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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Understanding the Misconceptions
of Science
for exposing all the misconceptions we have
picked up from the popular press and Internet.

Understanding the Misconceptions of Science Lectures by Professor Don Lincoln

Understanding the Misconceptions of Science (2019)
24 lectures, 12 hours
Understanding the Misconceptions of Science  at TheGreatCourses.com

Evolution. Relativity. The Big Bang. These and other scientific ideas have come to define our understanding of the modern world and how it works. But here’s a secret: What you learned about them in school isn’t necessarily the whole truth.

Science is, undeniably, a truly incredible field of human endeavor. In the last five centuries alone, we’ve been able to make startling advancements in human progress thanks to discoveries like electricity and magnetism, the germ theory of diseases, and the inner workings of atomic particles.

But for all its importance to our everyday lives, most of us who aren’t scientists don’t think too deeply about science. We settle for what we were taught in high school—and for the most part, that education was sound. Still, compromises had to be made, leaving most of us with conceptions of science that weren’t wrong, but also were just a piece of a larger, much more complex story. Misconceptions are even taught in fairly advanced science classes—and are still believed by people with quite respectable scientific educations.

Consider these commonly held scientific beliefs:

  • Planetary orbits are fixed ellipses.
  • We only use 10 percent of our brains.
  • Nothing travels faster than light.
  • A thrown object’s trajectory is a parabola.

They seem correct on the face of it, but they’re all misconceptions that aren’t entirely accurate. There’s much more to the story than you think. And Professor Don Lincoln, a Senior Scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, has crafted a magnificent 24-lecture course devoted to busting myths, clearing up confusion, and giving you scientific epiphanies that could change how you think about your everyday world. In Understanding the Misconceptions of Science, you’ll explore shocking truths about some of science’s most well-known—and often controversial—concepts, including the physics of flight, black holes, quantum mechanics, and even the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Ultimately, Professor Lincoln’s research-backed lectures offer newer, better, and more correct ways to understand what you were once taught.

Explore Misconceptions in Biology, Chemistry, and Beyond

“Science,” Professor Lincoln says, “is built on facts, sure. But it’s also a methodology for determining and accepting—or rejecting—those facts. And inherent in science is a perpetual level of uncertainty and ignorance. Science has to be prepared to change and grow.”

This ever-evolving nature of scientific knowledge and understanding is at the heart of Understanding the Misconceptions of Science. Professor Lincoln has structured this course as a broad survey that assumes little prior knowledge of the fields being covered, which includes chemistry, physics, biology, quantum mechanics, astronomy, mathematics, and more.

Almost every lecture is devoted to a single major scientific concept or discovery that is often misunderstood or over-simplified. At the start of the lecture, Professor Lincoln highlights how that particular misconception is commonly taught to students. Then, he takes you on a deep dive into how the science really works, and how recent discoveries and advances have reframed—and in some instances, shattered—commonly held ideas.

The result is a course that not only opens your eyes to just how large and mind-bending science is, but that can also spark a curiosity to investigate further.

Don Lincoln is a Senior Scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and a Guest Professor of High Energy Physics at the University of Notre Dame. He received his PhD in Experimental Particle Physics from Rice University. Dr. Lincoln’s research focuses on data recorded using the CERN Large Hadron Collider, and he was involved in the discovery of the top quark and the Higgs boson. He is the author of several books, including Understanding the Universe: From Quarks to the Cosmos, and the coauthor of more than 1000 scientific publications.

24 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: What the World Gets Wrong about Science 13: Exposing the Truth about Radiation
2: Franklin's Kite and Other Electrifying Myths 14: Does Carbon-14 Dating Work?
3: The Ideal Gas Law (It's Not Ideal) 15: How Statistics Can Lie to You
4: From the Ground Up: How Flying Works 16: Does Thermodynamics Disprove Evolution?
5: From the Sky Down: How Falling Works 17: How Relativity is Misunderstood
6: Myths of Orbital Motion 18: E=mc2 and Other Relativity Myths
7: What's Inside Atoms? 19: Why Do Black Holes Get Such a Bad Rap?
8: The Truth Is In Here: The Science of Aliens 20: What Banged, and Was It Big?

9: Misconceptions about Evolution

21: Can You Go Faster Than Light?
10: Nutrition's All About You--and Your Gut Biome 22: Untangling How Quantum Mechanics Works
11: Humans Are Not Peas: Myths about Genetics 23: Untangling What Quantum Mechanics Means
12: Getting Smarter about Intelligence 24: Is There a Theory of Everything?


Understanding the Misconceptions of Science
Lectures by Professor Don Lincoln

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Understanding the Misconceptions
of Science
for exposing all the misconceptions we have
picked up from the popular press and Internet.