Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Has scientists ever been wrong?

Has there been anything scientists claimed to be fact when it really wasn't? Have they ever been utterly wrong?

31 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    But the problem is, science is theory based and never fact based.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, at one time, contemporary scientists thought that the earth was a giant flat "pancake", resting on the back of three elephants, sitting on the back of one gigantic tortoise, walking across the skies. At that time, the Bible already stated the spherical nature of the earth.

    At one time, the contemporary scientists thought that everything consisted of earth, wind, fire and water, when the Bible talked about the invisible elements from which all things visible consist.

    The Bible describes a thermonuclear war caused by the powers of uranium ("Uranamos" in Greek, which was wrongly translated, "heavens" because the concept of uranium just didn't make sense to those scientists.)

    At one time, scientists thought that the cell was the smallest part of a living body, not knowing anything about the internal contents, such as mitochondria, proteins, protein synthesis, DNA, RNA, etc.

    It was that very basis that Darwin formulated his theory. He actually thought that there was such a thing as "designated cells" that are formed during gestation, during which time, extreme external pressures could actually change these "designated cells" to "cope" with the external environment!

    He simply decided all this, while riding a bicycle, with no further proof or scientific study! The idea struck him, and he simply stuck with it!

    Science certainly HAS been wrong - MANY times. Why else would they need to keep correcting, updating, testing, and modifying theories? Because they keep getting it wrong.

    In fact, one such scientist, as he's been studying the internal structure and function of the DNA, had to finally renounce evolution because it just didn't fit in with the facts that he had been uncovering.

    He said in an interview that for him to continue accepting evolution as a viable explanation of all the variegated forms of life here on earth, he would have to commit "intellectual suicide"!

    He said that all the facts point to some incredible Intelligent Designer!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Of course.

    But when a scientific theory is proven wrong, people don't just scrap it and go back to what they believed before. Discovering something that can prove a scientific idea wrong is big! And when our theories are changed to accommodate that discovery, science as a whole advances another step forward.

    For example: people first believed the Earth was the center of the universe, and everything revolved around us. Then we realized the Earth actually revolved around the Sun, and that became the center of the universe. When we discovered the Sun wasn't actually the center, we didn't go back to geocentrism: we moved forward to greater theories about a massive universe with many solar systems.

    That's the beauty of the scientific method. Proving something wrong only increases our understanding of the univserse.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Claimed to be a fact when it wasn't?

    Not that I'm aware of.

    Been wrong about an hypothesis, theory, or explanation?

    Absolutely.

    Science is always open to new, better, or more complete evidence leading to better understanding and more complete knowledge. It's rational to get new evidence, verify it, then conclude that it shows we didn't understand something before. It's not rational to assume some wandering ignorant goat herders what lived a couple thousand years ago knew the answers to everything.

    Peace.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes ofcourse. Being utterly wrong is an important part of science. If we assumed all scientist were always right we'd just blindly believe their very first theories and we'd never advance scientifically.

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  • 1 decade ago

    A good place to start would be to ask the bio chemists who come up with all the medicine, if any of their inventions has ever killed anyone..

    According to our scientists: Ninety six percent of our universe is unidentified matter and energy. The four percent recognized by our scientists as visible ordinary matter, (labeled by them as a collection of protons, neutrons and electrons) are what we commonly call our stars, planets, including earth and living beings.

    Science acknowledges that they’re not able to identify ninety six percent of (what goes on in) our universe.

    So really, they're telling us that they know for sure, without a shadow of a doubt absolutely everything there is to know about four percent of everything there is to know, huh?

    Source(s): http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/dict_ei.html and H. E. Suess and H. C. Urey (1956) Abundances of the elements, Rev Mod Phys 28:53.
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  • 1 decade ago

    The first rule of science is that it never proves anything only disproves. The world being flat, focal sepsis, perpetual motion, caloric, and Devolution were all scientific facts during the time with supporting evidence behind them. But as science evolved these theories were discarded.

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  • suehil
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Often.

    Scientists used to teach that the atom was the smallest unit in the universe and that it was indivisible. (My father was taught this at school)

    Scientists used to claim that the sun revolved around the earth.

    Medical scientists used to think that bleeding a person would cure them of illness.

    Scientists told us that colour television was impossible. (I even remember that one!)

    I could go on for a very long time....

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  • zero
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Absolutely. More times than could be recounted here. Fortunately there is tough competition in the various fields of science and this tends to drive correction - much like capitalism often drives technological advances.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Scientist don't claim to facts, they have theories that try best explain observations.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Lots of times. Other scientists proved their theories wrong with better theories.

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