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HoS Advent Calendar 2016

A Tabernacle-Shaped Earth

Although Cosmas Indicopleustes is far from a household name, he enjoys an outsized reputation (at least in the abstract) as a representative of the benighted medieval belief that the earth was flat. To be sure, in his “Topographia Christiana” he says the earth is a parallelogram surrounded by oceans. Moreover, this parallelogram-shaped earth was stuffed […]

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Press and Pop Culture

Washington Irving’s Columbus and the Flat Earth

For generations now American school children have learned that Christopher Columbus proved the earth was round. They have learned that the Church tried to prevent Columbus from sailing west to Asia, fearing that he and his seamen would sail off the edge of the earth or plunge into a chasm. They know that Columbus persevered […]

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History

Cosmas, the Tabernacle, and the Flat Earth

The Flat Earth Myth remains a compelling story despite continued efforts by historians to debunk it (I’ve discussed it before). Typically, it combines two fables: first, people in the middle ages believed that the earth was flat; second, Columbus proved that the earth was round. Washington Irving’s popular biography of Columbus, A History of the […]

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History

Why Andrew White wrote the History of the Warfare of Science with Theology

Perhaps I may be allowed to repeat here that my purpose in preparing this book was to strengthen not only science but religion. I have never had any tendency to scoffing, nor have I liked scoffers. Many of my closest associations and dearest friendships have been, and still are, with clergymen. Clergymen are generally, in […]

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History

A Phrenological Evaluation of Andrew White

Prompted by Dr. Crabtree’s recent efforts to revive head size as a meaningful indicator of intelligence, I offer the following phrenological evaluation of Andrew White straight from the pages of The Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated. White is best known today for his polemical The Warfare of Science and Religion, which regrettably continues to structure […]