What scientific laws or theories have been proven wrong?


These are a few scientific theories - most of which differ from modern theories in that they were philosophy- or religion-based ideas, with little real evidence, rather than scientific experiment and thought - that have been proved wrong throughout history.
  • Flat Earth hypothesis. NOT A SCIENTIFIC THEORY (DOGMA) Disproved by Eratosthenes around 200 BC
  • Phlogiston theory. Created to explain the processes of oxidation - corrosion and combustion - it was disproved by discovery of the fact that combustion is the reaction of fuel with oxygen and that corrosion is caused by oxidation of metals and the formation of compounds. Disproved by Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier 1780
  • Geocentric theory of the solar system. NOT A SCIENTIFIC THEORY (DOGMA) Disproved by Nicolas Copernicus around 1500 AD
  • The classical elemental theory (that all substance is made of earth, air, fire and water). Disproved by the discovery of subatomic particles and the modern elements, as we know them today.
  • Aristotle's dynamic motion. It was an attempt at explaining momentum and why certain substances behave in certain ways; it was linked to the concept of the classical elements. Disproved by Galileo around 1600
  • Ether as a carrier of light waves and radio waves. hypothesis, never a THEORY. Disproved by the Michelson-Morley experiment 1887
  • Newton's corpuscular theory of light. While correct in many ways - it was the modern concept of the photon - it too was supplanted by the dual wave-particle theory of light that explains all aspects of it. I want to give credit for this one to Louis de Broglie 1929
  • Newtons Laws of Motion. Still highly respected and ubiquitously used they were 'improved upon' by the Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein 1940
  • Spontaneous Generation That living things were spontaneously created from other biological material, as bee from flowers or flies from decaying flesh. Disproved by Francesco Redi 1668.
  • Lamarckian Evolution That the phenotype of living thing was determined by their exertions during life. Displace by Natural Selection, George Wallace and Charles Darwin around 1800
  • The Age of the Earth as calculated by Lord Kelvin. Corrected by Ernest Rutherford with the discovery of radioactive decay around 1930
  • Ideal Gas Law. Never regarded as a true law as no gas ever behaved ideally. A working standard only. Invented with the understanding of its limited use. Emile Clapeyron 1834