Science Fail: Shaky Assumptions Topple Long-Held Notions

Science is supposed to be self-correcting, we're told. But when towers of belief are built on assumptions later shown to be false, the consequences can be monumental.

Archive Classic: The Mystery of the Ultra-Pure Sandstones

Reprinted from June 27, 2003, this mystery is worth considering still. What caused these global deposits that are not being formed today? R. H. Dott, Jr (Univ. of Wisconsin) has a problem. He’s been trying to explain a geological puzzle for 50 years, and it is still unresolved.

Gold, Earthquakes, and Time

How long does it take to form veins of gold in the rock? (a) millions of years; (b) less than a second.
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