Critics of intelligent design think they’re clever when they draw comparisons between ID and belief in a flat Earth. Professor Jerry Coyne, for one, says that HarperCollins, publisher of Michael Behe’s forthcoming book, Darwin Devolves, “should be ashamed at [sic] itself for publishing the biology equivalent of flat-Earthism.” Professor Nathan Lents has ventilated a similar view.
It’s not surprising since the myth of medieval belief in a flat Earth is widespread. So smart alecks, including biologist at major universities, naturally reach for it as a taunt. But the joke is on them. Science historian Michael Keas explains:
“Medieval thinkers reasoned that the Earth is round not flat because, for one thing, the position of the North Star, Polaris, looks different depending on where you stand. As you move north from the equator, it appears to be closer and closer to the center of the night sky. Students at medieval Christian universities could explain this to you. How about students at universities today? I bet the vast majority could not. Do you doubt me? So who is the more enlightened?”
The Flat Earth myth is debunked along with others in Professor Keas’s excellent new book, Unbelievable: 7 Myths About the History and Future of Science and Religion – http://unbelievablemyths.com