Have a look at the scientific theories that were once thought to make an impact on the world but later proved to be wrong.
Throughout the years, scientific theories have been evolved constantly. We can never forget the contribution of scientists and their research in making our lives better. Just like scientific discoveries and inventions have changed our lives, several scientific theories have changed the world.
A scientific theory is an observation of a particular phenomenon. Sometimes scientific theories are considered as an imaginative construction of the human mind. Also, theories cannot be tested and accepted as scientific laws.
While some of the scientific theories you read in books turn out to be wrong, other theories are considered to be the strangest of all. Read several scientific theories that were debunked later, changed the world, and were replaced with modern logical theories.
It is one of the strangest scientific theories you would ever read. You know that black holes suck everything. White holes are opposite to black holes and spit out everything. In general relativity, a white hole is a region of spacetime that cannot be entered from outside. However, light and matter can escape from it.
White holes have angular momentum and mass. Any object inside a white hole can interact with the outside world, but nothing can get inside. White and black holes were theoretical many decades ago, but now several objects are related to black holes. It is also believed that black holes could be the portals to other galaxies.
For instance, The Milky Way, i.e., our home galaxy, is thought to have a black hole at its heart. While white holes are described in theories, no one knows how it could be formed. Hal Haggard, a theoretical physicist, said,
“A long-lived white hole, I think, is very unlikely."
While there is no evidence whether a white hole exists or not, but if it would exist, it might be linked to black holes as described. Read everything about the galaxies in the universe.
The scientists of the 19th century believed that the Vulcan was the planet that existed between Mercury and the Sun. The French mathematician, Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier, hypothesized that a hypothetical planet that was proposed to exist between these planets was the result of another planet that he named Vulcan.
The mathematician proposed its existence after several scientists were unable to explain Mercury’s orbit. When Verrier died in 1877, he was still known for discovering a new planet in the solar system. However, his discovery was doubted by popular astronomers.
After Einstein’s theory of general relativity explained why Mercury orbits around the sun in a “strange fashion,” his discovery of a new planet was proved to be wrong. He found that Mercury was not being pulled by another object. Instead, it was moving through distorted space-time. Einstein’s theory was verified during the solar eclipse of 29th May 1919. Astronomers then accepted that a large planet inside the orbit of Mercury couldn’t exist.
The Blank State Theory or Tabula Rasa is a theory that explains that humans are born without built-in content, and the knowledge comes from perception and experience. The theory was widely popularized by John Locke in 1689.
In Locke’s philosophy, when a human is born, his mind is a blank slate, and that data is added by one’s sensory experiences. Everyone is free to define his/her character, but the basic identity of humans cannot be altered. Contrary to this, modern research suggests that family traits inherited play a crucial role in humans’ lives.
Researchers find that well-nourished mothers give birth to healthier and intelligent children and are more economically successful. It is also said that people remain the same throughout their lives.
Some are introverts, while others are extroverts. Some people are extremely emotional, while others are undisturbed. The brain is not completely blank at the time of birth and not programmed either. It is a mix of script and improvisation. So, who do you think is right?
Most of the work on the expanding or growing earth was done by Klaus Vogel. This hypothesis describes that the movement of continents is due to the volume of the earth increasing. But modern science turned down this theory of the contraction or expansion of the earth.
In 1956, Laszlo Egyed, based on the variations of sea level, proposed that earth was constantly growing. Another German Physicist Pascual Jordan explained that the expansion of the earth, imputable to the dilatation of the space-time continuum.
Since Charles Darwin’s time, scientists assumed that Earth might be contracting or expanding. Then scientists developed the theory of plate tectonics. This theory explained the movements of the lithosphere.
But the new study of NASA put this speculation to rest. With the help of new data calculation techniques and space measurement tools, the team proved that there is no expansion or contraction of the earth.
Germs are the main cause of any disease. This is the most common thing you might have also heard from your parents or doctors. But do you know germs are not the main cause, but the imbalance of the four humors or temperaments is the cause of diseases? The four humors, i.e., Blood, Yellow Bile, Black Bile, and Phlegm, are the metabolic agents of the elements in the human body.
Humorism or humoralism was a system of medicine that explains the working of a human body was adopted by several ancient Greek and Roman physicians and philosophers. These four humors were first proposed by Hippocrates and referred to blood composites in the patients.
The Hippocrates describes the four bodily fluids affect human traits and behavior. But before you read about these four humors, check how these personality disorders change human behavior.
Blood/Air/Sanguine Humor: The blood was believed to be produced by the liver and was associated with the people who are social and like to meet everyone. They bring energy into a room by their presence. Blood is hot and an essential source of nutrition and growth.
Yellow Bile/Fire/Choleric Humor: Excess of Yellow bile in a person brings aggression, anger, and imbalances in the humor. It is stored in the gallbladder.
Black Bile/Earth/Melancholic Humor: Black Bile or the word melancholy derives from the word melaina kholé, which translates into black bile. It is a humor of medieval psychology and is believed to be secreted by the kidneys to cause melancholy. Black Bile also governs/helps in bone formation.
Phlegm/Water/Phlegmatic Humor: People with Phlegm personality are intuitive and agreeable. They are empathetic, warm, and cooperative. It not only includes phlegm but saliva, lymph, and interstitial fluids also.
First proposed by Johan Joachim Becher in 1667, the Phlogiston theory describes that any object that catches fire contains phlogiston that is released during burning; this makes the process feasible. When Phlogiston is in a traditional form, it doesn’t have taste, odor, and color and is only visible when an object catches fire.
Several experiments were conducted using the Phlogiston theory. One of the significant experiments that failed Phlogiston theory was when the metals were burned. When a few metals were burnt, they gained weight instead of losing it. The metals should lose weight as Philoston should be released.
This theory failed and was replaced by several scientific theories like oxidation.
Phrenology’s founder Franz Josef Gall said that by measuring the skull, you could tell a person’s intelligence and personality traits. This is again one of the strangest scientific theories that are based on the concept that the brain is an organ of the mind and has specific functions and modules. Today, this theory is recognized as a pseudoscience.
Franz Josef Gall believed that the brain is made up of 27 individual organs that determine personality. Phrenologists would run their fingers and palms over the skull of the person to feel for indentations. Phrenology was popular in the 19th century and later faded out.
Parker Jones et al. decided to test this theory. The team took MRI scans on over 5000 people from the UK Biobank data set. They used similar algorithms used by Josef to study the shape of the brain. Surprisingly, the researchers found nothing. There was no relation between scalp curvature and faculty. The scalp shape is no way related to brain shape and contrary to Franz results, Parker discovered:
“We found no statistically significant or meaningful effects for either phrenological analysis.”
Cold Fusion is a type of nuclear reaction that would occur at room temperature. This reaction contrasts with hot fusion that would take place within stars and in hydrogen bombs at temperatures of millions of degrees.
It was in 1989 when the two electrochemists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann published their reports suggesting that they had achieved cold fusion and that excess energy. This was hoped to produce when an electric current was run through seawater and Palladium. Their experiment attracted other scientists and was proved to be beneficial, cheap, and abundant.
The cold fusion made a strong impact in the research field until it was tried by other scientists. When other scientists tried to replicate Pons and Fleischmann, they failed. Most of them didn’t get close to results, and their experiment was closely studied. The result came out not only fake, but it was also reported that they had exaggerated their truth.
As per the Clockwise Universe Theory, the universe works as a mechanical clock. It continues ticking along with its gears governed by the laws of physics. The idea became popular when Issac Newton derived his laws of motion and explained the behavior of the solar system and terrestrial objects.
A similar concept was proposed by John of Sacrobosco. His introduction to astronomy spoke about the universe as the machine of the world. He suggested that the eclipse of the sun at the Crucifixion of Jesus was a disturbance of that machine. God is the one who created the machine and let it run.
Newton believed that the clockwise theory wrongly interpreted the role of God in the universe. However, the theories were rejected by quantum theory.
Yes, you read it right! According to The Zoo hypothesis or Zoo theory, we are being watched by the aliens. They can watch us, but we can’t see them. The theory suggests that we are like animals who are constantly watched and monitored by aliens.
We can’t make any contact with them, or they don’t contact us until we reach a level of advancement. Aliens might contact humans when they find that humans have passed certain ethical standards. If this theory is true, then the news of aliens on Mars could also be true. Aliens can be anywhere!
Scientific theories describe the cause of the phenomenon and are used to predict aspects of the universe or specific areas of physics, chemistry, and astronomy. What do you think- which of the scientific theories that are listed above have changed our lives?
Do you know other scientific theories that were replaced with modern theories or have made a strong impact on the world? If so, share them with us below.
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