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"Concepts which have proved useful for ordering things easily assume so great an authority over us, that we forget their terrestrial origin and accept them as unalterable facts. They then become labeled as 'conceptual necessities,' etc. The road of scientific progress is frequently blocked for long periods by such errors." - Einstein
Instantaneous meteor noises (evidence rejected because sound should be delayed by distance)
Mind-body connection (psychoneuroimmunology, doctors ridiculed any emotional basis for disease)
Perceptrons (later vindicated as Neural Networks)
Permanent magnet levitation ("Levitron" shouldn't have worked)
"The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false." -Paul Johnson
Originally posted by destiny-fate
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
[edit on 30-5-2010 by destiny-fate]
The appeal & problem with using cutesy generalizations like this is that it sounds good & catchy. However it is very much a magician's misdirection, & misleads less rigorous minds to the wrong conclusion.
If we are to believe in the validity of this statement, then nothing is truly forbidden to you. Anything you can imagine can be argued to exist without having to prove it.
However you are deliberately ignoring 1 important point. Any scenario might be possible BUT is it probable?
Is it possible that [insert object of your fantasy] exists? Lets just say Yes for the sake of this argument.
Is it probable it exists? Well that depends on how robust the proof is, isn't it? Or even if the evidence actually exists.
E.g. Lets say someone has the feeling that the Sun rises in the west tomorrow.
Has it ever done so in his lifetime? No.
Is it possible it can be done?
If it is based on the infinitesimal small chance of an alien UFO tugging the Sun around the other way, then yes it is possible.