Scientific Development and Misconceptions through the Ages: A Reference Guide

Scientific Development and Misconceptions through the Ages: A Reference Guide

Scientific Development and Misconceptions through the Ages: A Reference Guide

Scientific Development and Misconceptions through the Ages: A Reference Guide

Synopsis

Discover the intriguing development of science and the scientific process while examining how it has often been hindered as well as advanced by misconceptions.

Excerpt

This book is both a reference work and a presentation of how humans have developed concepts to explain the myriad phenomena we confront everyday.

Throughout history, men and women have come up with many different explanations for what occurs in their environment—both at the macro and micro levels, the seen and the unseen, the known and the unknown. We spend a great deal of time thinking about why things are as they are and then come up with some answers.

Obviously, in the past, not all these answers were correct. Some were beliefs conjured up to satisfy needs that may have been of the real world or of the spirit world. Looking back, many of the answers arrived at were misconceptions about nature and the environment. Based on what we know now, earlier explanations of nature and its forces were irrational. But to early humans, those explanations were rational enough for them to survive and reproduce, and, in the long run, that is what counts in nature.

For thousands of years, people’s views of nature were not well organized or thought out. Things were as they seemed, or were believed to be. For thousands of years, most people never considered asking why, how, what, or when. They just accepted whatever they observed and, later, what was told to them or was written by others. The concept of scientifically gathering information and arriving at a conclusion was very late in coming.

The scientific method or, more appropriately, the use of the processes of science to answer questions and gain fundamental knowledge is only a few hundred years old. There are still, supposedly, educated people who believe the Earth is flat, that men never landed on the moon, that Elvis lives, that alien spaceships have landed on Earth, and that diseases are not caused by microorganisms.

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