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"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible" - and other predictions from history

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posted on May, 1 2015 @ 10:30 AM
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-Animals, which move, have limbs and muscles. The earth does not have limbs and muscles; therefore it does not move.
- Scipio Chiaramonti [Professor of philosophy and mathematics at University of Pisa, arguing against the heliocentrc system, 1633]

-Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.
- Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London.

-...no possible combination of known substances, known forms of machinery, and known forms of force, can be united in a practical machine by which man shall fly long distances through the air...
- Simon Newcomb (1835-1909), astronomer, head of the U. S. Naval Observatory.


-Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
-- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

-Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and
reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against
which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in
high schools.
-- 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work.


-There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. The glib supposition of utilizing atomic energy when our coal has run out is a completely unscientific Utopian dream, a childish bug-a-boo. Nature has introduced a few fool-proof devices into the great majority of elements that constitute the bulk of the world, and they have no energy to give up in the process of disintegration.
-- Robert A. Millikan (1863-1953) [1928 speech to the Chemists' Club (New York)]

-Any one who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine...
-- Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) [1933]

-There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.
-- Albert Einstein, 1932.


"To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin."

-Cardinal Bellarmine, on Galileo's trial, 1615.


"The abolishment of pain in surgery is a chimera. It is absurd to go on seeking it... Knife and pain are two words in surgery that must forever be associated in the consciousness of the patient."

-Dr. Alfred Velpeau, French surgeon, 1839.


The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon".

-Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.


"One day there will be a telephone in every major city in America."

-Alexander Graham Bell, c.1880.


"Man will not fly for 50 years."

-Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer, to brother Orville, after a disappointing flying experiment, 1901


"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom."

-Robert Millikan, American physicist and Nobel Prize winner, 1923.


"Space travel is utter bilge."

-Dr. Richard van der Reit Wooley, Astronomer Royal, space advisor to the British government, 1956.


"Space travel is bunk."

-Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of the UK, 1957




Faster than light-travel is impossible? Time travel is impossible? Dimensional travel is impossible? Utilizing zero-point energy is impossible? Says who? The 21th century-scientist?

Go explain a man from 850AD how radio waves work...




posted on May, 1 2015 @ 10:40 AM
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Er, what's your point, except to show that in the context of their time, people made incorrect predictions of the future. Predictions made by people who based them on the evidence they had to hand and in relation to their (often limited) worldview and science.

I predict that faster then light travel is complete nonsense, unless (and until) it happens.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: quantumist

It's amazing how short-sighted people can be.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 10:41 AM
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A fool thinks he knows everything and a wise man knows he knows nothing.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 10:57 AM
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a reply to: quantumist

And for today...

"UFOS cannot be alien machines from some other planet. They simply cannot get here."
Carl Sagan paraphrased from his writings and speakings.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: quantumist

Not completely off topic, but I regularly spark conversations by saying "Do you think humans can make float on water a two hundred and sixty thousand tonne, 500 meter long 75 meter wide steel structure? and when you fill it with water it is over six hundred thousand tonnes"?

I usually get that persons / crowds full attention and a W T F stare of bewilderment

]things are only impossible...until they are not



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 11:08 AM
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Man-made Global Warming by Al Gore.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: quantumist

I totally agree with you. Anything is possible.



In 1977, Ken Olsen, the founder and CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation, said, "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home."



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 11:30 AM
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Sucks that some people want to see the evidence of something before they believe it.
Time travel, impossible, speed of light impossible and dimensional travel, humbug
I wont believe its possible till I see it.

Can you blame me.
Birds are heavier than air?

Some of those statements were made long after they were proven wrong



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 11:32 AM
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There are just as many predictions of the future that have not come true.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 11:34 AM
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originally posted by: Sublimecraft
a reply to: quantumist

Not completely off topic, but I regularly spark conversations by saying "Do you think humans can make float on water a two hundred and sixty thousand tonne, 500 meter long 75 meter wide steel structure? and when you fill it with water it is over six hundred thousand tonnes"?

I usually get that persons / crowds full attention and a W T F stare of bewilderment

]things are only impossible...until they are not


I would think since you clearly state how much water the thing displaces and it is significantly more than its own weight... well, ppl aren't often very bright.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 11:36 AM
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originally posted by: socketdude
A fool thinks he knows everything and a wise man knows he knows nothing.


Wouldn't knowing you know nothing be something?



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 11:49 AM
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originally posted by: PhoenixOD

originally posted by: socketdude
A fool thinks he knows everything and a wise man knows he knows nothing.


Wouldn't knowing you know nothing be something?


There is great wisdom in the words "I don't know".



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 01:44 PM
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originally posted by: socketdude
A fool thinks he knows everything and a wise man knows he knows nothing.


I knew that!


I don't recall who said it, but I remember reading that some scientist predicted that the human body could never withstand the stress of traveling greater than 60 mph. That was based on wooden wheels and cobblestone roads. I tend to think with enough energy or power, you can do almost anything.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: quantumist

"Go explain a man from 850AD how radio waves work."

I imagine the language barrier would present just as much as a problem as the understanding of the science would.


Its entirely possible given our incomplete knowledge regarding Human history some ancient cultures may have utilized forms of powered flight long before the Wright Brothers.

Vimana en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 1-5-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 03:41 PM
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I made a similar thread some time ago:
The Experts Speak



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 03:46 PM
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originally posted by: LewsTherinThelamon
It's amazing how short-sighted people can be.

A true scientific assessment of the short-sightedness of people would probably work better if we compared quotes from all the people who made pronouncements about things and got them wrong with all the other quotes from people who predicted that a fringe subject was a lot of horse crap and they turned out to be completely right.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 03:47 PM
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originally posted by: PhoenixOD
Wouldn't knowing you know nothing be something?

I don't know.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: quantumist

So what will scientists of the 22nd century be saying is impossible?



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 03:56 PM
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a reply to: Sublimecraft

That just sounds like sorcery to me.



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