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History of disproving

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posted on Jan, 8 2005 @ 06:38 PM
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Could anybody help me out in finding examples from past to present day, where new theories and discoveries have been made and where some members of the science community, or the majority, have tried to disprove or publicly ridicule an idea because it doesnt fit in to their theories and ideas at that time?
I'm not an expert in this matter, but feel a thread showing examples would be an extremely good reference point.

[edit on 8-1-2005 by paranoia]




posted on Jan, 8 2005 @ 07:28 PM
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Most of the scientific theories that got held back or challenged in the past have been the doing of the church. See Darwin's theory of evolution / survival of the fittest etc or Galileo's theory that the sun, not the earth is the centre of our solar system.

While scientific theories tend only to get challenged if they don't stand up to experimental results, some are initially not enthusiastically recieved because the rest of the science community is still holding on to it's old ideas, but for the main part, once the theory can be tested and experiments are conducted giving answers agreeing with the theory, everyone accepts it. One of the last 'biggies' to face a lot of harassment was String Theory, mainly because the claims of it being The Theory of Everything, were both overblown and premature.



posted on Jan, 8 2005 @ 07:46 PM
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Science operates by trying to disprove a theory, not by merely trying to find stuff that supports it.

One scientific theory that was largely rejected but ultimately accepted is Plate Tectonics. Alfred Wegener, pictured below, was primarily, from what I understand, an atmospheric scientist, and an adventurous artic or antartic explorer. He proposed his theory of continental drift to explain evidence that had intruiged other researchers in a book called Theory of Continental Drift in 1915. The idea was largely rejected, and not without reason. There was no mechanism to explain what was driving it. Perhaps this is sufficient to reject it or perhaps not. The prevailing idea was that continents was generally fixed in their current positions, but had been submerged and risen at different times in history.

As far as I understand it there wasn't a large consensus on his ideas until the 60s-70s.



pubs.usgs.gov...
pangaea.org...
www.ucmp.berkeley.edu...
www.ucmp.berkeley.edu...



posted on Jan, 8 2005 @ 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by paranoia
Could anybody help me out in finding examples from past to present day, where new theories and discoveries have been made and where some members of the science community, or the majority, have tried to disprove or publicly ridicule an idea because it doesnt fit in to their theories and ideas at that time?
I'm not an expert in this matter, but feel a thread showing examples would be an extremely good reference point.

[edit on 8-1-2005 by paranoia]


One big current debate is "when did humans enter the North American continent?" Clovis points and the "Clovis technology" held that humans only arrived 15,000 - 10,000 years ago. However, about 10 years ago a site called Mesa Verde in South America was uncovered that has good usable evidence saying that humans showed up about 20,000 years ago.

Recent finds here in North America (including in Texas and along the Carolina coast) have started to convince more archaeologists (who are somewhat reluctantly yielding to logic.) There is a more recent site that seems to date to closer to 50,000 years in age here in the Americas.

There really was a lot of ill-feeling between the academics in the community over this one.


Oh -- and the "dinosaurs were destroyed by a giant meteorite." I remember when that one was laughed at. The location of the iridium layer globally made the scoffers eat their words.

[edit on 8-1-2005 by Byrd]



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