Sunday, September 12, 2010

Science Channel: Top 10 Science Mistakes

The Science Channel has published their list of “Top 10 Science Mistakes” through history.

Ways Scientists Were Wrong- Top 10 Science Mistakes- Science Channel.

While the list included items across all sciences, a few astronomical items made the list, both of which still have adherents today.

First is the popular claim of Young-Earth Creationism (YEC)
No. 6: The Earth Is Only 6,000 Years Old Top 10 Science Mistakes
which still has adherents (Wikipedia: Creationism, Young Earth Creationism, Creationist cosmologies) but not among professional cosmologists who actually work with real data.

Second, is a smaller group, the biblical geocentrists,
No. 2: The Earth Is the Center of the Universe- Top 10 Science Mistakes
which, while smaller in number, still has some supporters (Wikipedia: Geocentric model, Modern geocentrism).

From my Reading List

I just started reading “Discarded Science: Ideas that seemed good at the time...” by John Grant.  I'm about half-way through it at the time of this writing.  The title is slightly misleading, as Grant often goes beyond what mainstream science thought at the time to describe what appear to be random cranks of the day.  However, even these diversions seem worthwhile as many of these cranks seem to borrow ideas from each other, incorporating them into their own mythologies.  I've noted this type of behavior on this site, such as YECs adopting some aspects of the Electric Universe for their cosmologies (Barry Setterfield joins the Electric Cosmos?Setterfield & c-Decay: "Reviewing a Plasma Universe with Zero Point Energy"The Electric Universe & Creationism).

4 comments:

Glaucus said...

Where is god? Shouldn't that be no.1?

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Not really. As Carl Sagan noted, science has not (yet?) ruled out a non-interventionist god.

Alister Englehart said...

Nor could it rule out an interventionist God either, as a miracle is defined as a suspension of the rules governing the known Universe. Therefore, supernatural intervention is untestable.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

But how would you identify such supernatural intervention?

At one time, weather and lightning strikes were regareded as supernatural events until we understood more of the mechanisms behind them.

Sometimes spontaneous remissions of fatal diseases happen due to the human body's own defense mechanisms - no miracle required.