Common Misconceptions on a Variety of Subjects

page: 1
3

log in

join

posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 11:56 PM
link   
I ran across a Wikipedia entry entitled "List of Common Misconceptions," and I thought I would pick out some of them and add some of what I know, as well as information from a couple of other websites. This isn't off-site content, as I reworked all the information I gathered, and as such I have not included the off-site or external content blocks. I also assume this is an appropriate forum to place this thread in, since misconceptions and urban legends seem to have similarities. If not, I do not mind it being moved.

I would like to point out that all of the main ideas did come from the Wikipedia entry, therefore I included the proper citation at the bottom of the page. If I have done something incorrectly, as I don't make threads often at all, could a mod please message me and let me know? I would really appreciate it. These are simply common myths and misconceptions, and be forewarned that they are relatively random in nature, with every few having a common thread.



Despite popular depictions, there is no evidence that Vikings ever wore horns on their helmets.

The United States Constitution was not written on hemp paper. It turns out that, along with the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution was written on parchment. Parchment is treated animal skin, such as sheepskin, which was common during the 18th century.

Napoleon wasn't really that short. It turns out that he was 5.54 ft., although some other sites I researched quoted slight deviations.

Abe Lincoln didn't actually free the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation, although many Americans think otherwise. The Emancipation Proclamation only declared slavery illegal for the states that were not under Union control. The South did not recognize or abide by this proclamation, for obvious reasons, and it also did not apply
to 5 Union border states, which Wikipedia quotes as having roughly 800,000 slaves. Not until the 13th amendment was slavery actually abolished.

Albert Einstein never failed math when he was in school, as is popularly reported in some places on the web.

It is a common misconception that police officers must identify themselves as such, if asked, while doing undercover or sting work. It is commonly reported that this is entrapment, although entrapment is something completely different, which involves inticing one to commit a crime they would not normally commit.

Sushi does not mean "raw fish," although many portray it in this manner, and not all sushi is actually composed of raw fish. Sushi actually means "sour rice," a reference to the vinegared rice that can be found in the food.

Microwave ovens, because of the frequencies used, do not actually cook food from the inside out. The rays penetrate the food and cause it to heat relatively close to the surface, and this depth is known as the "skin depth."

Lemmings do not commit suicide by walking off cliffs. This was mentioned in a thread here on ATS, which I recently read. Something I found funny is that Wikipedia said the following: "Lemmings do not engage in mass suicidal dives off cliffs when migrating. They will, however, occasionally unintentionally fall off cliffs when venturing into unknown territory..." Does anyone else find that amusing?

Although most believe that bats are blind, this is not true. Their primary sense is echolocation, but they do in fact have eyes, and can see with them.

Some say that the Daddy-Longlegs spider is the most venemous in the world, but their small mouths prevent them from biting. They can indeed pierce human skin with their small mouths, but the quantity of their venom is small enough to cause only a mild sensation for a short duration.

It is common knowledge that by returning a baby bird to its nest, the mother will reject it. This is in fact a myth, and the babies can safely be returned to their nests. I have always thought this to be true, and perhaps it is for certain species, but this is reported as a common myth, so I am not really too sure.

Chameleons do not change color to camoflauge themselves. They actually do this to control their body temperatures, and sometimes to communicate with others of their species. It was noted that some species do use this mechanism for defense, although apparently not all that many.

There are many myths regarding evolution, one of which is that man evolved from monkeys. Man did not evolve from any modern-day primate, although man shares a common ancestor with some modern-day primates, which lived roughly 7 million years ago. This common ancestor diverged somewhere along the line, with humans and apes taking different evolutionary paths.

Evolution does not mean from higher to lower organisms, or from inferior to superior. I was reading an ecology book the other day, and apparently Darwin made a note of this to himself, basically saying "do not say higher or lower." Evolution does not infer a higher complexity in organisms, and it is possible for some to actually become simpler.

I did not know this, but apparently some people believe that evolution disobeys the second law of thermodynamics. The argument apparently involves entropy, and since it increases over time, evolution could not produce increased complexity. It turns out however that this law only applies to closed-systems, and according to what I have just read, the Earth is not a closed-system since it both absorbs and radiates the Sun's energy.

Evolution doesn't present a trait in an organism because it would better adapt that organism to its environment. I believe that is a more Lamarckian view, according to my own book-research. These Lamarckian ideas, surprisingly to me, apparently made a comeback in the 80's, but was subsequently squashed by the overwhelming evidence against it. The example Wikipedia uses is that of giraffes. Giraffes didn't develop long necks because it would help them to reach higher into the trees. It is just that the mutation that gave the first giraffes longer necks meant that they were more likely to survive and reproduce, introducing that trait into their offspring. The tall trees don't cause the mutation, and evolution doesn't see a need and then respond accordingly, although as I said, these ideas were floating around the scientific community at various times since its inception.

Waking someone who is sleepwalking, apart from confusing them for a short period of time, will not harm them. They stand a better chance to be injured while actually sleepwalking, due to accidents such as falling or tripping over objects they do not perceive since they...well...are asleep.

I wish I had known this when I was younger, because apparently eating less than 1 hour before swimming does not cause an increase in muscle cramps or drowning. Wikipedia's source for this claim comes from an article from the NYT from 2005 entitled "The Claim: Never Swim After Eating" by Anahad O'Connor. In my opinion however, scientific studies, which is what this myth-bust is based on, frequently get overturned and returned. So who knows?

I have always been told that shaving causes hair to grow back thicker, but it turns out that shaving doesn't cause hair to grow back thicker or darker. It apparently has to do with the fact that hair which has never been cut has a tapered end. After shaving there is no taper, which creates the illusion of thicker hair.




posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 11:56 PM
link   
This relates with the vampire show that was shown on the History channel not too long ago. It is claimed that a person's hair and fingernails continue to grow after death. This is an illusion caused by the skin drying out, exposing more of the hair and fingernails, giving the appearance of growth.

Sugar does not cause children to be excessively hyper. According to double-blind studies, there was no difference between children given diets high in sugar and sugar-free. This includes children with ADHD.

Drinking alcohol does not cause a person's body to become warmer, although it may feel that way. Alcohol causes blood vessels to shrink, and also sends a rush of blood toward the skin, causing this sensation. Your body will actually become colder, which makes sense according to the laws of thermodynamics, one of which states that heat is transferred from an object of higher temperature to one of lower temperature. With a person's body heat so close to the surface of the skin, it will be transferred to the air faster. Which brings up another point...A person does not lose the majority of body heat from the top of the head. This can sometimes be the case if the head is the only exposed body part however.

It has been mentioned on ATS before that people use only 10% of their brains, and it has also been pointed out that this is a myth. Wikipedia says this myth has been around since the start of the 20th century, and that it was attributed to a man named William James (1842 – 1910), who was a psychiatrist and philosopher, although he apparently used the example metaphorically. This reference comes from a book by a man named Barry L. Beyerstein, entitled "Whence Cometh the Myth that We Only Use 10% of our Brains" (1999). I am not sure what the deal is with the strange title...

Eidetic memory, commonly known as photographic memory, does not exist. I never knew this, and was a bit skeptical upon reading the claim. Photographic memory implies that one can remember images with extremely high precision, comparable to a camera. Wikipedia quotes the following source, indianapublicmedia.org... , to back up the claim that no person has ever demonstrated true photographic memory, and that many of them use mnemonic devices. I would think that there would be savants who are capable of true photographic memory. I watched an episode of Stan Lee's Superhumans today where the man could remember, note for note, any song he ever heard...only once!

It turns out that the historical Buddha, founder of Buddhism, was not overly fat. The common deptction of a chubby Buddha is supposedly a 10th century Chinese folk-hero named Budai. In Chinese Buddhism Budai was a Bodhisattva who would become a Buddha after the traditional teachings of The Buddha had passed away. I find the whole Buddhism religion very confusing, especially considering there are so many different variations. This sounds about right to me though.

There is no evidence that Jesus was born on December 25. It is claimed the Bible doesn't give this date, and actually may imply a date somewhere in September. It isn't really known exactly why this date was chosen, and there have been different explanations, but I remember reading somewhere that it may have been connected to other religions, such as Mithraism. The particular date was and still is an important one in various religions.

I think I will stop here. If you would like to check out many, many more, you should follow the link below to Wikipedia.

SOURCE



posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 12:14 AM
link   
I really enjoyed reading all of these, learned a lot of things that I did not know!


However..





Eidetic memory, commonly known as photographic memory, does not exist. I never knew this, and was a bit skeptical upon reading the claim. Photographic memory implies that one can remember images with extremely high precision, comparable to a camera. Wikipedia quotes the following source, indianapublicmedia.org... , to back up the claim that no person has ever demonstrated true photographic memory, and that many of them use mnemonic devices. I would think that there would be savants who are capable of true photographic memory. I watched an episode of Stan Lee's Superhumans today where the man could remember, note for note, any song he ever heard...only once!


I am calling bullcrap on this one (not at you, just in general). I have photographic memory. Everyone always scoffs at me when I say that, in particular my husband. I said fine, I'll prove it to you. He tests me almost constantly. If I saw something, I can recall it in a mental image PERFECTLY. If you give me a list of words to look at, I can write them all down by photographic memory. If I need to remember a password, pin number, phone number, whatever it may be, I will imagine a chalk board with it written on it in my mind so that I can "see" it later. The hubs, who is skeptical of everything, is a believer now.

Just a couple of nights ago, actually, I was at my mother-in-law's new house. I had only been there a couple of times, I went up stairs with her to get some Halloween decorations out and then came back downstairs. I do not know the layout of this house at all and there are boxes everywhere from the move. A couple of hours later she started looking around like she lost something, instinctively I said "What are you looking for?" because I can ALWAYS remember seeing something somewhere. She said "a screwdriver", I said "Oh its white...no ... it has a white handle, its small...yeah it is upstairs next to the window in the box with your art supplies". I hadn't touched that box. I just processed the room quickly while walking with her and could remember it well enough to bring back to mind and search for something that looked like a screwdriver.

Whew. Anyway. I am sore about this one
Obviously!

Great thread
edit on 28-10-2011 by ValentineWiggin because: What can I say, I'm a perfectionist.



posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 12:38 AM
link   
Oh wow. I do believe you. See that is what I had heard, and when I read that, it just seemed off. Maybe it just has never been proven in a laboratory environment, therefore they do not know it actually exists. If there had been a bunch of fakers in the past, or people who truly thought they had a photographic memory but didn't, then I can understand why scientists might think this.

Actually though, the source for that particular myth claim didn't impress me very much, so it might very well be inaccurate. That is really cool that you have a photographic memory. I bet it makes many things easier, but I suppose it could be a burden at times as well. Thanks for replying.



posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 12:47 AM
link   
I really like the list of fallacies

something many ATSers should read up on
edit on 28-10-2011 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 12:55 AM
link   

Originally posted by JiggyPotamus
Oh wow. I do believe you. See that is what I had heard, and when I read that, it just seemed off. Maybe it just has never been proven in a laboratory environment, therefore they do not know it actually exists. If there had been a bunch of fakers in the past, or people who truly thought they had a photographic memory but didn't, then I can understand why scientists might think this.

Actually though, the source for that particular myth claim didn't impress me very much, so it might very well be inaccurate. That is really cool that you have a photographic memory. I bet it makes many things easier, but I suppose it could be a burden at times as well. Thanks for replying.


Yeah, I don't know how they would go about proving it. I actually want to research this more now, thanks for the inspiration!
It's only a burden because now my husband never looks for anything he just says "Hey babe have you seen my (tool,book,clothing,toothbrush,whatever)?"


Oh and I am so pleased to know that the grandaddy long legs can bite, I NEVER trusted those guys!



posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 02:12 AM
link   
reply to post by ValentineWiggin
 


That's not a photographic memory. That is a variation of mnemonics. A real photographic memory would take no conscious effort to remember them...it would just happen at will (like it does with some savants).

The fact that you draw it out on a mental chalkboard is why you remember it. A lot of card counters envision them self in a room and then assign each card to a object in the room. When a card is pulled you remove that item from the room in their head, allowing them to remember what cards are left with ease.

en.wikipedia.org...


I have an exceptionally good natural memory as well though. Particularly in the subject of remembering exactly what people say to me. It's extremely hard to lie to me and I even freak some people out by me remembering what they said a few years ago lol.





edit on 10/28/2011 by mnmcandiez because: (no reason given)
edit on 10/28/2011 by mnmcandiez because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 03:50 AM
link   
Photographic Memory not real? Don't try and says this just because your brain doesnt work this way...and that goes to everyone...

I'm not going to go any further than to post this link....

www.google.com... &gs_sm=e&gs_upl=1071l12701l0l14478l27l27l1l4l4l1l833l5640l3-3.7.0.2l12l0



posted on Oct, 28 2011 @ 02:18 PM
link   

Originally posted by mnmcandiez
reply to post by ValentineWiggin
 


That's not a photographic memory. That is a variation of mnemonics. A real photographic memory would take no conscious effort to remember them...it would just happen at will (like it does with some savants).

The fact that you draw it out on a mental chalkboard is why you remember it. A lot of card counters envision them self in a room and then assign each card to a object in the room. When a card is pulled you remove that item from the room in their head, allowing them to remember what cards are left with ease.

en.wikipedia.org...


I have an exceptionally good natural memory as well though. Particularly in the subject of remembering exactly what people say to me. It's extremely hard to lie to me and I even freak some people out by me remembering what they said a few years ago lol.





edit on 10/28/2011 by mnmcandiez because: (no reason given)
edit on 10/28/2011 by mnmcandiez because: (no reason given)


So would this be the case even for recalling instantly where the screwdriver was in the room? I see a photo of the room in my mind, I look for the screwdriver, I find it. This does not seem to fit with mnemonics if you ask me



posted on Nov, 1 2011 @ 11:50 PM
link   
Have you ever seen the show QI?
It's an intellectual quiz panel show. Their facts are researched by a team of smart people (for the technical title, lol).

Well on there, they said, Christopher Columbus and most of the world at that time did not believe the Earth was Flat, Chris Columbus (atleast) thought it was more pear shaped.

I always found that quite interesting.



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 04:59 PM
link   
Oh thank you for these!

I love anything involving imponderables and weird information. And I have to say that I just learned a thing or two, so kudos!





new topics
top topics
 
3

log in

join