Friday, May 18, 2012

An Effort For Truth

If a man says of what is that it is, or what is not that it is not, he speaks the truth.  But if he says of what is not that it is, or of what is that it is not, he does not speak the truth.  -Aristotle
In essence, truth corresponds to reality. That is at least what the ancients believed and it is the best definition I have found to describe this transcendental. With so simple an explanation, why then is truth so difficult to reach? Why do we seem to stumble over it, bypass it, ignore it, or find a substitute for it?

In the video below, comedian Tom Naughton, maker of the documentary, Fat Head, presents before an audience the problems with science, scientific studies, and scientific reporting in our culture and gives basic but needful information to help filter out the fact from fiction when it comes to scientific claims in a lighthearted, funny way. Best of all, it presents what questions we should be asking and why. When I first watched this last year, I couldn't help but think of the late Neil Postman's first description of  loving resistance fighters (those who resist reflexively accepting any and all technology with which we are presented) in his book, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. He says loving resistance fighters are: 
(Those) who pay no attention to a poll unless they know what questions were asked and why.
Isn't that a great quote? The same sort of inquiries are needed every time we read of some scientific study.

In our culture it takes a lot of effort to discover the truth. The media, whether through journalism, talk shows, reality t.v., etc. will not present the truth, either because of their ignorance or because they are agenda driven. The video below, at least when it comes to scientific reporting, helps make discerning the truth just a bit easier, plus it's fun.

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