Fact or Fiction…

So a while back I was ranting on about a documentary called Blackfish about killer whales (the documentary itself is fantastic) but there was a part where it states that something like 12k whales (or something I can’t remember the exact figure) visit off the coast of San Fran each year.  And I thought that is such a strange ‘fact’.  Like how do they actually know that?  Some researcher gets a 3 month grant to sit on a boat and count killer whales.  From that he adjust for errors and extrapolates for the year and comes up with a number.  That number then becomes the global factual figure for how many killer whales visit San Fran each year.  But it is not fact.  It has no scientific basis to it.  It is just a one time count with a bunch of adjustments and assumptions that may or may not be right.  And we get this kind of ‘fact’ thrown at us by ‘experts’ all the time and we never stop to think about the reliability or integrity of the ‘fact’, we just take it at face value.  Well here’s a great article expanding on the subject…. love it.