10 popular myths busted

The advent of social media has helped humanity in more ways than we can count and one of them is decentralizing media. These days anyone with an internet connection can reach thousands of people. However, the flip side is that it has become so much more difficult to tell facts from myths because the sources of our information are much less reliable than they were in the olden days. 

Our Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled so many 'facts' simply shared by gullible friends in most cases and sometimes created by those mischievous people in our circles.

This post tries to call out 10 such myths that have been popular on social media or otherwise. So lets start myth busting - 

1. There are more people alive today than have ever died.
Humans have been here for more than 5 million years and even if we were to consider just the modern humans, we have been around for more than 200, 000 years. Even modest estimates of all humans that ever lived is about 100 billion. 

2. Bulls hate red color.
What makes this myth interesting is the fact that bulls are actually color blind. The bulls in bull fighting are naturally aggressive (only the aggressive ones are chosen), are physically tortured before the fight begins and flapping cape is quite irritating for bulls. It is for these reasons that bulls get aggressive in bull fighting and not because of a red colored cape. 

3. Blood is blue until it touches air.
This doesn't even deserve an explanation. Blood is always red. 

4. Gum takes seven years to pass through your body.
This myth probably originated to keep kids from swallowing gums. The fact though is that gums are mostly digestible like every other food and pass through the body in a normal amount of time. 

5. The "Taste map" on your tongue.
This one is particularly interesting because it has been part of science text books across the globe a couple decades ago. It claims that certain parts of the tongue are responsible for certain tastes (Ex: the tip of the tongue for tasting sweet). However, it was later proven that all parts of the tongue are capable of sensing all tastes albeit with different sensitivity. 

6. That cracking your knuckles causes arthritis.
It was never proven so.

7. Your ring finger is the only finger with a vein that connects to the heart.
So, where do the remaining fingers get their blood from? Probably those who do this propaganda have another blood pumping organ in their body the remaining fingers are connected to. This myth sounds romantic though. 

8. Men think about sex every seven seconds.
Its amazing that there are people who believe this and even worse, there are men who believe this. Sure men are sex maniacs (kidding!) but seven seconds? Really? I believe even once every seven hours would be an exaggeration.

9. Humans use only 10% of their brain.
Unfortunately this is not just a random myth but false propaganda by companies trying to sell some brain-boosters. Next time someone uses this 'fact', its time to ask for some scientific evidence. While it is true that we don't use all of our brain at any given time, we do use 100% of our brains over the course of a few waking hours. 

10. God exists. 
Yes, it is one of the biggest myths ever. May be God exists, but there is no evidence and hence a myth. 

A general advice would be to take anything you find on the internet with a grain of salt (including this blog). Be skeptical. Always look for the author's / organisation's credibility before believing in what they say. A simple rule of thumb would be to not believe anything apart from cat videos that appear on Facebook / Twitter feeds without due research.

Do you know any such popular myths? Please let us know in the comments.

3 comments:

  1. God exists to answer all the possible questions that science does not have any explanations for. And the science will never have an explanation for everything. We should always strive to find an explanation though so we can fully harness the energy and matter around us and to not get fooled into believing in an illusion. However, its true that the science will be helpless at some point from generation to generation, no matter how advanced it gets.
    This is simply because of the fact that the humans will never be able to reach every part of the universe and there will always be a "final frontier," as Star Trek puts it, for the humankind to explore and to explain by scientific reasoning. For instance, we might never ever be able to get the first-hand knowledge of the physical laws the govern the interplay of energy and matter on the most distant brightest star, Deneb, in our galaxy, because even if we travel at the light's speed, we would exhaust our body's limited lifespan and die as it'll take us over 7000 years to reach it.
    Even if we do discover and theorize all the scientific laws in play in this universe, we can still never be at a stage of tweaking the laws to our taste. Every scientific advancement so far has involved harnessing/transforming matter or energy to our needs, but how can we generate this matter or energy out of nothing, having customized qualities and attributes of our liking? Somehow, the 116 elements in the periodic table came about to their existence, but how can science explain their origination. We will have to call their origination a reaction to some action, [knock knock] "Newton's 3rd Law"? There has to be the source of this action, some source that preceded the "reaction" that was caused i.e. the origination of the periodic table elements and all the matter that resulted from them!
    Besides these more technical questions regarding the universe around us, even the most elementary of questions pertinent to the existence of all "living" beings in this universe are equally bewildering. Questions like the inception of a soul in the embryo within a female's womb, and the itinerary of that soul beyond this material world after the body's heart stops pumping, are completely unanswerable and silly to even hypothesize by science. Genetics can explain the physical traits of a baby but cannot comment on the moral traits inherited by the soul.
    Not having an answer to any of the above questions is an irrefutable evidence in itself of the existence of an external power. "Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations," as Einstein puts it in an interview published in 1930's Viereck's book, Glimpses of the Great. At every instance of the humankind's existence, we will be forced to believe that the existence of that mysterious force, God, is to our delight or distress, alas, inevitable.

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    1. a serious comment requires a serious retort. to put God exists, when there are intelligent and well-educated people on both sides of the equation, is a low-blow touting the author's personal views into a supposedly objective article busting myths. If the whole thing is to be taken in jest, then what is the point of the article?

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