We are used to trust scientists. We refer to them when we want to ground our words, we quote some quotes and involve experts to solve various issues. But they are still ordinary people just like us and can be wrong at times.
The idea of turning Plumbum to gold was not really obsolete like today and this is easily explainable. The first experiments on chemistry were more that promising: some mixed materials changed colors, exploded and flew away, grew and collapsed. The conclusion was obvious: why can’t a rough metal become a shiny yellow one? People started searching for a specific reagent which was also called the “Philosopher’s Stone” which remained just a blind hope along with the “Elixir of Life”.
Earth is only 6 000 years old.
Once upon a time the historical component of the Bible never evoked any doubts in people’s minds. For example the age of our planet: one Irish archbishop discovered that Earth was created in 4004 B.C. according to the Bible facts. This statement was considered the official truth for about 200 years.
Modern calculations based on radiological dating let us determine the age of our planet a little more specific and according to this data out planet is over 4,5 billion years.
Atom is the smallest particle.
Humanity is aware of the fact that everything in the world we are used to see consists of smaller parts but the exact theory that there are actually particles invisible to us was developed in 20th century: Thompson discovered electrons, Chedwick found out neutrons and Reserford created a planetary prototype of an atom. The latest breakthrough related to this subject was Higgs’ boson discovery.
DNA has nothing to do with genetic information.
Proteins were considered as the main tools to pass the genetic information and DNA seemed to simple to be responsible for such a complicated process. The composite structure of DNA was described only in 1953 by American biochemists.
Microbes and surgery.
Surgeons never felt the necessity to wash their hands before performing surgeries until the end of 19th century. As a result, numerous contamination took place. It was said they were caused by bad air and inability of human liquids dis-balance.
The revolutionary theory about microbes as the reason for most of the diseases was rejected for a long time at first.
Earth is the center of the Universe.
Ptolemeus, a famous astronomer of 2nd century built a model of the solar system and Earth was in the middle. This model was the absolute truth to the whole Christian world of the West until 15th century. Luckily a well-known Polish astronomer proved it wrong and now we know for sure that the sun is the center of our world. Kopernik wasn’t the first to claim that though but he was the first scientist people believed.