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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 @ 03:59 PM
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originally posted by: paraphi
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.



It's very relevant. Especially in this day and age when "science" claims to have all the answers and if you disagree with any of it you're shunned and laughed it. It's a good dose of history to stand back and realize it's okay to question science and it's current beliefs. They've been wrong in the past... don't believe everything they tell you now.




posted on May, 1 2015 @ 04:04 PM
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a reply to: quantumist


-...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.


He should've been shot on sight



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 06:13 PM
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originally posted by: HippyAIDS
So what will scientists of the 22nd century be saying is impossible?

Transferring a human consciousness intact into a machine.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 07:32 PM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift

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.


That would actually be an interesting study.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 08:02 PM
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originally posted by: jjkenobi
It's very relevant. Especially in this day and age when "science" claims to have all the answers and if you disagree with any of it you're shunned and laughed it. It's a good dose of history to stand back and realize it's okay to question science and it's current beliefs. They've been wrong in the past... don't believe everything they tell you now.


Of course, all these things were DONE by scientists.

Not by mystics, or seers, or magic, or prayer, or positive thinking.

It's hard to read your statement and not worry about the cognitive dissonance hitting "rupture" for you.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 08:21 PM
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a reply to: quantumist

I understand the point you're trying to make here, I don't really agree with it, as you've brought forward a handful of cherry picked statements, some probably aren't even true.

But what comes to mind for me is, is what prompted these people to say what they said? Probably other scientists proposing that these things can happen.

There will always be naysayers, but good science always wins.

That's the lesson I take from this.



posted on May, 1 2015 @ 10:13 PM
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Einstein redeemed himself though. In the end he said something to the effect: When a distinguished gentleman says something is possible he is probably right and if he says it is impossible he is probably wrong.

in the case of FTL travel. The science is sound as far as it goes. there really are physical realities that conspire to prevent it by conventional means. and so when scientists say it is physically impossible in that sense then they are correct. But most (yes most that bother to open their flaps in public) go further than that; at least popularly. They err when they say that every possible means of achieving the goal of FTL travel is completely closed out by the above physical facts.

The rocket equation, SRT and GRT do indeed kill the notion that by means such as rockets you can simply go faster and faster and obtain and surpass light speed. you cannot do it that way. when scientists say that they are stating a true fact.

But those equations allow solutions that do achieve the effects of FTL travel by round about means. When scientists or armchair physicists deny those valid solutions to SRT/GRT and deny that quantum gravity may allow even more astonishing stuff then it is they that are being unscientific and the dreamers that are being scientific so long as they are aware of the very real physical problems involved.

But dreamers who are unaware that there are physical laws that conspire to stop it and that the problem isn't ignorance like in some of those quotes above which are examples of ignorance by distinguished gentlemen; very much aren't being scientific either.
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posted on May, 2 2015 @ 12:29 AM
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originally posted by: Bedlam

originally posted by: jjkenobi
It's very relevant. Especially in this day and age when "science" claims to have all the answers and if you disagree with any of it you're shunned and laughed it. It's a good dose of history to stand back and realize it's okay to question science and it's current beliefs. They've been wrong in the past... don't believe everything they tell you now.


Of course, all these things were DONE by scientists.

Not by mystics, or seers, or magic, or prayer, or positive thinking.

It's hard to read your statement and not worry about the cognitive dissonance hitting "rupture" for you.


Indeed, scientists can be wrong about the future, like any other human.

However, since the Enlightenment, there are no fields in the entirety of human endeavor outside physical science and research mathematics in which the intuition and dreams of laymen are so profoundly WORSE than the considered opinion of trained experts.


(Tom, feel free to say something very well considered about inertia about FTL anytime.)

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posted on May, 2 2015 @ 12:37 AM
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originally posted by: stormbringer1701
Einstein redeemed himself though. In the end he said something to the effect: When a distinguished gentleman says something is possible he is probably right and if he says it is impossible he is probably wrong.


Einstein didn't say that.

However, in 1932, he was right about nuclear energy. Nuclear fission (1937) was a completely new experimental phenomenon which appeared out of nowhere, a bolt in the blue. It is very specific to a small number of situations, elements and isotopes. It was not predicted theoretically.
It couldn't be derived from considerations of extrapolation, symmetry, or anything else.

And, as soon as the experiments became known, it was immediately recognized by all the top scientists who heard about it as being tremendously important, even to the degree that it was a national state secret from the start in the pre-war era of international tension. And at this time the average public knew nothing and had nothing to offer.

Within a very short time Fermi and Szilard understood the implications and derived the technology of the chain reaction which required not just spontaneous fission (which was just a new radioactive decay pathway at first) but induced fission, another experimental magic.

A third piece of stupendously lucky empirical magic is the fact that splitting uranium emits two neutrons in microseconds, and occasionally one more over hours. And that permits a stable reactor and not just BOOM.

Thing is that those lucky experimental anomalies are very, very rare.


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posted on May, 2 2015 @ 01:48 AM
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a reply to: jjkenobi




It's very relevant. Especially in this day and age when "science" claims to have all the answers and if you disagree with any of it you're shunned and laughed it.

Tell me, if " 'science' claims to have all the answers", why does "science" bother to study stuff? Nothing new to be learned? All the answers in the bag?

Seems more like religion claims to have all the answers, not science.

"How does that work?"
"God."

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posted on May, 2 2015 @ 02:48 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
"How does that work?"
"God."


This IS, however, often the answer when you're dealing with RF. The higher the frequency, the closer to God you have to work, and by the time you're dealing with THz plumbing, you cross the line into the mystic world.



posted on May, 2 2015 @ 02:50 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam
Seems wavelengthist to me.
Why are lower wavelengths godlier?



posted on May, 2 2015 @ 03:56 AM
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a reply to: Phage

Science not only says "This is what we know for a fact, but this is what we believe." (Having its own in-house religion of sorts is very handy.) In the past, much of what it believed was in fact religion based (christian religion, that is). Then it decided after investigations that religion was not a very good answer. No problem. It then decided that humans, mankind, was the darling of the Universe and the sole intelligent occupant. That was a big mistake. (Which, by the way, was a back-slide from even christian religion's view of "many mansions" assertions, etc.)

Only with a generous allotment of UFO visits over the last half a century has science looked a little askew to that persistent nuisance to toy with the prospect that other intelligent life must be out there--of course, the UFOs are not any sign of that, so science can still ignore them, but go charging ahead to prove a fact by a backwards investigation of the clues.

Say what you want, but the public at large is way ahead of science in that area. But things are starting to cook. I see signs even on ATS of a revisionism of UFO history as science and government would have as we drawn near the wire where the inevitable must be acknowledged and blame placed. The spin has begun beyond the standard boiler-plate denials and ignoring of the in-your-face evidence of the UFOs. But science, will be the fall guy for the government eventually saying, "We had no idea...how could we have known?"



posted on May, 2 2015 @ 04:42 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: Bedlam
Seems wavelengthist to me.
Why are lower wavelengths godlier?



I'm not sure. However, as you get past about 400MHz, "FM" quits referring to a modulation technique and begins referring to how you make it go.



posted on May, 2 2015 @ 05:48 AM
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a reply to: Aliensun

Science at the end of the day is still only our best guess based on the information we have available. Essentially if we can repeat an experiment and attain the same results time and time again we call it science.

Probably worth keeping in mind that today's Science fiction is tomorrow's science fact. That probably says quite a lot regarding Humanity's interpretation/perception of the world we live these days.
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posted on May, 2 2015 @ 05:51 AM
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originally posted by: andy06shake
a reply to: [post=19301120]Aliensun[/post

Probably worth keeping in mind that today's Science fiction is tomorrow's science fact.


And probably also worth keeping in mind that tomorrow's science fact was brought to you by scientists.



posted on May, 2 2015 @ 05:52 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

Yes well they do seem to be doing a rather more accurate a job of attempting to understand our universe than those organised religious types.

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posted on May, 5 2015 @ 04:30 PM
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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?


Once you get into that, you get into the realm of Dunning-Kruger in which everything is just a race to the bottom, where the person who believes they know the least is the smartest person around.



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