Facts and Theories

Facts are facts and theories are theories. It's important to understand the difference because many promoters of theories want you to believe that they are fact.

Facts are reality; they are what is, and what happened. They are absolute and the same for everybody. There cannot be more than one correct version of the facts. There are no "alternative facts".

A theory is a possible explanation for the facts. It may be correct, it may be incorrect, or it may be partially correct. You need to exercise your judgment to decide how correct a theory is. Some theories are well supported by facts, for example, Darwin's Theory of Evolution; other theories not at all.

You can believe any theory you like, including your own, but you don't get to believe an alternate version of the facts, just because you don't like the actual.

In democratic countries a free and independent press has a crucial responsibility to keep the public informed of the facts. We are fortunate in the United States to have a constitution and a legal system that support that responsibility.

Beware of snake-oil sellers who proclaim that if you don't like reality, you can just invent your own. We need to be very discriminating about what to believe and what not to believe. There is so much misinformation on the internet.

And beware of theories that are made to sound like fact. Conspiracy theories are promoted as reality by people who want to fool you into supporting pet causes and ulterior motives that they don't tell you about.

Your best protection from misinformation is common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Speaker: 
Richard
Date Recorded: 
Monday, May 18, 2020
Date Posted: 
Monday, May 18, 2020
Type of GEM: 
GEM of the Day: 
Sunday, January 3, 2021
Issues Addressed: 
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