Science has come a long way in understanding how our universe works and that road has been full of wrong turns and dead ends. Here are 6 scientific explanations that turned out to be way off track.
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You know, for the first two, spontaneous generation and aether, those ideas haven't completely gone away, for instance current theory has a hard time explaining how life first got going and so far most instances that are suggested are basically some form of spontaneous generation, further even Steven Hawking seemed to have believe the universe spontaneous created itself. As for aether dark like was mentioned in the video dark energy and dark matter are starting to sound a lot like different forms of aether.
Now I'm with holding judgement on all of the theories I just mentioned... but they these comparisons that seem to so closely match these only discarded theories certainly make me feel like we're missing something in all these instances, makes me excited to think that there might be something we don't know yet to explain them. : )
6 times scientists radically misunderstood the world: name 6 random things in science.
Well, that's my philosophy anyway. Nobody ever really understands anything. The "models" you build in your mind can be more or less efficient in practice, but in the end they are always just approximations, descriptions, not actual insights.
If scientists ever _truly_ understood the nature of the world, instead of just an approximate description of it, we wouldn't have the "big questions in science" that we have, always have had unless we were too arrogant, and possibly will always have.
There's nothing wrong with that. Getting things wrong but being cautious and self-critical is the best way we've found so far to describe reality better and good enough to predict and do stuff we couldn't before.
Now, scientists are humans, and as humans are, they too are petty and arrogant. It is difficult and heavy and scary to face the world and constantly remember that you actually don't know anything for sure ever. So scientists did and will think they do understand much about the world, they will mock ideas they find counter-intuitive even when they don't have any actual evidence gainst them, and so on.
But, interestingly enough, I think we actually need scientists to be somewhat arrogant. People like me, who are often discouraged by the thought of not understanding and not knowing anything, are unlikely to contribute to general knowledge. Even most successful mathematicians are somewhat arrogant and "sloppy", at least in thinking they understand what they talk about.
There are a couple YouTube channels that are actually popular with lots of followers that preach the aether. Even doing experiments to “prove” it exists with tons of people buying into it in the comments but few opposing.
Interesting, but 1 and 2 are not to bee seen with too much talk down.
1) After all, spontaneous generation theory is still the one to be considered today, as long as - whatever the hypothesis you consider panspermia or endospermia - life is supposed to emerge spontaneously out of minerals in a non-stationary universe, in very specific conditions (carbon-rich media, organic precursors, pressure and temperature close to triple point of water, etc) Of course, to a human scale, life doesn't emerge continuously in such a way (unless you watch "Evolution" from Ivan Reimman ;-), but to the age of the Universe scale, this process is surely quite continous. The Miller experiment, as an example, was not quite different from what you show here : he just tested special conditions, but expecting , nothing else than life emerging from a primitive soup...
2) Luminiferous Aether sounds not so far, after all, from Feynman path integrals for a photon in vacuum. As it is shown that to propagate from A to B, a photon (in fact never observable between A and B) in fact dissolves into the Dirac sea and, in there, propagates trhough an infinite variety of pathes in this sea of particles. Of course the Luminiferous Aether was a wrong theory, but the underlying intuition seems not so far to the one of QED findings : to travel, light needs the vacuum to contain an infinite amount of virtual particles. To be honests, Physicits could rename Aether this strange vacuum that needs to be filled up, and even Albert Einstein proposed this...
8:19: You say "Extrapolating backwards that suggested that there was a moment of 'creation' [oops! 😅] that the universe didn't always exist." However, the term 'creation' obviously has religious connotations. Perhaps it 'suggested' such a religious meaning to folks back then (but then again, probably not all scientists), but if that's what was meant, then the script should have corrected this later on in the video, but it doesn't. Might want to issue a correction noting the term should be something more like 'moment of singularity', or to note that while some people initially thought it indicated a 'moment of creation', it's not within the purview of methodological naturalism to jump to that conclusion.
Otherwise, the video could be taken as supporting Creationism, which I'm pretty sure was not your intention. 😊
0.2mm per year seems a implausibly huge. Age of Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years, which gives a total increase of 908 ± 10 km since its creation. Compared to the current radius of 6,378.1 km, that's an enormous change — about 14%!
around 11:30 it is stated that the radius of the earth undergoes a "change" of about 0.2 mm per year. it's not specified if this is exclusively growth, but assuming it is, i did some back of the envelope calculations that, if correct, dramatically shift my understanding of our planet and its geometry.
first, 0.2 mm per year, over 4.5 billion years (the amount of time i understand the "earth" to have "existed"), comes to 9 x 10^8 mm, or 900 km (please stop me at any point if my calculations are wrong). if the "change" is only growth and the earth's current radius is 6371 km (found from cursory google search), that means that the earth had a radius around 5471 km at the time it is commonly said to have "begun." there are a lot of questions that arise from this idea. eg, if the earth is 4.5 billion years old, how is its beginning as a planet marked? or, if its existence extends into the supposed 7 billion year time frame that our solar system has been around (layering in more questions of the demarcation of beginnings and origins), does that 0.2 mm per year change extend all the way back until the earth was nothing more than an incongruence in the density of the gas and dust that would form a locus for our would-be planet?
moving forward, questions unanswered, i did some simple geometric calculations, assuming the earth is a sphere and the change was exclusively growth. at a current radius of 6371 km, the surface area of the planet should be around 510 million square km. this is supported by wolfram alpha, which provides a value for earth's surface area of 5.1 x 10^8 square km. if the earth has been adding an average of 0.2 mm per year to its radius and was, therefore, 5471 km 4.5 billion years ago, the surface area of the earth when it "began" was about 376 million square km.
the difference in surface area is 134 million square km. that's more than a fourth of earth's total current surface area. granted, this does not account for the oceans by a long stretch, as suggested by the early hypothesis discussed in the video (though it is coincidentally very close the total area of the planet not covered by water - tangent question, are continental plates in some part a result of buildup from accumulated debris from the solar system over earth's span of existance?).
i do not mean to suggest that the growing planet hypothesis supplants plate techtonics, but this seems like a significant change in size that simply isn't discussed when we talk about the geometry, geology, and history of the planet. it also raises many questions: was the earth's surface area 134 million sq km, roughly 26%, smaller 4.5 billion years ago? was earth's radius only about 86% of its current dimension? was the "change" discussed continual growth, and if so, growth over what amount of time? did i grossly miscalculate somewhere along the way, leading me to errant conclusions?
Earth grows 0.2 mm a day? That's 800 km in 4 billion years! It could explain a river. Or a lake. It's so much that a one could maybe with a bit of a squint, see the difference by naked eye comparisson of baby earth and today's earth (near-death earth) from orbit.
"don't always get it right the first time"? I beg to differ, SciShow. Science is the process of knowing you NEVER get it right, your understanding just gets better in jumps. Newton didn't get it right, he just got it clearer than before. Einstein isn't completely right, just right until you get to the quantum realm. Be more careful about your wording or you'll have a bunch of misinformed people who think they are "right" is an absolute sense.
A lot of these ideas where not dead ends but stepping stones towards a greater understanding. Even something like luminiferous Aether was a step in the right direction of sorts. At least by trying to prod the Aether we figured out what was really going on.
(Well.. Actually there still some thing we do not know. But we came closer to a more complete understanding!)
Maybe it's just me, but I have to say that, while I really like the information, I don't quite like the tones of these videos because I think it puts more emphasis on how these scientists got it wrong rather than on the beauty that is the falsifiability principle. The tones here seem to be shaming those scientists for not getting the right answer rather than communicating that science doesn't require that all the answers be right all of the time.
Thanks for explaining the expanding Earth theory and why it was wrong. I came across the idea a long time ago and could never find a short, to the point reasoning why it was completely wrong. I don't claim to be a smart man, but my appreciation for so easily smacking down a disproved theory hopefully won't go in vain.
Spontaneous Generation was only briefly defeated as a theory. Note how the universe and all life are now believed to have spontaneously generated under the current consensus of Big Bang Theory and Evolution based on sub-atomic particulate motion, and Speciation.
Looks like scientists of today have failed to learn from the lessons of History and now tout narratives contrary to their own evidences through using unrelated premises as "proofs" through peer approved, but illogical interpretations.
Could you make a convincing argument that Aristotle was a scientist (in my opinion the lineage was downhill after Socrates)? I never heard of an Aether proponent describe it like a classical fluid per-se with "wind"; most of them would describe our current quantum photon fields as Aether. Plus you shouldn't use the word "proved" rather use "showed" for empirical science; proof is the realm of mathematics (see Sean Carroll talk about it).
I am in awe at the intelligence of humans and how, with very little knowledge, they managed to put together some convincing theories. Yes, a lot of them were wrong or misinterpreted, but I respect the intention and effort that went into their research. If it weren’t for these people who knows where we’d be today? Im certainly not going to get on my high horse and judge them for getting it wrong, because my scientific knowledge has been discovered by people other than myself.
Regarding #5: folks accepted steady state's notion of spontaneous matter generation because it's just as "silly" as the Big Bang's notion of spontaneous matter generation. In both instances, matter appeared seemingly from nowhere and with no cause. It's just that in Big Bang theory, it happened all at once and then never again. But they're both equally "ridiculous" in this sense.
Some haven't really progressed so far. There is still belief in spontaneous generation of life, this time that a functioning, reproducing cell can suddenly arise from non-living chemicals and amino acids. Although this is at a much smaller scale, it is just as impossible. They gulf between living and non-living is ludicrously vast. The only reason this narrative is believed at all is because it is necessary if one is to believe everything happened by itself, without the guidance of a wise, capable Creator.
Despite decades of attempts, Pasteur's statement holds strongly true. "Life only comes from pre-existing life."
Where I have a problem with this video is where they say, "This [preposterous assumption] was accepted as fact for millennia by SCIENTISTS..." No sir. The "scientists" that they refer to (e.g. Aristotle) may have passed as the closest thing to a scientist that existed at the time, but I define a scientist as one who applies the scientific method...and coming up with ideas like spontaneous generation as the result of a pattern-seeking brain that wasn't aware that it could be fooled so easily, is in NO WAY recognizable as SCIENCE, it is simply another example of poor reasoning. Science begins with the realization that it is ridiculously easy for the brain to be misled by its own biases and its default position of using poor reasoning on a daily basis. This is why such scientific approaches as double-blind studies are utilized: only by starting off an experiment by discounting the biases of the subject and the researcher can any non-biased information be teased out. This video isn't giving examples of "SCIENCE GOT IT WRONG," these are examples of HUMAN BRAINS getting it wrong when they fail to use the time-proven methods of science.
Dear “presentator”, you cant compare the conclusion of a philosophist like Aristotle to the conclusions of large groups of scientists in the 17th and the 18th century..Technollogy has evolved radically and those large groups had more evidense and clues compared to philosophists in ancient Greece.That is why it is logical to say that those scientists had a beeter chance of understanding the world than Aristotle.He expressed his opinion about nature and he was wrong.Everybody could be .That is why you need to understand that he could be an “expert” for today’s standards but he definately was an expert in the Ancient World. I hope that in your next presentation you will learn to use theese (✌️✌️) the right way and be more precise and just when you present us such a big figure of the past.
the people that say we can never go faster than light ever in any way because we think we know something need to refer to this video. as this video shows we are getting things wrong all the time. not saying we are but we could be.
The concepts of caloric and phlogiston are very intriguing. Does anyone know of other ideas like these? Esoteric elements to explain how the world works before refining our collective knowledge on how it actually works.
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