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Yellowdog's avatar

Have you ever thought you were right about something (or knew something) because you were taught that by somebody who SHOULD have known -- but later in life you found out the way you learned it was wrong?

Asked by Yellowdog (10563points) May 7th, 2019

Did some instructor or other trusted individual teach you something about history, a scientific fact, a geological fact, a song lyric—that you trusted their authority on the topic enough that you went some time believing something that turned out to be false?

For instance, I was once taught that rubbing alcohol had no antiseptic qualities, that sterilizing with alcohol was a myth and was ineffective. I was taught a few dietary facts that were wrong. Other things we may have learned incorrectly were based on someone else’s habits, ways of doing things, superstition, or misinformation.

I’m not referring to matters of faith—just facts.

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11 Answers

josie's avatar

My grand-parents shook cartons of milk long after it was homogenized.
So did my parents according to their parents’ influence.

And I do even now. Even though I secretly know better.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I can’t recall just what now, but during my life there were several times I learned that my mother had taught me wrong. I just remember feeling betrayed. The only one I can remember specifically is too embarrassing to share.
Then too, there were flat out lies. I don’t think my mom understood she was doing wrong. She would lie about a subject or event and appeared to believe she was right in doing so.

It is a bummer, learning at some point that you have hung on to fiction as fact.

JLeslie's avatar

My 5th grade teacher told a classmate that the birth control pill works by covering the egg with a hard coating. I happen to be in ear shot, so I thought that for a short time. I found out that wasn’t true fairly quickly, I don’t remember how.

filmfann's avatar

My 6th grade teacher broke her hip, and was replaced by a substitute teacher who was pretty awful.
He taught us about U.S. election procedures that were completely wrong.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie are you sure she was talking about birth control?
“A technique called vitrification, doesn’t actually involve freezing eggs but hardening their outer later, like encasing them in a glass container” so they can be stored for use later. Here (picture #6.)

To answer the question, when I wash clothes I used to put the clothes in first and poured the soap on top of the clothes. That’s the way mom did it, and I imagine she did it that way because that’s how they show it in commercials (in case you haven’t noticed.)
When we moved to a gigantic house with 3 floors,each floor was an apartment. I brought my washing machine in and set it up in the basement for every one to use.
One of the tenants was using it while my son and I happened to be down there. He pour the soap in first and turned on the water. My son protested that that’s not how it’s done. I put my hand up and said, “Wait a minute. Chris, I think Ike has a better way. The soap dissolves evenly in the water ” (unlike when you pour it on top.)

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Absolutely sure. This was 1977 after sex ed class, and my classmate after the session asked our 5th grade teacher the question. We were learning about menstruation and how babies are born (we watched puppies being born on a movie) and this girl somehow came up with the birth control question. The first IVF baby was born in the late 70’s. I don’t even think they were freezing eggs, or keeping them in storage in any way in the 70’s, that was later.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, the technology has been around since the 50s. Maybe she heard or read something about it and didn’t quite understand what she was reading. It’s a bummer to get reproductive education lessons from people who have no clue.

JLeslie's avatar


Pinguidchance's avatar

Noah’s ark.

Yellowdog's avatar

When I was in 8th grade, my American History teacher said that golf was a Dutch game and was brought to the U.S. by Dutch immigrants. I believed this until I was in college where everyone told me it was Scottish, which it is.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Pinguidchance every single miracle story in the Bible. But fortunately my folks were not crazy religious and I don’t ever remember them telling us the stories were actually real. They never said they weren’t either. I was just left to make up my own mind.

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