Friday Fives: Five Things About Which “Experts” Were Wrong

Truth, as characterized by such texts as John 8:32; 14:6 and 17:17, is complete and unchanging. Knowledge, however, is not. By definition of the fact that we can and do learn, and that we are finite and God is not, what we know is always limited. Even when we’re sure we know it.

This Friday Fives is certainly not anti-knowledge – is there such a thing? It’s really a celebration of God’s wonderful limitlessness by acknowledging our limitations. The brightest scientists, researchers and historians are wise not to get too confident about what they are sure they know.

Einstein’s doctoral thesis contained a serious mathematical error; the president of IBM, Thomas Watson, said in 1943, “”I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Lord Kelvin, president of the Royal Society, 7 years before the Wright Brothers first flight noted, “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”

You get the idea. At any given time, there are just certain things that we may think we know, that we don’t, even the most knowledgeable among us.

I think that’s actually a comfort and incentive to trust in God.

So, with that, this Friday Fives includes five noteworthy things about which “experts” were wrong.

#5 The Coelacanth is Extinct

The Coelacanth is a fish that scientists were certain was extinct, until they found one swimming around in 1938 off the coast of South Africa.


They’re not the prettiest, but news of their deaths had been greatly exaggerated.

#4 The Earth Can’t Hold More Than A Billion People…or 4 Billion

Eighteenth century economist Thomas Malthus lamented that, once the world population hit a billion, famine would lead to total destruction. That was in 1798 when the world population was nearing a billion. In 1968, the best-selling book, The Population Bomb, written by Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich, warned of mass cataclysmic starvation in the 1970’s at the 4 billion mark.


Current world population – About 7 billion.

#3 Humans Won’t Survive the Speed of Advancing Transportation Technology

Martin Van Buren (remember him?), the eighth president of the United States, lamented the advent of “high speed” railroad. He said in 1833:

“Railroad Carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 mph by engines which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to the crops, scaring the livestock, and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.”

Dionysius Lardner, a 19th century Irish science journalist and professor of natural philosophy and astronomy at University College agreed. He is famous for believing: “”Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”


China broke the 300 MPH barrier in a train with the CRH380A. 302 MPH. People aboard reported breathing.

#2 The Biblical Flood Is Just an Ancient Myth Common to Many Pagan Traditions. It Never Happened.

Not so fast…

Of course the release of the movie Noah has revived the discussion of the historicity of the flood from Genesis.

Scoffers make fun of the notion from multiple perspectives, from the possibilities of a global flood to the construction of the ark. Now, those who trust the Bible are getting their knowledge confirmed in the scientific realm.

Russell Crowe as Noah

Evidence Suggests the Great Flood of Noah’s Time Happened

Archaeologist Claims Evidence of Noah’s Biblical Flood

Worldwide Flood, Worldwide Evidence

#1 Jesus Never Existed

If you were the enemy of people, you would want to do all you could to convince them that there was no savior and there is no hope. That Jesus Christ is a myth. He doesn’t exist and never has.

Setting aside that big book on your desk, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. In fact, those who claim He didn’t exist are generally not taken seriously by reputable scholars, Christian or otherwise.

The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Case for … Series)

The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ

The Evidence for Jesus

Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources

Extra-Biblical Evidence for Jesus and Christianity

Signs of His Presence from Outside of Scripture


He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.