Do You Believe in Facts?

So there’s been a very passionate argument lately in my post about the moon landing.

It seems to me that we are given a plethora (yes, I said plethora) of information in this crazy life – way too much for us to process, much less check up on. The question is what information are we willing to accept as factual and what do we reject as bullshit? I personally have never been to Africa. I have seen a lion. I’ve seen a map and a globe. But I’ve never said to myself “I’m going to do more research until I’m 100% sure that this so-called ‘Africa’ exists” and then book passage on a boat and try to stay awake the whole trip and monitor all the instruments (which may or may not be rigged).

If Africa doesn’t exist, a lot of people have been trying to mislead me (or us). The reason I choose to believe what I’m told about Africa, and in many other instances, comes down to this question…

(…and it is the question of the skeptic:)


How could it be that all sources of information about Africa are inaccurate? It just doesn’t make sense. Oh sure, some of the information will be bad, that’s reasonable to assume. One can, and should, parse and critique both data and its source.

But, as Joe says, there is such a thing as being so open-minded that you do yourself a disservice (I’m paraphrasing now). If you refuse to accept the testimony of experts, if you refuse to trust in common knowledge, if you refuse to rely on sheer reason, well…you aren’t going to have any African friends.

On a not-really related, but hilarious topic:

4 Replies to “Do You Believe in Facts?”

  1. I think a big problem is that people tend to think that if there are any questions about something then it is just as likely to be false as true. There seems to be a resistance to being able to take in all the information and then deciding which one is more likely and going with that until more evidence arises.

    Is it possible Africa doesn’t exist and you’ve just been fooled your whole life? Sure, but the odds that a large portion of the world is perpetuating the “Africa Hoax” and haven’t been discovered yet are staggeringly, mind-bogglingly low.

    Just like moon hoaxers’ claims. They bring up tiny nitpicking question after question which don’t prove anything, but they feel the existence of the question casts doubt, and it doesn’t.

    I’ve given up on that previous post, but I’ll answer his current question that he thinks casts doubt on the moon landing — how did they get a live television broadcast from the moon back then when we are only now perfecting live worldwide television broadcasts?

    Firstly, he’s wrong. We’ve been doing live worldwide television broadcasts for ages — since just before the moon landing in fact. The Olympics have been broadcast live worldwide for ages. I can’t find exactly when it started, but the 1936 German Olympics were broadcast live locally!

    Secondly, the problem with worldwide broadcasts is that the earth is a sphere and radio waves travel in a straight line. We have to bounce those transmissions off of satellites to get them to another location on the earth, and getting them “worldwide” requires a staggering amount of coordination.

    Getting transmissions to and from the moon landing, however, required a straight line and a lot of power.

    Once you realize this, the question itself was ridiculous and cast no doubt on the moon landing.

    This is a logical fallacy called “the argument from ignorance” which is basically “I don’t understand how it works, so it can’t be true”.

    As with all moon-hoax advocates, all that will happen is that they’ll switch to another question, and another, and another. Each one weaker than the first, and they’ll continue to ignore the actual physical evidence, thousands of eye-witnesses and completely *lack* of evidence to the contrary.

  2. Testify Puck. Nice work Toren. Your comic is very XKCD…

    …but better.

    Skeptics and rational thinkers come out of your closets. We won’t lie down anymore.

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