They didn't believe it

Being human, we often reject or ignore important new facts and discoveries, but we maintain beliefs and superstitions even when they are shown to be untrue. Consider the enduring belief in astrology, the End Days, a flat Earth (just google flat, and the belief that standard childhood inoculations cause autism.

Here is a short list of scientific discoveries that were rejected or resisted when they were introduced, including: the sun as the center of the solar system, evolution, acid rain, DDT's impact on wildlife, the Big Bang, continental drift and tectonic plates, the cause of cholera, climate change. Check the alphabetical list below for many other examples.

Acid Rain

Compounds emitted by smokestakes, vehicles and aircraft are deposited by rain, destroying the environment and corroding even stone and metal.


Each particle has a opposite form, its anti-particle, a discovery that has had wide-ranging effects

Archaea: The Third Domain

Biologists disputed the classification of "extremophiles" for 20 years, despite the evidence.


a fiber valued for its many practical applications has a long history of deadly impact


The concept that all matter is composed of an invisible but fundamental entity was resisted for a very long time.

Big Bang

A theory we acept today was originally rejected by most physicists

Black Holes

Proof that massive stars would form black holes was rejected because of bias.

Climate Change

The undeniable facts of the human impact on global climate are still being resisted

Continental Drift

The explanation for the geological relationship between continents was originally heresy

DDT Poisoning

A poison that was initially considered a solution to disease-bearing insects and harmless to humans and animals became lethal

Earth's True Age

The evidence for a 4-billion-years-old Earth was a serious contradiction of the widely held Biblical view


The origin of the heavy elements was not understood until the 1950s


One of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time still meets resistance today

Fractal Geometry

A concept that was originally treated with skeptism is widely accepted today

Germs and Disease

The notion that invisible organisms cause disease was very difficult to accept

Glacial Moraines

Evidence for ancient glaciers and their rocky deposits conflicted with the 18th century's Biblical perspective

Lightning as Electricity

What is so obvious to us was not understood until Ben Franklin's famous 1752 demonstration.

Meteorite Vaporization

Geologists did not understand that massive meteorites could vaporize on impact


The idea of neutrinos was originally dismissed as "too remote from reality"

Neutron Stars

Even the great Thomas Gold could not convince a leading science organization to consider neutron stars

Ozone Hole

Evidence for destruction of the ozone hole was rejected for decades

Photon as Particle and Wave

The unexpected and unlikely nature of the photon was hard to believe

Spectral Analysis

The correct interpretation of light spectra from stars was presented by a young researcher whose evidence was initially rejected.

Stars as Independent Worlds

Bruno was burned at the stake for asserting that the Sun was one of countless stars in an infinite universe


Lynn Margulis's theory of how microbe combinations led to complex cells in evolution was rejected by the scientific establishment for years.