There are scientific facts that most of us accept as true. The Earth is round. Check. E=MC squared. Check. Humans evolved from apes. Not exactly.
It might come as a surprise that science doesn’t necessarily back many scientific “facts.” Here are 25 facts that ain’t necessarily so.
1. Humans evolved from apes.
Evangelicals will be relieved to note that humans did not evolve from apes. Of course, that has never been the scientific claim that human evolution is based on. Humans and apes (chimps, most closely) share almost identical DNA (98.8% the same). What this means is that somewhere down the line, humans and apes shared a common ancestor, some of whose offspring evolved, over millions of years, into today’s apes, and some of whose offspring evolved, over millions of years, into us.
2. Milk builds strong bones
The advertising campaigns for milk (“Got milk?”) have been some of the most popular and successful marketing in modern history. It is gospel among most people that milk builds strong bones and teeth. However, it’s not true. Many studies over the years have failed to find a link between milk consumption and a lower incidence of bone fractures.
3. Eating ice cream when you have a cold makes you more congested.
A prevailing myth about dairy in general and ice cream in particular is that consuming it increases mucous production. Eat up. According to the National Institutes for Health, there is, “no statistically significant overall association can be detected between milk and dairy product intake and symptoms of mucus production in healthy adults, either asymptomatic or symptomatic, with rhinovirus infection.”
4. Sugar makes children hyperactive.
The longstanding belief among parents of all persuasions is that sugar makes their kids crazy. The popular anecdotal example tends to be the children’s birthday party, where kids are loud, raucous and overly excited, with the blame pointing squarely at the sugary treats they have consumed. Truthfully though, no scientific evidence firmly links sugar to hyperactivity. The reason for the party hijinks more likely rests on the general excitement of kids being surrounded by their friends in a celebratory environment. The National Institute of Mental Health states that, “The idea that refined sugar causes ADHD or makes symptoms worse is popular, but more research discounts this theory than supports it.”
5. The 5-second rule applies to food dropped on the floor.
It’s okay to eat food you drop on the ground as long as you grab it within five seconds of the drop, or so the myth goes. Believe this fact at your own risk. If the dropped food item is dry, and the surface of the floor is clean, you’ll probably survive. But if the food item is moist, or if the ground is not clean, bacteria will be swarming the food practically upon impact, and there is no telling if that bacteria is harmless or not.