History

Everything We Know Is Wrong

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Two more reminders that a great deal of what we "know" about the world is speculative, unsettled, or just plain inaccurate:

* The settlement now called Istanbul is apparently 6,000 years older than previously believed.

* The Milky Way Galaxy is apparently 50 percent more massive than previously believed.

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  1. The settlement now called Istanbul is apparently 6,000 years older than previously believed.

    Why does the age of Istanbul get the works? That’s nobody’s business but the Turks’.

  2. The settlement now called Istanbul is apparently 6,000 years older than previously believed

    That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows the Earth is only about 6,000 years old. Istanbul can’t be older than the Earth.

  3. The weight of new discoveries in Turkey over the past couple of decades might require us to revise the Mesopotamian-centric vision of how civilization arose.

  4. The Milky Way Galaxy is apparently 50 percent more massive than previously believed.

    Lay off the cheeseburgers, fatty

  5. Since we have had the obligatory creationist sneer, here’s a counter laugh:

    Junk DNA (at least approximately 33% of it) has been found to be not so junky after all, but integral to post-translation processing. In other news: so-called “vestigial” structures such as the appendix and tonsils are being found to be crucial to an integrated monitoring system for the body.

    There’s enough “scientific” arrogance go around and come back and bite us all in the butt, atheists and ID’ers alike.

  6. Why does the age of Istanbul get the works? That’s nobody’s business but the Turks’.

    Well, even old New York was once New Amsterdam.

    Why they changed it? I can’t say. People just liked it better that way!

  7. I knew both of those things, and you don’t see me blogging about it…

  8. jj,

    By what process have these new facts been discovered? Might it be science? Science attempts to explain the world using the evidence available. When new evidence comes to light that contradicts a previously held idea, the idea changes. Contrast that with creationists who ignore facts that contradict their preconceptions. Which side is more arrogant?

  9. It is difficult to determine the structure of the Milky Way because the Earth is inside it.

    I’M IN YR MILK
    STIRRIN IT

  10. An international team of researchers have used ten telescopes spread out between Hawaii, the Caribbean and the northeastern United States to determine that the Milky Way is rotating at a speed of 161,000 km/h faster than previously thought.

    We’ve been making accurate velocity measurements of bright celestial objects for over half a century now. Further, the galaxy rotates faster at the hub than at the rim. So the above claim makes no sense.

    “These measurements use the traditional surveyor’s method of triangulation and do not depend on any assumptions based on other properties, such as brightness,” Menten said. The direct measurements “are revising our understanding of the structure and motions of our Galaxy.”

    You can get a measurement of distance by triangulating from one side of the sun to the other, of objects in our galaxy. But the implication that we’ve been estimating distance by changes in brightness and that we now have some new way of measuring “directly” is shear poppycock.

    I don’t know what the Max Planck Institute is actually claiming, but this report is worthless.

  11. The Milky Way Galaxy is apparently 50 percent more massive than previously believed.

    If it was made of bacon instead of milk it would be much slimmer.

    Things you can learn on other threads here . . .

  12. The weight of new discoveries in Turkey over the past couple of decades might require us to revise the Mesopotamian-centric vision of how civilization arose.

    Would that be the Mesopotamian-centric view of civilization that’s been discredited for at least a decade now, in favor of agriculture and domestication of animals (and by extension, civilization) arising independently in 4-8 zones, separated by distance and culture?

    You’re betraying your age, grandpa :p

  13. You can get a measurement of distance by triangulating from one side of the sun to the other, of objects in our galaxy. But the implication that we’ve been estimating distance by changes in brightness and that we now have some new way of measuring “directly” is shear poppycock.

    The periodic changes in brightness of Cepheid variables is related to their maximum absolute brightness. By comparing that to their apparent magnitude, you can measure the distance to the Cepheid, and, if it’s in another galaxy or star cloud, the distance to that galaxy or star cluster.

  14. Shem,

    That’s why I wrote about the past couple of decades.

    The independent zones idea hasn’t supplanted the older narrative, but it continues to gain ground.

  15. Now get off my lawn! I was at San Juan Hill!

  16. What is the BMI of the milky way?

  17. PF,

    Idunno, but it must be pretty tiny with all that space between the globs of matter. Or are they strings now? Or membranes?

  18. This may mean that the Milky Way is the king of the Local Group and that our impending collision with Andromeda will result in us kicking Andromeda’s ass.

  19. Warren, I think that for certain very distant objects (too far away to show any detectable parallax, using previous means), people have used an assumption of the objects’ brightness to calculate their distance.

    More, with further links, here:

    http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=5410

  20. Meanwhile, back in the present day, almost everything that people have heard about this issue is wrong. And, that’s because hacks have continually misled about it.

    I tried to talk some sense into Weigel’s new editor, and it was like talking to a 20 year Sc|ent0l0gy veteran.

  21. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

  22. What do you think you’re going to accomplish, LoneWacko?

    Do you think you’re going to rephrase the statement “I don’t like the kerning on that birth certificate,” in some manner that will make us all slap our foreheads and go “Oh my God, that guy’s RIGHT!” or something?

  23. JFC, is that fake Obama citizenship issue still out there with the wackjobs? Try finding something of substance.

  24. Obama’s birth certificate “controversy” is such a lame conspiracy theory. The Vince Foster “suicide” one was way better – the incoming Democratic administration deserves a better class of wingnut conspiracy theorist than the likes of Lonewacko.

  25. If it weren’t for the fact that Biden would become president, I’d rather enjoy watching the sideshow if, in fact, Obama weren’t a natural born citizen of the United States. We deserve something crazy like that.

  26. LoneWacko is a ShitEating CockStain. That is all.

    I second Warty.

  27. As long as Peter Berg is still around, this is not going anywhere.

  28. make that Philip Berg.

    Peter Berg’s the dude that makes movies with handheld cameras.

  29. joe,

    Your 6:35 comment brought a smile to my lips.

    Ow, and Lonewacko, STFU, you are even more annoying than the other bickering/spoofing posters who have been dominating H&R lately… And that’s saying something.

  30. Istanbul was Constantinople
    Now it’s Istanbul not Constantinople
    Been a long time gone, Constantinople
    Why did Constantinople get the works?
    That’s nobody’s business but the Turks.

  31. In other news, we are 100% certain global warming is a huge problem driven by C02 levels, even though the proposed mechanism by which CO2 would cause warming

  32. TallDave,

    Had to go all the way back to 2004 Alabama to find that article did you?

  33. Had to go all the way back to 2004 Alabama to find that article did you?

    New information suggests Alabama didn’t exist in 2004.

  34. The settlement now called Istanbul is apparently 6,000 years older than previously believed.

    The Milky Way Galaxy is apparently 50 percent more massive than previously believed.

    Unless they are wrong this time.

    Also, its surprising after all these years that people still quote The Four Lads.

  35. robc,

    Be prepared for the flood of amazement about The Four Lads vs. They Must be Giants. I experienced this a few years ago right here on these tubes.

  36. I am more concerned that many of the things that “we” (meaning the general population) know about economics and government are wrong.

  37. Guy,

    Im well aware, I have done it before. And before anyone says it was a bigger hit for TMBG, they didnt chart with it, it went to #4 (IIRC) for The Four Lads.

  38. DSW,

    General Public never covered that song, that I know of anyway.

  39. I don’t know what the Max Planck Institute is actually claiming, but this report is worthless.

    And just about par for science reporting in the popular press, too.

    Not that I’m bitter or anything.

  40. Guy, my brother loves the TMBG version, yet I am loyal to the Four Lads.

    There might be one person on earth who prefers Britney Spears’ version of “Satisfaction” over DEVO’s cover or The Stones’ original. We must hunt that person down and kill them.

  41. MDNA,

    I have the shotgun if you have the shells.

    But her version is good with the sound off . . .

  42. wait till you hear about the unfunded liability for medicare, social security and private pensions. it’s over a quadrillion dollars.

  43. Holy shit, could it ne that markets aren’t self-correcting? Maybe information techonology now makes a planned economy feasible? Libertarians really are the halfwit assholes they appear to be?

  44. Obligatory creationist smear? That’s like an obligatory flat-earther smear. It is, yes, obligatory.

  45. I won’t resist pointing out that the Istanbul discovery was the result of Reason’s least-favorite human activity, a high-speed rail project. They’re digging a tunnel under the Bosphorus–dunno if they’re gonna call it the Xerxes Express, but here’s hopin’–which will be deeper and longer than the Paris-London Chunnel.

  46. And no wonder I missed the Milky Way article–it was in Cosmos, and I, of course, only read Cosmo.

  47. Surprise: known cosmotarian Jesse Walker, working for notorious cosmo publication “Reason”, post link to COSMO magazine site.

    Not really a surprise.

  48. Unless they are wrong this time.

    No, my statements are accurate even if the new claims prove inaccurate. God bless “apparently” and all its brother weasel-words.

  49. Tony,

    Had to go all the way back to 2004 Alabama to find that article did you?

    Five years and counting. I have yet to hear any plausible explanation.

    Hell, they still haven’t adequately explained why CO2 lags temperature increase by 800 years historically. The most plausible explanation is that CO2 is released from warming oceans, but that’s as problematic for the Al Gore crowd as the UAH data.

    But hey, what are a few little lies anyways? We’re saving the world!

  50. jesse walker do you use those weasel words when you write about your failing corrupt corporatist capitalist fascist system?

  51. The settlement now called Istanbul is apparently 6,000 years older than previously believed.

    In other words, everything we knew about the history of the place remains true, but now we know more.

    The Milky Way Galaxy is apparently 50 percent more massive than previously believed.

    In other words, beyond the parts of the galaxy we already knew about, there’s more.

    I fail to see what’s amazing about this, unless you were under the impression that we already knew everything.

  52. “The settlement now called Istanbul is apparently 6,000 years older than previously believed.”

    As far as I can glean from the article, all this proves is that there were people living there 6000 years before the known founding of the city. It is not known whether that settlement was continuous for the full six millenia. Especially, since these people lived there before the Black Sea was created, which was undoubtably an impressively traumatic natural disaster for anyone living on the proto-Sea of Marmara.

  53. In response to the title:

    Except for libertarian dogma, obviously.

    This is also a blatant crypto-swipe at Global Warming.

  54. I’m sure Jesse is aware that “how much of what you know is wrong” was the lead of a Reason promotional mailer in ?1982?.

  55. Oddly enough, everything you can think of is true.

  56. Right Wing Realist,

    That is so true.

  57. JFC, is that fake Obama citizenship issue still out there with the wackjobs?

    No, the “Obama is not a ‘natural born citizen’ ’cause his paw was a furriner” is all the rage now.

    So it doesn’t matter if the birth cert is fake at all.

  58. I was driving on the freeway in the fast lane
    With a rabid wolverine in my underwear
    When suddenly a guy behind me in the back seat
    Popped right up and cupped his hands across my eyes

    I guessed, “Is it Uncle Frank or Cousin Louie?”
    “Is it Bob or Joe or Walter?”
    “Could it be Bill or Jim or Ed or Bernie or Steve?”
    I probably would have kept on guessing
    But about that time we crashed into the truck

    And as I’m laying bleeding there on the asphalt
    Finally I recognize the face of my hibachi dealer
    Who takes off his prosthetic lips and tells me

    Everything you know is wrong
    Black is white, up is down and short is long
    And everything you thought was just so
    Important doesn’t matter

    Everything you know is wrong
    Just forget the words and sing along
    All you need to understand is
    Everything you know is wrong

    I was walkin’ to the kitchen for some Golden Grahams
    When I accidentally stepped into an alternate dimension
    And soon I was abducted by some aliens from space
    Who’s face kinda looked like Jamie Farr

    They sucked out my internal organs
    And they took some polaroids
    And said I was a darn good sport
    And as a way of saying thank you
    They offered to transport me back to
    Any point in history that I would care to go

    And so I had them send me back to last Thursday night
    So I could pay my phone bill on time
    Just then the floating disembodied head of
    Colonel Sanders started yelling

    Everything you know is wrong
    Black is white, up is down and short is long
    And everything you thought was just so
    Important doesn’t matter

    Everything you know is wrong
    Just forget the words and sing along
    All you need to understand is
    Everything you know is wrong

    (Instrumental)

    I was just about to mail a letter to my evil twin
    When I got a nasty papercut
    And, well, to make a long story short
    It got infected and I died

    So now I’m up in heaven with St. Peter
    By the pearly gates
    And it’s obvious he doesn’t like
    The Nehru jacket that I’m wearing
    He tells me that they’ve got a dress code

    Well, he lets me into heaven anyway
    But I get the room next to the noisy ice machine
    For all eternity
    And every day he runs by screaming

    Everything you know is wrong
    Black is white, up is down and short is long
    And everything you used to think was so important
    Doesn’t really matter anymore
    Because the simple fact remains that

    Everything you know is wrong
    Just forget the words and sing along
    All you need to understand is
    Everything you know is wrong
    Everything you know is wrong

  59. In other words, everything we knew about the history of the place remains true, but now we know more….In other words, beyond the parts of the galaxy we already knew about, there’s more.

    This must be a new use of the phrase “in other words” that I was previously unaware of.

    This is also a blatant crypto-swipe at Global Warming.

    Global warming didn’t even occur to me when I posted this. If I were aiming to discredit it this way, it would have been a pretty desperate argument.

  60. No more desperate than the usual efforts, though.

    Hey…we had a cold January once. Uh…uh…there was this one year that was really hot about ten years ago, and last wasn’t as hot.

    Look, socialists!

  61. Jesse,
    What is the point of the post?

    Do you consider Newton ‘wrong’ when he says:
    F = ma. After all Einstein has shown a new formulation that’s more accurate?

    If I say that the time is 11am and it’s really 10:42:31 is that ‘wrong’?

    If everything we know is wrong, wouldn’t that include your sentence? That gets silly pretty quickly.

    Are you implying that there’s not much to be gained by more research and more discoveries? Or that we should take nothing at face value?

    So what is your point? Please explain just why these new scientific results are of concern and why the fact that the consensus has changed is worth noting.

  62. Joe was on a role @9:41. Fell off soon after.

  63. “I tried to talk some sense into Weigel’s new editor, and it was like talking to a 20 year Sc|ent0l0gy veteran.”

    even fucking SoloWackolo is afraid of the scientologists!

    especially the MexicanScientologists!

  64. Hey…we had a cold January once. Uh…uh…there was this one year that was really hot about ten years ago, and last wasn’t as hot.

    Given the climate trends over the past ten years, it would be more accurate to place this kind of floundering in the mouths of the warmenistas:

    Hey…we had a warm January once. Uh…uh…there was this one year that was really hot about ten years ago, and, umm, last year wasn’t as hot, but never mind.

    Look, climate change!

  65. Yes, RC.

    While seven or eight of the last ten years will rank in the ten hottest years ever measured, the fact that annual temperature data hasn’t shifted to a constant smooth upward line means that there can’t be any global warming.

    Deep thawts from the denialists.

  66. the Istanbul discovery was the result of Reason’s least-favorite human activity, a high-speed rail project

    ‘Nothing wrong with rail projects, as long as there are undertaken without the theft of land, and with money voluntarily invested (for reasons of greed, altruism, or whatever).

    I mean, come on, this is pretty basic stuff, here.

  67. The weight of new discoveries in Turkey over the past couple of decades might require us to revise the Mesopotamian-centric vision of how civilization arose.

    joe, your Anatolian partisanship is really blatant in this post. You’re just carrying water for Constantinople, admit it.

    Oh, and I have a link to prove it…

  68. Do you consider Newton ‘wrong’ when he says:
    F = ma. After all Einstein has shown a new formulation that’s more accurate?

    In some ways wrong, in some ways right.

    If I say that the time is 11am and it’s really 10:42:31 is that ‘wrong’?

    Yes.

    If everything we know is wrong, wouldn’t that include your sentence?

    Indeed it would, Professor Paradox. But the title isn’t a literal-minded statement of fact. It’s a play on the well-known phrase “Everything you know is wrong.”

    Are you implying that there’s not much to be gained by more research and more discoveries?

    Of course not. Quite the opposite, actually.

    Or that we should take nothing at face value?

    That thought wasn’t on my mind.

    So what is your point?

    It’s spelled out right there in the first sentence of the post. Also, I thought the stories themselves were interesting enough to be worth linking to.

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