From JStor Daily:
As late as 1923, a British physicist despaired his coevals were still “ignorant of Einstein’s work and not very much interested in it.” British physicists Ebenezer Cunningham and Norman R. Campbell were at first quite lonely introducing Einstein to their countrymen and challenging the “ethereal” view. Campbell seems to have been the only anti-ether voice from 1905 to 1911.More.
Of course, in its day, ether was a reasonable belief as—in its day—was the belief that Earth was the point of the universe down to which all things fell (geocentric system).
As anthropologist J. G. Frazer put it
The views of natural causation embraced by the savage magician no doubt appear to us manifestly false and absurd; yet in their day they were legitimate hypotheses, though they have not stood the test of experience. Ridicule and blame are the just meed, not of those who devised these crude theories, but of those who obstinately adhered to them after better had been propounded.
See also: Imagine a World of Religions that Naturalism Might Indeed Be Able to Explain
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