Jack Hassard taught science and science teachers for many years.

He clings to the old-fashioned idea that “facts are facts.” 

He is offended by the idea of “alternative facts” or the charges of “fake news” used to discredit anyone that Dear Leader disagrees with.

A fact is verifiable. An opinion is not.

He writes:

As science teachers, we think of facts as a repeatable observations or measurements. In short, they can be verified.

For instance, observations and measurements are dependent upon the observers and instruments used to make the measurements.

The Uncertainty Principle

There are limitations in our ability to observe.

There are limitations in our ability to observe. Werner Heisenberg worked out this idea in 1927. He proposed the Uncertainty Principle. The Uncertainty Principle meant that there was a limit to measuring very small particles in the quantum world. Moreover, Heisenberg said that there was always an uncertainty if one measures the momentum and the position of particles.

In the same vein, the classical world that we live in, there are still limitations to our ability to describe and measure. For example, if we say that the temperature outside is 35º C, the temperature can be verified. However, you could ask where was the temperature taken, in full sunlight or in the shade. What kind of instrument did you use.

In any of these cases, the statement can be considered a fact (and not an opinion). But, if you said that it’s very hot outside. That’s an opinion. Another person could say the temperature is fine with me. That’s another opinion.

Pay attention. Facts are facts. A dictator tries to control what is fact and what is opinion. Hold to truth.