Does not exist

Caloric disproof experiments
A visual of two famous experiments, namely the cannon boring experiment, performed by Benjamin Thompson (1798), and the ice rubbing experiment, performed by Humphry Davy (1799), which conclusively proved that the fire element (aka matter of fire, heat element, terra pinguis, phlogiston, or caloric) does not exist, therein laying out the basis for the science of thermodynamics, executed by Clausius (1865) and his entropy model of heat, which thus filled the "void" — a vacuum said to also be something that does not exist — left in the wake of the newly demonstrated evidence.
In terminology reform, does not exist or “nonexistence”, as compared to exist or existence, refers to some "thing" believed to not exist and or conclusively proved, via experiment and or evidence, to not have reality.



Phlogiston | Entropy exists
The following are phlogiston does not exist related nonexistences:

Affirmative | Fire element DOES exists / Heat element DOES exist (Empedocles, 450BC)
→ Oak burning experiment (Helmont, c.1620)
Defirmative | Terra pinguis does not exist (Stahl, 1703)
Defirmative | Phlogiston does not exist
→ Sulfur burning experiments (Lavoisier, 1772) (Ѻ)
Defirmative | Caloric does not exist
Cannon boring experiment (Thompson, 1798)

“I am now as much convinced of the non-existence of caloric as I am of the existence of light.”
— Humphry Davy (1799), “Letter to Davies Gilbert”, Feb 22

Ice rubbing experiment (Davy, 1799)
Entropy model (Clausius, 1865)

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The following are void related nonexistences:

“If the vacuum cannot be recognized either by the senses or by the intellect, how have you managed to find out that it does not exist?”
Galileo (c.1620), annotations, in his copy of Julius Galla’s On the Appearance of the Orbit of the Moon (De phaenomenis in orbe lunare), after the phrase ‘concerning the vacuum’; cited by William Middleton (1964) in The History of the Barometer (pg. 5)

Affirmative | Voids DO exist (Leucippus, 450BC)
Defirmative | Voids do NOT exist (Parmenides, 450BC)
Nature abhors a vacuum
Torricelli vacuum (Torricelli, 1643)
Magdeburg hemispheres (Guericke, 1657)

Torricelli vacuum experiment

Michelson and Morley experiment
Left: the Torricelli vacuum experiment, conducted by Evangelista Torricelli (1643), in efforts to solve the pump problem, which gave evidence, contrary to the long-standing postulate that vacuums do not exist (or nature abhors a vacuum), proved that vacuums can exist (at least in part). Right: the Michelson and Morley experiment, conducted by Albert Michelson and Edward Morley (1887), which gave evidence suggesting that ether does not exist.

The following are ether related nonexistences:

Affirmative | Ether DOES exist (Anaxagoras, 450BC)
Defirmative | Ether does NOT exist
→ Michelson and Morley experiment (1887)
→ Disabused (Einstein, 1905)
→ Social eclipse expedition (Eddington, 1919) (Ѻ)

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The following are force related nonexistences:

Affirmative | Force DOES exist (Newton, 1686)
Defirmative | Force does not exist (Balfour Stewart and Peter Tait, 1875) [3]

● Erik Verlinde (2011) (Ѻ)(Ѻ)
● Gravity does not exist (Seargent, 2014) [1]

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Atoms | Exist
The following are atom related nonexistences:

Affirmative | Atoms DO exist (Leucippus, 450BC)
Defirmative | Atoms do not exist (Mach, c.1890)

Proved to exist by Jean Perrin (c.1908) by calculating Avogadro's number using three different methods, all involving liquid phase systems: First, he used a gamboge soap-like emulsion, second by doing experimental work on Brownian motion, and third by confirming Einstein’s theory of particle rotation in the liquid phase. In 1909, Wilhelm Ostwald, following Perrin's work, famously recanted his disbelief in atomic theory:'

“I am now convinced that we have recently become possessed of experimental evidence of the discrete or grained nature of matter, which the atomic hypothesis sought in vain for hundreds and thousands of years. The isolation and counting of gaseous ions, on the one hand, which have crowned with success the long and brilliant researches of J.J. Thomson, and, on the other, agreement of the Brownian movement with the requirements of the kinetic hypothesis, established by many investigators and most conclusively by J. Perrin, justify the most cautious scientist in now speaking of the experimental proof of the atomic nature of matter, the atomic hypothesis is thus raised to the position of a scientifically well-founded theory, and can claim a place in a text-book intended for use as an introduction to the present state of our knowledge of general chemistry.”

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Life does not exist (Thims, 2015)
A 2015 Yahoo Answers query (Ѻ) about Thims’ version of the “life does not exist” view, intermixed with discussion of Spinoza's god; see: defunct theory of life (2009) + life terminology upgrades (2012); see also: Thims' “Lotka’s Jabberwock” (2016) talk given at BPE 2016.

The following are life related nonexistences:

Affirmative | Afterlife DOES exist (Neanderthals, 70,000 YA) (Ѻ)
Affirmative | Life DOES exist (clay creation myth, 3500BC)
Affirmative | Prelife DOES exist (Socrates, 400BC) (Ѻ)
Deffirmative | Prelife does NOT exist (Plato, 350BC) (Ѻ)
Affirmative | Life DOES exists (Lucilius, 120BC)

“The poets, through the conjunction of fire and moisture, are indicating that the vis, ‘force’, which they have is that of Venus [Aphrodite]. Those born of vis have what is called vita, ‘life’, and that is what is meant by Lucilius (c.120BC) when he says: ‘life is force you see: to do everything force doth compel us’.”
Marcus Varro (c.50BC), On the Latin Language

Deffirmative | Afterlife does NOT exist (Meslier, 1729) (Ѻ)
? Spark of life theory (Galvani | Shelley, 1771)
Affirmative | Vital force DOES exists (Medicus, 1774)
→ Seem so lifelike (Goethe, 1809)
→ Urea synthesis (Wohler, 1828)
Defirmative | Vital force does NOT exist (Berzelius, 1831)
Reymond-Brucke oath (Helmholtz school, 1842)
? Warm pond model (Darwin, 1871)
? Crystal model of life (Haeckel, 1882)
Defirmative | Vital energy does NOT exist (Landois, 1880) (Ѻ)(Ѻ)
● 19th century vitalism debates | Energy of life (1898) (Ѻ)
→ No thing endowed with life (Tesla, 1915)
? Primordial soup (Oparin, 1924)
Regarding definitions (Lotka, 1925)
? Virus life debate (Stanley, 1935) (Ѻ)(Ѻ)(Ѻ)
→ Life NOT recognized by physics and chemistry (Sherrington, 1938)
? Life feeds on negative entropy (Schrodinger, 1943)
→ Faculty of reaction (Lubicz , 1949)
? Miller-Urey experiment (1952)
● 20th century neovitalism debates (Crick vs Polanyi on scientific vitalism and Teilhard on religious vitalism) (1963)
→ Abandon the word alive (Crick, 1966)
? Clay substrate theory (Cairns-Smith, 1966)
? Thermodynamic origin of life theory (Gladyshev, 1978)
? RNA world hypothesis (Gilbert, 1986)
? Hydrothermal vent theory (Wachtershauser, 1988) (Ѻ)
? More alive / less alive theory (Arnopoulos, 1993)
? Auto-catalytic closure theory (Kauffman, 1995)
→ Stem cell debate (1998) (Ѻ)(Ѻ)
→ Top 13 things that do NOT make sense (Brooks, 2005)
Defirmative | Defunct theory of life (Thims, 2009)
Defirmative | Life does NOT exist (Rogers, 2010) (Jabr, 2013)
To Have Done with Life (Brown, 2011)
Life terminology upgrades (Thims, 2012)
Abioism (Thims, 2015)

The following are spirit related nonexistences:

Affirmative | Spirit exists in all thing (Bruno, 1590) (Ѻ)
Defirmative | Spirit does not exist | view: “Matter exists; spirit does not exist” classified (1953) as “extreme materialism.” (Ѻ)
→ Aspiritism

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The following are soul related nonexistences:

Affirmative | Soul DOES exist (Imhotep, 2650BC)
Deffirmative | Pre-soul does NOT exist (Plato, 350BC) (Ѻ)
Deffirmative | Immortal soul does not exist (Spinoza, 1656)
Deffirmative | Incorporeal soul does not exist (Person, date)
Deffirmative | Soul does not exist (la Mettrie, 1745) (Edison, 1910)
→ Prisoner in holed cask soul detection experiment (Frederick II, 1230)
→ Soul weighting experiments (MacDougall, 1902)
Asoulism (Weisman, 2010)

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The following are god related nonexistences:

Affirmative | God does exist (pre-Dynastic, before 3100BC)
Defirmative | God does not exist
Atheism (French etymology, c.1550) (Ѻ)
Disproofs of the existence of god [2]
Aluminum disproof (Lotka, 1925)

Religion | Other
The following are religio-mythology rooted nonexistences:

● Adam and Eve never existed (56% of Americans believe that they existed)
● Noah never existed
● Abraham never existed (Ibn Warraq, 1995) (Ѻ); (Thims, 2004)
Moses never existed (Wittgenstein, 1953)
Jesus never existed (Napoleon, 1817)
● Virgin Mary never existed
● Buddha never existed
Muhammad never existed

1. Seargent, David A.J. (2014). Weird Universe: Exploring the Most Bizarre Ideas in Cosmology (pg. 233). Springer.
2. Treharne, Trevor. (2012). How to Prove God Does Not Exist. Universal Publishers.
3. Stewart, Balfour and Tait, Peter G. (1875). The Unseen Universe: or Physical Speculations on a Future State (pg. #). Macmillan.
4. (a) Perrin, Jean. (1909). “Brownian Motion and Molecular Reality” ("Mouvement brownien et réalité moléculaire"), Annales de Chimie et de Physique, 18: 1–114.
(b) Engl. Trans. by Frederick Soddy (London: Taylor and Francis, 1910) [Excerpt: sections 1-6 complete (from: David M. Knight, ed., Classical Scientific Papers: Chemistry (New York: American Elsevier, 1968) and the abridgment reprinted in Henry A. Boorse & Lloyd Motz, The World of the Atom, Vol. 1 (New York: Basic Books, 1966)].
5. Ostwald, Wilhelm. (c.1908). “Quote” (Ѻ), in: Grundriss der allgemeinen Chemie (4th ed., 1909), Preface, as cited by Erwin N. Hiebert and Hans-Gunther Korber in article on Ostwald in Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography Supplement 1, Vol 15-16, 464.

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