Science works with a set of truths or facts in making things sensible. It is for this reason that you will find a lot of scientific information on virtual platforms. However, science recognizes errors whenever they occur, unlike other dogmas such as religion.
Science has had massive breakthroughs in the history of mankind, and through such discoveries or innovations, the human race has improved immensely. For instance, consider the discoveries like antibiotics, airplanes, cars, metals, etc. Such things play a fundamental role in the way people function and act as bases for future scientific work. But with that said, science has also had a few misses, these entail the following.
Ten Historical Scientific Blunders
- Alchemy. The substance gets referred to as the miraculous philosopher’s stone. Many scientists believed that the substance could transform regular metals into actual gold. It revolved around the concept of elemental manipulation for interesting results. Isaac Newton also delved into this research quest without yielding any success. However, this alchemy quest led to the advent of chemistry.
- Phlogiston. The substance, way back in the 1770s got attributed to processes such as rusting or burning. Scientists even had a theory about it referred to as the phlogiston theory, where phlogiston assumed responsibility when it came to scientific processes like burning. It also explained how things deprived of the phlogiston never changed form. However, it all proved a gross and costly error though led to the right scientific conclusion later on.
- Vitalism. The theory proves similar to that of Phlogiston but with an application in biology and not chemistry. It stated that every living thing has a specific energy field that provides it with life. However, science has proved the vitalist theory wrong, and no single biologist would want to get associated with the vitalist concept.
- Spontaneous Generation. The theory maintained that complex life forms suddenly appeared from nowhere. In as much as theory held for about two millennia, Louis Pasteur disapproved of it in the nineteenth century.
- The Luminiferous Aether. The theory suggested that light had a traveling medium in the form of aether. It proved a sensible theory at the time because electromagnetic waves cannot travel in a vacuum, and light proved one then. However, the contradictory evidence of the supposed substance led to a study that disapproved of the existence of aether and its relation to light travel.
- Phrenology. The concept arose back in the nineteenth century where it implied the study of human nature and personality through measuring the skull. It relied on having the head shape determining someone’s temperament. However, the concept got disapproved because of its unreliability and biased nature. Further, the concept perpetrated sexist and racist beliefs.
- Permanent Cell Differentiation. The concept relied on the permanence of specific cells changing their form from one type onto another cell type. For instance, a stem cell differentiating into a blood cell and staying a blood cell irreversibly. However, the cloning tech proved that a differentiated cell nucleus can get turned back to an embryonic cell.
- Nerve-Cell Stagnation. Scientists have believed for a long time that nerve cells cannot get renewed or regenerated in an adult. It relied on the premise of nerve cells developing during the embryo development. However, this idea has gotten disapproved as nerve cells can get generated and regenerated in adults, though with varying rates.
- Homosexuality as Sickness. History attests to a sustained level of prejudice when it comes to gays. It also culminated, in some instances to active persecutions. It all started with the inclusion of homosexuality in the APA listing of psychological disorders. Recent studies show that homosexuality epitomizes no intrinsic obstacle to living healthily.
- Evolution. What’s that? – It became official in 1995 that Colorado students wouldn’t be tested on evolution, Charles Darwin’s theory that, through a series of genetic mutations, we developed from a single-celled organism.
It proves incredibly intriguing that such scientific blunders could pass at the time. However, as with science, a concept can validate or invalidate an existing one, if not, add a new one. By reviewing these scientific mishaps, you will get to appreciate science more.