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Author Topic: What fringe science has become orthodox science?  (Read 8632 times)

Offline horizon

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« on: 10/12/2011 13:36:23 »
Hi all,

Are there any examples of any fringe science that broke through into the mainstream and became the accepted norm?

There must be many.

I'd thought I'd start a thread about the difficulties some scientists had putting their ideas across.

What scientists were the most lambasted and ridiculed for there ideas, then praised for their genius as tides turned in their favour?
Are there any scientists that died before they got the credit they deserved?

Are there any fringe sciences out there today that you support, but everybody else laughs at?
« Last Edit: 10/12/2011 13:41:53 by horizon »


 

Offline Don_1

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Offline JP

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #2 on: 10/12/2011 21:58:09 »
The idea that he sun is at the center of the solar system.

The big bang theory.
 

Offline CliffordK

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #3 on: 10/12/2011 22:01:04 »
I would think many of the major leaps ahead includes an element of skepticism.

As Don mentioned, there is evolution  Darwinism.  Apparently Darwin was careful not to mention mankind in his work, but the connection was made quickly.

I'm not sure how Galileo was accepted by mainstream science of the day, but he certainly met criticism through the church.  And, essentially a shift from an earth centered universe to a sun centered solar system with many planets, and eventually the sun just being one of many stars.

Einstein & Relativity wasn't immediately accepted.  In fact, the Nobel prize committee was a bit conservative, and awarded his Nobel prize for "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect".

Has Quantum Physics been universally accepted yet?
 

Offline CliffordK

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #4 on: 10/12/2011 22:27:39 »
Of course, in politics, there is that phrase in the US Constitution:

"All men are created equal".

Yet, it didn't quite make it into the US Constitution, which then had to be later amended a couple of times to clarify the concept.

And, there is still debate on concepts such as nurture vs nature.
 

Offline Gordian Knot

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #5 on: 11/12/2011 03:28:52 »
I need some clarification on the question. When you say "fringe" science, do you mean scientific theory that was once rejected and now accepted (theory of tectonic plates for example). Or by fringe do you mean the off the wall stuff like psychic phenomena and that ilk.
 

Offline horizon

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #6 on: 11/12/2011 13:40:03 »
I need some clarification on the question. When you say "fringe" science, do you mean scientific theory that was once rejected and now accepted (theory of tectonic plates for example). Or by fringe do you mean the off the wall stuff like psychic phenomena and that ilk.

the first mainly. but you can include the second too!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #7 on: 11/12/2011 18:43:00 »
In a way all science starts off as "fringe".
A scientist thinks "Aha! - it's so and so".
At that time he is the only "believer"- that's pretty well "fringe".
 

Offline JP

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #8 on: 11/12/2011 19:31:44 »
Has Quantum Physics been universally accepted yet?

Pretty much.  Its standard coursework in undergraduate and graduate physics these days and is a major field of study.  Of course nothing is universally accepted.  There are still people who will claim the earth is flat.  ;)
 

Offline Geezer

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #9 on: 11/12/2011 20:54:42 »
There are still people who will claim the earth is flat.  ;)

What do you mean "claim"? Apart from the upsticky bits, it's pretty flat around here, let me tell you.
 

Offline horizon

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #10 on: 11/12/2011 21:36:56 »
In a way all science starts off as "fringe".
A scientist thinks "Aha! - it's so and so".
At that time he is the only "believer"- that's pretty well "fringe".

Technically, theres 3 classifications of scientific ideas- centre, frontier, fringe. fringe being classed the more novel hypotheses to the wacky stuff.
« Last Edit: 11/12/2011 21:38:48 by horizon »
 

Offline CliffordK

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #11 on: 11/12/2011 22:49:13 »
The point is that science often progresses forward with major leaps and bounds.  And frequently it can be difficult to push change into a new direction.

There are discoveries, or theories that had strong scientific background, but went against the beliefs of scientists and lay-people alike.  Perhaps going against the very basis of people's belief system.

So, if I had a 2000+ yr old document that everyone considers the very essence of reality.  And, it states that some being, let's call Mr. G. had created man out of dirt...  then someone comes along and says that that 2000+ yr old document is wrong, and that man actually evolved from rodents.  Well, it would certainly challenge the belief systems of everyone that believes in Mr. G as taught in virtually every school in western civilization.

Much of modern Physics and Astronomy has been built on theories that have been difficult, if not impossible to prove at the time the hypotheses were originally formulated.

Engineering has also taken some leaps forward, but fortunately, it often comes with proof of concept.

Even in medicine, some concepts like no spontaneous generation of organisms, or even microorganism caused disease seemed like a revolutionary concept.  Consider some of the disease names of the past.  A parasite borne by mosquitoes is literally called "Bad Air".  A disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis was called "Consumption".
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #12 on: 11/12/2011 23:30:01 »
And who is to say that people 2000 years will not laugh at us and say to  themselves,  "How could those people have been so dumb as to believe that the universe was formed through a Big Bang Theory?"  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #13 on: 19/12/2011 22:05:34 »
I dont know if it qualifies as fringe science, but for decades both biologists and psychologists argued that some aspects of the mind, like thoughts, emotional states, consciousness itself, could never be studied scientifically. Psychologist BF Skinner said one could only study what could be measured, which was what people did, not how they felt. But today with better brain imagining techniques like PET,  increasing understanding of brain biochemistry, as well as just better methodology in experiments, the mind is no longer considered off limits to science. I wonder if part of this doesnt have to do with the advancement of computers. Even though the brain may not be just a wet computer, the fact that computers are material objects capable of doing amazing imformation processing tasks, beyond simply computation, may have emboldened biologists to look at even the fuzzier, seemingly subjective aspects of brain activity.
« Last Edit: 19/12/2011 22:11:03 by cheryl j »
 

Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #14 on: 22/12/2011 01:59:19 »
Which is kinda ironic, when one considers that what used to be a very nonfuzzy science - physics - has now become a science with a lot of fuzzy theories that are considered fairly mainstream!
 

Offline steveculbreth

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Re: What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #15 on: 23/12/2011 06:14:46 »
The search for preserved soft-tissue and DNA. Once, thought to be a very rare accurrence, could be as universal as salt. Ten years ago there was one search page with only two entries, now there are many. I can't be optimistic about the dna, not a scientist, although I have found many common rocks to be preserved tissues from the Mesozoic era. The teeth and claw marks were a complete givaway. I have some presentations on the  web, goggle my name.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #16 on: 23/12/2011 07:13:13 »
Excellent point.  Proteins seem to be extremely durable.  And, at least a few dino genes can be recovered by decoding the protein sequences.  I suppose it isn't too surprising, what would Carbon-Dating be without Carbon afterall?

Just over a half century ago, and the hunt was on for the basic genetic material.
Now, the entire human genome has been mapped.  Dozens of gene mutations have been identified.  And genetic paternity tests are routine.

Consider some of the science fiction of the past.
Aldus Huxley...  missed the mark a little with the dial-up birth control.  But... not bad.  We're not quite to the "baby in a bottle" concept, but we're getting close.

What would George Orwell think about a 152 inch plama TV?
Should I cover up that little camera dot on my computer, as well as removing the built-in microphone?

Does William Shatner own a Cell Phone?
Does Lt. O'Hara use a blue-tooth device?

I suppose even humans flying was an element of Science Fiction...   up until the Wright Brothers...  And, even then, who would have predicted planes breaking the sound barrier...
 

Offline steveculbreth

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Re: What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #17 on: 24/12/2011 00:07:25 »
To quote CliffordK
"There are discoveries, or theories that had strong scientific background, but went against the beliefs of scientists and lay-people alike.  Perhaps going against the very basis of people's belief system."
Discoveries and theories proposed by scientists will get a peer review, and this may seal it's fate, yea or nay, at least it's being looked at. The amateur who may accidentally make a discovery has no per review, and when Mankind has overlooked something this long and may have to rewrite some books, then there are to many walls to hurdle. I wonder how many discoveries have gone to the grave?
 

Offline horizon

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Re: What fringe science has become orthodox science?
« Reply #18 on: 26/12/2011 13:49:29 »
Poor old Aristarchus of Samos in the 3rd century BC received no support from other astronomers at the time that the Earth revolves around the Sun...that idea didnt spring up until the 16th century... but then again Aris Samos did also say the sun was at the centre of the universe so he wasnt all right...
« Last Edit: 26/12/2011 13:56:59 by horizon »
 

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Re: What fringe science has become orthodox science?
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