The right references are important

I had a friend over today and we were chatting about this and that, like you do, when she began a sentence with, “I read in a book somewhere that…” and went on to tell me something completely wrong about the Hindu religion.  Now, I’m not a Hindu, but I do enjoy studying world religions (enough so that I nearly minored in it in college).  And for the life of me, I can’t remember what the comment was, and I wish I did.  Anyway, the basic gist of this got me thinking about how we learn things.

-We learn things in school as “facts”.  You mix Chemical A with Chemical B and this happens.  The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone.  Etcetera.

-We learn things from our culture.  Sticking your middle finger up is an unacceptable gesture.  A stitch in time saves nine.

-We learn things from the internet.

This last way of learning is actually a mix of the first two.  Unfortunately, there are alot of falsehoods mixed in with the “facts” of the internet, which is why one must be extremely cautious when doing internet research.  Now, it came out through our conversation that my friend had heard another piece of information from another friend who had read it on the internet.  To this I sarcastically stated that “because everything on the internet is always right!”  The problem is, it’s funny because some people still believe it’s true.

So in conclusion, I’ve learned today (well, re-learned, really) that it’s important to have the right references.  If you want to tell me the grass is purple, please bring a scientist that can explain how the light waves are wrong and green really is purple, before you expect me to believe you up front.

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