1. Welcome to CowboysZone!  Join us!  Come on!  You know you want to!

Popular Myths in Science and if they are true or false

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by TruBlueCowboy, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

    7,301 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    http://www.livescience.com/bestimg/?cat=myths

    [IMG]
    It takes seven years to digest gum
    While it may prove a bit more difficult to break down than organic foodstuffs, chewing gum gets no special treatment from the digestive system. Doctors figure this old wives' tale was invented to prevent kids from swallowing the rubbery substance.

    [IMG]
    The Great Wall of China is the only manmade structure visible from space
    There are several variations on this folkloric statement, and they're all quantifiably false. Astronauts can spot the Great Wall from low-Earth orbit, along with plenty of other things like the Giza pyramids and even airport runways. But they can't see the Wall from the Moon.

    [IMG]
    Humans use only 10 percent of their brains
    This media darling has been around for at least a century. Fortunately, it's just not true. MRI imaging clearly demonstrates—with fancy colors no less—that humans put most of their cerebral cortex to good use, even while dozing.

    [IMG]
    Adults don't grow new brain cells
    Much of a human's crucial brain development happens during childhood, but it isn't all downhill from there. Studies have shown that neurons continue to grow and change well into the adult years.

    [IMG]
    Water drains backwards in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Earth's rotation
    Not only is the Earth's rotation too weak to affect the direction of water flowing in a drain, tests you can easily perform in a few washrooms will show that water whirlpools both ways depending on the sink's structure, not the hemisphere.

    [IMG]
    Animals can predict natural disasters
    There is no evidence that animals possess a mysterious sixth-sense allowing them to predict natural disasters. Their keen senses of smell, hearing, and sharp instincts alone are enough to send them scattering for the hillsides during a hurricane or tsunami. And even so, animals often die during natural disasters, so if they do have some sort of sixth sense, it's not worth much.

    [IMG]
    A penny dropped from the top of a tall building could kill a pedestrian
    A penny isn't the most aerodynamic of weapons. A combination of its shape and wind friction means that, tossed even from the 1,250-foot Empire State Building, it would travel fast enough merely to sting an unlucky pedestrian.

    [IMG]
    A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's
    Despite a habit of licking things no human would dare, Fido's mouth is often touted as scientifically more sterile. Truth is, oral bacteria are so species-specific that one can't be considered cleaner than the other, just different.

    [IMG]
    Men think about sex every seven seconds
    Males are driven to reproduce, evolutionarily speaking, but there is no scientific way of measuring to what extent that desire consumes their everyday lives. Thankfully, for world productivity as a whole, seven seconds seems a gross overstatement, as best researchers can tell.

    [IMG]
    Lightning never strikes the same place twice
    In fact lightning favors certain spots, particularly high locations. The Empire State Building is struck about 25 times every year. Ben Franklin grasped the concept long ago and mounted a metal rod atop the roof of his home, then ran a wire to the ground, thereby inventing the lightning rod.

    [IMG]
    A falling cat will always land on its feet
    Studies have demonstrated that, when dropped from most heights, cats will land gracefully on their feet. Results change only with cats dropped upside-down from a height of one foot or less. We're not suggesting you try this at home.

    [IMG]
    Yawning is "contagious"
    Empirically, this is tough to deny; perhaps you'll yawn while reading this. The real question is whether there's actually something physiological at work here, and the answer is likely yes: even chimpanzees mimic each other's yawns.

    [IMG]
    Eating a poppy seed bagel mimics opium use
    Purveyors of this urban legend call on a popular Seinfeld episode for support. It turns out there's truth behind the comedy: tests suggest ingesting just two poppy seed bagels may produce a positive result for opiates on a drug screen.

    [IMG]
    There is no gravity in space
    Blame the term "zero-gravity" for this common misconception. Gravity is everywhere, even in space. Astronauts look weightless because they are in continuous freefall towards the Earth, staying aloft because of their horizontal motion. The effect of gravity diminishes with distance, but it never truly goes away. Oh, and while we're at it, it's also untrue that space is a vacuum. There are all kinds of atoms out there, albeit sometimes far apart (and this thin gas adds to the collective gravity budget, too!)

    [IMG]
    Chicken soup can cure the common cold
    Cure is a strong word, but science suggests Moms around the world are still right in forcing spoonfuls of chicken soup down their kids' throats. Studies have found that the broth actually contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce congestion.

    [IMG]
    Seasons are caused by the Earth's proximity to the sun
    The Earth's distance from the sun during its yearly elliptical orbit actually has little effect on temperature. It's the angle of the Earth's tilt—toward the sun in the summer for the Northern Hemisphere and away in the winter—that dictates climate.

    [IMG]
    Chickens can live without a head
    True, and not just for a few minutes. A chicken can stagger around without its noggin because the brain stem, often left partially intact after a beheading, controls most of its reflexes. One robust fellow lived a full eighteen months. Likely he was a real birdbrain, however.

    [IMG]
    Hair and fingernails continue growing after death
    Though hair and fingernails appear to keep growing after death, this is merely a morbid optical illusion at work. In death the human body dehydrates severely, retracting enough skin to expose more nail and hair.
  2. bobtheflob

    bobtheflob New Member

    1,768 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    Hmm, I remember a science teacher telling me that. Don't hospitals consider humans bites more dangerous that dog bites?
  3. CanadianCowboysFan

    CanadianCowboysFan Lightning Rod

    15,315 Messages
    341 Likes Received
    I don't know about the animals predicting disasters one. Sure they cannot tell when something will happen but they do know first.

    We had an earthquake a few years ago, and my dog Max barked before my wife and I felt the quake.

    During the 2004 tsunami, all of the animals left the beach areas, especially the elephants.

    Word of the wise to you, if are at a beach and see animals heading for the hills, follow them ;)
  4. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

    12,747 Messages
    2 Likes Received
    I'm with you...I think animals can and do sense/know that something is going to happen.

    Like you mentioned very few animals where killed by the Tsunami...And there are Many other instances like that that have happened.
  5. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

    7,301 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    Well, everytime a major hurricane is headed towards my house (probably been at least 4 in the last 2 years), my dog and cat eat and *ahem* just like usual.

    Now when it actually hits, they go crazy, but I definitely wouldn't use them as natural disaster predictors if I was trying to stay alive.
  6. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

    22,531 Messages
    471 Likes Received

    Sorry I fail to believe any chicken lived 18 months without it's head. No chicken even WITH it's head would live 18 months w/o food and water.


    But it is kind of freaky to imagine a chicken walking around the farm w/no head for a good year or so after you've removed it's head.

    One question: How would anyone even know a chicken's body "lived" 18 months after having it's head cut off? I'd imagine that body would of been de-feathered, deep fried, eaten, and pooped out long before even a month passed.
  7. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

    47,576 Messages
    9 Likes Received
    Someone call these guys

    [IMG]
  8. AmarilloCowboyFan

    AmarilloCowboyFan Active Member

    2,396 Messages
    18 Likes Received
    Apparently it was fed directly into the hole in its throat.

    http://www.miketheheadlesschicken.org/story.html

    Myth Busters would have PETA all over them if they tried to cut off a chickens head to see if it would live. LOL
  9. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

    7,301 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    Tell you what, knowing that an animal can live a year without its head certainly prevents any vegetarian notions. Ya just don't feel bad when you know the thing can scamper around forever without a brain. ;)
  10. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

    47,576 Messages
    9 Likes Received
    Men do it everyday :D
  11. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

    7,301 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    +1 with the women in the Zone right there, ya suckup. ;)
  12. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

    47,576 Messages
    9 Likes Received
    Who me? :D
  13. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

    12,747 Messages
    2 Likes Received
    Well Humans can't always tell you when to get out and you want animals to always be right?

    To say beyond the shadow of a doubt that they can't sense these kinds of things is wrong.
  14. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

    22,531 Messages
    471 Likes Received

    That's freakin' crazy.


    :eek:



    And about animals sensing disaster... I think they do have that "6th sense" to sense something coming. But what are they gonna do about it? And I don't think they can sense it coming weeks beforehand. I think it's more like minutes. Nothing they can do about it.
  15. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

    7,301 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    I don't doubt that they sense some things human can't, but I think it has more to do with a changing environment rather than disaster ahead. While we may be the more 'intelligent' species, it probably makes factors that mean a lot to animals, mean little to us. A little vibration or a disappearing ocean may not trigger much in a human, but that's a lot of change for an animal. ;)
  16. jackrussell

    jackrussell Last of the Duke Street Kings

    4,162 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    I cannot confirm but I certainly wouldn't deny this one, as I, um....uh....what was I talking about again?
  17. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

    7,301 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    I figure it rounds out. Two hour visit with granny and it's the last thing on my mind, but boy, one 60 second clip of the Tyra Banks Show and it's flowing every half a second.
  18. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

    12,747 Messages
    2 Likes Received
    Yeah humans just sit there or go wow lets take some pictures of that...While the less intelligent animals get the hell out of there.:D
  19. TruBlueCowboy

    TruBlueCowboy New Member

    7,301 Messages
    0 Likes Received
    LOL It's the truth. :D

    Watching the videos of those poor folks in Indonesia, it seems like the humans look at the draining ocean as "oooh and ahhhhh" Kodak material, meanwhile Fido is scampering his furry butt out of there as fast as those four legs will allow him.
  20. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

    47,576 Messages
    9 Likes Received
    Humans are inherantly(sp) stupid....some more than others :D

    And yes I know I can speel :D

Share This Page