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677

Short answer: Your friends who think torture is effective at getting reliable information are wrong. New Edit/info: Since this is in the news (December 2014), the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has just recently issued a report (PDF) on torture activities that the US engaged in (the link is the 500 page version). While the majority of details ...


261

The statements of Robert Faurisson plainly contradict and ignore a vast body of primary sources and academic research on the topic. Some of the documents that address the use of gas chambers by the Nazi regime during WWII include the following: Writing for the Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies historian Michael Thad Allen (Georgia Institute of ...


213

This is NOT TRUE. NASA, Snopes, Scientific American and many other sources on the internet refuted the claim. Here is a summary of the story, taken mainly from Scientific American: At first both the USSR space program and NASA used pencils for their missions: Originally, NASA astronauts, like the Soviet cosmonauts, used pencils, according to NASA ...


190

The answer seems to be no on all accounts. In general, Snopes says: Although the meme is of recent origin, Internet mentions of this alleged historical fact date to at least 2003. Significantly, however, we were unable to trace it back any further than that, nor could we find any credible support for the general claim that it was common to use ammunition ...


157

Short version: Susan B. Anthony had a long history of working as an abolitionist, but wasn't willing to settle for gradual victories on the way to women's suffrage. Combine that with a notorious short temper, and a rocky but long friendship with Frederick Douglass, and you end up with some quotes that are less than favorable for Anthony's memory, fall short ...


154

Wikipedia states: In December 1777, the Moroccan Sultan Muhammad III included the United States in a list of countries to which Morocco’s ports were open. Morocco thus became the first country whose head of state publicly recognized the newly independent United States. However, the citation being offered to the US State Department website does not ...


139

Counter-argument: One of the most successful interrogators of Nazi Germany did not use torture. Quite the opposite really. Hanns Scharff, "Master Interrogator" of the Luftwaffe. Scharff was opposed to physically abusing prisoners to obtain information. Learning on the job, Scharff instead relied upon the Luftwaffe's approved list of techniques, which ...


133

Yes the facts are accurate, but the implication of causation is questionable. President Trump did sign an executive order banning the citizens of Iran, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia from entering the US for 90 days. Here is a CNN article that gives the details. It's also true that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are not on the list. The full ...


128

No, walls predate wheels by several millenia. The invention of the wheel is generally placed at around 3500-4500 BCE. However walls were famously built around the town of Jericho in 8000-9000BCE, so they are at least that old. More information can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/10/president-trump-is-wheel-older-than-...


119

Numbers The Nazis documented their extermination campaign. So they left detailed documentary records that provide good evidence that six million were killed. For example, there are Nazi records of how many Jews were transported to Auschwitz and Soviet records of how many were liberated at the end of the war. For example, approximately a million Jews on ...


115

Genetic science in Mahabharata Prime Minister Modi claimed that genetic science and plastic surgery existed in Ancient India. source: “We all read about Karna in the Mahabharata. If we think a little more, we realise that the Mahabharata says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is ...


111

Regarding the claims of Robert Faurisson, Gas chambers: Rudolf Höß, the Auschwitz Kommandant swore in an affidavit that Zyklon-B was dropped into the death chamber through a small opening. Referring to Pery Broad's testimony, He described how the area surrounding the crematorium was kept closed. The Jews arrived in columns. They were told they were ...


111

The photograph in the OP is by R. J. C. Atkinson, January 1958 and its caption is: STONEHENGE, Wiltshire. Re-erection of Trilithon lintel 158 by the 60 ton 'Brabazon Crane', the larger of two cranes used to lift stones. The lintel is being lowered and man-handled into its final resting position on upright stones 57 and 58 While Stonehenge definitely ...


107

This is an old myth from the days of Orientalism. Unfortunately Wikipedia is often edited precisely by people who have simply seen popular accounts by people like Tyson (or Skeptoid podcast, or The New Atlantis) produced with no understanding of the history of science or human thought. The fact is that Ghazzālī nowhere professed that reason or knowledge is ...


107

According to this article (French), there has never been such a law in French codes, but the rumor is persistent over time. It seems that it all come from the censorship of George Orwell's Animal Farm, censored for its first publication in France in 1947; the pig originally named Napoléon was finally renamed Cesar. In 1945, an Englishman, George Orwell, ...


104

The answer is an emphatic NO. If anything, an early Persian could be credited with the most modern version of the scientific method. Ibn al-Haytham (Wikipedia which is reliable enough for this sort of discussion) specifically championed the following method: Explicit statement of a problem, tied to observation and to proof by experiment Testing ...


102

Has maternal mortality due to child birth dropped in England over the past 100 years? Yes. Tremendously. The 2006 paper, British maternal mortality in the 19th and early 20th centuries examines this. Figure 1 illustrates the incredible improvement, just up to 1970 alone. Annual death rate per 1000 total births from maternal mortality in England ...


102

The factory owners certainly did not start the habits of English workers to drink their tea with milk to speed up the breaks. That is a bogus claim incompatible with recorded history. Perhaps there were a few factory owners that made the observation that tea cooling faster might reduce time spent on breaks and thus wanted their workers to add milk in any ...


100

It is entirely possible that Hitler said something of the sort, although it is rather a stretch to say it is about homeschooling. The law making school attendance compulsory was actually passed in 1919 as part of the Weimar constitution. Wikipedia: The Weimar Constitution Section 4: Education and School Articles 142 to 150 guided the operation of ...


100

No. It is a complete invention of an urban myth. Unless anybody produces a Royal Navy document that even does any mention of this influence of Coriolis effect, this seems to be just untrue. A complete fabrication for a good story – good for teaching physics but very bad history. It seems to be an annoying urban myth. The Coriolis effect is present and ...


99

No. For the "procurement of raw materials" the United States could have continued just like before and still win. Effectively it might have been useful still –– for quite some other reasons. Just like in the First World War the United States had a vast advantage in access to raw materials and industrial capacity over Germany and of course over resources ...


98

Yes, absolutely a plane crashed into the Pentagon on September 11th. To address the claims specifically. but did not even scuff up the grass Do you know what airplanes do? They FLY. That this is even a claim is absolutely ludicrous and seems to be grasping at straws... Mike J. Wilson does a nice reconstruction of the crash that shows this gravity ...


94

Overall, this is a mixture of true, false, and unverifiable claims. First things first: I'm going into this highly skeptical, because part of the claim being made is extreme to me. The OP writes, Prominent detractors, including scientists and journalists went missing or were found dead, in horrific circumstances. One’s body was found in a terrible ...


92

1971 I have the Impression India did a little bit of invading in 1971 From Wikipedia After building tensions during the Bangladesh Liberation war, Pakistan launched a pre-emptive attack against India, which responded with air-strikes. This marked the official start of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered the immediate ...


91

To prevent confusion, I will highlight the definition of the verb ban from Google: officially or legally prohibit (something). The Lebanese American University's libraries (largest libraries in the Middle East with over 350,000 books) provide the book. Searching the catalog here with the phrase "The diary of Anne Frank" (or The Diary of a Young Girl) ...


90

According to the 1991 book Horrendous Death and Health: Toward Action : Brown University students took significant action in 1984, before the Cold War thawing. The students voted to have the campus health center stock cyanide pills so they could easily commit suicide in the event of a nuclear war and according to a Brown University webpage: On ...


86

No but also yes. In the 1950 edition of "Mind", Turing published "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" (doi: 10.1093/mind/LIX.236.433, JSTOR, text, PDF) on the subject of artificial intelligence. Wikipedia has a good overview of the article and its implications; however, if you refer to the article itself you will note that the first section is titled "The ...


85

The 1930 measurement was taken incorrectly. The claim was also made in domestic newspapers at the time, including L'Express du Midi: 50° AU SOLEIL A SAINT-ETIENNE Saint-Etienne, 27 août. Le thermomètre a marqué aujourd'hui 50° au soleil. Mme Guilly, 40 ans, est morte frappée d'insolation. A rough translation of this is 50° IN THE SUN IN SAINT-...


83

Yes, President Coolidge was treated in a sealed room with chlorine gas on 3 consecutive days (May 20-22, 1924). On the second day he brought his wife into the room even though she wasn't sick. He liked the treatment so much he is quoted by American Review vol. 71 as saying to Bishop Anderson: You must go down and take a chlorine treatment. I recently ...


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