[LMB] Chalion World

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Fri, 28 Nov 2003 16:44:45 -0800

On Mon, Oct 13, 2003 at 07:58:30AM -0500, Louann Miller wrote:

> I agree. If Chalion's scientific development parallel's our world's, then 
> they're just in the process of realizing that they _are_ a planet, even as 
> a doubtful and difficult-to-prove hypothesis. You don't have a name for 
> what you don't know about.

For certain values of "they".  The educated of Christopher Columbus's time
knew perfectly well the shape of the Earth, and had a better idea of its size
than Columbus, who probably enjoyed willful ignorance.  (Because sailing in
15th century European ships from Spain to China across the real size of the
Atlantic and Pacific really was insane.)  After all, Erastosthenes apparently
estimated the size of the Earth quite accurately way back when.  (Modulo some
uncertainty as to how long is units actually were.)

Columbus's sailors feared the world was flat.  But the courtiers who opposed
him just thought the world was too big.  And they were right.  But Isabella
wasn't that bright.

(Unless she knew about the Basques fishing off of Newfoundland.)

-xx- Damien X-)