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98
votes
3answers
32k views

Did the UK homicide rate go up after handgun ownership was banned?

During debates about gun control, I have seen gun advocates quote a statistic that the UK homicide rate increased in 1996 following a ban on handguns. Furthermore, the claim usually goes on to suggest ...
98
votes
3answers
22k views

Are Americans more likely to be killed by vending machines than terrorist refugees?

The Financial Times did some analysis of Donald Trump's controversial immigration restrictions (which were claimed to be about protecting Americans from terrorism). They focus on analysing risk from ...
98
votes
2answers
22k views

“One year without beef saves 3432 trees”

This statement is doing the rounds on Facebook: Going one year without paper saves 8.5 trees Going one year without beef saves 3,432 trees Alas, as with so many of these 'claims' on FB, ...
97
votes
2answers
23k views

Did eight Jesuit priests survive the nuking of Hiroshima without serious injury?

It is being frequently claimed by Catholic sources (e.g. Catholic News Agency, Catholic Herald) and even Wikipedia that eight Jesuit priests survived the nuking of Hiroshima with very minor physical ...
97
votes
4answers
23k views

Does the production of a Tesla battery produce as much CO2 as driving 200,000 km?

Recently I read on Greenpeace's website, that the production of a 100 kWh battery, as in the Tesla Model S, produces as much CO2 as driving a regular car for 200,000 km. Source: Tesla car ...
97
votes
3answers
18k views

Are there any perceptible differences between the sound quality of 192 versus 320 kbps MP3 files?

I have friends that are very picky when it comes to MP3 bitrate, and will always look for the 320 kbps version of a file. However, I have never noticed any differences, they sound the same to me. I ...
96
votes
6answers
20k views

Are there officially pronounced “no-go” Islamic zones in France?

In this Hannity interview on Fox News on 9 January, 2015, American author Robert Spencer said that: So in France they have set up - the French government lists on a public web-site -751 no-go areas,...
96
votes
2answers
20k views

Is it illegal for regular US citizens to possess or read the Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks?

While referring to the the Podesta emails which were leaked by WikiLeaks this week, CNN's Chris Cuomo said on live TV: Also interesting is, remember: It's illegal to possess these stolen ...
95
votes
3answers
24k views

Was credit for the black hole image misattributed?

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) was used to create an image of Messier 87*, a supermassive black hole in the Messier 87 galaxy. This result has been heavily reported in the media leading up to its ...
95
votes
2answers
29k views

Did Karl Marx write that slavery had good sides and abolishing it would indirectly destroy modern civilization?

The WikiQuote page for Karl Marx claims he wrote this in a letter to Pavel Annenkov, 28 December 1846: Freedom and slavery constitute an antagonism. There is no need for me to speak either of the ...
95
votes
2answers
18k views

Are refugees in the UK holidaying in the countries they fled from?

According to UK Conservative MP Adam Holloway, quoted in the Daily Express: “Likewise, we have people in this country who have come here, claimed asylum and then go back on holiday in the places ...
95
votes
4answers
35k views

Can bullets fired into the air kill a person when they fall?

Lately, I've been watching the Libyan civil war in the media, and both sides in the conflict often celebrate success by firing their AK-47s into the air. Not to say that firing guns into the air is ...
95
votes
1answer
14k views

Will the 2019 EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market ban memes?

There have been lots of reports recently about how the EU are trying to ban memes. For example: Trusted reviews The European Union (EU) is pressing ahead with efforts to ban online memes under new ...
94
votes
3answers
29k views

Does porn destroy dopamine receptors?

Kevin Majeres, a psychiatrist claims that porn destroys dopamine receptors. A quote from his website: This is why pornography causes a vicious circle. When someone views pornography, he gets ...
93
votes
6answers
37k views

Does America not lead the world in mass shootings?

According to an OpEd in the NY Post by John Lott and Michael Weisser that cites a report by the Crime Prevention Research Center, America doesn't lead the world in mass shootings. "Of the 86 ...
93
votes
3answers
24k views

On average in the US, is there a mass shooting 9 out of every 10 days?

Reading the New York Times today, I came across this very amusing "tourism video" touting the benefit of visiting/moving to Australia, namely, "You Won't Get Shot". Don’t Get Shot in America. Live in ...
93
votes
2answers
11k views

Did al-Ghazali lead to decline of science in Islam as Neil Tyson claims?

The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has said that during the Islamic Golden Age, especially in Baghdad, science and discovery flourished for a few centuries. Then an Islamic scholar named al-...
93
votes
2answers
9k views

Is a vegetarian (vegan) diet more healthy?

According to Wikipedia, Vegetarians tend to have lower body mass index, lower levels of cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and less incidence of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, renal ...
92
votes
5answers
10k views

Are women underpaid relative to men?

Many articles, such as this one, report a significant wage gap between men and women of 15% or more as evidence of discrimination. On the other hand, some sources, such as this one, claim that the gap ...
91
votes
2answers
35k views

Are cars in Arizona melting in the 2018 summer heat?

Facebook just posted to my timeline this picture claiming that cars in Arizona are melting in the heat. Is it true?
91
votes
2answers
16k views

Has anyone ever attempted to give a cake—or other baked good—with a file or saw in it to someone in prison to help them escape?

One common trope in fiction over the decades has been someone putting a file in a cake—or other baked good—that then is passed onto someone in prison to help them escape. As the website TV Tropes ...
91
votes
1answer
12k views

Was this 4th grader's creationist quiz real?

Is this 4th grader's creationist quiz real or a hoax?
90
votes
4answers
29k views

Did Einstein say this about his marriage?

I found a picture with a quote on facebook today quoting Einstein. The quote states: When we first got married, we made a pact. It was this:In our life together, it was decided I would make all of ...
90
votes
7answers
24k views

Do the 26 richest billionaires own as much wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion people?

Bernie Sanders, who is running for president in 2020 gave a speech a few days ago. He makes a claim which goes like the following: Today the world's richest 26 billionaires, 26, now own as much ...
90
votes
2answers
15k views

Are 30% of human embryos “spontaneously aborted”?

From Richard Dawkins on Feb 1, 2019 How could I have failed to predict it? My tweet of the beautiful newt embryology film is already triggering the abortion nuts. Did you know, at least 30% of ...
90
votes
3answers
10k views

Did most sex workers experience abuse as a child?

Dr. Drew Pinsky, a medical doctor who hosts several television and radio programs, claims quite frequently that most people who engage in sex-related industries, such as prostitution or pornography, ...
89
votes
5answers
24k views

Was there violence on both sides in Charlottesville?

Was violence was perpetrated by factions on both the left and the right side of the political spectrum during this rally? A specific quote by US president Donald Trump is: TRUMP: The driver of ...
89
votes
4answers
22k views

Did Hillary Clinton give Russia 20% of the United States' uranium?

Donald Trump made this claim in his February 16, 2017, press conference. Did Hillary Clinton give Russia 20% of the US's uranium? What is the source for this claim? Transcript Now tomorrow, you’ll ...
89
votes
3answers
56k views

Does every species get around a billion heartbeats on average?

I read this webcomic today: From: abominable.cc I have no idea where the author got his factoid about the billion heartbeats. But it sounds interesting. The examples I can think of (rabbits, humans,...
89
votes
2answers
18k views

Was Morocco the first country to recognize USA?

Here in Morocco, when you talk about relations between Morocco and the USA, Moroccans tell you, proudly, that Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States of America, and that the ...
89
votes
3answers
8k views

Does a car with a hybrid engine and Lithium batteries pollute more than a car with conventional technology?

You hear a lot of claims that, once you include manufacturing and battery replacement, hybrids pollute more than an efficient, more conventional engine. Are there any end-to-end studies measuring any ...
88
votes
2answers
19k views

Is eating processed meat as bad as smoking for causing cancer?

I recently saw this posted on social media; it caused quite a stir, with over 200 comments from people debating the veracity of the claims. “It’s funny how people get outraged at parents putting ...
88
votes
1answer
9k views

Does the Constitution of Bhutan state that 60% of Bhutan must be forested?

Transcription: Did you know? The constitution of Bhutan specifies that 60% of the country must remain forested. -- MightyFacts.com Title and picture is pretty self explanatory. Is the ...
87
votes
5answers
54k views

Did Valerie Jarrett say she wanted “America to be a more Islamic country”?

This picture, being shared on Twitter, alleges that Valerie Jarrett, former Senior Advisor to the President, during the Obama administration, claimed to be of Iranian descent and of Islamic faith in ...
87
votes
4answers
27k views

Was Donald Trump at ground zero helping out on 9-11?

Donald Trump claims he was at ground zero on 9-11 helping out. Was he? I was down there also, but I'm not considering myself a first responder," Trump said. "But I was down there. I spent a lot of ...
87
votes
3answers
19k views

Have phone scammers recorded “Yes” statements to fraudulently authorise payments?

A number of sources claimed that phone scammers would trick people into saying "Yes" on the phone, record it, and use that to fraudulently authorise payments. Here is a January 2017 Fortune magazine ...
86
votes
3answers
65k views

Is it illegal to refuse US currency for a purchase?

I hear this claim every now and then. That US currency is legal tender and that it is illegal to not accept it. The most recent example of this was on an old episode of 30 Rock: The head and the hair....
86
votes
2answers
19k views

Did toddlers with guns claim more American lives than terrorism in 2015?

The Economist isn't a fan of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. In an analysis of his ascendence to the Republican nomination they try to discern some of the factors. As part of their list of ...
86
votes
1answer
18k views

Is masturbation bad for one's health?

This question has probably been asked by almost everyone at some point in their lives. But the answers we receive vary from "it is very good" to "it is very bad". I can understand that becoming ...
86
votes
2answers
21k views

Does polyphasic sleep work? Does it have long-term or short-term side effects?

Cutting sleep down to 6, or 4, or 2 hours per day sounds fantastic. It also sounds like something that should have evolved naturally if it were possible. From the Polyphasic Society: Humans are ...
85
votes
1answer
35k views

Was Donald Trump's father a member of the KKK?

This tumblr post has garnered over 13,000 notes: The post makes 3 main claims: Donald Trump's father was a member of the KKK for over 70 years He was arrested in 1927 at a KKK event He was ...
85
votes
2answers
13k views

Was President Trump's inauguration “the first time … that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the Mall”?

On 21 Jan 2017, the White House called a press conference where the press secretary accused the media of "deliberately false reporting" on two issues of which the number of people attending President ...
84
votes
5answers
16k views

How were the pyramids built?

It is claimed in many different pseudoscience publications and sites that it was impossible for the ancient Egyptian civilization to build the pyramids, because: too much labour was needed it was ...
84
votes
1answer
13k views

Was the wheel invented before the wall?

So, this extraordinary claim has been getting a lot of publicity lately: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQKrfGCd7I8 They say a wall is medieval, well so is a wheel. A wheel is older than a wall. ...
84
votes
2answers
37k views

Has Phil Karlton ever said “There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things”?

Several references to the quote "There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things" can be found, such as Martin Fowler's blog and others. I'm unable to find ...
84
votes
1answer
11k views

Did Donald Trump make campaign contributions to Attorneys General who then decided not to prosecute him?

According to this Medium article and this Vox article Donald Trump made campaign contributions to two attorneys general who then suddenly decided to stop investigating his "Trump University" for fraud....
84
votes
1answer
14k views

Are light-on-dark colour schemes for computer screens better for programmers?

There is somewhat general scientific agreement that in general case for reading, dark text on light background is more readable than light on dark. However, most studies have shown that dark ...
83
votes
1answer
20k views

Are these 'French children held at gun point'?

I've come across this post on facebook several times now. The video shows a group of young people kneeling on the ground with police around them. The text attached is as follows: School children in ...
83
votes
6answers
8k views

Do mobile phones have anything to do with brain cancer?

Is there evidence for a correlation between the use of mobile phones and the occurence of brain cancer? If yes, is there also evidence for causality?
83
votes
1answer
13k views

Was there a diorama at the Chicago Museum of Science where children could play shooting at a Vietnamese village?

In books and interviews, Noam Chomsky recalls that during the Vietnam War a diorama of a Vietnamese village was built at the Chicago Museum of Science where "children were supposed to come and ...

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