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探究科学家们也犯错

导读:y14). It wasn't until the early 20th century, when physicists like J. J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford, James Chadwick and Neils Bohr came along, that we started to sort out the basics of particle physics: protons, neutrons and electrons and how they make an atom what it is. Since then, we've come a lo
人非圣贤,孰能无过。科学家也不例外。事实上,他们不仅犯过错,还犯过今天看来无比荒谬的错,有一些错误的理论观念甚至延续了千年才被后人推翻。看来,只有踩着错误的“尸骨”不断探求,才能寻得真理的曙光!
  Take a deep breath: believe it or not, scientists are not always right. We really put them up on a pedestal1), though, don't we? We quote scientists as experts, buy things if they're "scientifically proven" to work better ... but scientists are human, too. It's just not fair to expect perfection out of them, is it? But come on, can't we at least ask for a reasonable level of competency2)?
  深吸一口气,听我说:信不信由你,科学家也不总是正确的。但我们确实把他们当做偶像一样崇拜,不是吗?我们把科学家当成专家来援引他们的话,购买“经科学证明”更为有效的产品……但是,科学家毕竟也是人,要求他们十全十美确实有失公允,对吧?可是拜托,至少我们可以要求他们稍微靠谱一点吧?
  Alchemy
  The idea of morphing3) lead into gold may seem a little crazy these days, but take a step back and pretend you live in ancient times. Pretend you never took high-school chemistry and know nothing about elements or atomic numbers or the periodic table4). What you do know is that you've seen chemical reactions that seemed pretty impressive: sub科学家们也犯错论文资料由论文网http://www.wowa.cn提供,转载请保留地址.stances change colors, spark, explode, evaporate, grow, shrink, make strange **ells—all before your eyes. Now, if chemistry can do all that, it sounds pretty reasonable that it might be able to turn a dull, drab5), gray metal into a bright, shiny yellow one, right? In the hopes of getting that job done, alchemists sought out the mythical "philosopher's stone", a substance that they believed would amplify6) their alchemical powers. They also spent a lot of time looking for the "elixir7) of life". Never found that either.
  Phlogiston8)
  What? You've never heard of phlogiston? Well, don't beat yourself up9) about it, because it's not real. Phlogiston, proposed in 1667 by Johann Joachim Becher, was another element to add to the list (earth, water, air, fire and sometimes ether10)); it wasn't fire itself, but the stuff fire was made of. All combustible11) objects contained this stuff, Becher insisted, and they released it when they burned. Scientists bought into12) the theory and used it to explain a few things about fire and burning: why things burned out (must have run out of phlogiston), why fire needed air to burn (air must absorb phlogiston), why we breathe (to get rid of phlogiston in the body). Today, we know that we breathe to get oxygen to support cellular respiration13), that objects need oxygen (or an oxidizing agent) to burn and that phlogiston just doesn't exist.
  The Atom
  Is the **allest Particle in Existence
  The idea that matter was composed of **aller, individual units (atoms) has been around for thousands of years—but the idea that there was something **aller than that was a bit harder to come by14). It wasn't until the early 20th century, when physicists like J. J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford, James Chadwick and Neils Bohr came along, that we started to sort out the basics of particle physics: protons, neutrons and electrons and how they make an atom what it is. Since then, we've come a long way: on to charm quarks15) and Higgs bosons16), anti-electrons17) and muon neutrinos18). Let's hope it doesn't get too much more complicated than that.DNA: Not So Important
  DNA was discovered in 1869, but for a long time, it was kind
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