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The Perpetual Motion Machine (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

Cars that run on water and fusion machines that generate more energy than they use are staples of inventors鈥 fantasy. They pop up all the time. Charles Redheffer raised large sums of money in Philadelphia with a perpetual motion machine and then took it to New York in 1813, whe[...]

The Lying Stones (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

In 1726, Johann Beringer of W眉rzburg published details of fossils found outside the Bavarian town. These included 鈥渓izards in their skin, birds with beaks and eyes, spiders with their webs, and frogs copulating.鈥 Other stones he found bore the Hebrew letters YHVH, for Jehova[...]

The Tasaday Tribe (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

In 1971, a Philippine government minister (Manuel Elizalde) discovered a small stone age tribe living in isolation on the island of Mindanao. This tribe, called the Tasaday, spoke a strong language, used stone tools, and exhibited other stone-age attributes. Their discovery made [...]

Discoveries of Shinichi Fujimura (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

Shinichi Fujimura was one of Japan鈥檚 leading archaeologists 鈥 despite being self-taught. In 1981 he made his first discovery of stoneware that dated back 40,000 years. It was the oldest stoneware ever found in Japan and this discovery launched his career. During the following[...]

The Great Moon Hoax (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

In August, 1835, a series of articles appeared on the front page of the New York Sun. The articles listed a series of incredible astronomical breakthroughs that the British Astronomer, Sir John Herschel, had made using a unique large telescope and special methods. The article sai[...]

Lamarckian Inheritance (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

During the 1920s an Austrian scientist named Paul Kammerer designed an experiment to prove that Lamarckian inheritance (the notion that organisms may acquire characteristics and pass them to their offspring) was possible. His experiment involved a species of toad called the Midwi[...]

The Sokal Affair (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

The Sokal affair was a hoax by Alan Sokal (a physicist) perpetrated on the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text (published by Duke University). In 1996, he submitted a paper of nonsense camouflaged in jargon to see if the journal would 鈥減ublish an article liberally s[...]

Piltdown Man (Top 10 Scientific Frauds and Hoaxes)

February 15th, 2014 § in Others

The Piltdown Man is a famous hoax in which pieces of a skull and jawbone found in 1912 were believed to be the fossilized remains of an early form of human being. The specimen was officially given a latin name (Eoanthropus Dawsoni) after its collector Charles Dawson. In 1953 it w[...]

Placebo Effect

February 14th, 2014 § in Others

The placebo effect is when a person takes something they believe is medicine for an ailment they are suffering (which is not really a medicine), and they get better. A placebo is an inert substance, and when taken (with the advice from others that it will cure them) makes the per[...]

Panspermia

February 14th, 2014 § in Others

How did life on earth appear? science suggests that life started when the planet was favourable for habitation. Yet did microscopic organisms just pop out of nowhere? One hypothesis is panspermia, which suggests that 鈥榮eeds of life鈥 exist everywhere around the universe, and t[...]