Top 10 Most Famous Scientific Theories (That Turned out to be Wrong)

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One of the best aspects of science has always been its readiness to admit when it got something wrong. Theories are constantly being refigured, and new research frequently renders old ideas outdated or incomplete. But this hasn’t stopped some discoveries from being hailed as important, game-changing accomplishments a bit prematurely. Even in a field as rigorous and detail-oriented as science, theories get busted, mistakes are made, and hoaxes are perpetrated. The following are ten of the most groundbreaking of these scientific discoveries that turned out to be resting on some questionable data. It is worth noting that most of these concepts are not necessarily “wrong” in the traditional sense; rather, they have been replaced by other theories that are more complete and reliable.

10. The Discovery of Vulcan

Vulcan was a planet that nineteenth century scientists believed to exist somewhere between Mercury and the Sun. The mathematician Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier first proposed its existence after he and many other scientists were unable to explain certain peculiarities about Mercury’s orbit. Scientists like Le Verrier argued that this had to be caused by some object, like a small planet or moon, acting as a gravitational force. La Verrier called his hypothetical planet Vulcan, after the Roman god of fire. Soon, amateur astronomers around Europe, eager to be a part of a scientific discovery, contacted Le Verrier and claimed to have witnessed the mysterious planet making its transit around the Sun. For years afterward, Vulcan sightings continued to pour in from around the globe, and when La Verrier died in 1877, he was still regarded as having discovered a new planet in the solar system.

How it was Proven Wrong:

Without La Verrier acting as a cheerleader for Vulcan’s existence, it suddenly began to be doubted by many notable astronomers. The search was effectively abandoned in 1915, after Einstein’s theory of general relativity helped to explain once and for all why Mercury orbited the Sun in such a strange fashion. But amateur stargazers continued the search, and as recently as 1970 there have been people who have claimed to see a strange object orbiting the sun beyond Mercury. Amusingly, the entire would-be discovery’s greatest legacy today is that it inspired the name of the home planet of the character Spock from Star Trek.

9. Spontaneous Generation

Although it might seem a bit ludicrous today, for thousands of years it was believed that life regularly arose from the elements without first being formed through a seed, egg, or other traditional means of reproduction. The main purveyor of the theory was Aristotle, who based his studies on the ideas of thinkers like Anaximander, Hippolytus, and Anaxagoras, all of whom stressed the ways in which life could spontaneously come into being from inanimate matter like slime, mud, and earth when exposed to sunlight. Aristotle based his own ideas on the observation of the ways maggots would seemingly generate out of dead animal carcass, or barnacles would form on the hull of a boat. This theory that life could literally spring from nothing managed to persist for hundreds of years after Aristotle, and was even being proposed by some scientists as recently as the 1700s.

How it was Proven Wrong:

It was only with the adoption of the scientific method that many of the classical theories like spontaneous generation began to be tested. Once they were, they quickly crumbled. For example, famed scientist Louis Pasteur showed that maggots would not appear on meat kept in a sealed container, and the invention of the microscope helped to show that these same insects were formed not by spontaneous generation but by airborne microorganisms.

8. The Expanding Earth

Our modern understanding of the interior and behaviors of the Earth is strongly based around plate tectonics and the concept of subduction. But before this idea was widely accepted in the late 20th century, a good number of scientists subscribed to the much more fantastical theory that the Earth was forever increasing in volume. The expanding Earth hypothesis stated that phenomena like underwater mountain ranges and continental drift could be explained by the fact that the planet was gradually growing larger. As the globe’s size grew, proponents argued, the distances between continents would increase, as would the Earth’s crust, which would have explained the creation of new mountains. The theory has a long and storied past, beginning with Darwin, who briefly tinkered with it before casting it aside, and Nikola Tesla, who compared the process to that of the expansion of a dying star.

How it was Proven Wrong:

The expanding Earth hypothesis has never been proven wrong exactly, but it has been widely replaced with the much more sophisticated theory of plate tectonics. While the expanding Earth theory holds that all land masses were once connected, and that oceans and mountains were only created as a result of the planet’s growing volume, plate tectonics explains the same phenomena by way of plates in the lithosphere that move and converge beneath the Earth’s surface.

7. Phlogiston Theory

First expressed by Johan Joachim Becher in 1667, phlogiston theory is the idea that all combustible objects—that is, anything that can catch fire—contain a special element called phlogiston that is released during burning, and which makes the whole process possible. In its traditional form, phlogiston was said to be without color, taste, or odor, and was only made visible when a flammable object, like a tree or a pile of leaves, caught fire. Once it was burned and all its phlogiston released, the object was said to once again exist in its true form, known as a “calx.” Beyond basic combustion, the theory also sought to explain chemical processes like the rusting of metals, and was even used as a means of understanding breathing, as pure oxygen was described as “dephlogistated air.”

How it was Proven Wrong:

The more experiments that were performed using the phlogiston model, the more dubious it became as a theory. One of the most significant was that when certain metals were burned, they actually gained weight instead of losing it, as they should have if phlogiston were being released. The idea eventually fell out of favor, and has since been replaced by more sophisticated theories, like oxidation.

6. The Martian Canals

The Martian canals were a network of gullies and ravines that 19th century scientist mistakenly believed to exist on the red planet. The canals were first “discovered” in 1877 by Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. After other stargazers corroborated his claim, the canals became something of a phenomenon. Scientists drew detailed maps tracing their paths, and soon wild speculation began on their possible origins and use. Perhaps the most absurd theory came from Percival Lowell, a mathematician and astronomer who jumped to the bizarre conclusion that the canals were a sophisticated irrigation system developed by an unknown intelligent species. Lowell’s hypothesis was widely discredited by other scientists, but it was also popularly accepted, and the idea managed to survive in some circles well into the 20th century.

How it was Proven Wrong:

Quite unspectacularly, the Martian canals were only proven to be a myth with the advent of greater telescopes and imaging technology. It turned out that what looked like canals was in fact an optical illusion caused by streaks of dust blown across the Martian surface by heavy winds. Several scientists had proposed a similar theory in the early 1900s, but it was only proven correct in the 1960s when the first unmanned spacecraft made flybys over Mars and took pictures of its surface.

5. Luminiferous Aether



The aether, also known as the ether, was a mysterious substance that was long believed to be the means through which light was transmitted through the universe. Philosophers as far back as the Greeks had believed that light required a delivery system, a means through which it became visible, and this idea managed to persist all the way through to the nineteenth century. If correct, the theory would have redefined our entire understanding of physics. Most notably, if the aether were a physical substance that could exist even in a vacuum, then even deep space could be more easily measured and quantified. Experiments often contradicted the theory of the aether, but by the 1700s it had become so widespread that its existence was assumed to be a given. Later, when the idea was abandoned, physicist Albert Michelson referred to luminiferous aether as “one of the grandest generalizations in modern science.”

How it was Proven Wrong:

In traditional scientific fashion, the notion of a luminiferous aether was only gradually phased out as more sophisticated theories came into play. Experiments in the diffraction and refraction of light had long rendered traditional models of the aether outdated, but it was only when Einstein’s special theory of relativity came along and completely reconfigured physics that the idea lost the last of its major adherents. The theory still exists in various forms, though, and many have argued that modern scientists simply use terms like “fields” and “fabric” in place of the more taboo term “aether.”

4. The Blank Slate Theory

One of the oldest and most controversial theories in psychology and philosophy is the theory of the blank slate, or tabula rasa, which argues that people are born with no built-in personality traits or proclivities. Proponents of the theory, which began with the work of Aristotle and was expressed by everyone from St. Thomas Aquinas to the empiricist philosopher John Locke, insisted that all mental content was the result of experience and education. For these thinkers, nothing was instinct or the result of nature. The idea found its most famous expression in psychology in the ideas of Sigmund Freud, whose theories of the unconscious stressed that the elemental aspects of an individual’s personality were constructed by their earliest childhood experiences.

How it was Proven Wrong:

While there’s little doubt that a person’s experiences and learned behaviors have a huge impact on their disposition, it is also now widely accepted that genes and other family traits inherited from birth, along with certain innate instincts, also play a crucial role. This was only proven after years of study that covered the ways in which similar gestures like smiling and certain features of language could be found throughout the world in radically different cultures. Meanwhile, studies of adopted children and twins raised in separate families have come to similar conclusions about the ways certain traits can exist from birth.

3. Phrenology

Although it is now regarded as nothing more than a pseudoscience, in its day phrenology was one of the most popular and well-studied branches of neuroscience. In short, proponents of phrenology believed that individual character traits, whether intelligence, aggression, or an ear for music, could all be localized to very specific parts of the brain. According to phrenologists, the larger each one of these parts of a person’s brain was, the more likely they were to behave in a certain way. With this in mind, practitioners would often study the size and shape of subjects’ heads in order to determine what kind of personality they might have. Detailed maps of the supposed 27 different areas of the brain were created, and a person who had a particularly large bump on their skull in the area for, say, the sense of colors, would be assumed to have a proclivity for painting.

How it was Proven Wrong:

Even during the heyday of its popularity in the 1800s, phrenology was often derided by mainstream scientists as a form of quackery. But their protests were largely ignored until the 1900s, when modern scientific advances helped to show that personality traits could not be traced to specific portions of the brain, at least in not as precise a way as the proponents of phrenology often claimed. Phrenology still exists today as a fringe science, but its use in the 20th century has become somewhat infamous: it has often been employed as a tool to promote racism, most famously by the Nazis, as well by Belgian colonialists in Rwanda.

2. Einstein’s Static Universe

Prior to scientists embracing the notion that the universe was created as the result of the Big Bang, it was commonly believed that the size of the universe was an unchanging constant—it had always been the size it was, and always would be. The idea stated that that the total volume of the universe was effectively fixed, and that the whole construct operated as a closed system. The theory found its biggest adherent in Albert Einstein—the Static Universe is often known as “Einstein’s Universe”—who argued in favor of it and even calculated it into his theory of general relativity.

How it was Proven Wrong:

The theory of a static universe was problematic from the start. First of all, a finite universe could theoretically become so dense that it would collapse into a giant black hole, a problem Einstein compensated for with his principle of the “cosmological constant.” Still, the final nail in the coffin for the idea was Edwin Hubble’s discovery of the relationship between red shift—the way the color of heavenly bodies change as they move away from us—and distance, which showed that the universe was indeed expanding. Einstein would subsequently abandon his model, and would later refer to it as the “biggest blunder” of his career. Still, like all cosmological ideas, the expanding universe is just a theory, and a small group of scientists today still subscribe to the old static model.

1. Fleischmann and Pons’s Cold Fusion

While the conditions required to create nuclear energy usually require extreme temperatures—think of the processes that power the sun—the theory of cold fusion states that such a reaction is possible at room temperature. It’s a deceivingly simple concept, but the implications are spectacular: if a nuclear reaction could occur at room temperature, then an abundance of energy could be created without the dangerous waste that results from nuclear power plants. This groundbreaking theory briefly seemed to have become a reality in 1989, when the electro-chemists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons published experimental results suggesting that they had achieved cold fusion—and the precious “excess energy” it was hoped to produce—in an experiment where an electric current was run through seawater and a metal called Palladium. The response to Pons and Fleischmann’s claims by the media and the scientific community was overwhelming. The experiments were hailed as a turning point in science, and it was briefly believed that with cold fusion energy would be cheap, clean, and abundant.

How it was Proven Wrong:

The fervor over cold fusion died down as soon as other scientists tried to replicate the experiment. Most failed to get any kind of similar results, and after their paper was closely studied, Fleischmann and Pons were accused not only of sloppy, unethical science, but were even said to have stretched the truth of their results. For years after, the idea of cold fusion became synonymous with fringe science. Still, despite the stigma attached to it, many have argued that there was never anything necessarily wrong about cold fusion as a theory. In recent years, scientists have once again started to experiment with new ways of achieving a so-called “tabletop nuclear reaction,” with some even claiming to have achieved surprising success.


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202 Comments

  1. Notice how the majority of those are either before the scientific method, were never even accepted by scientists, and that all of them were proven wrong by ACTUAL science
    Like evolution for instance. Jeez you people are dumb
    Theories explain WHY something happens. Evolution IS happening you’re ignoring evidence to say its not. If you think the theory of evolution doesn’t explain the observed phenomena, explain it better and support your assertion. Or shut up.

    • Darris, I agree wit what you are saying. But you are using facts and rational thinking to convince people that rejected facts and rational thinking long ago.

      “Id you could reason with theists, there wouldn’t be any theists.”

  2. @thos: the facts the earth is warming and ig is probably due to increased greenhouse gasses. Namely: carbon dioxide.
    Homo neanderthalis didn’t evolve from cro magnon? Where did you get that? We each have a common ancestor, that’s how evolution always works. I saw a funny picture once. It was titled “wheel of creationism!” (Like the wheel of fortune) and the puzzle on the wall said EVO_UT_ON and two contestants are saying “it can’t be evolution! There are too many gaps! The answer to the puzzle must be “Creation!” Lol

    • Isaiah, you know nothing about me nor my education. From your comment I perceive that you are an ignorant person that thinks he knows everything even though he denies any proof is necessary.

      Show me one iota of proof of your god. I despise all religions, christianity in particular. Your religion has been the source of more human misery than any other source in history.

      Most of the problems of the world are, and always have been caused by religion. Think of Northern Ireland, the Mid-East, family planning clinic bombings, and the homophobic intolerance as well as the suppression of women. The consider the crusades, the inquisition, and the dark ages. Get the idea?

      Mankind will never truly be free until the black yoke of religion is lifted by the clear light of truth and rational thinking.

      • ajg the dumb ox on

        Ha ha, Why was the Dark Ages the fault of Christianity? That is a good one! What is your thinking on that one?

        Why your concern over hundreds of years of “inquisition” that historically, factually hurt very few people and was a great improvement over not having inquisition courts? Less that 5,000 people kills is a great, great sin but consider it over hundreds of years and you better have something bigger target “historically”. We lost more in the drug war in Mexico over the last couple of years alone. That’s just silly.

        Sin is at fault and you find that everywhere.

        • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on

          The dark ages was the fault of christianity because the church suppressed learning, science, and anything that might lesson its power over people. Those are facts. If you choose to ignore them, that’s more proof that you also choose ignorance and superstition over truth and human advancement. That’s not just thinking, it’s the way it is.

          What are you saying? That only 5,000 people murdered makes it OK? What about the thousands tortured and mutilated? Are those OK, too? Tell me, exactly when are murder and torture OK? When they are sanctioned and encouraged by a church, government, or social group?

          What sin? Things that your religion calls sin because it increases its hold on the gullible? There is only on true sin; hurting someone else unnecessarily. Everything else is invented nonsense.

        • Fabio Juliano on

          @James Smith

          You are an extremely ignorant individual, as evidenced by your claims regarding the so-called Dark Ages, and just as arrogant. Individuals like you are dangerous, as evidenced by your proposal to exile theists (that is to say, your betters) to an island, and by the fact that ignorant, arrogant atheists of your ilk have murdered tens of millions since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. You are the one who is not fit to live in a civilized society.

        • Frederick Douglass on

          The catholic church is not Christian. Real Christians were always pro-education and suppressed by the catholic church.

    • Trina Bowman, PhD on

      The Big Bang theory, though a decent sitcom, is a sham.

      “Scientists” say that it happened once, all on its own, and has never been replicated. But all “other” science is built on provable, demonstrable facts.

      Nice try, guys. I see that you’re doing your very best to have people believe that anything other than God created the universe…even if we have to believe you and you faux science.

  3. The problem with this list is that NONE of these are scientific theories. They are hypotheses. To be a theory, an explanation of phenomena must be supported by solid fact. Unfortunately, most people confuse scientific theory with the definition of “theory” as used in casual conversation. It’s sad but true that most Americans are scientifically illiterate.

    • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on

      Tanya, sadly, you are 100% correct. even worse, the people that should be paying attention are too busy maintaining their willful ignorance to learn anything.

      • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on

        As a matter of fact, many people around the world are worried about exactly that. When that moron George W. Bush was president, the worry factor went up a lot.

        Comments like yours raise it again by emphasizing that yes, there are still plenty of morons there.

        • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on

          It isn’t a stereotype if it’s true. Exactly what did I post that wasn’t true? The idea that “W” was a moron or that there are plenty of morons available? Maybe it was that many people around the world are worried that the USA has so many nuclear weapons and is the only nation to ever use them?

          Enlighten me or great one. what was not true?

          FYI, I AM an American, but perhaps facts are not really of interest to you?

  4. “For example, famed scientist Louis Pasteur showed that maggots would not appear on meat kept in a sealed container, and the invention of the microscope helped to show that these same insects were formed not by spontaneous generation but by airborne microorganisms.”

    Wait, what? Maggots aren’t created by “airborne microorganisms”! They’re baby flies!

    Sheesh… I learned _that_ in grammar school…

      • No, flies are NOT microorganisms.

        From Biology_Online.org: An organism that is microscopic or submicroscopic, which means it is too small to be seen by the unaided human eye.

        From Dictionary.com: Any organism too small to be viewed by the unaided eye, as bacteria, protozoa, and some fungi and algae.

    • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on

      Renundant DNA? I’ve seem some really silly questions from creationists, but you’re near the top. In case you haven’t noticed, we have two parents. Each contribute to our personal DNA make up. The parts that are not included are truly redundant.

      • No need to throw your rattle out of your pram James. Now if you really dig deep and do your research you will find that a study on pigs found that when they were released back in to the wild, after a time there redundant DNA switched back on and they grew larger, sharper teeth, tusks, harder leathery skin etc …. So basically they evolvedin to a Boar. Researching more animals and insects we found redundant DNA in most, which is DNA that has been switched off, no longer used. This is a great argument in favour of the evolution theory. BUT!! When human DNA was tested there was no redundant DNA found what so ever, no trail at all of any evolution. I have never heard a good explanation why not so thought I’d ask on here.

        • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on

          Maybe you would like to quote some references for your “research”? Or are we supposed to be like theists and believe it because someone says it’s true?

          What you also do not know is that a boar is a male pig.

          Another thing you refuse yo understand is that evolution is proven fact. There are thousands of pieces of evidence in laboratories, museums, and universities all over the world. For creationism, not one piece of evidence anywhere.

        • ajg the dumb ox on

          But creation is self evident. All this stuff in front of us came from somewhere and it was all created at somepoint. Why is it that the arguement is evolution vs. creationism? Any decent theoist believes that our creator created creation and how it evolulved or changed or developed, came out of that creation.

          In a previous note you stated that “Most of the problems of the world are, and always have been caused by religion. Think of Northern Ireland, the Mid-East, family planning clinic bombings, and the homophobic intolerance as well as the suppression of women. The consider the crusades, the inquisition, and the dark ages. Get the idea?”

          You should study your history. The Dark Ages, were not so dark. Study it sometime!

          The Crusades were a response to attacks on pilgrims by the Muslims who had in previously rooted out the Christians who lived there. You may remember that Muslim armies were for many centuries already attacking Eastern Europe and the Iberian Penisula. This does not justify anything but you have to be aware that there is a history to know more about.

          The Inquisition? Which one? How bad do you think it was? Have you ever studied it enough to find out how many people were actually killed because of inquisitions? Less that 5,000 by historical analysis. Check it out.

          You want to blame religion? In just the last century, we have seen killing by mass murder & wars (250 million) than all the previous centuries. Who caused this? Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Po Pot, and others. – they weren’t believers in God. Look it up.

          Now, incase you care at all, we are murdering over 30 million human babies every year! Brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters – killed. I wish people were either a little more religious or a little more humanistic (in the real meaning of the word).

          God bless you always.

        • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on

          Creation is self evident? There is not a single bit of proof of creationism anywhere in the world. There are thousands of pieces of evidence of evolution in laboratories, universities, and museums all over the world. Only a self-deluded fool would believe something is “self-evident” when there is not proof at all.

          What theorists? What creator? Where is your proof of that?

          I have studied the dark ages and that’s when the church controlled most of Europe and suppressed learning, independent thinking, burnt heretics, tortured non-believers, and forced people like Galileo to recant obvious facts. How about you study that time from something other than a religious viewpoint.

          Tell me one thing I have said that is not true and provide proof. That’s a direct challenge. If you evade or ignore it, you’re admitting I am right and you haven’t a fact to follow.

          Your excuse for the crusade is nothing more than another lie promoted by Christians to cover up and excuse their crimes. Again, show some proof.

          All of the inquisitions. What are you saying, because it was only 5,000 people killed (again you offer no proof) that makes it OK? What about the ones tortured until they were maimed and crippled for life? They don’t matter?

          I am amazed you use that tired old Mao/Stalin/PolPot./Hitler lie. You’re wrong on every count. Hitler was a Catholic.

          “And so I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lordâ?? â?? Adolph Hitler

          In any case, all of those were doing the evil they did not because they were atheists, but because they were repressing any perceived threats to their power. This has been established so many times that I am amazed you are not embarrassed to even mention it.

          You must be referring to abortion. That is nothing more than a religious view and is not shared by everyone.

          What about the 27,000 children around the world that at this instant are dying of starvation and malnutrition? What is your non-existent god doing for them? Doesn’t he care?

          God bless you is very offensive. If I were a satanist (who doesn’t exist, either) and said I’ll sacrifice a couple of babies to Lord Satan for you, would you be offended?

          Stop spouting the theist nonsense and start thinking for yourself. Stop dodging questions and start providing proof.

        • This isn’t a reply to this comment. My site, Toptenz.net in no way endorses the viewpoint of this guest. I am a Christian and his words and ideas are his own and he has a right to say them. I don’t agree with his hatred of religion, particularly of Christianity, but I will allow it to be posted on this site as long as it is said with respect. I did have to edit this post to remove insults and other aggressive language. But in the interest of free speech and because my God can handle it, I have posted it.

        • My bachelor’s is in history. The dark ages were pretty dark. Just not how some people think. The nonbelievers you listed should be revised. Hitler was a catholic. Read his book. Also, even if he wasnt, they didnt do it BECAUSE of their atheism. The Crusades were done BECAUSE of religion. That was the given reason. The inquisition didnt kill a lot of people… by SOME historical studies which were by and large funded and staffed by the catholic church. and even then they still tortured hugely more people for confessions. This is all just useless banter though because if the church is telling the truth and is all good and kind, they wouldnt have killed even one person right? The atheists at least dont say they are morally infallible by god’s whims while they kill millions. They were not “Muslim armies” they were arab armies which happened to have muslims. The crusades were a power grab by the pope at the time. Rome was faltering. Where do you get your history? It is irrelevant who started the crusades. His post didnt say christianitu started it. It said religion caused it. Islam is a religion, last i checked.

        • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on

          @toptenzmater

          I see that you ignored everything I said in the email. I knew you would resort to censorship because that is how religion survives. As I said then, what you consider insults are only statements of observed facts. As I also said, if those facts offend anyone, they should stop making absurd statements and start proving their claims.

          You god cannot withstand questions, facts, or rational thinking. Those are more facts, not insults. I challenged you as I have everyone to prove that anything I have posted is not true.

          I suspect your next step will be the extreme censorship of banning me. That’s the last cowardly refuge of someone that cannot withstand criticism, especially when it is supported by facts.

        • James, I am not going to debate you, for whatever reason you want to believe. Simply put, my mind and faith will not be changed and neither will yours, at least not by my hand. What is the point. If anything, you are becoming white noise by your repeated mantra of religion hating. I believe all your 7 or so comments are cut of the same cloth: religion and Christianity is bad, blah, blah, blah.

          We get it.

          You don’t like us (Christians).

          Move on, life is short, especially if you don’t believe in eternal life. (sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

          From now on comment on the actual list and quit trying to twist any list that mentions religion into your pulpit, pun intended.

          I’m also insulted that you resorted to the “dare” of banning you from this site and then calling me a coward if I do. Ugh, how cliche and unoriginal. If I had a nickel for every commentor who used that ploy, I wouldn’t need this site. I can’t ban anyone from reading this site. You are free and welcome to continue to read the lists at your pleasure. I would only ban commentors who are continually aggressive and insulting to the other commentors. Play nice and you can stay all you like.

          Do you sent at home yelling at the TV every time a show has a religious theme? Probably not, so keep calm, enjoy the site and respect the differences in everyone, which is the very thing you complain about concerning Christians. Be a good example for us and live in harmony. No one is trying to convert you, only God could accomplish that miracle so let the rest of us live as we please. You have written your peace repeatedly. It is duly noted.

          And as much as you hate it, I promise I will pray for you. This is the last I will write on this. We both have better things to do. We have both gotten our feelings on this matter out. It is closed and finished. I expect you to obey my wishes. There are other web sites that will gladly support your views and welcome your written tirades. This is not one of them, and that will never change as long as I own it. And that is a fact. Amen.

    • I dont see how redundant dna is necessary for evolution to have occurred.. we have plenty of unnecessary dna which i would lije a creationist to explain.

      • Im not talking to you anymore. Youre just making stuff up. Its dishonest. In Mein Kampf Hitler says not just that he was baptized but also that he believes his actions were in accord with “the almightycreator”
        His soldiers had belt buckles that said Gott mit uns. That means god with us.
        Seriously. He was Catholic beginning to end. Prat.
        I don’t know whether Stalin was baptized but after what i just read from you about hitler im not going to give you any credence. You need not reply to this. Shame on you for patronizing someone about their knowledge of history

        • ajg the dumb ox on

          Dear Darris,
          Yes, you are correct historically about Hitler. Catholic through Baptism and childhood but clearly, historically as a young adult and from then on he rejected the majority teachings and doctrines of the Church and he was not a practicing, believing Catholic. No bad for all of us. He did not accept sacraficial love it seems. Nor to love God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

          But Stalin & Mao were believing, preaching, practicing atheists. Both responsble for more deaths each than Hitler. But why give atheists a bad name. Most are good people and there are bad Christians and bad Atheists. that is for sure.

          On evolution, why is there a belief that evolution and religion are opposed thinking? I know some believe in evolution and for them its proof that there is no creator. I know some religuous people that think creation had to be an instantaneous event so there could not be a human evolution.

  5. ajg the dumb ox on

    Yes its true that Hitler was baptised. So was Stalin. It didn’t stick.

    As for creation and evolution, they are not opposites. Why do you make them opposed to each other?

    Do you believe that the matter infront of you was “created” from something? Where did it evolve from? Answer the question – where did it come from? How did it start? From what? What was the cause to get it all started?

    God Bless you and keep you always.

  6. people who thinks that their ancesstors is from monkey actually an ignorance…how can monkey turn to human..can you believe it….it’s such a waste of time to read the ridiculous theory….try to think logically guys…

    • @no comment: I was going to reply, but sari said it best (and earlier, if you had been paying attention-

      “If you actually took the time to read Darwin’s theory of evolution you would know he never claimed we came from monkeys. What he said was that we shared a common ancestor.”

      Now, can we bury the “man descended from apes” crap once and for all?

  7. Wow there is a lot of anger on here, I’m quite surprised I’m still getting emails on the same discussion. We’ve got Atheists and Christians debating, and let’s keep it a debate, not a small minded arguement please. I am a Christian, I also believe in evolution, but not the way it is commonly taught, I just believe species can adapt to there environments. I do not believe that one species can evolve in to another. And there is no real proof to prove otherwise.

      • Well put. In fact, I was reading an essay by Isaac Asimov only a few minutes ago that mentioned this very subject.

        Do not be disappointed if your request is ignored. Theists never want “real proof” (a redundancy, is their false proof?) because proof would destroy their favored illusions. In fact, they often deny proof is necessary. They claim you only require “faith”. Faith and beliefs are the same. They are accepting as true that which has no supporting evidence and may have substantial evidence to the contrary.

        You cannot reason a person away from a position they did not reach through reason.

      • Proof that one species can evolve into another species or that a species evolves or both? Wow. God is amazing!

        • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil on

          Again, what god? Where is any proof of any god at all?

          What is amazing is that the god in which you profess to believe would have created humans with so much intelligence and than so many choose to throw it away.

          The stubborn stupidity I see in this thread makes me wonder if evolution has not started to backtrack. So many people decide to ignore all evidence and reject facts in favor of a badly-translated, politically-edited book of lies and myths that it appears that evolution was at least not evenly distributed among the race.

        • James, Where do you say it all comes from? You have much greater faith than I do if you believe it all came from nothing!

          I only believe a creator created it, and then, God knows why, He became one of us. He even died for you. Jesus is real. That’s a historical fact. He loves you son.

    • There’s no reason a reasonable Christian cannot believe that God created us through millions of years if that is God’s plan. He created us. There is amazing proof that all was created, because it is here. Somehow it started. Somehow it started moving. Somehow it started growing and developing. We call that somehow the creator. But – then we found out that He loves us too. Nice!

  8. Oh geez. Why do I even read these comments anymore.

    Let me simplify things for everyone here.

    First, the religious believers: Science has come up with many things that can be readily verified, not just by others in the scientific community, but in everyday life. And in all honesty, much of it can be pulled into accordance with the Bible, if you are willing to listen and apply with open mind, rather than hold to the notion that a passage or statement can only be read one way (if that were true, there wouldn’t exist so many different christian scets) Example: God created the Earth in 7 days. But science has shown that Earth’s timeline is much greater than that and that many of its processes would require tens of thousands of years. This would seem in direct contradiction to scriptural word, BUT, science has also told us that the concept of a “day” is rather subjective, based on what planet you happen to be on, thereby providing a possible reconciliation. Perhaps Christ will come down and, while accomplishing the various prophecies, tell everybody, “Brethren, Darwin wasn’t actually that far off… I mean, we had to start with something…”

    As for you scientific atheists: religion is constantly mocked for being “behind the times.” But, whenever it does accept or apply change, whether in doctrine or policy, it is scorned for its “inconsistencies.” Wouldn’t it be tough if your beliefs were held to a similar standard? If the fact that Newton, Darwin, Tesla, Einstein, or anyone else proposed something that had to be modified or even disproved later made the whole world conclude that science was innately flawed? For all you know, another Einstein could come along in the next few years and turn everything on its head. So be a little considerate; Religion and philosophy have been trying to explain the universe a lot longer than scientific thought has.
    And hey, even if the Christians are right, they can’t prove it until the Apocalypse, and they aren’t even supposed to act smug about it.

    Let’s face it: No belief system – science, religion, or otherwise – has come up with all the answers. On top of that, none of us are likely to live long enough for anything to give all the answers. So, let’s just all live our lives according to our beliefs; If we desire to share those beliefs, let’s be civil and respectful about it, both on the sharing and receiving ends. Maybe even have a laugh or two at our own inadequacies and inabilities to understand the crazy world around us.

    • It maybe a waste of time to reply when most of the dialogue here is over 3 years old but I’ve a bit more time tonight than usual.

      Firstly, science is not a faith. It’s not a belief system or anything of the sort. It is a discovery or back-to-the-drawing board system that builds upon knowledge scaffolding. Now from the wording of your post it’s not for certain that you meant all atheists believe in science but it surely supports it. I would like to add that perhaps the majority do, it’s not a requisite to be a nonbeliever.

      About the validity between religion and science; neither can boast a wonderful history.

  9. “Although it might seem a bit ludicrous today, for thousands of years it was believed that life regularly arose from the elements without first being formed through a seed, egg, or other traditional means of reproduction.”

    Uh, this one is still going strong, only now it’s called the THEORY of Darwinian Evolution, and “mud-puddle” has been changed to “seawater puddle bombarded by cosmic rays” and the time frame for “spontaneity” has been extended a bit.

    • Barry Gregory on

      Except Darwin said nothing about any of that stuff. The theory of evolution by natural selection says nothing about how life arose. It describes how natural selection acts on living organisms, not how living organisms came to be. Learn what it is you are criticizing before you criticize.

      What you are talking about is the origins of life, called abiogenesis. There is no theory about this – not enough is yet known.

  10. Laura Phillips on

    The global warming sham is still paraded around by a wrongheaded, close-minded bunch like it has credibility.

    It’s been disproven again and again and again…

    • I’m not sure that the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis ever attained the status of a theory, hypothesis or sham. It was set up as a fraud in the first place, justified (at least at UEA when I was there) under the “Noble Corruption” and “Common Purpose” principles. I was certainly a money spinner, even when its named changed to “Climate Change” when the climate started cooling. It fell down when the models continued to predict warming even when it was cooling, and then collapsed when the scandal over the falsification of weather station report was more widely publicized. The financial impact alone of the AGW fraud, measured in the trillions of dollars of public money, was many orders of magnitude greater than that of the P&F blunder, which was limited to costing some private venture capitalists a few million. The impact on “science”, as an endeavour largely respected and trusted by the wider public (in contrast to politics), has yet to be assessed by historians.

      • Barry Gregory on

        Oh yes of course those Chinese climate scientists are lying to their government for the big money they will get. The payoffs in China must be huge if they are willing to risk the consequences to risk lying to the Chinese government.

  11. Ronald Derkis on

    I know global warming does not exist! Exxon, Mobil, BP, Chevron, Esso, Shell etc told me so. And why would they cover it up if it did?

  12. Barry Gregory on

    “these same insects were formed not by spontaneous generation but by airborne microorganisms”

    What?

    Insects are produced by mummy insects, not from airborne microorganisms

  13. Ashok Jaisinghani on

    ???Scientific Theory on Instincts ???

        For the proper treatment of many diseases, it is necessary to know the exact nature of instincts. Therefore, we require a correct definition of an instinct based on a scientific theory. If the hunger instinct and the sex instinct are considered as instincts, then we can define an instinct as follows: “An instinct is a biological force that has the capability to produce a periodical biological urge of a particular type.” 

        According to this theory, the following is the list of the instincts that are present in men and women:
            1. Respiratory instincts – instinct of inspiration 
                 and instinct of expiration.
            2. Hunger instinct.
            3. Thirst instinct. 
            4. Salivary instinct, which produces an urge 
                 for swallowing the saliva to keep the throat
                 and foodpipe moist. 
            5. Defecation instinct.
            6. Urinary instinct.
            7. Blinking instinct, which is for the urge to keep 
                the eyes moist during the period of waking.
            8. Instinct of sleep.
            9. Orgasm instinct (in grown-ups), commonly known as the sex instinct. The orgasm instinct periodically produces an urge for orgasmic ejaculation. 

         Besides the above-mentioned instincts, women also have the following special instincts:
            a) Instinct of menstruation. 
            b) Instinct of ovulation and pregnancy.
            c) Birth-giving instinct in pregnant women.
            d) Lactation instinct in nursing mothers. 

         Three of these special instincts make women biologically superior to men in the propagation and survival of the human race! 

       Ordinarily in healthy persons, the periodicities of these instinctive urges do not vary so much. Greater variations in the periodicities of these instinctive urges, or of their satisfaction, can cause biochemical disturbances and imbalances in the whole body. Many ailments and diseases are caused when these urges are not satisfied according to the proper periodicity of each instinct. A long delay in the satisfaction of an instinctive urge can cause uneasiness, depression, headache, and other mental and physical symptoms that can be more serious. 

  14. What about the theory of evolution that skimps, speculates over fundamental problems that a theory of that magnitude should explain? The theory of cosmic origin that very much states that nothing caused nothing else to explode creating in that explosion all matter, all energy, space and time ( despite the fact the other branch of science states that matter/energy can not be created nor destroyed). The. From the cosmic evolution, we go prebiotic chemical evolution that teaches that in a warm little pond faraway and long ego, dead chemicals became alive, giving as evidence just so stories and skipping any detailed explanation of how left/right handed aminoacids were separated into living left handed leaving aside the right handed ones, statistical impossibilities of useful 300-amino-acid long sequences forming into foldable assemblies that form the simplest proteins, the many chicken and egg problems within the simplest cell, the origin of information within DNA, transition of single-cell to multicell life forms, the slow evolution of male/female life forms that evolved separately before they could reproduce sexually, Etc. The most surprising of all is that the theory is supported by a few homologous bones, some pepper moths and misrepresented embryos in Haeckel sketches. Variation and the ability of living beings to adapt is expotentilly extrapolated to major claims. These combined with many assumptions we need to accept without evidence result is a theory whose major claims and explanations cannot be seriously proven experimentally in any lab….however, even though it claims a lot and proves wry little people assume is correct. The theory is very convincing on the surface but not so when studied in detail and depth….

  15. The Blank state theory is very interesting to read, depends on gestures, behavior and cultures. The idea behind this theory look interesting but it turned wrong on behalf of some conclusions.

  16. I have just come across this website and have been amazed at the vitriolic abuse hurled by one set of opposing adherents on to the other. This is hardly an effective method of convincing each side about who is right in their beliefs because it immediately causes the aggrieved party to depart from logic and reason and instead reply with a tirade of abusive language.
    As a former science lecturer, I know well the blind alleys and wrong theories that have been held in the past regarding scientific knowledge. In many cases, these wrong scientific theories were sincerely believed to be explanations of phenomena. However once a correct explanation was demonstrated then the scientists immediately changed their views.
    Many examples spring to mind of erroneous ideas, such as the age of the Earth, the fixed universe, miasma theory of disease, the caloric theory of heat, nature of light, the luminiferous ether, and many more.
    It seems to me that nothing will persuade a religious person to change their beliefs, whereas a scientist will immediately do so provided he or she is supplied with the necessary evidence, which other scientists can verify in their own laboratories.
    I would have more sympathy for the comments of some of the correspondents if they had gained qualifications in the sciences which they deride so much. They could then verify for themselves why so many ideas are widely accepted, and if necessary, disagree from a viewpoint of knowledge about the subject.
    In science, we do not state categorically that certain ideas must be accepted just because some higher authority has declared them true. In all science courses, individual laboratory investigations are highly important so that students can confirm for themselves the validity of certain principles. Then if a student chooses for him/herself to find alternative explanations that are plausible they could be taken seriously and considered.
    Many breakthroughs in science have been made by young researchers who rejected the accepted theories of the establishment to establish their own explanations based on their own experimental work. Several such new ideas have since accepted and older theories discarded in favour of the new.
    In particular there is ample evidence, starting from the observations of Edwin Hubble, and the existence of background radiation, that the galaxies are flying apart from each other. This and other observations very strongly indicate that there must have been a fireball in which the observable universe was formed.

    Of course this might have happened by Divine Intervention as the creationists would presumably state, without any evidence.

    If we accept Divine Intervention, then the creationists would have to explain how a god came into being without him/herself first being created. Only a god can create another god who would then need to be more powerful that the original god. But he/she would need to be created by an even more powerful god in turn. This would lead to the preposterous conclusion that the universe is filled with an infinite number of gods, each one more powerful that the next, filling all time and space.

    Or, much more likely, there is no god at all.

    I would just love to believe that there is a merciful, good, compassionate, kindly Heavenly Father/Mother who is responsible for creating the world, who takes care of us and who loves us all. I would believe in such a god if there was any evidence for it.
    As a scientist, I would change my views immediately and become a believer if such an idea was shown without doubt to be true.

    Sadly any such convincing evidence is conspicuously lacking.

  17. To a large extent, science seems to be self correcting. It is a part of the scientific method to publish new theories arising out of new information so that other scientists can study them even more and then set forth more refined theories. (The new information is continuing to come forth from ever more new/better instruments of research.) The really big picture seems to be that the human race is continuously improving our knowledge of the world and earlier theories are being replaced by newer, more accurate modern theories. But even the newest modern theories leave huge gaps in our wisdom. In my opinion, as new theories are developed we are coming closer to deep wisdom that can lead us to a wisdom that we used to believe could only be accessed thru a god. Such deep wisdom could be the purpose for which we exist. And our reason for existing must be focused on continuing to explore, wonder, and understand and to lessen the obstacles to doing so. We should learn to live together, to focus more on the importance of our survival, and to focus less on the drama of our everyday lives.

    • Frederick Thornton on

      Science is only self-correcting because old scientists clinging to their beloved beliefs die off.

      “A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”…Max Planck

      I do agree with you in your last statement and it seems to be something that is missing in these comments. So much arrogance and self-assuredness,too much of I am right you are wrong and very little of, how do we get to the truth of the matter.

  18. You left out the flat earthers. If you sailed passed the edge you would fall off, and climate change

  19. Most of these are theories…. not facts.. and some of them are simply untrue to begin with…

  20. why do people always laugh and make fun of others and call them names because they don’t agree with there ideas? where would we be if the rebels of science would go where others would not dare? even in the arts people would not except change! in my own life, what i once was told to be fact were not. knowledge is learned thorough listening ,not ignoring!