When you hear or read a “fact” do you accept it as being a fact or do you look to verify it in some way before telling others?

It’s so easy to just assume a statement is true regardless of where it came from. It’s not made up because you heard it from someone else so it must be true (without regard for whether the other person made it up or not). This is how rumors, urban legends and blatant lies spread so quickly.

I hadn’t thought much about this until a few days ago at a small dinner gathering, the example of the penguins working together to provide warmth for each other, which I wrote about yesterday, was brought up by someone. As a person who doesn’t think very much about penguins or the ways they work together I just accepted that and moved on. Two days later I received an email from another person in attendance with a link to a scientific article verifying the example of the penguins. This person, heard something he wasn’t aware of, and decided to do a small amount of research and found verification. Was this a case of him not believing the person who first brought it up or was he simply wanting to learn more? It doesn’t matter. What does matter is we now know it’s true.

How many times do you hear something (a statistic, a rumor, a story etc) and just accept it as fact, repeat it (giving it some credibility) and don’t bother to confirm?

It’s ok for people to have opinions but it sure would be nice if people verified facts, when possible

Have a great day!


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