Talk:Myths within science

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I have strong reservations about the title of this work. It isn't really a mythology in any true sense, it's a collection of myths and urban legends. But as i said on mythology i'm loath to make such a big change without people voicing an opinion. The way I'd like to edit it would be to address it as just "myths and urban legends in science". --Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 18:08, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't quite get the opposition, I'm slowly coming around to the idea of "mythology of science" over "scientific mythology", but I don't think it needs to be too explicit in the title that it's also urban legends. They're stories that have grown up and around scientific discoveries. I don't see how you can't call that a "mythology" without just getting into a pedantic and asinine definitions debate. ADK...I'll coax your Doppelgänger! 18:14, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
The reason is that mythology is a study of myths, a collect of myths that relate to a culture, a religion, a world view. "mythology of science" would be a body of works that define science, and explain how it exists in the world and how people who are scientists see themselves. What is listed here are just some random urban legends about science. they do not inform us about how science sees itself, ect. And yes, on this i'm picky (maybe too much) cause it's part of my phd, so the casual use of "mytholgoy" irks me.  :-) again, why i'm not changing it, just making my argument. --Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 18:23, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
So this is the same as "it's not an urban legend because it doesn't contain a moral" thing. I see it as just a casual use of the word. So unless there's a more relevant word that doesn't abuse the whole "it must be a full cultural work" definition, I don't think there's a massive incentive to change it immediately. Established mythologies probably only say so much about cultures and religions and world views because they've been studied so much and assembled together so much that we've attributed that combined narrative to them. That hasn't, so much, happened with science... but I could add "yet" to that phrase. I don't see a difference between the individual components that make up the collection of stories on this page and the individual components that comprise the Poetic Edda. They just haven't been studied to assemble them in that sort of way. ADK...I'll stride your blender! 18:41, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, yes and no. (and i'll leave the article, by the way... now i'm just talking cause no one ever talks to me about mythology any more). it's not the study of mythology that makes a mythology, it's what it does for the people. how it informs their world. When we talk about American Mythology, one important part of our cultural identity is the stupid protestant work Ethic, which tells people that you get what you work for. but it also provides the (inaccurate) corollary that those who have money have worked for it and therefor have earned it. Our social myths tell us about who we are as a culture. the myths about science just don't do that any more than Candy man tells us about ourselves. anyhow... I should get back to real things, like trying to understand light speed. --Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 18:46, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't really like the title much either. How about "scientific legends"?--BobSpring is sprung! 20:19, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
The story of Newton being banged on the head with an apple tells us that inspiration can come from the most unlikely of sources. Warren and Marhsall tells us not just an interesting fact about the law (you can do whatever science experiments you like if it's on yourself, and a similar theme is present with the guy who put a catheter into his heart) but also the extremes people can go to and the risks they'll take to gather evidence. I think the only difference between this collection of stories and a mythology is that the latter has been ascribed meaning in a very post hoc sense. So the difference between what a mythology is (a collection of narratives) and what a mythology represents (cultural information) is whether people have done the organising and analysis to produce the latter. The mere fact that this page has compiled a list of interesting stories with various levels of truth I think is the starting point for doing that. Give a couple of academics enough time to waffle on about it and these stories will certainly "tell us about who we are as a culture [as scientists]". ADK...I'll forsake your hallway! 10:39, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Myths within science is surely worse from a prose point of view. ADK...I'll baste your egg! 20:25, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
GRRRR (not at you) FIX IT! the one thing I hate about these talk pages, is we all get excited about something, and then forget it a day or two later, and never return. But it cannot be "mythology of science". I stomp my foot 1000000 times. Legends of science would suggest we had a page on the Einsteins and Newtons of the world. scientific myths linguistically imply the myths are more scientific than literary. grrrrr.... (again, not at all at you)Pink mowse.pngGodotThe Peyote God awaits 20:41, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Following on from the above - would 'urban legends' be a more appropriate term than 'myths' (which might well include Phlogiston and suchlike). Anna Livia (talk) 17:17, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

Another example of accidental discovery[edit]

Might be WD40 Anna Livia (talk) 17:17, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

And also Perkin's mauve (which colour just happened to be one of Queen Victoria's favourites). Anna Livia (talk) 12:13, 13 February 2021 (UTC)