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Northern hemisphere.

  1. Dec 20, 2007 #1
    I'm not much of a historian, but I believe that if you take a good look at history, most initial technological advances, understandings in science, formation of governments, religions, most everything we associate with the so-called "modern day world", including civilizations themselves, have occurred or initiated themselves in the northern hemisphere of the Earth. I haven't researched it, but I believe the greater percentage of the global population lives north of the equator.

    The question is, if all this happened in the southern hemisphere instead, would we see maps of the world "upside-down", globes with Antarctica at the "top", drawings of the planet, again, "upside-down" in space?

    Because really, there is no "top" to the Earth. To take apart a globe and mount the Earth "upside-down" in its frame, really does not in any way detract from the accuracy and usefulness of that globe. It is still a legitimate representation of the Earth, and the position in my be observed from in space.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2007 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    The reason for the way civilization arose is discussed ,IMO, very well in 'Guns, Germs and Steel' by Jared Diamond

    And yes, having what we call North being "up" is just like all of the really old world maps that conveniently had whatever country the map was made for as the center of the world. Other than being good PR and selling maps to dingbat potentates of tiny countries, there was no good reason. Just as arbitrary as North being up.

    I wonder how the Aussies feel about this? All upside-down?
     
  4. Dec 20, 2007 #3

    Evo

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    What kind of a radical heretic are you, coming in here and saying that our maps show a ficticious upside???? :surprised North is always up. :uhh: A few hundred years ago you could be burned for this.

    How do you explain photos of the earth from space always showing the north pole at the top of the picture? :wink:

    gee, I hope everyone knows I'm kidding.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2007
  5. Dec 20, 2007 #4

    Integral

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    Most of the earths habitable land mass is in the norther hemisphere, seems only natural that that is where most of the people would be, therefore that is where civilizations will form.
     
  6. Dec 20, 2007 #5

    Evo

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    True, plus if you go for the "out of Africa" theory, following the migration will show heavy population growth in the northern hemishere before spreading into the southern hemisphere.
     
  7. Dec 20, 2007 #6

    chroot

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    I always thought it was just because I live in the northern hemisphere.

    - Warren
     
  8. Dec 20, 2007 #7

    jcsd

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    Wrong. It's 'cos of ME!!
     
  9. Dec 20, 2007 #8

    chroot

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    Well, we can't both be right. I declare war!

    - Warren
     
  10. Dec 20, 2007 #9

    dst

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    Yep, you live in the northern hemisphere alright.
     
  11. Dec 20, 2007 #10

    Gokul43201

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    I believe north-up maps started becoming popular with the combined use of the magnetic compass and Polaris (the North Star) for navigation by European traders, explorers and naval fleets. The Aussies still like to use south-up maps for kicks!
     
  12. Dec 20, 2007 #11
    The natural orientation of our planet is North to the left and South to the right. Seen this way, the Earth rotates the normal way, like credits roll at the end of a movie. Other attempts at so-called "proper" orientation are clearly arbitrary. This is so obvious that I will not even discuss it.
     
  13. Dec 20, 2007 #12

    Gokul43201

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    Many medieval maps were drawn this way, but in their case, the idea was to have Jerusalem be upwards from Europe.
     
  14. Dec 21, 2007 #13
    I said I would not discuss it. :grumpy:
     
  15. Dec 21, 2007 #14
    North is up. That is why we Americans stand firmly on the Earth, while the Chinese dangle from it by their feet. On one side of the equator, they stick out from the Earth at right angles, and on the other they stick out at left angles.
     
  16. Dec 21, 2007 #15

    DaveC426913

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    We Canadians are Norther and more upright than you tilty savages.
     
  17. Dec 21, 2007 #16
    This can't be right because South is right. So what's left? North, of course. No discussion.
     
  18. Dec 21, 2007 #17
    Being a scientist first and a true believer second, I set up the following gedanken experiment after first acquiring the requisite equipment:

    Move the majority of the people to the Southern Hemisphere and see how maps and globes would be affected.

    Traffic accidents increased dramatically as people took their eyes off the road to read maps that had been rendered upside down. Actually the changes to the maps was the least of our troubles. The angular momentum of the universe immediately changed signs. On the good side, there was an economic boom triggered by the sudden need for new globes. But the worst was yet to come. The entire planet tipped over like an egg the day after an equinox. Then I woke up from the experiment. Whew.
     
  19. Dec 21, 2007 #18
    Sure, espousing the misguided view that North is on top instead of being to the left explains things like this...
    Canada.jpg
    ...which I won't even discuss.
     
  20. Dec 21, 2007 #19
    :rofl: Say, that's pretty good English for a foreigner.
     
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