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Bad Skinny

My world of “science” knowledge sources seems to be filled with a minimum eighty percent bad information. In the Navy we called it “bad skinny” I had a hard time finding this term on the internet until I defined it as “the skinny”. Many examples can be found when you ask properly.

That is a part of the problem. Knowing how to ask a proper question to get the proper information. 

Also common. Asking questions that only fit the answers expected. Shaping facts to fit preconcieved notions. All bad science. 

But this is far from the real problem.

The world hears more expressed opinions rather than facts. So much so, that most people don’t know the difference. Sargent Joe Friday (Dragnet and Badge 714) used to say, “All we want are the facts. Ma’am.” What most people offer is an opinion.

Opinions can be based on facts. But often not based on ALL the facts. That is why they are called opinions. Some non-science extrapolations are really opinions based on a limited set of available clues rather than compete factual evidence.

The Neanderthal is an example. What is printed about them is almost entirely speculative. Based on insufficient evidence. A stereotype has been promulgated as fact. This one example is filled with “thoughts”  speculation and vague educated guesses. In my opinion (also not fact) perhaps simply an educated but wild imagination, trying to present pseudoscience speculation as fact. An entire extinct culture guessed, from a few bones and flint chips found in caves.

Another prime example of this the elephant being examined by several blind men.

Eyewitness reports are not good “factual evidence”. The human mind and memory records impressions, not facts. Seeing is believing is a personal truth but not necessarily an irrefutable fact. Today it has been realized that eyewitness reports are seldom reliable as absolute hard facts. Example: The video playback now common during professional sports showing bad calls.

News reports seldom present straight facts. That’s deemed too boring, but I think it is because there is always an “agenda” or “spin” applied so fact reporting becomes commentary. Commentary is an opinion of interpreted facts. Perhaps it is true. Humans can not handle the truth in pure form. Everything must be interpreted. How many times have you listened to a presidential “State of the Union” address, then the “reporters” spend another hour telling us what the president “really” said? That is really an editorial commentary.

I could rant-on, but it is somewhat pointless. I have expressed my opinion; from the way I see things. Your experience may vary and be different. That previous sentence is an often stated “escape clause.”

Just the facts, Ma’am…

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