Playing the devil's advocate
There was a time people believed combustion was "phlogiston" exiting the material;
Which isn't entirely wrong. It's just the same usual equations but with an arbitrary minus sign in front of the oxygen.
(Just as you could mathematically describe orbits with a complex bunch of circles, but using ellipses makes it way much simpler for everyone).
blood was generated and consumed in the body (not circulated);
(medieval dark-age medecine hardly qualifies as a science. more of a superstition.
christian middle-age somewhat focused on a very small subset of the knowledge (mainly Aristotle) available in antiquity that happen to play nicer with their religious believes.)
(Real notion of blood circulation can already be found in many other greek scientist and as far back as egyptian antiquity.
Middle age just settled on Aristotle body humors for an arbitrary reason)
the Sun revolved around the Earth;
and then Einstein came and declared that everything is relative and it's only a matter of referential.
(You can pretty much put whatever you want in "your center", all relativist equation remain valid).
All of these ideas were eventually discarded through a process that was not incremental, but revolutionary.
and which yet still build-up on several other smaller past discoveries to arrive at the big conclusion:
mice could be "created" by leaving some food and rags alone in a bucket in a barn for a few days, while fly maggots were "generated" in meat.
the disproving of which requires both preliminary advances in chemistry (e.g.: Le Chatelier - matter can't just pop up into existence) and general understanding of evolution (e.g.: Darwin - mice must come from other mices or at least ancestrors close to modern mices) and in turn has interesting implication in germ theory (Pasteur - bacteria can't just pop into existence, exactly as mice can't neither) and for medecin (Koch and the identification of agents causing diseases).
Around Maxwell`s days it was believed aether was needed for the propagation of electromagnetic waves
And yet Maxell didn't competely invent electro magnetism out of the blue. (again, e.g.: Volta for a much older contributor) Even the word Electrictiy come from old Greek "electron" =amber, i.e.: the thing that you need to rub with cloth to generate static electricity.
And in turn his models were perfected by Einstein, and then further into quantum physics (Heisenberg and co).
and the age of the Earth was under estimated because the radio active processes preventing a more rapid cooling down were unknown.
yet, some geologists did came to differing conclusion due to plate tectonics.
And you needed the advance by the Curies couple to then be able to advance calculation of the Earth thermal cooling. And isotope dating too.
Yup. Some steps are wider than others, but they still built upon all the knowledge that was accumulated up to this point and start as far back as when the first monkey-man lifted up his nose and started wondering about the stars in the sky instead of just thinking about where to get the next fruit.