Skeptical People Share Their Best Technically True Yet Misleading 'Facts'.
Has anyone ever cited a fact in support of an argument that you had a hard time refuting but just felt like it wasn't relevant. People often use facts that are technically true even though they might be misleading or irrelevant. Here are some of the best of them...
Many thanks to all the Redditors who responded. Check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1. The planet Mars is inhabited entirely by robots!
2. In college, I was on the fencing team. We competed at nationals against Army and Navy.
Therefore, I can truly state that I have defeated both the US Army and Navy in armed combat.
In WWI, using metal helmets rather than cloth caps increased the number of recorded head wounds.
Reason being, dying of a head wound counts as death, but surviving a head wound counts as head wound. Fewer deaths, more recorded head wounds.
4. "4 out of 5 dentists/doctors recommend _____."
They give a panel of doctors/dentists a long list of products, and ask them to check off any and every item they would recommend.
So, it's not that 4/5 recommend ABC toothpaste over every other brand in the world, it's just that 4/5 included ABC in their exhaustive list of toothpaste brands they would recommend.
5. Made with 100% white chicken breast.
6. "Eating the brains of people smarter than you will increase your IQ."
IQ is defined as 100 being average, with a standard deviation of 20 15. This means it isn't a raw measure of anything, but rather a score of how one compares to the average.
Removing more intelligent people from the population changes the average, so it shifts your IQ score upwards. Actually eating the brains is unnecessary of course, but it sounds better that way.
7. That the average life span in the middle ages was 30. This is technically true, but only because infant mortality was extremely high. Once you made it past childhood, you could live well into your 50's or 60's.
8. Cancer rates are steadily increasing. This is true, and taken on its own it sounds like people are getting less healthy overall because more people are being afflicted by this terrible disease.
Counter intuitively, the rising cancer rates are a sign of better health and higher life expectancy. We've eliminated so many other diseases that more people than ever before are actually living long enough to develop cancer.
9. I have never lost a professional boxing bout.
10. I survived 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the Tiananmen Square massacre.
(by being nowhere near any of them)
11. If Bill Gates has lunch with 59 unemployed people, the average person at the table is a billionaire.
12. Heavier elementary students are better at math.
13. Zimbabwe had the world's highest concentration of billionaires.
14. Every single person who drank water in the 18th century died.
15. You can live the rest of your life underwater without breathing.
16. If you sprinkle salt on a bird, it won't be able to fly away.
This is a common tale told in the south, that is fairly accurate.
If you can get close enough to a bird to be able to do this, it most likely can't fly in the first place.
17. An hourglass has more moving parts than an expensive and intricate clock.
18. Type 1 and Type 2 errors, and how "accurate" a test is. For example, I can predict with 99.9% accuracy whether or not you are the Pope you aren't or the Queen of England no, you're not that either.
For things that have a low probability of happening, a test can be inaccurate, but have a high accuracy" rating. In the examples above, the tests are functionally worthless, since they will never identify the Pope or the Queen.
Just something to keep in mind when people state a high success rate for something, it can be misleading whether it's a drug test or screening at the airport.
19. Everything is either a potato or not a potato.
20. Northern peoples have about a hundred words for snow. They form words similarly to Germans, so any [adjective]+snow is technically a different word.
21. 100% of people who get a paper cut end up dying.
22. We use 10% of our brain.
Yes we also use the other 90%.
But we definitely use 10% of the brain.
23. I know more about gravity than Isaac Newton.
24. No one has been disappointed by a sexual encounter with me. (NoOneHasHadSexWithMe)
More 'facts' on the next page!
25. SPAM is Pork Shoulder and ham... it has a bad rep because of its brick shape... its not mystery meat it is pig.
26. The average person has one testicle.
27. On the interstate by my towns exit there is a sign that reads 'hospital next right'.
Well yea, you'll take the exit and turn right. Then drive on a highway for 11 miles, then make another right, then go straight for another 3 miles.
Every time I see it I hope there's not some poor out of state or town guy driving past with a wife in labor, or a passenger having a heart attack, or somebody having an allergic reaction, and they see that sign and feel relief because there's a hospital right up here!!
28. Using scientifically specific terms in the common vernacular. For example, 'global warming' is technically correct in that the Earth's climate is getting warmer, but it is highly misleading in that it leaves the impression the weather should be getting warmer.
Another great example is the word 'theory'. In a scientific framework (such as 'theory of gravity' or 'theory of evolution') the word 'theory' is used to incorporate a collection of hypotheses that together describe how a specific aspect of how the world works. Scientific theories are inclusive and adapt for new data. In the general vernacular, 'theory' just means an educated guess that may or may not be true.
29. Together, Wayne and Brent Gretzky hold the NHL record for most combined points by two brothers.
30. When companies say "This terrible product has ______ in it which is also used in WEED KILLER!!!! USE OURS INSTEAD!!!"
Maybe so but a chemical can be in one product thats fine and be in another that's "dangerous." Example, there's water in poisons and pesticides but you still drink it.
31. This is covered under your health insurance. *
*But you have a $6000 deductible so have fun with that bill!
32. I keep hearing this one from mostly Trump travel ban supporters about Sweden being the "rape capital of the world" because of immigrants.
While true Sweden has a high number of reported rape cases, there's a couple things they don't consider:
Sweden had a huge public campaign to try to reduce unreported cases. Women are not shamed and very much supported and don't fear retaliation or whatnot, and thus is estimated to have a lot fewer unreported cases.
Crimes that might be just "Assault" in the US have been reclassified in Sweden as sex crimes.
If you are sexually assaulted 14 times by a single person, that would be, in many countries, a single case with 14 counts of rape. In Sweden, that's 14 cases.
Thus the numbers are not comparable. And that's not even counting that the crime rate has been steady since 2005 and they don't track ethnicity, religion or race, so it can't even be blamed on immigrants as they want you to believe.
33. The pool on the Titanic is still full.
34. C# and Db are one-in-the-same keys on the piano keyboard but sound different as they function in music theory.
35. Assuming no afterlife, from your own perspective, you can never prove you are not immortal.
36. If you finish second place in a race of two people, you finished second and they finished second to last.
37. Everyone engages in self cannibalism (like sucking your finger with it bleeds, or accidentally swallow a baby tooth).
38. The average amount of arms a person has is less than two.
39. Cereal: "Great sorce of calcium and vitamin d"
Because you add milk to the cereal. It is negligible otherwise. I don't know how advertising the health benefits of something you may not even add is legal.
40. Totally radical people go waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay.
More 'facts' on the next page!
41. That your vote counts, in a way it does but not like they make it sound.
42. I was the youngest person in the world.
43. In the 2014 American football season I, personally, accounted for as many NFL touchdown receptions as every wide receiver on the Kansas City Chiefs combined.
44. Studies show ACT scores increase with shoe size. Because children tend to do worse on the ACT than adults.
45. All of humanity's problems, starvation, epidemic, conflict, etc., all could be solved in an instant. Provided that instant rids the world of humans.
When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.