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Author Topic: what are some scientific things belived in the 1800's, that are false today?  (Read 5763 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #50 on: May 22, 2014, 01:01:49 am »

Stress theory of ulcers:
That lasted until the 1980s. The ulcer-drug industry fought the discovery that ulcers were caused by a bacterial disease that could be cured outright with three well known antibiotics taken for a month.

However, stress is not entirely out of the equation.  Stress is still known to be a trigger - not the cause - of many other diseases.  The mechanisms are theorised to be related to a fall in the immune system (since bacteria are always present in the body 0 the way doctors paint this picture most human beings are exposed to H. pilori, the question is why do some individuals become ill while others don't (same with many other things such as nail fungus).  The common thread is that older people temd to suffer from these diseases with a much higher frequency, thus pointing to a decayed defense mechanism.  Stress is thought to affect the body's defenses.
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« Reply #51 on: May 26, 2014, 04:23:56 pm »

Idiot, imbecile and moron were once clinical terms. Addiction was a weakness or character. Mental retardation was inherited, as was suicide.

Society evolved, and the closer you got to "British" the more advanced you were.

Mars had canals and was inhabited. Venus was covered in rainforests under clouds of water vapor.

Light was a particle, as was electricity.
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« Reply #52 on: June 26, 2014, 12:48:46 am »

Not limited to the 19th century, but i thought it was a coherent addition:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPJIBeyRUxQ
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« Reply #53 on: June 26, 2014, 03:29:33 pm »

The speed of light is a constant. until they gave up on actually measuring it and set it as something mathematically defined by itself they got different speeds...so if going beyond the speed of light is necessary for time travel a variable speed of light is rather useful.
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Kieranfoy
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« Reply #54 on: June 26, 2014, 03:48:03 pm »

The idea that criminals were literaly subhuman, and that strange facial and bodily features bespoke a a criminal personality.

Not so scientific but related, the idea that public executions were instructive to children.
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« Reply #55 on: June 26, 2014, 10:34:18 pm »

Wrong ... the earth is flat, watch out for the edges!

It is NOT flat- remember mountains & valleys.  Think of a VERY irregular waffle...!

Although in terms smoothness expressed as a ratio of local differences compared to average radius the earth is comparable in smoothness to a billiard ball.
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« Reply #56 on: July 17, 2014, 12:49:10 pm »

I just stumbled across these very nice Wikipedia pages which should comprise most theories of interest and a few which could serve as starting points for cool alternate universes:

superseded scientific theories:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superseded_scientific_theories

List of topics characterised as pseudoscience
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_topics_characterized_as_pseudoscience

List of discredited substances
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_discredited_substances

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Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #57 on: July 17, 2014, 03:36:14 pm »

The speed of light is a constant. until they gave up on actually measuring it and set it as something mathematically defined by itself they got different speeds...
Any properly reported scientific measurement will include a margin of uncertainty.  So long as the accepted value is within that margin, the measurement supports it.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #58 on: July 17, 2014, 05:45:12 pm »

The speed of light is a constant. until they gave up on actually measuring it and set it as something mathematically defined by itself they got different speeds...so if going beyond the speed of light is necessary for time travel a variable speed of light is rather useful.
The speed of light can be calculated from one of Maxwell's equations - c2 = 1/(ε0μ0), and ε0 and μ0 can be either experimentally measured defined independently of c. However, there are some theories that the fundamental constants, including c, may vary over time, which, if true, would make cosmology even more fiendishly complex than it already is.

Yours,
Miranda.
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« Reply #59 on: July 21, 2014, 02:58:29 pm »

In the early 1800s, before Darwin and Wallace, people believed in Lamarckism as a theory of how life forms changed.
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Atterton
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« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2015, 08:48:37 pm »

A professor at MIT has just published a book about the search for Vulcan, the planet supposedly between Mercury and the Sun. His name is Tom Levenson and it's called The Hunt for Vulcan.
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« Reply #61 on: November 07, 2015, 10:40:47 pm »

I believe there was a man who claimed to have seen people on the moon, by looking at telescopic images of it through a microscope. It didn't take very long to expose this as a hoax. Also wasn't there a theory that postulated a "counter earth" traveling in roughly the same orbit as earth, but on the opposite side of the sun, or was that just science fiction?   
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« Reply #62 on: November 08, 2015, 01:12:49 am »

You might be thinking of the venusian batmen.
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creagmor
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« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2015, 08:07:06 am »

That could very well be the case. It's been a few decades since I read this.
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« Reply #64 on: November 09, 2015, 09:22:23 am »

I don't know if this has been said before but elephants don't have knees.
if they lay down they can never get up anymore
to sleep they must lean onto a tree to prevent falling over.
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« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2015, 10:22:08 am »

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Mesmer's animal magnetism was popular in the 19th century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_magnetism

Here are some advertisements for products based on this idea
https://magnetictherapyuk.wordpress.com/category/history-of-magnetic-therapy/

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily
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« Reply #66 on: November 10, 2015, 01:50:11 am »

The Victorians knew that land rose up from the oceans and sank back beneath them again because they found oceanic fossils atop mountains.  That the oceans themselves might rise and fall seems not to have been considered, despite everyday evidence such as the tides.  That the continents themselves might move and crumple mountains up was unthinkable.

Victorian geologists and paleontologists posited bizarre narrow temporary ocean-spanning land bridges criss-crossing the Atlantic to account for the exact correlation of fossils and rock formations between the east coasts of North and South America and the west coasts of Europe and Africa.

When the vast mountains of the mid-Atlantic ridge were discovered (as explorers were taking soundings before laying transatlantic cables), there was great excitement that they had found the sunken continent of Atlantis.

While unsure of the exact time scale of the dinosaur extinction, Victorian scientists confidently asserted that it was probably at least three million years ago and could have been possibly as much as five million years ago (Current understanding is that it was 65 million years ago).
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« Reply #67 on: November 10, 2015, 02:05:55 am »

The idea that criminals were literaly subhuman, and that strange facial and bodily features bespoke a a criminal personality.

I actually saw a book purporting to prove this scientifically where the author had inked very obvious dark circles and facial lines onto photographs of children identified as the offspring of criminal types.

It was quite shocking fakery.  Possibly the author only got away with it because people were not yet used to sophisticated photo manipulation.
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