What are some of the major misconceptions that science has put an end too in the last couple hundred years? What did religious people think of rainbows, solar eclipses, comets, weather, etc…? What did medical people think of birth, diseases, poisons, psychotic behavior, etc…?

I’ve looked threw some websites about these things but all I ever read about is superstitions like black cats and broken mirrors. I am thinking more along the lines of stuff such as putting holes in peoples heads to let the bad spirits out of their skulls.

“Couple hundred?” I’m pretty sure the average nineteenth-century gentleman had a fair idea that weather was its own force – to say nothing of the average nineteenth-century farmer. Victorian literature is speckled with "God willing"s and so forth, but I get the impression that it was just the turn of phrase used, not some deep-seated belief that the big beard in the sky was really devoting any attention to what went on in Northwestern Delevonshirewick that afternoon.

Psychotic behavior, now… There’s an interesting site on schizophrenia in particular here -> http://www.hubin.org/facts/history/history_schizophrenia_en.html

Ironically, the older theories are closer to being accurate, at least in that they suspected chemical causes. Bleeding and cupping and leeching, oh my. Around the Victorian era, however, when psychiatric ‘care’ was really getting started, Western thought held that psychoses were caused by demonic possession – a surprising number of people still believe this, in fact.

Drilling holes in the skull is known as trepanation, and Cecil did a column on it here -> http://www.straightdope.com/columns/020906.html

Have fun.

Can you provide a cite that the medical profession believed that “demonic possession” caused psychosis as late as the 1890s? Or are you merely speaking out of prejudice, bigotry, and historical ignorance?

My step dead has schizophrenia. Before he was diagnosed with it he told my mom that aliens were talking to him. And after awhile he said ghosts where tormenting him, which was also around the time he was doing ghost buster stuff at haunted places with some small group of people. Trying to purposely hear voices probably didn’t help him any. I am not sure what he believes now. But his oldest son thinks its evil spirits and said the voices would probably go away if he got baptised into the mormon church. He’s baptised now… was out in the car a few days ago with the music at max. Guess the voices were bothering him.

An important point to make: Science cannot prove that mental ilness is not caused by demons. Sure, we know what schizofrenia is, but we don’t know what demons are. There’s no way to make a comparison.

Science cannot prove that you are not caused by demons. Science cannot prove that I am not a very cunningly disguised gnat. There is this little thing regarding the very great logical difficulty of proving a negative to consider…