History Main / ScienceMarchesOn

19th Jun '16 10:41:28 AM Ebrbfureh
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* Also, any number of stories in which Venus is Terrestrial-habitable (usually a jungle, swamp or ocean planet, as the cloud-covered sky suggested high humidity). This is particularly relevant because Venus is closer to the Earth than Mars, and if it were even as habitable as Mars really is, would probably be the main target of our current plans for trans-Lunar interplanetary flight. Instead, as we now know, Venus is the ''least'' habitable terrestrial planet -- even ''Mercury'' is a friendlier environment! For starters, there's its mean surface temperature of 462 degrees Celsius, or about 864 degrees Fahrenheit. Then we have the 91 atmospheres of air pressure. Do you want to be cooked to death or crushed to death?

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* Also, any number of stories in which Venus is Terrestrial-habitable (usually a jungle, swamp or ocean planet, as the cloud-covered sky suggested high humidity). This is particularly relevant because Venus is closer to the Earth than Mars, and if it were even as habitable as Mars really is, would probably be the main target of our current plans for trans-Lunar interplanetary flight. Instead, as we now know, Venus is the ''least'' habitable terrestrial planet -- even planet—even ''Mercury'' is a friendlier environment! For starters, there's its mean surface temperature of 462 degrees Celsius, or about 864 degrees Fahrenheit. Then we have the 91 atmospheres of air pressure. Do you want to be cooked to death or crushed to death?



** Not only that, but the Heart (which was not discovered until 2015) is absent - this one is more understandable.

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** Not only that, but the Heart (which was not discovered until 2015) is absent - this absent—this one is more understandable.



** Only Charon appears as its moon - the other four weren't discovered until about ten years after their releases.

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** Only Charon appears as its moon - the moon—the other four weren't discovered until about ten years after their releases.



* ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' put its fictional world, Pandora, beyond the well-charted regions of the solar system yet within reach with mostly realistic technology in the movie's timeframe - it's a moon orbiting a fictional gas giant Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri system. Being so close to the cutting edge means that it doesn't take long for science to march on - as of now, the evidence points to the absence of any gas giants, and if there are any planets there at all, they're small rocky ones.
** A team of exoplanet hunters claimed detection of a small, rocky planet around Alpha Centauri B in 2012. Around a year later a paper was published purporting that this detection was spurious. There is currently no concensus on which is the most correct interpretation.

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* ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' put its fictional world, Pandora, beyond the well-charted regions of the solar system yet within reach with mostly realistic technology in the movie's timeframe - it's timeframe—it's a moon orbiting a fictional gas giant Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri system. Being so close to the cutting edge means that it doesn't take long for science to march on - as on—as of now, the evidence points to the absence of any gas giants, and if there are any planets there at all, they're small rocky ones.
** A team of exoplanet hunters claimed detection of a small, rocky planet around Alpha Centauri B in 2012. Around a year later a paper was published purporting that this detection was spurious. There is currently no concensus consensus on which is the most correct interpretation.



* The climactic scenes of another Asimov novel, ''The Stars, Like Dust'', take place on a type of planet (breatheable atmosphere and Earthlike gravity, but no organic life or liquid water) which later science determined was extremely unlikely to exist in the real world. Later editions of the book contained an afterword by Asimov, apologizing to the reader for the error and stating he hadn't been able to find a way to correct it without rewriting the entire climax.

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* The climactic scenes of another Asimov novel, ''The Stars, Like Dust'', take place on a type of planet (breatheable (breathable atmosphere and Earthlike gravity, but no organic life or liquid water) which later science determined was extremely unlikely to exist in the real world. Later editions of the book contained an afterword by Asimov, apologizing to the reader for the error and stating he hadn't been able to find a way to correct it without rewriting the entire climax.



** Also used in Creator/RobertRankin's ''The Brentford Triangle'' (“[[PrecisionFStrike Where's the fucking planet gone?]]”) - this being Rankin, it's justified by [[RuleOfCool Rule Of]] MindScrew.

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** Also used in Creator/RobertRankin's ''The Brentford Triangle'' (“[[PrecisionFStrike Where's the fucking planet gone?]]”) - this gone?]]”)—this being Rankin, it's justified by [[RuleOfCool Rule Of]] MindScrew.



** At the time he was writing, it was mainly thought that planets were the result of close encounters between passing stars in which the gravity of one star sucked a bunch of material up off the other one and left it hanging in space, where it condensed into planets; such encounters being extremely rare, there would only ever be one or two planets per galaxy supporting intelligent life at any given time. Thanks to the galactic interpassage, though, both our galaxy and Lundmark's Nebula would have experienced a huge number of such encounters, and would therefore be exceptions, hosting large numbers of life-supporting planets as required by the plot. Now, however, it is generally thought that the formation of planets goes along with the formation of the stars they orbit, as both condense out of the same cloud of interstellar matter, so nearly all stars in all galaxies have planets - in which situation the Eddorians would be spoilt for choice and could just as easily have settled in a galaxy so distant that even the Arisians wouldn't realise they were there.

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** At the time he was writing, it was mainly thought that planets were the result of close encounters between passing stars in which the gravity of one star sucked a bunch of material up off the other one and left it hanging in space, where it condensed into planets; such encounters being extremely rare, there would only ever be one or two planets per galaxy supporting intelligent life at any given time. Thanks to the galactic interpassage, though, both our galaxy and Lundmark's Nebula would have experienced a huge number of such encounters, and would therefore be exceptions, hosting large numbers of life-supporting planets as required by the plot. Now, however, it is generally thought that the formation of planets goes along with the formation of the stars they orbit, as both condense out of the same cloud of interstellar matter, so nearly all stars in all galaxies have planets - in planets—in which situation the Eddorians would be spoilt for choice and could just as easily have settled in a galaxy so distant that even the Arisians wouldn't realise they were there.



* Robert Heinlein again. In ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'' the planet Sanctuary has very low radiation level and colonists supposedly risked to "[[EvolutionaryLevels stay frozen at their present level while the rest of the human race moves on past them]]", but "it's a bit safer -- leukemia and some types of cancer are almost unknown there". While "[[AlienKudzu more advanced]]" Terran wheat [[AlienKudzu beats local weeds]]. There are problems. First, usual set of bugs with EvolutionaryLevels. Second, while major radiation poisoning causes particular forms of cancer, there's no compelling reason to tie most cases to the ''normal'' radiation background. Third, a result of the previous two: conditions for evolutionary ''adaptation'' include gamma rays just like everything else, so modern radiobiology pulled the low end of the scale out of OvenLogic.[[note]]It's better known for the plants, as their optimums are already orders of magnitude higher, so fallout levels dangerous to humans may still be stimulating to them. For algae, it was known from 1898, the "radiation hormesis" hypothesis appeared in 1981 or so, and at least from 1983 it's about specific numbers [[http://www.biomedexperts.com/Abstract.bme/6844555/Possible_effect_of_natural_background_radiation_on_the_development_of_mammals for mammals]].[[/note]] E.g. rats grown (not even born) in a low radioactive background have health and development problems, thus ''some'' background seems desirable. Sanctuary's choice could boil down to "eat radioactive isotopes or slowly die out". There is some discussion in the book about detonating nuclear weapons on a regular basis to increase the background radiation, but there is a difference between steady but low-level radiation and acute, high levels.

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* Robert Heinlein again. In ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'' the planet Sanctuary has very low radiation level and colonists supposedly risked to "[[EvolutionaryLevels stay frozen at their present level while the rest of the human race moves on past them]]", but "it's a bit safer -- leukemia safer—leukemia and some types of cancer are almost unknown there". While "[[AlienKudzu more advanced]]" Terran wheat [[AlienKudzu beats local weeds]]. There are problems. First, usual set of bugs with EvolutionaryLevels. Second, while major radiation poisoning causes particular forms of cancer, there's no compelling reason to tie most cases to the ''normal'' radiation background. Third, a result of the previous two: conditions for evolutionary ''adaptation'' include gamma rays just like everything else, so modern radiobiology pulled the low end of the scale out of OvenLogic.[[note]]It's better known for the plants, as their optimums are already orders of magnitude higher, so fallout levels dangerous to humans may still be stimulating to them. For algae, it was known from 1898, the "radiation hormesis" hypothesis appeared in 1981 or so, and at least from 1983 it's about specific numbers [[http://www.biomedexperts.com/Abstract.bme/6844555/Possible_effect_of_natural_background_radiation_on_the_development_of_mammals for mammals]].[[/note]] E.g. rats grown (not even born) in a low radioactive background have health and development problems, thus ''some'' background seems desirable. Sanctuary's choice could boil down to "eat radioactive isotopes or slowly die out". There is some discussion in the book about detonating nuclear weapons on a regular basis to increase the background radiation, but there is a difference between steady but low-level radiation and acute, high levels.



* ''Webcomic/OneOverZero'': in an early plotline, [[http://www.undefined.net/1/0/?strip=285 Terra the earthworm is forced to the surface during a rainstorm to avoid drowning.]] However, it is now known that earthworms do not drown in moist soil -- in fact, [[http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-earthworms-surface-after-rain they can survive for several days fully submerged in water.]]

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* ''Webcomic/OneOverZero'': in an early plotline, [[http://www.undefined.net/1/0/?strip=285 Terra the earthworm is forced to the surface during a rainstorm to avoid drowning.]] However, it is now known that earthworms do not drown in moist soil -- in soil—in fact, [[http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-earthworms-surface-after-rain they can survive for several days fully submerged in water.]]



** Genetic studies also introduced problems in that not all taxa are equal. Let's take the most well-known example - the different groups of vertebrates (Kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata), such as Mammalia, Reptilia, Aves (birds), and Amphibia. The problem here is that they didn't diverge at the same time, and so these groups are not a dependable way to distinguish amount of genetic difference, i.e. what ''actually'' differentiates species. The common ancestral species of amphibians diverged from the common mammal-reptile ancestor before mammals and reptiles diverged from each other, and birds are technically a subset of reptiles according to genetics, only considered different due to morphology. Therefore, if the proper way to denote an amphibian is Animalia Chordata Amphibia etc. etc., the proper way to denote a bird while still maintaining accuracy would be Animalia Chordata Reptilia-Mammalia Reptilia Aves. That's a mess, and we're only up to the class! Likewise, within mammals, the common ancestor of monotremes (such as platypi) diverged from the placental-marsupial common ancestor before placentals (e.g. humans, dogs) and marsupials (e.g. kangaroos) diverged from each other, making them not on the same level. For these reasons, classical taxonomy is beginning to be abandoned.

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** Genetic studies also introduced problems in that not all taxa are equal. Let's take the most well-known example - the example—the different groups of vertebrates (Kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata), such as Mammalia, Reptilia, Aves (birds), and Amphibia. The problem here is that they didn't diverge at the same time, and so these groups are not a dependable way to distinguish amount of genetic difference, i.e. what ''actually'' differentiates species. The common ancestral species of amphibians diverged from the common mammal-reptile ancestor before mammals and reptiles diverged from each other, and birds are technically a subset of reptiles according to genetics, only considered different due to morphology. Therefore, if the proper way to denote an amphibian is Animalia Chordata Amphibia etc. etc., the proper way to denote a bird while still maintaining accuracy would be Animalia Chordata Reptilia-Mammalia Reptilia Aves. That's a mess, and we're only up to the class! Likewise, within mammals, the common ancestor of monotremes (such as platypi) diverged from the placental-marsupial common ancestor before placentals (e.g. humans, dogs) and marsupials (e.g. kangaroos) diverged from each other, making them not on the same level. For these reasons, classical taxonomy is beginning to be abandoned.



* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ConanTheBarbarian story "The Slithering Shadows", gems fused with radium glow -- except that the light can be turned on and off by rubbing them.

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* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ConanTheBarbarian story "The Slithering Shadows", gems fused with radium glow -- except glow—except that the light can be turned on and off by rubbing them.



* The LostWorld -- even MagicalLand -- is situated just outside the bounds of known geography. Geography tramples all over these and has for millennia.

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* The LostWorld -- even MagicalLand -- is LostWorld—even MagicalLand—is situated just outside the bounds of known geography. Geography tramples all over these and has for millennia.



* Martin Gardner's short story ''[[http://kasmana.people.cofc.edu/MATHFICT/mfview.php?callnumber=mf100 The Island Of Five Colors]]'' is about the - then unproved - [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_color_theorem Four Color Theorem]] being proven false. Since the theorem has been proven true in RealLife, the story is no longer included in later collections, and Gardner claimed that "the tale is now as dated as a story about Martians or about the twilight zone of Mercury".

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* Martin Gardner's short story ''[[http://kasmana.people.cofc.edu/MATHFICT/mfview.php?callnumber=mf100 The Island Of Five Colors]]'' is about the - then unproved - [[http://en.the—then unproved—[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_color_theorem Four Color Theorem]] being proven false. Since the theorem has been proven true in RealLife, the story is no longer included in later collections, and Gardner claimed that "the tale is now as dated as a story about Martians or about the twilight zone of Mercury".



** Fermat's Last Theorem was indeed proven in 1995 -- but it was done using advanced mathematical techniques invented in the 19th and 20th centuries of which Fermat could not have known. Fermat's original "truly marvelous" proof remains a mystery -- though there is reason to believe that if he had indeed discovered a simple proof, he later realised that it was flawed, abandoned work on it when the flaws proved irreparable, and then disposed of the workings some time before he died.

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** Fermat's Last Theorem was indeed proven in 1995 -- but 1995—but it was done using advanced mathematical techniques invented in the 19th and 20th centuries of which Fermat could not have known. Fermat's original "truly marvelous" proof remains a mystery -- though mystery—though there is reason to believe that if he had indeed discovered a simple proof, he later realised that it was flawed, abandoned work on it when the flaws proved irreparable, and then disposed of the workings some time before he died.



* In the 1950's scifi classic ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951'', two doctors sit and discuss Klaatu's race's amazing health care - ''as they both smoke cigarettes inside the hospital''.

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* In the 1950's scifi classic ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951'', two doctors sit and discuss Klaatu's race's amazing health care - ''as care—''as they both smoke cigarettes inside the hospital''.



* Creator/LFrankBaum's [[Literature/LandOfOz Oz book]] ''The Patchwork Girl of Oz'' features a subterranean race called the Horners who attribute all the wonders of their society and long-lasting good health to a miracle substance called ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium radium]]''. Made all the more tragic by the many, many real-life cases of anemia and cancer due to people actually believing radium, a radioactive element, was a cure for everything -- some people even ''brushed their teeth'' with radium-laced toothpaste.
* ''Literature/TheDraculaTape'', Creator/FredSaberhagen's snarky PerspectiveFlip of Bram Stoker's ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'', [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on the fact that Lucy Westenra receives blood transfusions from four different people. The initial scientific discovery of blood type groups came four years after the original novel was published, so Saberhagen's Count -- as something of an expert on matters of blood by necessity -- turns her into a vampire only to save her from immediate death brought on by the inevitable complications, of which van Helsing's companions, if not necessarily the doctor himself, were blissfully unaware. (It's actually implied that van Helsing, a rather less heroic figure in the retelling, may have inadvertently killed other patients in this fashion before.)

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* Creator/LFrankBaum's [[Literature/LandOfOz Oz book]] ''The Patchwork Girl of Oz'' features a subterranean race called the Horners who attribute all the wonders of their society and long-lasting good health to a miracle substance called ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium radium]]''. Made all the more tragic by the many, many real-life cases of anemia and cancer due to people actually believing radium, a radioactive element, was a cure for everything -- some everything—some people even ''brushed their teeth'' with radium-laced toothpaste.
* ''Literature/TheDraculaTape'', Creator/FredSaberhagen's snarky PerspectiveFlip of Bram Stoker's ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'', [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on the fact that Lucy Westenra receives blood transfusions from four different people. The initial scientific discovery of blood type groups came four years after the original novel was published, so Saberhagen's Count -- as Count—as something of an expert on matters of blood by necessity -- turns necessity—turns her into a vampire only to save her from immediate death brought on by the inevitable complications, of which van Helsing's companions, if not necessarily the doctor himself, were blissfully unaware. (It's actually implied that van Helsing, a rather less heroic figure in the retelling, may have inadvertently killed other patients in this fashion before.)



** Bloodletting ''does'' work in certain specific circumstances - such as the relief of laminitis in horses (who of course are not susceptible to placebo effects). One of Creator/JamesHerriot's books describes his horse-expert boss doing it to a pony suffering from severe acute laminitis, to the astonished horror of both Herriot himself and the gipsies who owned the pony. It worked.

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** Bloodletting ''does'' work in certain specific circumstances - such circumstances—such as the relief of laminitis in horses (who of course are not susceptible to placebo effects). One of Creator/JamesHerriot's books describes his horse-expert boss doing it to a pony suffering from severe acute laminitis, to the astonished horror of both Herriot himself and the gipsies who owned the pony. It worked.



* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has two prominent mentions of ''Brontosaurus'' in the 1970s - a small one in the Fourth Doctor's "The brontosaurus is large and placid... and stupid!" speech (which at least has the excuse that [[TalkativeLoon he had no grasp of reality at the time]]), and a big one in "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" where a ''Brontosaurus'' is one of the main dinos encountered. While originally inaccurate, a study published in 2015 has concluded that [[AccidentallyAccurate Doctor Who was actually right all along!]]

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* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has two prominent mentions of ''Brontosaurus'' in the 1970s - a 1970s—a small one in the Fourth Doctor's "The brontosaurus is large and placid... and stupid!" speech (which at least has the excuse that [[TalkativeLoon he had no grasp of reality at the time]]), and a big one in "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" where a ''Brontosaurus'' is one of the main dinos encountered. While originally inaccurate, a study published in 2015 has concluded that [[AccidentallyAccurate Doctor Who was actually right all along!]]



* At the time of its creation, ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' actually took several pains to be accurate (disregarding a few [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology temporal mishaps]]). Now, a large portion of its portrayals-- its elephant-footed ''Brontosaurus'', single-horned infant ''Triceratops'',PteroSoarer ''Pteranodon'' and primarilly aquatic ''Saurolophus'' -- are outdated.

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* At the time of its creation, ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' actually took several pains to be accurate (disregarding a few [[ArtisticLicensePaleontology temporal mishaps]]). Now, a large portion of its portrayals-- its elephant-footed ''Brontosaurus'', single-horned infant ''Triceratops'',PteroSoarer ''Triceratops'', PteroSoarer ''Pteranodon'' and primarilly primarily aquatic ''Saurolophus'' -- are ''Saurolophus''—are outdated.



** Interestingly enough, the film ''was'' originally going to have an accurate (for the time) Tyrannosaurus rex. Paleontologists hired as consultants for the film insisted that the T.rex be portrayed with only two fingers. WaltDisney stated that the ''T.rex'' should have three fingers in the film because he believed that audiences wouldn't be able to recognize it otherwise. Amusingly, this makes it a reasonably accurate ''Allosaurus'', which actually existed at the same time as Stegosaurus, so the two mistakes cancelled to make it an accurate depiction.

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** Interestingly enough, the film ''was'' originally going to have an accurate (for the time) Tyrannosaurus rex. ''Tyrannosaurus rex''. Paleontologists hired as consultants for the film insisted that the T.rex ''T. rex'' be portrayed with only two fingers. WaltDisney stated that the ''T. rex'' should have three fingers in the film because he believed that audiences wouldn't be able to recognize it otherwise. Amusingly, this makes it a reasonably accurate ''Allosaurus'', which actually existed at the same time as Stegosaurus, so the two mistakes cancelled to make it an accurate depiction.



** In 1879, paleontologist Othniel Marsh misidentified an ''Apatosaurus'' (deceptive lizard) skeleton as a new genus, which he named ''"Brontosaurus"'' (thunder lizard). The error was pointed out in ''1903'', but the newer name proved more persistent in pop culture; even when the more proper term is discussed, it's often related as if Science only recently Marched On. (E.g. this [[http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/070815.html ''Sheldon'' strip]]). There is a loophole in the form of a grandfather clause: "The prevailing usage must be maintained" when "the senior synonym or homonym has not been used as a valid name after 1899" and "the junior synonym or homonym has been used for a particular taxon, as its presumed valid name, in at least 25 works, published by at least 10 authors in the immediately preceding 50 years". Looks like "Brontosaurus" missed by only a few years, but thank goodness ''Tyrannosaurus rex'' slipped in, otherwise we would be calling him "Manospondylus gigas".

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** In 1879, paleontologist Othniel Marsh misidentified an ''Apatosaurus'' (deceptive lizard) skeleton as a new genus, which he named ''"Brontosaurus"'' (thunder lizard). The error was pointed out in ''1903'', but the newer name proved more persistent in pop culture; even when the more proper term is discussed, it's often related as if Science only recently Marched On. (E.On (e.g. this [[http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/070815.html ''Sheldon'' strip]]). There is a loophole in the form of a grandfather clause: "The prevailing usage must be maintained" when "the senior synonym or homonym has not been used as a valid name after 1899" and "the junior synonym or homonym has been used for a particular taxon, as its presumed valid name, in at least 25 works, published by at least 10 authors in the immediately preceding 50 years". Looks like "Brontosaurus" missed by only a few years, but thank goodness ''Tyrannosaurus rex'' slipped in, otherwise we would be calling him "Manospondylus gigas".



** The ''Brontosaurus'' was also provided with an incorrect skull -- a ''Camarasaurus'' skull that Marsh incorrectly figured would be close enough to what its real skull probably looked like -- but, contrary to popular belief, this problem is entirely unrelated to its being renamed. It wasn't even definitively proven until 1970 that the skull was incorrect.

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** The ''Brontosaurus'' was also provided with an incorrect skull -- a skull—a ''Camarasaurus'' skull that Marsh incorrectly figured would be close enough to what its real skull probably looked like -- but, like—but, contrary to popular belief, this problem is entirely unrelated to its being renamed. It wasn't even definitively proven until 1970 that the skull was incorrect.



** His editors decided to call the whole "series" ''Future History''. His story "Blowups Happen" centered around a nuclear power plant consisting of a ''solid two and a half ton ball'' of uranium-235. Blowups don't just happen, but are ''inevitable'' when you try to exceed critical mass (in this case, 52kg). Considering that the story was written in 1940 and Fermi wouldn't even get to the University of Chicago for his famous experiment until 1942, he can probably be forgiven. Considering also that Heisenberg himself - yes, that guy, and a number of other nuclear scientists - also thought the same thing - supposedly Heisenberg's 1940 calculations on the "random walk" principle gave him a figure two tons for sustained criticality.

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** His editors decided to call the whole "series" ''Future History''. His story "Blowups Happen" centered around a nuclear power plant consisting of a ''solid two and a half ton ball'' of uranium-235. Blowups don't just happen, but are ''inevitable'' when you try to exceed critical mass (in this case, 52kg). Considering that the story was written in 1940 and Fermi wouldn't even get to the University of Chicago for his famous experiment until 1942, he can probably be forgiven. Considering also that Heisenberg himself - yes, himself—yes, that guy, and a number of other nuclear scientists - also scientists—also thought the same thing - supposedly thing—supposedly Heisenberg's 1940 calculations on the "random walk" principle gave him a figure two tons for sustained criticality.



** Also, the first novel, ''Triplanetary'', had [[StarfishAliens fish-like]] aliens (more indifferent to humanity than actively hostile) raiding near-ish future Earth to steal ''iron'' to fuel their atomic star drives. Humans rapidly copied their tech and developed atomic iron star drives of their own. The problem is that there are two ways of getting energy out of atoms; fuse light ones together, or split heavy ones apart. As atoms' weights move away from the extreme light and heavy ends you get less and less energy out as you fuse or split them, and in the middle there's an element that's the atomic energy equivalent of a deflated balloon; fusing or splitting it releases no energy, and you actually need to pump energy in to change it in any way at all. That element is iron - the absolute worst possible choice for a nuclear fuel. At the time the specifics of the nuclear binding energy curve wouldn't have been well known, so there's every chance Smith chose iron simply because we use a lot of it on Earth, making it a good candidate for a material avaricious aliens might want to steal.
** Complete mass to energy conversion is also possible by the mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter. This concept does appear in the Lensman series in the form of the negasphere, which is essentially a planet-sized sphere of antimatter which is used to "eat" planets (in the process disappearing itself). In terms of Science Marches On, this point is affected by Smith's idea of antimatter being much closer to the tentative ideas that Dirac came up with when first considering the concept than to the modern conception of antimatter. It is also affected by Smith plain getting it wrong, in that while he correctly states that the energy is released in the form of floods of energetic gamma rays, he does not envisage these as having any effect other than radiation poisoning for anyone nearby - whereas in reality the gamma rays would be absorbed by nearby matter and their energy converted into heat, resulting in a massive explosion as opposed to the spooky silent disappearance of matter which the books describe.

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** Also, the first novel, ''Triplanetary'', had [[StarfishAliens fish-like]] aliens (more indifferent to humanity than actively hostile) raiding near-ish future Earth to steal ''iron'' to fuel their atomic star drives. Humans rapidly copied their tech and developed atomic iron star drives of their own. The problem is that there are two ways of getting energy out of atoms; fuse light ones together, or split heavy ones apart. As atoms' weights move away from the extreme light and heavy ends you get less and less energy out as you fuse or split them, and in the middle there's an element that's the atomic energy equivalent of a deflated balloon; fusing or splitting it releases no energy, and you actually need to pump energy in to change it in any way at all. That element is iron - the iron—the absolute worst possible choice for a nuclear fuel. At the time the specifics of the nuclear binding energy curve wouldn't have been well known, so there's every chance Smith chose iron simply because we use a lot of it on Earth, making it a good candidate for a material avaricious aliens might want to steal.
** Complete mass to energy conversion is also possible by the mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter. This concept does appear in the Lensman series in the form of the negasphere, which is essentially a planet-sized sphere of antimatter which is used to "eat" planets (in the process disappearing itself). In terms of Science Marches On, this point is affected by Smith's idea of antimatter being much closer to the tentative ideas that Dirac came up with when first considering the concept than to the modern conception of antimatter. It is also affected by Smith plain getting it wrong, in that while he correctly states that the energy is released in the form of floods of energetic gamma rays, he does not envisage these as having any effect other than radiation poisoning for anyone nearby - whereas nearby—whereas in reality the gamma rays would be absorbed by nearby matter and their energy converted into heat, resulting in a massive explosion as opposed to the spooky silent disappearance of matter which the books describe.



* Creator/IsaacAsimov cited this (in the foreword to the book) as one of the reasons why he decided to write ''[[FantasticVoyagePlot Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain]]'' (despite the name, it is pretty much a remake) -- the novelization to [[Film/FantasticVoyage the movie]] had been as scientifically accurate as he could make it within the confines of the movie's plot, but that had been in 1966, and by 1987 some of the biology and physics were dated (the ''other'' reason was, of course, that he could veer farther from the movie's plot and therefore fix ''even more'' problems).

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* Creator/IsaacAsimov cited this (in the foreword to the book) as one of the reasons why he decided to write ''[[FantasticVoyagePlot Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain]]'' (despite the name, it is pretty much a remake) -- the remake)—the novelization to [[Film/FantasticVoyage the movie]] had been as scientifically accurate as he could make it within the confines of the movie's plot, but that had been in 1966, and by 1987 some of the biology and physics were dated (the ''other'' reason was, of course, that he could veer farther from the movie's plot and therefore fix ''even more'' problems).



** The main antagonists, the Baramins of Lemuria, have a tendency to believe in outdated scientific, philosophical and/or political theories (ranging the Luminiferous aether to still being upset that Aristotle’s organon replaced Platonic philosophy!). They don't realize their inventions are powered by their own madness; they just think something went wrong with human development, and work constantly to “fix” it. Which is a problem if you're one of the people that needs fixing...

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** The main antagonists, the Baramins of Lemuria, have a tendency to believe in outdated scientific, philosophical and/or political theories (ranging the from Luminiferous aether to still being upset that Aristotle’s organon replaced Platonic philosophy!). They don't realize their inventions are powered by their own madness; they just think something went wrong with human development, and work constantly to “fix” "fix" it. Which is a problem if you're one of the people that needs fixing...



*** Which is a ScienceMarchesOn in itself, the science being history. Back in the time the project was mired in the huge political debate of which barely a couple of percents of its participants understood what it was about. Nowadays, however, the picture has became much more clear, and nowhere in the project the rerouting of the rivers were mentioned -- it was all the invention of journalists seeking the flashy tites. Instead, barely a percent of the river flow was to be turned down south, incidentally ''saving the very Aral sea'' mentioned below: the great Siberian rivers dwarf the Central Asian ones, and even a small percentage of their flow equals both the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya.

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*** Which is a ScienceMarchesOn in itself, the science being history. Back in the time the project was mired in the huge political debate of which barely a couple of percents of its participants understood what it was about. Nowadays, however, the picture has became much more clear, and nowhere in the project the rerouting of the rivers were mentioned -- it mentioned—it was all the invention of journalists seeking the flashy tites.titles. Instead, barely a percent of the river flow was to be turned down south, incidentally ''saving the very Aral sea'' mentioned below: the great Siberian rivers dwarf the Central Asian ones, and even a small percentage of their flow equals both the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya.
17th Jun '16 8:42:11 PM Doug86
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* ''OneOverZero'': in an early plotline, [[http://www.undefined.net/1/0/?strip=285 Terra the earthworm is forced to the surface during a rainstorm to avoid drowning.]] However, it is now known that earthworms do not drown in moist soil -- in fact, [[http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-earthworms-surface-after-rain they can survive for several days fully submerged in water.]]

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* ''OneOverZero'': ''Webcomic/OneOverZero'': in an early plotline, [[http://www.undefined.net/1/0/?strip=285 Terra the earthworm is forced to the surface during a rainstorm to avoid drowning.]] However, it is now known that earthworms do not drown in moist soil -- in fact, [[http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-earthworms-surface-after-rain they can survive for several days fully submerged in water.]]
14th Jun '16 6:53:49 PM Nicoaln
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* ''WesternAnimation/TheMagicSchoolBus'' (as well as the tie-in video game and the books) depicts Pluto inaccurately compared to today's understanding:
** No "Heart", and it is depicted as being blue... which to be fair was an accurate representation of hypotheses surrounding Pluto's appearance at the time.
** Only Charon appears as its moon - the other four weren't discovered until about ten years after their releases.
** And most importantly, it's considered a planet.
11th Jun '16 12:22:45 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''TheMartianChronicles'' by Creator/RayBradbury.

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* ''TheMartianChronicles'' ''Literature/TheMartianChronicles'' by Creator/RayBradbury.
8th Jun '16 11:17:16 AM Morgenthaler
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* In Clarke's novel ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001]]'', it's stated that samples of moon rock and dust apparently proved that the Moon was never part of Earth. In fact, real world Moon samples provided proof that the opposite was true. Clarke also expressed embarrassment about predicting the first moon landing in the mid-'70s in the same novel.

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* In Clarke's novel ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey ''[[Literature/TheSpaceOdysseySeries 2001]]'', it's stated that samples of moon rock and dust apparently proved that the Moon was never part of Earth. In fact, real world Moon samples provided proof that the opposite was true. Clarke also expressed embarrassment about predicting the first moon landing in the mid-'70s in the same novel.



* When Creator/StanleyKubrick moved ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' from Saturn to Jupiter, he did so because he couldn't pull off the special effects for a realistic depiction of Saturn. Then the Voyager probes in 1979 discovered that one of Jupiter's moons, Europa, has a huge amount of ice, and eventually found a subsurface ocean that makes Europa more likely to harbor life than Mars. This inspired ArthurCClarke to eventually write ''three more novels'', making Europa the central setting of the series.

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* When Creator/StanleyKubrick moved ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' from Saturn to Jupiter, he did so because he couldn't pull off the special effects for a realistic depiction of Saturn. Then the Voyager probes in 1979 discovered that one of Jupiter's moons, Europa, has a huge amount of ice, and eventually found a subsurface ocean that makes Europa more likely to harbor life than Mars. This inspired ArthurCClarke to eventually write ''three more novels'', making Europa the central setting of the series.
6th Jun '16 5:16:21 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'' [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is a story about men of science journeying to the center of the planet]] that was written before any definite theories were made in regards to Earth's interior. The book (and subsequent film adaptations) depicted the center of the Earth as a large ocean in a world inhabited by long-extinct prehistoric life forms, which is accessible through a series of caverns starting with an extinct volcano. On the other hand, the narrator, Axel, who is a geology student, repeatedly [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] how incompatible is [[ThisIsReality their journey]] with then current scientific theories. More an example of the {{Rule of Cool}} and {{Artistic License Geology}}.

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* ''JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'' ''Literature/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'' [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is a story about men of science journeying to the center of the planet]] that was written before any definite theories were made in regards to Earth's interior. The book (and subsequent film adaptations) depicted the center of the Earth as a large ocean in a world inhabited by long-extinct prehistoric life forms, which is accessible through a series of caverns starting with an extinct volcano. On the other hand, the narrator, Axel, who is a geology student, repeatedly [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] how incompatible is [[ThisIsReality their journey]] with then current scientific theories. More an example of the {{Rule of Cool}} and {{Artistic License Geology}}.



* In ''[[SherlockHolmes The Hound of the Baskervilles]]'', Watson ponders the Neolithic stone artifacts of Dartmoor and feels a bit sorry for their builders, whom he presumes had been forced onto such poor land by aggressive neighbors. It's now understood that millennia of human agriculture ''created'' the acidic soil conditions in Devon, which had previously been covered in forests.

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* In ''[[SherlockHolmes The Hound of the Baskervilles]]'', ''Literature/TheHoundOfTheBaskervilles'', Watson ponders the Neolithic stone artifacts of Dartmoor and feels a bit sorry for their builders, whom he presumes had been forced onto such poor land by aggressive neighbors. It's now understood that millennia of human agriculture ''created'' the acidic soil conditions in Devon, which had previously been covered in forests.
16th May '16 8:58:44 AM MorganBaines
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* Recent studies have shown ''Spinosaurus'' has a more bizarre anatomy than previously thought: its pelvis and hindlegs were ridiculously small making it slow and ungainly on land and its sail had a notch similar to that of its relative ''Icthyovenator'' (though others have suggested a shallower, more gradual [[https://qilong.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/spinosaurus-a-hint/ sail]]) .
26th Apr '16 4:36:12 PM Naram-Sin
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[[AC:Film]]
* The first ''Film/PlanetOfTheApes1968'' movie kept the "chimps are intelligent and kind-hearted, gorillas are aggressive brutes" idea from the novel and portrayed the former as heroic scientists and civilians and the latter as more or less villainous soldiers and hunters. By the time the [[Film/PlanetOfTheApes2001 2001 "reimagining"]] was produced, the idea had been so thoroughly debunked that make-up artist Rick Baker pressed Creator/TimBurton to change the villainous General Thade from the script's KillerGorilla to a [[ManiacMonkeys chimpanzee]]. The second reboot ''Film/RiseOfThePlanetOfTheApes'' still uses gorillas as shock troops, but Buck is portrayed as a misunderstood creature with UndyingLoyalty to Caesar [[spoiler: and is given a HeroicSacrifice.]]



* The horrors of WorldWarTwo made many anthropologists of the 50s drop the idea that HumansAreSpecial, intelligent, tool-maker conquerors of Nature (see Literature section) and switch to HumansAreBastards instead, the only primate that is a carnivorous, egotistical, weapon-making killer beast that loves violence and is doomed to destroy itself. The influence of this idea can be noted in Pierre Boulle's novel ''[[Literature/PlanetOfTheApes La Planete des Singes]]'', which would later inspire the ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' movies, as apes were then regarded as what "we" should have been before becoming homicidal beasts: peaceful leaf-eaters sitting in the rainforest, and that once we've wiped us out ourselves they'd build a real harmonious civilization. However, when primatologists actually began to study ape communities in the wild in the 1960s they found that apes (especially chimpanzees) weren't that peaceful in reality and actually had their share of hunting, fights for supremacy, stealing, rape, infanticide, war and cannibalism. As [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Goodall Jane Goodall]] once declared (paraphrasing): "I came thinking that apes were better than us, and I discovered that they were just the same".

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* The horrors of WorldWarTwo made many anthropologists of the 50s drop the idea that HumansAreSpecial, intelligent, tool-maker conquerors of Nature (see Literature section) and switch to HumansAreBastards instead, the only primate that is a carnivorous, egotistical, weapon-making killer beast that loves violence and is doomed to destroy itself. The influence of this idea can be noted in Pierre Boulle's novel ''[[Literature/PlanetOfTheApes La Planete des Singes]]'', which would later inspire the ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' movies, as apes were then regarded as what "we" should have been before becoming homicidal beasts: peaceful leaf-eaters sitting in the rainforest, and that once we've wiped us out ourselves they'd build a real harmonious civilization. However, when primatologists actually began to study ape communities in the wild in the 1960s they found that apes (especially chimpanzees) weren't that peaceful in reality and actually had their share of hunting, fights for supremacy, stealing, rape, infanticide, war and cannibalism. As [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Goodall Jane Goodall]] once declared (paraphrasing): "I came thinking that apes were better than us, and I discovered that they were just the same".
23rd Apr '16 12:52:20 AM Khathi
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Added DiffLines:


[[AC:Main/VideoGames]]
* Much of the plot and drama in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' hangs on the Quarians' weak immune systems that forces them to live in the enviro-suits and all. This is actually a solid science, based on the (fortunately exceedingly rare) RealLife condition... which we seeminghly has just learned how to heal. In 2016. With no aliens in sight. Here goes half of the story.


Added DiffLines:

*** Which is a ScienceMarchesOn in itself, the science being history. Back in the time the project was mired in the huge political debate of which barely a couple of percents of its participants understood what it was about. Nowadays, however, the picture has became much more clear, and nowhere in the project the rerouting of the rivers were mentioned -- it was all the invention of journalists seeking the flashy tites. Instead, barely a percent of the river flow was to be turned down south, incidentally ''saving the very Aral sea'' mentioned below: the great Siberian rivers dwarf the Central Asian ones, and even a small percentage of their flow equals both the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya.
20th Apr '16 2:01:41 PM RainbowPhoenix
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* The Great Astronomy Mess Up, namely [[PlutoisExpendable the demotion of Pluto]] to dwarf planet status (and the lesser-known promotion of Ceres and Eris from asteroid to dwarf planet status), dealt quite a blow to stories in which Pluto was still called a planet in the future, such as ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Not all astronomers are happy with the classification; it's quite possible that it might change back at some point in the future. This is scant comfort to TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture shows, though...

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* The Great Astronomy Mess Up, namely [[PlutoisExpendable the demotion of Pluto]] to dwarf planet status (and the lesser-known promotion of Ceres and Eris Ceres, which had itself [[OlderThanTheyThink spent fifty years as a planet before being demoted for the exact same reason Pluto was]], from asteroid to dwarf planet status), dealt quite a blow to stories in which Pluto was still called a planet in the future, such as ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Not all astronomers are happy with the classification; it's quite possible that it might change back at some point in the future. This is scant comfort to TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture shows, though...



*** In fact, the issue of Pluto's classification was forced by the discovery of an object that was both larger and more distant and was thus immediately labeled by the media as the solar system's tenth planet.

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*** In fact, the issue of Pluto's classification was forced by the discovery of an object that was both larger and more distant and was thus immediately labeled by the media as the solar system's tenth planet. Said object was appropriately named Eris, for the Goddess of Discord.



** As of 2016, astronomers think there might be a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_Nine ninth planet]] out there after all.

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** As of 2016, astronomers think there might be a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_Nine ninth planet]] out there after all.
all. As this planet's existence is inferred from its influence on small objects beyond the Kuiper Belt, there is little risk that it will be demoted later.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ScienceMarchesOn