Reading an article (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/02/bad-air/618106/) regarding historical responses to pandemics and the author brings up an interesting point contrasting our modern response with that of previous generations:
A few years ago, when I still had confidence in our modern ability to fight viruses, I pored over a photo essay of the 1918 flu pandemic. How quaint I remember thinking, as I looked at people bundled up for outdoor classes and court and church. How primitive their technology, those nurses in gauze masks. How little did I know. I felt secure, foolishly, in our 100 additional years of innovation. But it would soon become clear that our full-body hazmat suits and negative-pressure rooms and HEPA filters mattered little to Americans who couldn’t find N95 masks. In our quest for perfect solutions, we’d forgotten an extremely obvious and simple one: fresh air. A colleague joked, at one point, that things would have gone better in the pandemic if we still believed in miasma theory. Miasma theory—discredited, of course, by the rise of germ theory—held that disease came from “bad air” emanating from decomposing matter and filth.
My question stems from the observation which I've put in bold above: is there an English word, phrase, or concept, for when a false idea has a pragmatic outcome better than that of the truth?
The example here (agree or disagree) is that the emphasis on ventilation of Florence Nightengale borne of her belief in the "witchcraft" of miasma theory would've produced a better outcome in a pandemic than that of the "more advanced" and empirically correct germ theory which replaced it.
Again, this can be applied to other scenarios or "debunked superstitions", and I am not asking whether you agree or disagree with the central point here, but just wondering if there's a nice concise word or phrase which expresses this phenomenon.