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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Facts are undisputed. Opinions are not.

Several days ago, I had a discussion with another blogger. He claimed that his facts were facts while I said that his alleged facts are/were (extreme) political opinions. At one point, I replied that “facts are undisputed while opinions are not”. I haven’t heard from him since.

My remark made me wonder about which facts are undisputed. I’ve come to the conclusion that (very) many (alleged) facts are often opinions, disguised by a (semi) scientific coating.

Only hard sciences appear to provide universally undisputed facts. Examples of hard sciences are chemistry (eg, formulas), mathematics (eg, a^2 + b^2 = c^2) and physics (eg, E=mc^2).

The field of soft sciences is close to Albert Einstein's (alleged!) definition of insanity: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". This type of "insanity" is the case in many scientific studies:
"Science is facing a "reproducibility crisis" where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests." (BBC-2017). Note: bold markings by LO.

The solution to the above is cherry-picking: "the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position". In other words: you pick your own convenient facts and ignore all other controversial facts.

A main reason for the difference between facts and opinions is the Time and Space dimension (Wiki). Depending on your era and location, facts become opinions, while opinions become facts. Historic example: the scientific conflict about heliocentrism between the Catholic Church and Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642).

A current example is Planet Nine (sometimes called Planet X). Some 5,000 years ago, the Sumerians already depicted our Solar system by a Sun and 12 planets (AC). In 1930, Pluto was discovered and "originally considered to be the ninth planet from the Sun". In 2016, two scientists claimed they may have found the tenth planet from the Sun (eg, IndependentNatGeo, Scientias).

On 31 March 2016, I wrote my blog Why are opinions stronger than facts? The reason is that our opinions are the result of our beliefs in Love, Money, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science, and/or the Truth - the 7 Belief systems. We have no problem in ignoring our intuition, our imagination, and even our knowledge, but we almost never ignore our beliefs.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts". A quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), US Senator, ambassador, and academic.

Undisputed (2008) by Ludacris ft. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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