October 14, 2013

Common Misconceptions

Yeah huh.

"The Earth is Flat Myth"
While it is true that the Christian bible asserts that the Earth is indeed flat (no pun intended: a "flat" out error) Scholars have evidence that from 400B.C onwards, the accepted practice in the field of cosmology was that the Earth was spherical. We were taught in school (at least I was) that around the time of Christopher Columbus- scholars thought the world was flat. That is major league bullshit. Aristotle and Plato both made estimates that the Earth was spherical.

"Horned Helmets"
I knew this one- but contrary to popular belief, Vikings didn't have the classic "horns" on their heads. The proof? there is no evidence that they did. The misconception started with a depiction of Vikings in a opera play.

"Jesus of Nazareth"
The image of an anglo-saxon, bearded man as the image of Jesus of Nazareth is inaccurate. From historical hints- this Nazarene would have been Jewish yes- and perhaps Arabic. The idea that the Nazarene was a white, anglo-saxon bearded man is a byproduct of the middle ages and the renaissance. That's IF the man ever existed. Some records exist hinting a Jesus of Nazareth lived- but they can't prove anything.

"Iron Maidens"
There is no historical evidence to suggest that Iron Maidens were used during the Middle Ages.

"Chastity Belts"
They weren't invented during the middle ages. They are freudian (not invented by Freud) anti-masturbation devices invented in the 1800-1900s.

"Columbus Day"
Columbus was not the first confirmed person to reach the Americas. That right belongs to Leif Ericson, who has a day named after him. Funny the kids don't have off for Leif Ericson day, but they have off today for Columbus Day.

Napoleon Bonaparte was 5 foot 7.

Mussolini may have claimed he made the trains ran on time, but that claim is false- Trains were already running on time. Unfortunately.

A polish cavalry brigade did not charge panzer tanks in 1939. It just didn't happen.

No, Albert was very, VERY good at math. It's a teacher's saying to encourage students to work harder when they say "you know, Einstein failed math!" I'd like to slap whoever came up with this. The proof? Einstein said it himself. He didn't fail math.

"Ich in ein Berliner" means exactly what it says. There is no "jelly doughnut" involved. That is an urban myth.

Embassies in foreign countries aren't foreign pieces of territory. They (the land) belong to the country the embassy sits on, but the embassy itself has protection.

Sushi translates to "sour rice". Not raw fish.

"80's Microwaves"
Microwaves cook from the outside in, not the inside out. You can try this (carefully) with a hotpocket.

Twinkies have a shelf life of 45 days, not 45 years.

"Lunar Visibility"
Reports that astronauts saw man made stuff from the moon is false. They did not see the pyramids or the great wall of china from the moon.

"Holey Moley"
If our sun were to be replaced by a black hole, the orbit of the solar system's planets, assuming the black hole had an equal mass to the sun, would be unaffected.

"Time to Die"
Elephant graveyards are major league bullshit.

Evolution does not mean intelligent design. ID raises a further question- a logical question- of who created the creator.

Bulls do not get pissed off by the color red.

Dogs actually do have sweat glands- despite panting.

A duck's quack WILL indeed echo. As proven by scientific evidence.

As seen on mythbusters, it is confirmed that goldfish do have a modest memory.

"Xmas time"
Poinsettas will not outright kill a cat. It will- however make their tummy hurt.

A theory is a postulation that may or may not have been proven true. It is a misconception to automatically assume a theory will always be unproven, until it is made fact. On the contrary, a "theory" can indeed become fact and still be referred to as a theory- as it originally was an idea. Additionally, "theory" does not add "doubt" to the equation. Doing so is bad science. Theories can become proven- or disproven with proper scientific methods. For example, many creationists say evolution is a theory, and just that. They are right- and so is gravity.

Scientists are still figuring out exactly how we all got here. Evolution explains the natural selection process and the changing of genes (over time) to try out different mutations- in the end with no particular goal; but the end result being that the most advantageous mutation that adapts to the organism's environment wins. Congratulations- you exist to survive and copulate to further your genetic code.

"Us"We did not evolve from chimps or apes. We (humans) evolved from a hairy hominid, which then branched off into different species- homo-sapiens gaining intelligence. This is why chimps and apes are cousin species to ours; but it is untrue to say humans (homo-sapien) are monkeys. It is commonly thrown around as a joke, and was debated during the 2005 push to jam Christianity into United States public schools.

"More on Evolution"

Evolution does not necessarily help a species become superior. Traits that are ineffective in a species will die out from continuance when the species cannot make it in the wild (hey, at least the mutation gave it a shot). Additionally, not everything that evolves becomes more complex. A species can evolve to become simpler.

Any idea that Evolution breaks Thermodynamic laws is major league BULLSHIT. I am an engineer. Thermodynamics deals with heat systems, specifically in question- the second law of dynamics deals with isolated heat systems- not evolutionary complexity. Morons.

Nature isn't planning anything. Natural Selection tries different mutations- and the ones that adapt to the environment continue on to copulate and transfer their DNA- albeit in mutated form.

"Creationist museums"
The idea that humans and dinosaurs lived together is major league bullshit.

"Don't eat an hour before!"
Scientific evidence suggests that eating an hour before swimming does not increase the likelihood of cramps.

Despite claims to the contrary, there is zero cure for the common cold. It is that "good" that it can resist anything we throw at it. However- our body does eventually (hopefully) take care of the problem. Rhinovirus is incredibly resilient.

Your skin becomes wrinkly in water because of the nervous system, not because of water itself. It is thought that it gave an evolutionary advantage to ancestors who could maintain a better grip through vasoconstriction of the affected skin. Nice.

Red heads aren't going extinct. Do not believe anything reported to you in a major mainstream media source- even if they have an 'expert'.

"8 glasses a day"
Bullshit. It varies on the weight, activity and clothing on the body, among many other factors.

Alcohol doesn't kill brain cells- unless you drink so heavily that cessation of drinking kills your brain cells which are expecting the alcohol.

"Shots causing Autism"
Major league bullshit. In repeat experiments, the original, fraudulent experiment could not be repeated.

"Crack 'em"
Cracking your knuckles is actually good for removing buildup of excess fluid- and does not cause arthritis.

Orange Juice does JACK SHIT at treating the common cold.

As shown on mythbusters- a penny dropped from a height does not have enough terminal velocity to kill you- though it will hurt. A lot.

I always thought a fatwa was a religious decree from Islam to murder someone. Nope- it's just a "professional, declared opinion". Also, it's non-binding.

Evangelical Christians may be skeptical and disingenuous with the term, but Jihad means "my struggle". This means a SPIRITUAL struggle. Some radical muslims used it as a term for "holy war".

"Buttery Goodness"
George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter. American Dad! was correct on that one. Credit is usually given to the aztecs- who liked it chunky.

Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb- scientists were experimenting with the idea before him. However, he did make the first practical, widely used one.

I was taught in high school and college that Henry Ford invented the assembly line and the automobile. Nope. Karl Benz (Merceded Benz) did. The Germans did, folks. As for the assembly line? Henry Ford greatly expanded upon it. We've had assembly lines since antiquity.

"Mac Attack"
"Apple computers are immune to viruses man!" bullshit. Malware is RAMPANT on iOS and apple OS.

"Flying Shit"
Shit is not ejected from airplanes. It's stored in a tank, genious.


Thomas Crapper didn't event the toilet. It's been around (FLUSHING TOILETS, TOO) since 2700BCE- originating on the Pakistani/Indian border. Crapper did invent some internal parts for modern toilets, though- such as the ballcock (hehe).


Polycarbonate is impermeable. Stop worrying that your batteries will get damaged on concrete. I am an engineer.

"Gateway to mischief"
Stories of marijuana killing people instantly are false. Since 1960, there have been less than 30 fatal deaths from marijuana overdose. Alcohol (and prescription drug abuse) have killed more people SEPARATELY than marijuana.

Polygraphs have no scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness- as "trustworthiness" for these devices is off the charts- relying on way too many variables to be accurate.

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