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Facts
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★ Facts

Facts: see Evidence & Science & Experiment & Investigation & Inquiry & Crime & Murder & Trial & Court & Creationism & God & Religion & Faith & Belief & Truth & Opinion & Logic & Mathematics & Censorship & Knowledge & Understanding & Wisdom

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There are truths.  And truths are often made up by facts.  And facts on the ground are terribly important ... As a reporter, if I am to draw a conclusion, as I do in my films, that conclusion must be based on evidence Ive uncovered or Ive seen substantiated or Ive witnessed personally.  John Pilger, In Conversation

 

 

Facts matter even if we don’t happen to like them.  Noam Chomsky, Amnesty International lecture, ‘The War on Terror’  

 

 

I am a firm believer in the people.  If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.  The great point is to bring them the real facts.  Abraham Lincoln

 

 

Everything must be taken into account.  If the fact will not fit the theory  let the theory go.  Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles 

 

 

It often seems to me that’s all detective work is, wiping out your false starts and beginning again. 

 

Yes, it is very true, that.  And it is just what some people will not do.  They conceive a certain theory, and everything has to fit into that theory.  If one little fact will not fit it, they throw it aside.  But it is always the facts that will not fit in that are significant.  Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile   

 

 

Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.  Henri Poincare, Science and Hypothesis, 1905

 

 

The great tragedy of Science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.  Thomas H Huxley, Collected Essays 1893-4

 

 

Science is much more than a body of knowledge.  It is a way of thinking.  This is central to its success.  Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions.  It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which ones best match the facts.  It urges on us a fine balance between no-holds-barred openness to new ideas, however heretical, and the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny of everything – new ideas and established wisdom.  We need wide appreciation of this kind of thinking.  It works.  It’s an essential tool for a democracy in an age of change.  Our task is not just to train more scientists but also to deepen public understanding of science.  Carl Sagan, article Skeptical Inquirer 14:3, ‘Why We Need to Understand Science’

 

 

If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.  Albert Einstein, apocryphal attribution

 

 

The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.  Albert Einstein

 

 

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.  Martin Fischer

 

 

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.  Henry Brooks Adams, 1838-1918

 

 

Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.  Henry Brooks Adams

 

 

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.  Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.  Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes 

 

 

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.  Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery

 

 

People make a grievous error thinking that a list of facts is the truth.  Facts are just the bare bones out of which truth is made.  Shelby Foote

 

 

Fact is stranger than fiction.  Mid-19th century proverb

 

 

We are all humiliated by the sudden discovery of a fact which has existed very comfortably and perhaps been staring at us in private while we have been making up our world entirely without it.  George Eliot, Middlemarch

 

 

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.  Mark Twain, cited Rudyard Kipling’s From the Sea, 1899

 

 

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.  Mark Twain

 

 

When you are studying any matter or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only, What are the facts?  And what is the truth that the facts bear out?  Never let yourself be diverted.  Bertrand Russell, interview BBC 1959

 

 

Facts are stupid things.  Ronald Reagan

 

 

What has religion to do with facts?  Nothing.  Robert Ingersoll

 

 

Any fact that needs to be disclosed should be put out now or as quickly as possible because otherwise the bleeding will not end.  Henry Kissinger

 

 

Dont confuse facts with reality.  Robert Ballard

 

 

Facts are many but the truth is one.  Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

The truth is more important than the facts.  Frank Lloyd Wright

 

 

Facts do not speak for themselves: they are read in the light of theory.  Stephen Jay Gould

 

 

Now, what I want is, Facts.  Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts.  Facts alone are wanted in life.  Plant nothing else, and root out everything else.  You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.  This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children.  Stick to Facts, sir!  Charles Dickens, Hard Times, Mrs Gradgrind

 

 

From principles is derived probability, but truth or certainty is obtained only from facts.  Tom Stoppard

 

 

All conclusions are valid if they are based on facts.  John Pilger, In Conversation

 

 

If … sometimes you need to conceal a fact with words, do it in such a way that it does not become known, or, if it does become known, that you have a ready and quick defence.  Niccolo Machiavelli  

 

 

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.  It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.  Calvin Coolidge

 

 

The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion.  Arnold H Glasow

  

 

There are no facts, only interpretations.  Friedrich Nietzsche    

 

 

Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.  Galileo Galilei

 

 

To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past.  The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust.  John F Kennedy

 

 

All generous minds have a horror of what are commonly called ‘Facts’.  They are the brute beasts of the intellectual domain.  Thomas Hobbes

 

 

It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.  Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall   

 

 

False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.  Charles Darwin  

 

 

I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions.  Charles Darwin

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