Theories that have been debunked?
- Tom SLv 75 months ago
Trickle down economics.
- Andrew SmithLv 75 months ago
Lamarkianism. That animals evolve by simply striving to do something. eg that the long necks on giraffes have been caused by them stretching their necks to eat leaves.
Aristotles idea of matter. That matter is divisible indefinitely. All matter is unique and no matter how finely it is divided it remains exactly what it always was. ( replaced by the idea of molecules and atoms ).
The regular solids. That there can be no more than 9 planets because their orbits are described by circumscribed regular solids and as there are only 9 of these then there can be only 9 planets.
The earth is the centre of the universe.
That the sun and moon orbit around the earth.
That the earth is flat and if you go too far you will fall off the edge.
The economic theory that a Government should always spend within its means. So that if the country contracts then the Government should spend less. Which triggered the great depression.
That harsh punishments solve crime. Tried in Britain 200 years ago and in France. Still tried elsewhere with zero success at stopping crime.
- PhilomelLv 75 months ago
Time travel either way
- DixonLv 75 months ago
The Blank Slate
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- ZirpLv 75 months ago
"humans come in races", telegony, eugenics
- RaymondLv 75 months ago
Every day, new theories are being proposed. Serious ones. Serious enough to get published in science journals. Thousands every year.
Most of them are debunked within a few months.
Very few survive more than five years (less than 1%).
A theory is nothing more than a proposed explanation for something that we cannot go and check in person. It must be based on observations and on known processes.
The main value of a theory is its ability to make predictions (especially about things that are not known at the time of publication). Therefore, people are far more interested in the usefulness of a theory than on its actual "truth".
For example, we have known for a hundred years now, that Newton's theory of gravity, along with the model that comes with it, is "false". Newton thought that gravity was an instantaneous effect and that its scale did not change. We now know this to be "false".
However, for everyday life, here on Earth (and in the entire Solar system), the difference you'd get by using it instead of the more precise Einstein gravity (part of General relativity), is so small that we don't bother.
Einstein's model uses mathematical objects (and operations) such as "tensors". Very few people can tackle them and the calculations are long and tedious. Newton's calculation are easy enough to be high-school material. The "one-thousandth of one percent" difference does not justify the effort of going to the "better" theory.
We still use Newton's model (and the principles behind his theory) when sending probes to other planets within the Solar system. It is still "useful", even though it is not true.
Steady State (versus Big Bang)
- 5 months ago
Everything game theory has ever made
- A Yahoo UserLv 75 months ago
(there are LOTS more, but I've been away from this stuff for several decades...)
- Anonymous5 months ago
Moon landings being fake is one
- StanleyLv 75 months ago
Not knowing what life is? ;-(