"We spend a great deal of time studying history," Stephen Hawking said in a 2016 lecture, "which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." Smart man, that Hawking. It may seem cynical to take this approach, but you'll find after scanning the beliefs of the past that it's a pretty spot-on assessment.
1. Earth is at the center of the universe.
2. Washing your hands won't prevent disease.
3. Different parts of your tongue pick up different tastes.
4. Bad smells can make you sick.
5. Continents are unmovable.
6. Babies don't feel pain.
7. The universe is static.
8. The size and shape of your head determines your behavior.
9. The ether is a mysterious substance through which light travels in space.
6 Crazy Things People Used to Believe
Key Facts In This Video
Until the 1980s, doctors did not that babies could feel pain. 00:09
"Female hysteria" was a medical diagnosis with one symptom being "a tendency to cause trouble." 00:56
Bloodletting is the practice of withdrawing blood from the body to cure ailments. 01:27
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