177

Euler did write this, but it was not a mistake! Euler's statement was correct under his own definition of the notation that he was using. I looked at the PDF version of Elements of Algebra linked to in SCappella's answer. Reading Section I, Chapter XIII, I found that Euler wrote that most numbers have two square roots, which matches the definition of the ...


116

No, but Johann Steiner did. As identified in the blog referenced in the question, Rudolf Steiner, the well-known polymath would only have been 14 in 1875, so is an unlikely author of the paper. Does this throw into question the very existence of the paper? Not necessarily - as also identified in the blog, there are many citations to the paper which don't ...


115

Genetic science in Mahabharata Prime Minister Modi claimed that genetic science and plastic surgery existed in Ancient India. source: “We all read about Karna in the Mahabharata. If we think a little more, we realise that the Mahabharata says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why ...


64

All of this is (mostly) true. Ciphers and anagrams in 17th century scientific writing Using anagrams and ciphers was a frequently used way to safeguard inventions and discoveries against intellectual theft in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. An early example can be found in a letter dated December 11, 1610 from Galileo Galilei to Johannes Kepler. The ...


48

The story appears to be mostly true. It was told by the niece of one of the men who participated in the early experiments. Note that these experiments were before there was even an experimental vaccine. They are still working on getting samples of the rabies virus. Any exposure to the rabies virus would have been a death sentence for the exposed person. ...


38

TL;DR: Alexander Graham Bell was concerned with fossil fuels running out, but not climate change per se. Bell was concerned about the inevitable depletion of fossil fuels — “What shall we do when we have no more coal and oil?” So in a 1917 article for National Geographic Magazine, he urged the development of renewable ethanol fuel from agricultural waste, ...


36

[I edited this answer in response to the helpful comments in the chats. Thanks to everyone for their feedback!] ##0. Introduction TLDR: No, none of the order of evaluation conventions changed since the 1600s. As detailed below, the only change during this period was to switch from "overbar" to parentheses to denote grouping. Writers sometimes ...


30

It's doubtful that this is an entirely accurate depiction because the vertical rotisserie depicted (no matter how powered) apparently was only invented in the 19th century, or at least we don't have evidence before.      On the other hand, that method of transmission is more like a steam turbine... and amusingly "In 1551, Taqi al-Din in Ottoman Egypt ...


26

Yes, Patrick Matthew recognized and published the basics of evolution by natural selection prior to Darwin. It is also well-known that Alfred Russell Wallace independently developed the same theory apart from, but at the same time, as Darwin. Neither Matthew nor Wallace, however, devoted a lifetime to researching and publishing a ground-breaking, full ...


25

Euler did argue that √-2 √-3 = √6. Whether this is a mistake depends a lot on context. This appears in Euler's 1770 publication Elements of Algebra in Section I., Chapter XIII. (pdf link). Moreover, as √a multiplied by √b makes √ab, we shall have √6 for the value of √-2 multiplied by √-3; and √4, or 2, for the value of the product of √-1 by √-4. Thus ...


19

No, he did not. Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (27 (or 25) February 1861 – 30 March 1925) was an Austrian, philosopher, social reformer, architect, esotericist and claimed clairvoyant. Rudolf Steiner was indeed born a bit late in 1861 for having authored a seminal paper in the history of medicine and even virology in 1875 at the age of 14. So, 'the doubting ...


17

Summary: I'd rate the first quote you gave 95% accurate, while the 2nd one only 5% or so, mainly because the bulk of McIntyre and McKitrick (MM henceforth) claims/attacks from their paper(s) turned out to be unfounded, while the small part of their criticism that was factual (and resulted in corrigendum from Mann et al.) turned out inconsequential with ...


17

There's low probability that Marić made a significant contribution to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, let alone that she co-authored it with him. From Einstein from 'B' to 'Z' by John Stachel: In summary, the letters to Marić show Einstein referring to his studies, his ideas, his work on the electrodynamics of moving bodies over a dozen times (and we may ...


15

The answer to the title question is no for the simple reason that the (fuzzy, inconsistent) rules mentioned in Lennes's 1917 note are still in wide use today. I think it's important to distinguish between elementary-school arithmetic notation and the notation used by real mathematicians, which is also used in grade-school algebra and calculus and which I'll ...


14

Was a misplaced decimal point responsible for the popular belief that spinach has a lot of iron? No. It was an interpretation error of von Wolff's findings, of about a factor of ten. What happened was that von Wolff (correctly) measured the iron content of dried spinach, but his numbers were interpreted as the iron content of fresh spinach (which happens ...


13

Your own article cites its source, which in similar form is a collection of "interesting" outcomes of machine learning experiments. The relevant portion is here: when MIT Lincoln Labs evaluated GenProg on a buggy sorting program, researchers created tests that measured whether the numbers output by the sorting algorithm were in sorted order. However, ...


10

1) Did Galileo teach sciencific theories which were not yet proven? The Jesuit Cardinal Robert Bellarmine thought that there was not sufficient proof in his time. He wrote, in his 12 April 1615 letter to the Carmelite priest Fr. Foscarini* (my emphases): I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the center of the world and the ...


10

Probably not Summary I couldn't find a reliable source that could explicitly verify or debunk the claim, but available evidence paints a picture of an OJ-loving Feynman. The clip is part of a documentary that doesn't mention Linus Pauling whatsoever. Available evidence shows that Feynman was respectful towards Pauling which doesn't fit the narrative that ...


10

Almost Certainly Yes. The Scientific American published Genesis of the First Successful Aeroplane in December 15, 1906, which asserts that they had communicated with all of the seventeen witnesses to the Wrights' developmental flights and had no reason to doubt the accounts of the eleven that responded. These witnesses were interviewed within a year of ...


9

1) Was Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis the first to identify or a pioneer in identifying, the importance of hygiene in these cases? A. Ignaz Semmelweis was not the first to emphasize the significance of hand decontamination but he was the first from Europe who demonstrated the importance through statistical numbers. There were others prior to him such as Antoine ...


8

Ridley is cherry-picking to an enormous extent, such that even if his statements are technically true they are without meaning. Analysis of fibrous materials using X-ray crystallography did indeed contribute to the study of DNA structure, and the techniques may well have been used in the wool industry. However those studies themselves were dependent on ...


7

You seem to doubt that cars would be more popular among farmers "in remote areas" because you don't think there would be many people in those areas. The fact is that at the time that cars were new and farmers were "early adopters," the United States was more rural than urban - with farmers being the most "rural" of all because ...


7

The source is Bell's great-grandson Edwin S. Grosvenor who coauthored the 1997 book Alexander Graham Bell: The Life and Times of the Man who Invented the Telephone where on page 275 he quotes Bell as writing: While we would lose some of the sun's heat, we would gain some of the earth's heat which is normally radiated into space. ... I am inclined to ...


7

Mostly true. 1) Did Galileo teach scientific theories which were not yet proven? Indeed. In 1632 Galileo published "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems". In it he presented a fictional dialogue between proponents of heliocentrism and geocentrism. However, he was merely repeating the same inconclusive or false arguments that had been debunked or ...


7

Short answer, this statement has a few facts in it, but they are out of order, and misrepresent the history around the work, as well as where the money was coming from. In my mind, the misrepresentations are bad enough for the statement made by Matt Ridley to be completely false. The discovery of DNA occurred in 1860, and was due to testing solutions with ...


7

In a manner of speaking, yes. “A certain infinite spirit pervades all space into infinity, and contains and vivifies the entire world,” Newton wrote in his journals, musing on the ancient wisdom of pre-Christian philosophers like Thales of Miletus (c.646-548 B.C.), who believed the gods were present in all things. Newton was convinced that prisca sapientia, ...


6

Isotopes of 7 elements could be found in small amounts 26,000 years after use of nuclear weapons, so it would be pretty easy to figure out if they were used in pre-historic Pennsylvania. Furthermore, radon is produced by decaying uranium or thorium, which just means that it's a good place to mine for large amounts of uranium (such as eastern Pennsylvania) ...


5

5.The speed of light has been accurately mentioned in Rigveda The speed of light is not mentioned in the Rig Veda. Instead, as stated in footnote b of page 132 of Rig-Veda-sanhita (1850) Sayana says, that, according to the Smriti, the sun moves 2,202 yojanas in half a twinkle of the eye. So, a commentary by Sayana on a traditional commentary ...


5

In short: The claim mentioned above is not based on a real historically traceable incidence. As revealed by Yisela's excellent inquiry from W. Starbuck, mentioned above in a comment, the argument stems from "Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution”, authored by Watzlawick, Weakland, and Fisch. The story appears near the top of ...


5

Steam machines existed long before the industrial revolution. Quote from Wikipedia: 1st century AD – Hero of Alexandria describes the Aeolipile, as an example of the power of heated air or water. The device consists of a rotating ball spun by steam jets; it produced little power and had no practical application, but is nevertheless the first known device ...


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