POSTED 29 MAR 2001 It's surprising how many mistakes and misconceptions get accepted as scientific truth -- then linger for years after they've been disproven. We're not talking 19th century stuff like Lamarck's acquired characteristics or phlogiston, the undetectable stuff that was supposedly needed for fire. And we're not talking "scientific creationism," either.
We're talking popular scientific tales that turn out to be science fiction. And it's not just we regular folks who swallow this stuff, either. Scientists buy bogus explanations because they make sense -- not because they've been proven. In fact, German physicist Max Planck said science only advances because older scientists refuse to accept new findings, but eventually die off.
You can read science fables in textbooks and newspapers. You can hear them on the radio. And we know you gabble about them at the water cooler.
Think you're immune to science fables? Then take our "April Fool's" fact or fiction quiz:
Test your mettle:
The strange saga of lemmings, cliffs and suicide.
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