The MSM and scientific community were simply not prepared to adjust their theories and realities to this breakthrough the Wright Brothers achieved. It changed everything, and was very much a disruptive technological advacement.
Eventually their achievement was lauded and praised, it just took 5 years for the MSM and science community to adjust. There are some definite correlations we could make to FTL and interstellar travel
You are most welcome TRH, unfortunately I did not get the point across, which is that science never gave up on heavier than air flight, and working examples go back far beyond the Wright Brothers where the scientific community is concerned. The scientific community did not regard them hoaxes, or not possible, they "stood on the shoulders of giants" to achieve the dreams of their predecessors. Emanuel Swedenborg drew up plans for a Flying Machine in 1716. The 1800's was a busy time and many gliders were constructed during this period which ultimately lead to powered flight, unfortunately, the majority of these efforts were doomed to failure, being designed by hobbyists who did not have a full understanding of the problems associated with stability and control. Personally, I feel that some of these failed attempts may well have instigated the animosity between the media and the Wright Brothers. The opposition to powered flight really was initiated 1906, when skeptics in the European aviation community had converted the press to an anti-Wright brothers stance. They insisted the French would be the first to take to the skies. The media then went with Lord Kelvin, and pushed his conclusions, if not an influence. They took one mans opinion and ran with it. Had we decided to go with the media and ignore science history would be quite different. In fact, controversy occasionally still arises over whether the Wright 1903 Flyer I, or the 14-Bis was the first true airplane. The 14-bis was designed by Alberto Santos-Dumont (French), who came from a well to do family and had a very good education. The media had the support of one scientist, not the scientific community who took no notice of the naysayers and spent centuries plugging away at the problem. We had birds in the skies, so plainly, heaver than air flight was indeed possible.
Same with the sound barrier. Man made bullets and whips exceeded the sound barrier whist some said it could not be done. We just have to look around.
What I feel is the the UFO groups and conspiracists are the representation of the 1900 media and their poster boy Lord Kelvin in this instance, and science is doing what it always has, which is plug away in the background undeterred. They will keep attempting to solve the mystery despite being told "the answer" by so many buffs and enthusiasts.
Peer review today takes away the bias that holds science back, such as that which was expressed by Lord Kelvin and the media. Lord Kelvin was more prominent in society than the many who tried to achieve the dream of flight, thus he achieved a better media profile. It was a bit silly for the media and Lord Kelvin to go with such an outlandish ideal, as birds achieve heavier than air flight. I have no idea why a man of science would ignore the example right under his nose, but thank goodness so many other scientists did not. I am sure I could name a good dozen scientists who paved the way to powered flight.
I think the idea that science is opposed to new discovery is a very old ideal, and no longer applicable due to the process of peer review.
FTL is an entirely new can of worms. We have no examples in nature, and we have E=MC2. Powered flight had no such hurdle to overcome.
Edited by psyche101, 30 June 2011 - 11:02 PM.