When you decide to make some experiments on scientific research, it means you should be ready to admit your mistakes. That is what happened to older scientists before you. In fact, modern research commonly rejects old hoaxes, ideas, and myths.
Today, we are going to provide you the ten of the most popular, yet influential scientific findings based on dubious data. They were proven wrong, debunked, and then replaced with the more logical theories.
1. Fleischmann & Pons’s Nuclear Fusion
Cold fusion supposed to be the nuclear reaction that would happen at the low temperatures compared to hot fusion. It was a new type of nuclear reaction, and it was popular after famous electrochemists, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman made reports of this research in 1989. The cold fusion then became nothing and weaker, when other scientists repeated the experiments but failed to get the same results.
We consider it as pseudoscience at this time. So, phrenology was the study of the shape of the skull. We would learn about the strengths of the different faculties in the skull. On the other hands, modern scientific research then replaced this theory after proving that it was impossible to trace to any specific portions of the brain through personality traits.
3. The Blank Slate
We also know this theory as Tabula Rasa. John Locke was the man behind this theory. He proposed his theory in 169 by saying that individuals are born without any built-in mental content. So, their knowledge comes from perception and experience. But, modern research shows that genes and family traits inherited from birth together with innate instincts have an important role in this case.
4. Luminiferous Aether
Aether is another name of ether, mysterious substance scientists thought to transmit light through the universe. But, this idea was weak as the experiments in the diffraction and refraction of light. It was when Einstein came out with his special theory of reality.
5. Einstein’s Static Universe
This theory is also known as a stationary universe or a static universe. Albert Einstein proposed this theory back in 1917. It was quite problematic since its very first page. The discovery of the relationship between the redshift done by Edwin Hubble finally demonstrates that the universe is constantly expanding.
6. Martian Canals
Have you heard about Martian canals? Scientists thought that Martian canals, the network of ravines and gullies existed on Mars, back in 19th century. Italian astronomer, Giovanni Schiaparelli, detected it for the first time in 1877. Modern telescopes and imaging technology then debunked the myth since the canals were actually the optical illusion.
7. Phlogiston Theory
Johann Joachim Becher, a German physician believed in the existence of phlogiston, a fire-like element. He stated his idea in 1667. This element was contained within combustible bodies and then released during the combustion. This theory tried to tell us that combustion and the rusting of metals, but now we call it “oxidation”.
8. The Growing Earth
This is a hypothesis saying that the position and the movement of the continents depend on the volume of earth. So, the volume is increasing. After that, modern science turned it down.
9. The Planet Vulcan
Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier, a French mathematician named a small planet “Vulcan” that appeared in an orbit between Mercury and the Sun. He named this planet while trying to tell about the nature of the orbit that belongs to Mercury. Scientists never discover such a planet before. After that, Albert Einstein came out with his theory of general relativity to explain the orbit of Mercury.
10. Spontaneous Generation
We also know it as an equivocal generation, the obsolete principle that concerns the origin of life from the inanimate matter. Aristotle came out with the hypothesis but Louis Pasteur had better evidence to prove it wrong in the 19th century. Pasteur did his experiments that were inspired by Francesco Reddy, the early proponent of cell and germ theory.