Half Of What We Think We Know Is Wrong

January 11, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

In The Half-Life of Facts Samuel Arabson argues that 50% of what we know is wrong. Ronald Bailey found out what he was talking about:

  • Science is always changing. It is estimated that scientific knowledge grows at a rate of 4.7% a year.
  • Yet we don’t stay updated with the latest facts. Research suggests that the half-life of truth is 45 years. This means that half of what we learn now will be proven wrong 45 years later.
  • Moreover a lot of the things we learn are wrong. Several biases in science lead us to read ‘facts’ that are anything but.
  • And of the facts that we are exposed to, we are likely to selectively accept the facts that already fit into our worldview, ignoring those that prove us wrong.
  • Perhaps the solution is that we should forget all facts. After all that’s what the internet is for. Every time we need a fact we could just look it up on Wikipedia.

To find out how you can protect yourself from believing things that are wrong, as well as why a lot of published science has little factual basis behind it click here.

Source: Reason

Via: Newmark’s Door