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Ah, well; they would, wouldn't they? It would be really interesting to take a group of fundamentalist Muslims through that exhibit; they'd probably be like the local Yemeni jewelry merchant I frequent, who upon finding out I was a geologist and student of the Earth, asked me for confirmation that the Qur'an had it right in saying that the Earth was comprised of seven layers.

I told him it depended upon the scale at which one looked at the question.

There's a similar story albeit with children (so more like denying Santa Claus?) when some of the Apollo astronauts visited a school in (I think) Tibet. Basically they put their foot in it. I think they said something like the Moon was lifeless when local lore had it that some supernatural creature lived there. This upset many of the kids, and none of them thought the astronauts had never been to the Moon! Afterwards, I think they asked Nasa to brief them a bit better so they could have come up with better answers (ie. similar to yours) which respected the children's beliefs and their own experiences.

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