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Fiction From Facts


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Guest Pumba
I heard over and over again that myths and legends were based on factual events that were told several times to become fictional stories. This principle might be true with scientific evidence and open-mindedness.
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How so? A myth is something unproven but widely believed, whereas scientific evidence is proven. You can't share an unproven story 15 times to have it become scientific evidence. I'm so confused. A myth seems more like a question or something left up in the air that's widely believed even though it's wrong. A legend is more like a tall tale and instead of a question or leaving things open-ended, it's more of a story. Scientific evidence is something you can prove that refutes or supports a hypothesis. Open-mindedness is a state of being. I'm sure I'm missing something and am just not getting it. Edited by ShadowEdge
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@ShadowEdge I'm not sure if I'm interpreting the OP correctly, but I think one possible example is the idea that vaccines cause autism. It started as a myth which, deep down, most people thought was incorrect. If vaccines caused autism, why didn't the older generations have it? Why didn't many more kids in the United States have autism? The media shared these questions since that's what people were talking about. Autism is tough to handle and no parent wants to see their child struggle, so there's got to be something or someone to blame. Vaccines were an easy villain due to the public's feelings about Big Pharma.

 

Then it turned into a legend once doctors, celebrities, and parents started sharing their stories about how their patient/relative/child suffered a vaccine injury which resulted in autism. Those tales were often heart-wrenching and made they made for compelling television interviews. Those stories got printed in the media as well and they were attention grabbing headlines. Even though the myth that vaccines cause autism had been debunked by most reliable sources, at that point people were already pretty cloistered off with "those who believed like them." Also, news companies never say that X is a lie. They soften their language by using words like claims, alleges, supposed, been proven false, and made a false statement. By not calling a lie, a lie it helped the lies spread.

 

Once enough sources were discussing vaccines and autism and the anti-vaxx movement got underway, they were given credibility by using faulty scientific evidence. But we've seen that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter who is paying Dr. Y off to say what you want him to say. It doesn't matter who funded the study. It doesn't matter that the case studies were done incorrectly. It doesn't matter that the results aren't reproducible. Once enough people say it and want to believe it, enough sources print, and enough people share it on social media, it becomes fact. They've used that information in order to lobby politicians to create laws given them vaccine exemptions and forcing insurance to cover alternative doctors and alternative medicine and so on. That too lends credibility to their cause.

 

And these anti-vaxxers have continued to be given a platform because we all want to appear open-minded and part of that means including "both sides" of the argument no matter how ridiculous it is. This idea of fairness has been manipulated beyond belief and it's honestly part of the problem. Boy I did not mean to write so much. I will die laughing if the OP was talking about something else entirely.

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Yea that's pretty much what the OP meant, I assume. Obviously I could say the sky is red a million times and it won't ever become scientific fact, but if I say it enough times to the right people, they accept it as their truth (Maybe they believe blue is actually red, whatever).

 

Anti-Vax stuff is the perfect example, as Snarky says. Doesn't matter if the scientist who first popularized the idea of vaccines leading to autism has come out and said he was lying. Doesn't matter if it's been disproven over and over by now. That cat is out of the bag, and people will latch on to that idea blindly.

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What I took from the OP was that a truth was told so many times and exaggerated along the way to the point where it sounds fictional.

 

When I see "myth" I see an exaggeration that might have been the truth in an earlier time.

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Guest Pumba
You can look at the OP that way as well. I'm thinking more of when Galileo proposed that the Earth was spherical instead of flat. The supposed educated people in his time laughed at him and dismissed his theory. I guess the opposite is happening right now with the flat earth society. I'm just saying because I don't conform with those guys.
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  • 1 month later...
There was an anti vax guy on TWO for a while. I think he had about 10 kids and swore he worked full time but still had enough time for all of them. I assume he slept 3 hours a week. Edited by Paul
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