The Earth Is Round!

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    I read an article a few days ago about misconceptions. It was written by a school teacher who had made many very good observations about misconceptions. As we all know, children often have misconceptions about things based on their limited knowledge and experience. The writer of this article said that most young children (under 6) believe that the earth is flat. Even if they can verbally recite to you that the earth is round, their concept is still that of a flat earth. This teacher said that when the students were taught the truth that the earth is round, they instantly believed the teacher because they trusted her to tell them the truth. However, simply telling them the truth one time did not lead them to understand the truth. After being taught that the earth is flat, she would then ask the students to draw a picture of the earth to make sure that they truly understood the concept and what they typically drew was truly revealing. Some would draw an earth that looked like a pancake with people walking on the top and the bottom. It was a combination of flat and round, but not a true sphere. Some would draw people walking on a flat earth and a round earth up in space. These children had a “dual earth” concept. However, the most common drawing was that of a round earth with people walking on the inside of the earth. Very few children actually drew the earth as it is in reality.

    Some of these children, while sincere had mixed their previous beliefs with new truth they had been presented and still had misconceptions about truth. Some students maintained their current belief of a flat earth, but also believed that their was another round earth somewhere up in space. Still others quickly believed that the earth is round, yet because of their lack of experience their perception was still completely backwards. Very few children actually accepted and understood the truth that they were presented with the first time they heard it. Most mixed their misconceptions with truth and came out with other misconceptions.

    Why do children believe the earth is flat to start with? Why don’t they understand the truth from the beginning? Most children have only seen a small part of the world. Even those children who have traveled a lot have only seen a small part at any one time. From the surface, the earth appears to be flat. Therefore because of their limited experience they have developed completely false misconceptions regarding the earth. Ironically it took adults until 1492 to even begin to understand the simple concept that the earth is round and it was only after the idea became popular that adults almost universally accepted it as truth.

    Is it possible that we have misconceptions about the truth from the Bible? Is it possible that what we believe from a very limited exposure to truth is wrong because it is not based on the whole truth? Is it possible that even though I have studied some truth I have mixed that truth with my misconceptions and the result is only more misconceptions? How do I avoid misconceptions in religion? It is something that the Jews struggled with as Christ taught them. It is something that the apostles struggled with as they followed Jesus. It is something that each and every one will struggle with at some point.

    We avoid misconceptions by questioning that which we believe to be truth. We must first be willing to admit that what we believe might be wrong before we can rid ourselves of misconceptions and find the truth. We avoid misconceptions by applying whole truth. We cannot take a proper stand in religion with only a very limited knowledge of truth. Satan is the worlds master of using small portions of God’s word to tempt and lead people astray. We avoid misconceptions by reviewing, reading, studying, and testing truth over and over again until we are sure that our conclusion is truth.

    Misconceptions are very dangerous things. Misconceptions are not truth. Misconceptions, while sincere, can keep us out of heaven. Let us grow beyond our misconceptions. Let us honestly evaluate where we stand so that we can leave our misconceptions behind and embrace truth and truth alone!

  • May all of my misconceptions be discovered through the Word, which comes from the bible, which has taught me to trust God.