpful tools to help navigate our elliptical earth. Such inventions include the GPS, satellites, and navigation.