Friday, February 16, 2007


Science Myths

(via) LiveScience debunks The Most Popular Myths in Science, all of which sf writers will want to avoid. (One of the things that turned me off of Heroes immediately was hearing the "scientist" in the opening scenes of the pilot spouting a long-disproven myth from this very list... to say nothing of the fact that he invoked the notion of the gods "creating man in their own image," a concept with very little cultural currency in a Hindu nation.)

What's weird about this list is that it's a collection of popular beliefs, not necessarily false ones. If you click on the links for "poppy seed bagel mimics opium usage," "yawning is contagious," and "running in the rain" you find that those beliefs are actually confirmed by research.
Huh. You know, I didn't notice that. I only had a chance to click through a few of them this morning, all of which were debunked, but didn't notice that some were actually weird. Seems they're misusing the word "myths" there a bit, which certainly suggests a belief that it's supported by evidence.
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