what did they have? tribal leaders who knew maybe a certain person was very good seeing things far. they get him or her up on the highest mountain top and ask him/her what s/he can see of the world. s/he says it stretches out as far as s/he can see, to the seas around. they ask him/her to turn and look in another direction and report. s/he says it stretches out as far as s/he can see, to the seas around. they ask him/her to turn again and get the same...they conclude that the earth is flat and circular, BASED ON THEIR OBSERVATIONS with the Best Scientific Tool they had at the time (a sharp-eyed dude or dudette). they record this in the Big Book for future generations. no astonishing event has occurred here. infact, one could say, at the time, it was a scientific and repeatable observation!
no issue here.
p.s. - has anyone else seen a line of clouds revealing the curvature of the earth? my son and i did once. when i got home, i fired up the computer and got the weather radar up - a huge, amazingly straight line of clouds from DC to Maine had just crossed over our location. when it wasnt exactly above us, it was curved. i did some geometrical diagraming and confirmed that you would see the curvature.
And you'd be wrong as the Earth is not a perfect sphere, but rather is an oblate spheriod, and thus the equator is not a perfect circle.
just a technical correction...the equator of a perfectly oblate spheroid is a circle, as are all latitude lines. the longitudinal lines are ellipses with a positive eccentricity.
however, since the earth isnt even a perfect oblate spheroid, and because of the moon's tidal force, even the projection of the sea level through any land masses encountered as it travels around the earth and back to it's starting point, is still not a circle, so DrJones does have a correct conclusion, just not the correct reason.