There’s nothing I enjoy more than Myth-Breakers; evidence that contradict beliefs that every just ‘knows’ are true. You know, Captain Kirk never said ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ and lemmings don’t commit suicide by drowning themselves in the sea.
It’s a slow news day, so there’s a change of pace here today, folks. I’ve selected articles that are contrary to commonly-held beliefs. Let us know how you like it. Warning: If you’ve got some belief that you hold very dear to your heart, and it appears that I’m about to step all over it, just skip it. I’m not here to trash your psyche or crash your karma. Just having a little Phriday Phun here at TDG.
Oh yeah, just in case this doesn’t work we don’t need to mention it to Greg, do we? ;o)
- The first humans came to North America after the last Ice Age ended about 13,500 years ago, crossing a land bridge from Asia into what is now Alaska and spreading quickly across the continent. Then what’s this.
- History tells us that the arrival of Columbus in the New World marked the beginning of the extinction of the native population of Cuba. But history is often in error.
- Everyone believes that a tunnel is the best way to reduce traffic and congestion around Stonehenge. Not.
- The cave art of Ice Age Britons is rather dull and uninspired when compared to their Paleolithic counterparts on continental Europe. Really?
- The Dead Sea Scrolls found a half-century ago in the caves above Qumran leave no doubt that the Essenes occupied that region in Biblical times. No.
- Some scholars maintain that King Solomon is a mythological figure, a kind of Jewish King Arthur.
- The first Olympic participants performed their competitions in the nude. Not intentionally.
- The dingo descends from ancient, wild wolf-like animals unique to Australia. DNA evidence says the Dingo’s mamma was Chinese.
- Friday the 13th and the number thirteen are universally considered unlucky. Nope.
- The news coming from the rovers on Mars is so exciting that no printed publication would find it necessary to embellish the truth. Not quite.
- Alzheimer’s disease has only been identified as a collection of brain cell abnormalities since 1906 making an ancient Chinese cure absolute nonsense. We shall see.
- President Bush has banned stem cell research. Not at all.
- First proposed in 1950, the idea of linguistic determinism has been discredited.
- There are no South American Piranhas in Dutch canals. Wanna bet?
- President Bush was looking for an excuse to invade Iraq and used 9/11 as an opportunity to do so. Not according to the 9-11 Commission Report. Read Chapter 10.3 ‘Phase Two’ and the Question of Iraq (14 ppg.). BTW, if you read the whole report it refutes about 95% of Michael Moore’s movie.
- The damp Rosslyn Chapel has deteriorated and has few visitors.
- No one would object if the U.S. military policy offered free breast implants to female soldiers.
- Europe is adamant about maintaining their status of remaining GM-crop free. Not everyone.
- The story of Noah’s Ark is mythology, a local river flood at best. Okay, what’s this?
- The concept of the automobile has matured and very little innovation is necessary. Scroll through the numbers and hold on tight.
- President Bush is saber-rattling, threatening Iran with invasion if the don’t abandon their nuclear weapons projects. Not hardly. A diplomatic approach seems to be working well in Iran.
- Gravity is well understood and and perfectly explained by Newton’s Laws of Motion and General Relativity. You left out the invisible hand and the pendulum.
- All scientists agree that soaring levels of the greenhouse gas cause Global Warming making the Kyoto Protocol our only hope. Uh oh, maybe Bush’s mean ol’ USA scientists were right.
- Humankind needs religion for moral guidelines.
- The earth is well-mapped and we know everything about it. There are no remains of an ‘ancient civilization’ yet to be discovered.
- All little boys grow up to be violent boyfriends and husbands, and that all little girls grow up to be docile wives and mothers who maintain family harmony at all costs.
- They sting, bite, spread disease, and annoy us. The world would be a better place if we could rid the planet of insects. Mankind has no use for bugs.
- These ‘mystery animals’ that keep popping-up are all known species. Are they? Okay, what’s this one?
- Russian cosmonauts have never reported seeing UFOs while in space.
- The concept of a flying car is the stuff of science fiction and the Jetsons. It will never become reality. Don’t bet on it.
- Virtual reality systems rely on a user navigating through a space using a joystick or some other controller, but lack the physical feeling of movement. Not anymore.
- Ghosts are associated with family castles, predominantly in Great Britain. Not always.
- Wondering whether extraterrestrials exist or not is just an entertainment, it really doesn’t matter.
- Having no magnetic field and being so small, Mars never had an atmosphere or liquid surface water.
- There’s very little to be gained by further exploration of our solar system. We know everything.
Thanks Jerry and Marlin.
Quote of the Day:
Space travel is bunk.
Sir Harold Spencer Jones
Astronomer Royal of Britain
1957, two weeks before the launch of Sputnik