For some reason today seems to be the day for people making all sorts of factual errors. Maybe its the April 1st thing, I don't know. What bugs me though, is people who do not own up to their mistakes. When an error is made unintentionally, it is a mistake. When an error is made intentionally, it is a lie. When a mistake is pointed out, but still clung to, it becomes a lie. It is human nature to not like being wrong, so I'm not naive enough to think its abnormal to not admit being wrong. Everyone hates being wrong. But admitting your mistakes and taking corrective action is the first step in the maturation process. Little kids say "I didn't do it" even when caught red-handed. Some people never grow out of it. Why? Because its seen as a sign of weakness to admit a mistake. But thats wrong - when you refuse to admit a mistake, you now have made two. It isn't easy to admit it, but it really is a sign of maturity and moral courage to openly admit a mistake, correct it, and move on. But unfortunately most people lack that level of courage and maturity. Now proving someone wrong factually isn't always that simple. When its a numerical error, it is. For example someone today claimed that the atom bombs in WWII killed 1.5 million people each. Since as someone pointed thats more than the total residency of those cities from before WWII to today, thats impossible. The highest current estimates are an order of magnitude lower. But for non-numerical facts, it gets pretty fuzzy. Generally when someone doesn't want to admit being wrong, they take to misdirection (thats not what I meant) or hairsplitting (that depends...). And certainly there is room for interpretation. Definitions are somewhat subjective. But only somewhat and people use fuzzy definitions to justify logical fallacies. The famous quote "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" is one such logical fallacy. Once you nail down and agree on a specific definition of terrorism, its very hard for two people regardless of bias to argue opposites. But people do because they refuse to accept the implications of consistent definitions. Clinton made this acceptable - even fashionable with his famous quote on definitions. Now many people think it really is true that you can change your definition arbitrarily to suit your needs. You can't. Definitions are ground rules people must agree on BEFORE entering a discussion. Since we are discussing things in English, it is understood that the definitions in use are the generally accepted English definitions (found in the dictionary). Now I know people hate the implication that not owning up to an honest mistake makes one a liar, but there is a great physics example of this: cold fusion. Pons and Fleishman made a simple error in their experiment. When pointed out, they denied it vigorously. What started as a simple error turned into fraud - and lawsuits flew back and forth over it. Read about it in the aptly titled "Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness [or substitute "error"] to Fraud" The way you choose to evade or cover up your errors says even more about you. Some people turn to sarcasm. Others to hairsplitting or misdirection (I'm a hairsplitter myself). Some just launch into namecalling. And still others just turn and run. Which you turn to speaks volumes about the content of your character. So what's my point? Admit your mistakes and move on. You end up getting more respect and your valid arguements immediately increase in validity. Clinging to a mistake for the sake of saving face is immature and changes the mistake into a lie. People who don't admit mistakes are immature liars.