Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?

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If it was proved that the earth was flat many people would doubt the reliability of scientists amirite? It would be a massive cock up to find out that after all this time the earth was flat.

But I was wondering have there ever been any other monumental mistakes made by scientists on such a big scale? I just seems that finding the would to be flat would be the biggest mistake EVER. Nothing else would be as life changing as that.

So can you recall anything that is similar to this, anything that would justify such a mistake or is this situation unique?

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its_amazing

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You mean life changing as a kid finding out that there is no Santa or Easter Bunny?

Seriously though, the only thing I can think of off the top of my head is when they sent a mars rover with the wrong units and missed the planet completly. That is a big mess up!
Having a little bit of gravity is like being a little bit pregnant.

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Parsifal

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Christ, where to begin with you...

Scientists used to think that light travelled through an aether, that the Universe was in a steady, everlasting state, that the atom was the smallest conceivable unit of matter, that light behaved only as a wave and electrons only as particles, and that any two events simultaneous to one observer would also be simulatenous to any other observer.

If that's not enough, here is an Albert Einstein quote from 1934:

"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."
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

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markjo

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Scientists used to think that light travelled through an aether...

Some still do.  *Cough* Username *Cough*
Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.
Quote from: Robosteve
Besides, perhaps FET is a conspiracy too.
Quote from: bullhorn
It is just the way it is, you understanding it doesn't concern me.

Christ, where to begin with you...

I wish all scientists could be as clever as you.

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Tom Bishop

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Quote
Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?

They think that the earth is a globe. It's not.

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Parsifal

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I wish all scientists could be as clever as you.

 ???
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

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Eagle

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lol.
I am the greatest eagle to fly amung the clouds.

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markjo

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Quote
Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?

They think that the earth is a globe. It's not.

They also think that sustained space travel is possible.  Obviously it isn't.
Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.
Quote from: Robosteve
Besides, perhaps FET is a conspiracy too.
Quote from: bullhorn
It is just the way it is, you understanding it doesn't concern me.

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WardoggKC130FE

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Scientists used to think that light travelled through an aether...

Some still do.  *Cough* Username *Cough*

That's Mr. Davis to you.

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Eagle

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2009, 11:23:58 AM »
It is.
I am the greatest eagle to fly amung the clouds.

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Eddy Baby

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2009, 11:33:07 AM »
I wish all scientists could be as clever as you.

 ???

I think he was ridiculing how harsh a comment that was.

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Parsifal

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2009, 12:40:13 PM »
I think he was ridiculing how harsh a comment that was.

I tend to lose patience with people who post inane, irrelevant and generally stupid things in the serious discussion boards.
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2009, 12:42:04 PM »
I tend to lose patience with people who post inane, irrelevant and generally stupid things in the serious discussion boards.

What happens when you lose patience?

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WardoggKC130FE

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2009, 01:02:36 PM »
You wouldn't like him when he's angry.


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Raist

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2009, 01:06:55 PM »
I tend to lose patience with people who post inane, irrelevant and generally stupid things in the serious discussion boards.

What happens when you lose patience?

We send out a search party and hope she wasn't raped.

Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2009, 08:02:51 AM »
Christ, where to begin with you...

Scientists used to think that light travelled through an aether, that the Universe was in a steady, everlasting state, that the atom was the smallest conceivable unit of matter, that light behaved only as a wave and electrons only as particles, and that any two events simultaneous to one observer would also be simulatenous to any other observer.

If that's not enough, here is an Albert Einstein quote from 1934:

"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."

Yes but scientist usually change their views only after they got some evidence contrary to previous theory. For example earth looks like a sphere so scientist assume it is. Bendy light can make a flat earth look like a sphere, but until we get some evidence of bendy light from outside the FE theory there is no reason to assume that light bends upwards.

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WardoggKC130FE

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2009, 02:42:29 PM »
Einstein made a huge mistake.

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Eddy Baby

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2009, 04:24:27 PM »
And devoted a lot of his life to it, if I'm not mistaken.

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utilitarianism

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2009, 07:48:06 PM »
let us not forget about blood letting, all though technically that was also doctors.

how about the discovery of north america? that's a pretty big one.

the various plague cures? (pockets full of posies)

there've been plenty of major screwups by scientists

Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2009, 07:50:43 PM »
yeah they were wrong about global warming

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Parsifal

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2009, 07:52:22 PM »
how about the discovery of north america? that's a pretty big one.

I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

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utilitarianism

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2009, 07:55:00 PM »
when North and South America was discovered.

It would pretty much turn the entire scientific community on it's head to learn there was another continent floating around out
there that nobody had noticed before.

saying what had been discovered was all that existed was a pretty big mistake I would say

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Parsifal

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2009, 08:01:05 PM »
when North and South America was discovered.

It would pretty much turn the entire scientific community on it's head to learn there was another continent floating around out
there that nobody had noticed before.

saying what had been discovered was all that existed was a pretty big mistake I would say

First of all, continents don't "float". But more importantly, science as we know it had not yet developed when the Americas were first visited by European settlers.
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

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utilitarianism

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2009, 08:16:01 PM »
and just as importantly, science as the future knows has not yet developed.

those European settlers thought they knew everything too. but they hadn't figured out that there was
another continent that existed. the science of that day said there was no New World and the science of today says
the world is round.

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Parsifal

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2009, 08:18:21 PM »
and just as importantly, science as the future knows has not yet developed.

those European settlers thought they knew everything too. but they hadn't figured out that there was
another continent that existed. the science of that day said there was no New World and the science of today says
the world is round.

You are significantly more intelligent than your typing suggests.
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

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utilitarianism

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2009, 08:33:56 PM »
thank you I'm flattered.

I'm fifteen, go to high school, belong to the semicolon appreciation society (google it), and believe the worlds flat.

most people would say my typing would have to be pretty bad to be significantly more intelligent than it suggests.

either way, do we have a consensus that scientists have made some horrible mistakes

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Parsifal

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2009, 08:37:24 PM »
either way, do we have a consensus that scientists have made some horrible mistakes

I wouldn't use the term "mistakes", as coming up with theories which fit particular observations but may not be entirely correct is all part of the scientific method. But you put it very well in your last post:

and just as importantly, science as the future knows has not yet developed.
I'm going to side with the white supremacists.

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WardoggKC130FE

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2009, 06:02:17 PM »
yeah they were wrong about global warming

QFT!

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PM

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Re: Have there ever been any really big mistakes made by modern scientists?
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2009, 03:21:15 PM »
I think he was ridiculing how harsh a comment that was.

I tend to lose patience with people who post inane, irrelevant and generally stupid things in the serious discussion boards.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what this site is about?