What You Know is Wrong

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Martin Hash
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What You Know is Wrong

Post by Martin Hash » Sat Jul 03, 2021 11:54 am

Science author Jonathan Huie speculated: “Half of everything you were ever taught is wrong; the question is which half.” It’s not a stretch to believe that lots of the things you’ve learned so far, especially decades ago, is wrong. It’s more problematic to put a number on it, certainly something as provocative as “half,” however, there is a convincing theory that almost all knowledge we think we know will be proved wrong in the future; there’s even a calculation that the half-life of truth is 45 years. Among other examples, the research showed that only 6 of 53 landmark papers on cancer are reproducible. Add to that confirmation bias: people only listening to “facts” that support their preexisting notions, and we confront a future of wrongness.

Think of it this way: there’s some amount of things you think you know but are outright wrong: whatever the amount, it is not inconsiderable, and unfortunately, you don’t know which is what? Yet people don’t seem to hesitate when they get a change to pontificate on a subject, usually when they consider themselves an expert in the field. It would probably be better to hold back on certainty if you know you’re going to be wrong so much. There’s so much bad information that falsity is as common as truth, perhaps more-so when intentional lies are added in, which is becoming more-and-more common. What makes it even more confusing is that given the premise, there’s a 50% chance that’s wrong too.
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