VOLUME 115, ISSUE 5, P1140-1142
Artur Ludwin, M.D., Ph.D., Mark P. Trolice, M.D., Bala Bhagavath, M.B.B.S., Steven R. Lindheim, M.D., M.M.M.
L’histoire, c’est du vrai qui devient faux.
Le mythe, c’est du faux qui devient vrai.
(History is true that becomes false.
The myth is a falsehood that becomes true.)
Dogma, derived from the Greek word dokein, meaning “to seem” or “seem good,” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “something held as an established opinion” or “a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds.” Although dogmas can be generated from seemingly irrefutable scientific facts, including the current gospel of evidence-based medicine, most have developed from personal beliefs that have been proclaimed as true without proof and a few have been deliberately built on false foundations. One such example is the Flat Earth Theory. As far back as the 4th century BC, Pythagoras and Aristotle refuted Earth’s shape as a disk and postulated it is a sphere, whereas Eratosthenes provided scientific evidence for the Earth’s spherical shape and accurately calculated its circumference in the 3rd century BC. However, even today, false narratives continue to be espoused by modern-day Flat Earth Societies contradicting the evidence of Earth’s sphericity.