Do sources of knowledge, such as math books, science books, history books, etc. deserve our respect, even though we don't think they are inerrant? Am I the only baptist who thinks we can learn from sources in addition to the Bible? I was recently involved in a discussion in the theology section with another Christian who seemed to reject all sources of knowledge other then the Bible. What do you think of that mentality, from a Christian perspective? Seemingly he was of the mindset that any source for knowledge that doesn't start with a Bible chapter reference is "spurious." I can't know for sure if that was his mindset, because he closed the thread and that discussion is over. But, for instance, he said to me, "the common belief was that the world was flat up until the middle ages." I noted that, while that myth is repeated by many an elementary school teacher, and is repeated even some more highly educated people, any historian I've ever heard speak of that topic says that isn't true. I informed this person that Jeffrey Burton Russell, a professor of history at the University of California in Santa Barbara, says in his book Inventing the Flat Earth (written for the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's journey to America in 1492) that through antiquity and up to the time of Columbus, “nearly unanimous scholarly opinion pronounced the earth spherical.” He says there is nothing in the documents from the time of Columbus or in early accounts of his life that suggests any debate about the roundness of the earth. He believes a major source of the myth came from the creator of the Rip Van Winkle story, Washington Irving, who wrote a fictitious account of Columbus's defending a round earth against misinformed clerics and university professors. Another historian who supports this information is Professor Thomas E. Woods, Jr., who holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Columbia. In his article "The Flat Earth Myth" on lewrockwell.com, he says "essentially no one during the Middle Ages believed the world was flat. Of the many myths about the Middle Ages this one is perhaps the most widespread, and yet at the same time the most roundly and authoritatively debunked." He continues, "In fact, the evidence is so overwhelming that refuting this myth is like refuting the idea that the moon is made of cheese." He goes on to talk about how the ancient Greeks noted the earth was round simply from the curve of the horizon seen from climbing a tree, citing the Greek scientists by name and the ancient works they wrote. These ancient men even calculated the distance around the earth, and came amazingly close (within a few hundred miles). All the poster said in response was, "your sources are spurious." He refused to name any historians that supported his position (that it was commonly believed the earth was flat in the Middle Ages). Another thing mentioned in the course of the discussion was information surrounding when the female ovum was discovered. We were trying to figure out what the Hebrews were referring to when they used the word "harah", which we now translate "conceived". I noted that the existence of any internal ovum was discovered by Karl Ernst von Baer in 1827, and referred him to "An Introduction to the History of Medicine, with Medical Chronology" By Fielding Hudson Garrison p. 474. Also, "The first human ovum was discovered in 1828." See "Clinical In Vitro Fertilization." Wood C, Trounson A., Springer-Verlag, Berlin 1984, Page 6. I said you could look up the history of man's knowledge that ovum's existed in any encyclopedia. Again, all this person could respond with was, "your sources are spurious." He said even his daughter knew what an egg was, so people must have known all along. Is "secular" knowledge infallible? No, of course not. But we shouldn't call someone's knowledge "spurious" just because they have a doctorate from a prestigious university. I think it makes the church look ignorant when we as Christians ignore all knowledge that isn't directly derived from a Bible verse. We should not ignore all knowledge except what is in Scripture. We would fail every test in school if we did that (because Scripture is not a science textbook, or an algebra one, etc.). We should respect such knowledge and thereby show the lost, secular world that we at least respect their views, and hopefully they in turn will respect ours. We don't have to believe everything the secularly educated world tells us, but if the Bible is not clear on a topic (such as whether or not the Hebrews knew an ovum existed... since there was no word for ovum in Hebrew) I think benefit of the doubt should go to the men who have dedicated their lives to the study of the history of human medical knowledge. Thoughts?