The Relativity of Wrong

The Relativity of Wrong January 4, 2014

“[W]hen people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.”

 — Isaac Asimov, “The Relativity of Wrong,” The Skeptical Inquirer 1989

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  • Just Sayin’

    Are there degrees of being wrong? Is 2+2=6 “wronger” than 2+2=5?

    • It is further from the correct answer. 7,943,257 is even more wrong than either of those two. And “triangular” is further from the shape of the Earth than “spherical.”

      • Just Sayin’

        In a “common sense” or “everyday” sense, I suppose. But in a logical, absolute sense, something is either correct or incorrect i.e. either has “truth value 1” or “truth value 0”.

        • arcseconds

          up until multi-valued logics were developed in the 1920s and 30s, at any rate 🙂

  • David Evans

    If you try to navigate from Britain to Australia using a spherical globe and a compass, you are likely to hit the right continent. Try it with a flat-earth map (but which one?) and I have no idea where you will end up.