Top 10 Common Misconceptions in SciencePeople get bombed by bouts of misinformation, in which many people accept without proper research. Anyone can be misled by misconceptions, hence why it's very important to know and be aware of what information you're diving into. This list covers some common misconceptions that are circulated throughout people.
The Top Ten
1 The earth is flat Although people tend to be stubborn by misconceptions, this is easily debunked by empirical evidence - this includes by looking at other planets such as the moon, witnessing a lunar eclipse, or just simply acknowledging time zones, no matter how seemingly "true" the claims regarding flat earth seem. Go ahead and ride a plane, then tell us again if the earth is flat or not. If the earth was actually flat, the world would be simply different.
This is so stupid.
This is so stupid.
Like how is the earth flat? That makes 0 sense. Soon they are going to think the moon is made of cheese!
2 Vaccines cause autism There have been consistent studies stating that vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines are meant to immunize people against diseases by inoculating weakened or dead pathogens into the body, thus strengthening the immune system against the actual disease.
3 Most diamonds are formed by coal Some people are taught that diamonds are formed by coal under intense pressure. The fact is, coal is not able to be metamorphosed into a diamond, even though coal is mostly composed of carbon just as diamonds consist of pure carbon. Another fact is that coal is composed of sedimentary rocks, while diamonds come from igneous rocks. While coal is formed by old dead plants sunken below the soil by pressure and heat, they are typically closer to the surface. Diamonds are typically much older than coal, even when the very first plants were formed on Earth. In order for a diamond to form, it has to be in the mantle to undergo a metasomatic process, which then emerges to the surface from a volcanic (kimberlite) eruption hundreds of kilometers away from the surface. Other sources of where diamonds originate are asteroid impacts, which involve both extreme pressure and temperatures, and subduction zones.
This one and the item about the rainforests were the one's I didn't know.
4 Humans are not animals Although the dictionary considers humans to be excluded from the animal category, it's actually a loosely defined term. Animals are typically defined as living organisms that feed on other organisms and typically respond to stimuli. Humans definitely fit that term, seeing that they strongly fit between those two characteristics.
5 Black holes have infinite mass Keep in mind that our understanding of black holes is pretty limited. Black holes don't have an infinite mass but it's also widely believed that black holes have an infinite density. If a black hole would really have infinite mass, everything in the universe would collapse into a massive singularity.
6 You only use 10% of your brain You use over 10% of your brain every day in most tasks we do daily - whether you realize this or not - but it's not even close to 100%. Activating 100% of the brain at once will lead to fatal seizures instead of harnessing its "full abilities".
7 The Amazon rainforest produces 20% of the planet's oxygen While it's a known fact that the Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, it doesn't actually contribute a large amount of oxygen from the surrounding plants. In reality, it consumes most of the oxygen it produces, resulting in a net oxygen production of zero. We actually get most of our oxygen from the photosynthesis of phytoplankton, which are mostly found in the ocean.
8 Global warming is not caused by human activity While it's proven that Earth naturally adjusts its climate over time, the increase in greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, along with mass deforestation and farming, contributes to the rising climate temperature.
9 Deoxygenated blood is blue In many shows and movies, de-oxygenated blood is depicted as blue, but this is false. Your blood veins may seem blue, but in reality it's the wavelengths influencing how you see those veins. Blue wavelengths have shorter waves and are less likely to be absorbed through the skin than red wavelengths, hence why you may see blue veins. Regardless of oxygenated or deoxygenated blood, it still stays red due to the iron in hemoglobin. Deoxygenated blood usually has a darker shade of red.
10 The sun is yellow The sun is not yellow, not even orange or red. The reason why the sun may seem like these colors is that our planet's atmosphere makes it appear so; it's actually white.
11 Lightning never strikes the same place twice This is a common misconception that could be easily disproven empirically. When lightning strikes, it technically strikes the same spot multiple times in quick succession before disappearing. You can especially see this in skyscrapers as they are more prone to lightning strikes, particularly in the case of the Empire State Building, which is struck over a hundred times per year.
12 The common cold is caused by cold temperatures You cannot catch a cold from cold temperatures, unlike what the consensus suggests. This includes cold showers or simply feeling cold. The coldness may aggravate sickness or other health conditions, but only bacteria or a virus can make you sick.
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