Many doctors have stopped calling cancer treatment a "fight" or "battle". They argue these terms misrepresent how treatment works and if treatments fail, the patient is left with guilt and a false belief they didn't "fight" hard enough. blogs.scientificamerican.…
Only two fragments of text predating Christianization in (Old High) German still survive, which refer to pagan beliefs. They are magic spells dating from the 9th century. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mer…
The Backfire Effect: when given evidence contrary to their beliefs, instead of changing their minds - it strengthens them. brainpickings.org/2014/05…
The word "amethyst" means "not drunk" because of an Ancient Greek belief that drinking from an amethyst cup would prevent intoxication. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ame…
Malawian albinos are murdered for their bones. Albino children are being hunted like animals in Malawi where their bones are sold in the belief the body parts bring wealth, happiness and good luck. cnn.com/2016/06/07/africa…
I learned that soldier Desmond Doss saved 75 people during WWII without ever carrying a weapon. He did this because of his devout religious beliefs and was given the Medal of Honor for his actions. npr.org/2016/11/04/500548…
In 1964, Isaac Asimov speculated that by 2014, cars with "robot-brains" would drive us to our destinations without human assistance. Though he did predict the advent of the autonomous car, his belief that it would hover two feet above the ground failed to materialize. theatlantic.com/technolog…
Gambler's fallacy, the erroneous belief that if a particular event occurs more frequently than normal during the past it is less likely to happen in the future. In 1913, in a game of roulette, the ball fell in black 26 times in a row, the probability of the sequence is 1 in 66.6 million. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gam…
Contrary to popular belief not a single death due to a bite from a Black Widow spider has been reported in the US since 1983, and the cannibalism frequently attributed to these spider is actually rare. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lat…
Sausages have been commonly referred to as "dogs" since the 1800s due to a belief that sausage makers used dog meat in their sausages. Consumption of dog meat was common in Germany up to the early 1900s so these suspicion was "occasionally justified". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot…
A common belief in Brazil is that mangoes and milk together are poisonous. streetsmartbrazil.com/man…
The last Salem Witch Trial actually took place as late as 1878 - it was a civil court case in which Lucretia Brown accused Daniel Spofford of using mesmeric mental powers to harm her. Both followed the Christian Science religion, which includes a belief in mesmerism. The case was dismissed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sal…
Almost nothing is known of the social organization or religious beliefs of the people who erected tens of thousands of menhirs (large upright stones) across Europe, Asia and Africa. There is not even any trace of these people's language. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men…
Today I learned about "Cryptomnesia", where forgotten memories or ideas return to an individual and are interpreted as being new and original. It can result in unintentional self-plagiarism, and in some individuals, a sincere belief that they possess clairvoyant abilities. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cry…
Officially recognised as a religion, & originally started as a mixture of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, Aum Shinrikyo gradually became a doomsday cult, convinced that World War3 was coming. It became increasingly violent, killing opponents, & killing 12 in a sarin attack on Tokyo underground. bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia…
Prosperity theology is a belief by some Protestant Christians that financial and physical well-being is the will of God; faith and donations to religious causes will increase one's material wealth. Prosperity theology came to prominence in the 1950s United States and later 1980s televangelism. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro…
Conceptual and non-conceptual mental states. Conceptual is beliefs that shape your current world view. Non-conceptual state can represent the world even though the bearer of those mental states need not possess the concepts required to specify their content. plato.stanford.edu/entrie…
Today I learned of the traditional belief that there existed a 'Vena Amoris' [Latin for 'vein of love'] - a vein that ran directly from the fourth finger of the left hand to the heart. This inaccurate belief was one of the reasons that many cultures adopted the custom of wearing wedding rings on this finger. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ven…
Rapper B.o.B. believes the earth is flat and released a disstrack about astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, which references his beliefs in many other conspiracy theories. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fla…
Today I learned about "Cherophobia". It's a belief that when you become happy, something bad will happen right after. wikipedia.org/wiki/Aversi…
That, contrary to popular belief, friction is not the primary cause of spacecraft heating up on re-entry. Rather, the heat comes from the air in front of the craft being highly compressed. This is also why the leading edges get the hottest. wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerody…
Contrary to popular belief, pet dogs are at least as likely as cats to start eating their dead owners nationalgeographic.com/ne…
After the sack of Baghdad, the Caliph was surrendered to the Mongols on the belief that their practices prevented them from shedding the blood of a man of such a high royal and religious status. Sure enough, the Mongols kept to their custom by wrapping him in a rug and trampling him to death en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-…
There are around 1000 people in Scandanavia/Denmark that follow the old Norse belief system, worshiping the gods Odin, Thor, NjΓΆrd, Freya, etc. and the giants as well as their ancestors. This religious revival is referred as "Asatro" and meet for ceremonies related to the changing seasons. en.natmus.dk/historical-k…
Today I learned of the Nocebo Effect, the opposite of the Placebo Effect, where the belief or expectation that a treatment will cause a negative side effect induces that side effect even in those taking a sugar pill. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noc…
Sailors in the Royal Navy would receive a measure of grog (1 part rum, 2 parts water) everyday. The glasses they used were then washed on the outside, but never washed inside, in the belief that residue of past grogs would stick to the side of the glass and make the next grog even stronger! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rum…
There are frameworks being researched for β€œmind uploading” the functioning human brain to a synthetic substrate related to the development of neural prosthetic technologiesβ€”raising concerns, as noted, about beliefs of continuity of identity. pdf sim.me.uk/neural/JournalA…
An Inmate sued Himself for $5 Million dollars for commiting a crime that went against his religious beliefs -- He demanded the state pay the damages because he had no money himself deseret.com/1995/4/9/1916…
A common belief in alchemy, kabbalah, renaissance magic and medieval esoterism in general was that birds spoke the perfect divine language used by Angels and/or Adam which was key to obtaining perfect knowledge. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lan…
That, contrary to popular belief, female praying mantises don't always eat the male after they mate thestar.com.my/news/envir…
While most men have a larger right than left testicle, the opposite pattern is seen in Ancient Greek statues. Scholars think this anatomical error is linked to the historical belief that each testicle separately contains the sperm needed to produce a male or female heir. theguardian.com/education…
Contrary to the popular belief that drinking lots of water is good for you, drinking TOO much water can be bad for you and cause hyponatremia. Hyponatremia happens when your sodium level is too low in your bloodstream. mayoclinic.org/diseases-c…
In early medieval Europe there were no witch trials. Christian churches taught that magic was not real and belief in its existence was superstition and heresy. Only in the early Renaissance did belief in witchcraft’s actual existence spread widely in Europe, and witch trials began. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chr…
Cherophobia is fear of being happy. It is the belief that when one becomes happy,something bad will happen. independent.co.uk/life-st…
Fred Phelps was excommunicated from Westboro Baptist Church before his death for having a change of heart about his religious beliefs and acknowledging the "Equality House," a local LGBT support organization, as "good people." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fre…
Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize Winner American Biochemist, who invented PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) technique, held high belief in 'Astrology' and had an encounter with an extraterrestrial in the form of a fluorescent raccoon. He used to self-test novel psychoactive substances too. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kar…
Fossils of sea creatures called Ammonites are considered holy symbols in the folk Hindu beliefs of India and Nepal. They and other marine fossils are found in the Himalayas, which were raised from the now-drained Tethys Sea. Climbers to Mt Everest have brought back fossils of Sea Lilies. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sha…
Male menstruation used to be a belief in some cultures where the Schistosoma parasites were endemic. wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_m…
There is a belief that most of the people in laugh tracks are dead as most audio is from the 1950s. There was a period when the few tracks of laughter meant anyone in audio work could predict the laugh order, but as TV audio engineers updated their reels both have become less true/harder to do. bbc.com/culture/story/201…
The belief that "lactic acid" causes muscular "burn" while exercising is FALSE. It's actually "the breakdown of ATP for energy creates the release of hydrogen ions in the bloodstream" that causes the burn. trackandfieldnews.com/tra…
Rabbits do not naturally eat carrots. The belief comes from Bugs Bunny whose love of carrots is a reference to Clark Gable's character in film It Happened One Night who was shown munching on a raw carrot, not because rabbits actually eat carrots mentalfloss.com/article/6…
Today I learned about Delusional parasitosis, a mental disorder in which individuals have a persistent belief that they are infested with living or nonliving pathogens such as parasites, insects, or bugs, when no such infestation is present. It's most commonly seen in the pest control field. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Del…
Today I learned of the 'Ill Week' - a kind of late medieval version of the Purge. When Elizabeth I died there was a popular belief that the laws of a kingdom were suspended between the death of a sovereign and the proclamation of the successor. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bor…
Doctors used to encourage young girls to wear training bras in the belief that it would protect them against breast cancer later in life daily.jstor.org/how-train…
The Pixar film Coco, which features the spirits of dead family members, got past China's censors with 0 cuts. In China, superstition is taboo due to the belief spiritual forces could undermine people’s faith in the communist party. The censors were so moved by the film, they gave it a full pass. chinafilminsider.com/coco…
Today I learned about Juliette Hampton Morgan, a librarian and civil rights activist in Alabama. She wrote to newspapers in support of the bus boycott and spoke out against racism. She killed herself due to the unrelenting retaliation for her beliefs. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jul…
A study concluded that when humans forbid dogs to eat foods, dogs are 4 times more likely to steal the food in the dark, when they think humans can’t spot them. Dogs based their stealing strategies on their belief that humans can see or not in low light conditions. zmescience.com/ecology/an…
Embassies are not sovereign territory of their associated countries, contrary to popular belief. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dip…
Today I learned about Cargo cults a belief system based on the following of a more technologicallly advance society without understanding their culture or their technology. Most commonly associated with island people paying cult to people that stopped on their island. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car…
Many Great people believed in Pantheism (the belief that the Universe is God): Einstein, Spinoza, Carl Sagan, Alan Watts, Nietzsche, Jung, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau, and others. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan…
Today I learned of Brigadier General Edward Lansdale, who in post WWII Philippines used the natives’ belief in vampires and ghosts his psychological warfare campaign. His men were instructed to abduct enemy stragglers, kill them, puncture their necks twice, and then bleed the corpses out. Edited for grammar historynet.com/ed-lansdal…
Today I learned of Adamites, an early Christian sect that worshipped naked. Some of their beliefs were holy nudism, a rejection of marriage, and an endorsement of lawlessness as their actions were "neither good nor evil". They believed they were embodying the innocence of Adam in Genesis. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada…
Spanish surrealist playwright and poet GarcΓ­a LorcΓ‘ was great friends with surrealist painter Salvador DalΓ­, until DalΓ­ rejected his romantic advances. Later on during the revolution, LorcΓ‘ was assassinated due to his socialist beliefs and homosexuality. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fed…
Hitler wanted to burn Paris to the ground before the Allies retook the city, but the order was disobeyed by "Saviour of Paris" General Dietrich von Choltitz who later asserted his affection for the French Capital and his belief that Hitler had gone insane as reasons for his defiance en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die…
In the 1950s, psychologist Milton Rokeach performed an experiment in which three men with Messianic delusions lived together for two years. He wanted to study how they would reconcile their delusions with the existence of two others with the same irrational belief. slate.com/technology/2010…
Contrary to popular belief, Jerry Maren was not the last surviving Wizard of Oz cast member; he was the last one with a speaking role. An actor for a Winkie guard survived til late 2018, and Dorothy's own dance stunt double is still alive as of this posting. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jer…
In the mid 19th Century, the belief persisted that weather was completely unpredictable. When one MP suggested in the Commons in 1854 that recent advances in scientific theory might soon allow them to know the weather in London "twenty-four hours beforehand", the House roared with laughter. bbc.com/news/magazine-324…
A pseudoscientific belief exists in Japan and South Korea, that a person's ABO blood type is predictive of a person's personality, temperament, and compatibility with others. This superstition is similar to how astrological signs are perceived as influencing factors in a person's life. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blo…
Today I learned of the Moriori, a Pacifist people who, when being wiped out by a neighbouring Polynesian tribe, decided that their non-violent beliefs were more important than their own survival. teara.govt.nz/en/moriori/…
For a long while, in Christianity, Satan was not feared. He was more 'comic relief' and the butt of jokes. It was the increased belief in Witchcraft which eventually caused Satan to be feared. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sat…
Belief in the apocalypse is most prevalent in people with lower rates of education, lower household incomes, and those under the age of 35. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
That, in English, we say "bless you" as a response to someone who has just sneezed because of an ancient belief from the first century. In fact, back to AD 77, people believed that sneezing gave the Devil a chance to invade our body, thus they started replying "God bless you". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God…
When Sir Richard Owen (a critic of evolution by natural selection) bought a recently discovered Archaeopteryx feather, he was embarrassed to discover it was a missing link between reptiles and birds, which contradicted his belief that God had created the species by tweaking 'archetypes'. bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00l…
The Aetherius Society is a New Age religion founded by British yoga master, Dr. George King, in the 1950s that is built around the belief that a series of β€œCosmic Masters”, mostly from Venus and Saturn, control the fate of humanity en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aet…
If a woman falsely believes she is pregnant that belief can trigger a swollen abdomen, enlarged breasts and lactation. webmd.com/baby/false-preg…
Contrary to popular belief, the β€˜Red Suited’ Santa, often attributed to Coca-Cola, predates Coca-Cola’s Christmas ad Campaign of 1931. cocacolaunited.com/blog/2…
Hong Xiuquan was a Chinese Christian convert who believed that he was God's second son and Jesus' younger brother, and had been sent to destroy Confucian beliefs. He led a rebellion against the Chinese government, and formed a fundamentalist Christian kingdom, which he ruled for 13 years. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hon…
People originally thought pennies would bring good luck because of religious beliefs.Ancient civilizations said metals-like copper-were gifts from Gods.Also, it comes down to the battle between good and evil-Finding a penny heads up meant you’d have luck on your side, tails would mean bad luck. rd.com/culture/why-are-pe…
Apatheism is the belief that if a god exists, or not, it does not matter, because the effect is the same. Therefore there is no point engaging in worship or even positing the question of existence of the god at all. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apa…
For over sixty years, teams within the US Air Force and US intelligence services exploited and manipulated beliefs about UFOs and extraterrestrial visits as part of their counter-intelligence programs. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir…
Today I learned about folie Γ  deux (or "shared psychosis"), a rare psychiatric disorder in which delusional beliefs are transmitted from one individual to another. The link attached is about two identical twins that suffered from the disorder. youtube.com/watch?v=2MmVH…
HBO had to hire a team of 160 lawyers before releasing its film "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief" beause of the Church's litigious nature en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goi…
In the eleventh century a heresy existed called stercoranism - the belief that the Eucharist was eaten and then defecated out. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ste…
Amish people end formal education at the 8th grade. This is mainly because they value apprenticeship and hands-on learning, and that more advanced learning can foster anti-Christian beliefs and counter their values. amishamerica.com/why-do-a…
A UT-Austin psychologist disproved the widely-held belief that women chat vastly more than men; in fact we all speak about the same amount per day, but his study does support the stereotype of "ladies as gossips and guys engaging in car talk". scientificamerican.com/ar…
Despite popular belief, the landing phase is associated with far more accidents and deaths than the takeoff phase on commercial flights. boeing.com/resources/boei…
Contrary to the previously held belief that cockroaches only developed a resistance to one class of pesticide after exposure, coakroaches can actually develop a β€œcross resistance” to multiple types of pesticide simultaneously theguardian.com/environme…
That, contrary to popular belief, diamonds are NOT formed from coal, but are formed from other carbon sources deep in the upper mantle. geology.com/articles/diam…
Renaissance artist Botticelli painted 'The Mystical Nativity' due to a belief that he was living during 'The Great Tribulation'; a period of disaster, famine and suffering that would precede the 'Second Coming'. Infra-red reflectography has revealed writings on the ribbons of the angels. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
Today I learned about the American civil religion- a sociological theory that a quasi-religious faith exists within the U.S, with sacred symbols drawn from national history. Examples of this include the veneration of Washington and Lincoln, war martyrs, and the belief of America being a beacon of righteousness. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ame…
Thomas Jefferson was Deist, the belief that a God created the universe but hasn't interfered with it since. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rel…
Prior to the eighteenth century, it was a common belief in Europe that women and men represented two different forms of one sex. Women were just "underdeveloped" men whose penises never dropped. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One…
Contrary to popular belief, domesticated pigs are not only smarter than cats and dogs, but also cleaner. nbcnews.com/id/24628983/n…
There was a belief that that planet called Vulcan existed between Mercury and the Sun history.com/news/vulcan-t…
In the Middle Ages, Knights in full harness (full plate armor) could contarary to popular belief, move quite well and were still agile enough to climb, run, roll, and wrestle with little dificulty. gizmodo.com/new-study-bus…
100 years ago this week, the USAT Buford (the "Red Ark") was used to deport Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and 247 others to the Soviet Union for anarchist and Communist beliefs. The Buford was later used as a set in the Buster Keaton film The Navigator (1924). todayinclh.com/?event=red…
Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, participated in a psychological study as a teenager. Subjects had their beliefs attacked by a "personally abusive" attorney. Their faces were recorded, and their expressions of rage were played back to them repeatedly. Kaczynski logged 200 hours in the study. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted…
The Sega Dreamcast actually sold less units than the Sega Saturn, despite popular belief that the Saturn was the biggest disaster for Sega, being the worst selling console for Sega, not counting the Sega Pico(which sold 3.4 mil in Japan, 400K in USA). Only 9.13 million units were sold, overall. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
Today I learned of the Semmelweis reflex, a tendency to reject evidence that contradicts existing beliefs. Documented when doctors refused to wash their hands from autopsies to delivery rooms despite evidence this decreases mortality. u.osu.edu/korzen.1/2016/1…
Contrary to popular belief, turkey does not contain an extraordinary amount of tryptophan. In fact, ounce per ounce, turkey only contains about two-thirds the amount of tryptophan that pumpkin seeds do. myfooddata.com/articles/h…
Today I learned about β€œFan Death”, a well-known belief in Korean culture, where it is thought that running an electric fan in a closed room with unopened or no windows will prove fatal. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan…
The Olmec are largely viewed as the mother culture of Aztecs and Maya but left no written works on their belief structures. Archaeologists believe the Olmecs used entheogens because of burials of Bufo toads with priests, use of entheogens in later cultures, and sculptures of animal-shamans. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ent…
What we think of as the Confederate flag, isn’t actually the Confederate Flag. It was actually the battle flag of Northern Virginia. When the Union saw it, they assumed it was the Confederate flag, hence the widespread belief acwm.org/blog/myths-misun…
Princess Diana, on live TV, shook the hand of an AIDS patient without wearing gloves, challenging the belief that AIDS could be passed via contact. The act was seen as a huge moment for those suffering with the disease. bbc.com/news/av/magazine-…
According to one study, contrary to popular belief, violent video games actually reduce real life violent crime. Researchers think these games may help preoccupy the few gamers with already existing violent tendencies and give them an outlet, so they are less likely to commit real world crimes. researchgate.net/publicat…
That, contrary to popular belief, there's no good evidence that vibrators were developed or used for treating "female hysteria". That idea comes from one book whose author said it's just a hypothesis rather than a claim of fact. Other historians consider it highly unlikely to be true. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vib…
By the fourth Century the Christian Church borrowed the common practice of Greco-Roman Mystery cults of intentionally keeping aspects of their religious beliefs and rituals secret, only revealing them to people after becoming initiates to the faith en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dis…
The English word "disaster" comes from the Greek pejorative dis- and aster (star) which can be interpreted as bad star or an ill-starred event, reflecting the ancient Greeks belief in the influence of celestial bodies on terrestrial life. babbel.com/en/magazine/an…
An amendment abolishing the US Senate was proposed by socialist Representative Victor Berger in 1911, due to his belief that the House was corrupt as well as useless to the country as a whole. senate.gov/artandhistory/…
Famous architect Buckminster Fuller proposed using the word "world-round" over "world-wide" because he felt like "world-wide" was anachronistic since the flat-earth belief was antiquated en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buc…

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