When it comes to discussion, data rules, right? If it's data, then it has to be fact. And if it is a fact, it has to be accepted. End of discussion!
I've never really been comfortable with that position. My discomfort principally revolves around two concerns. First, are we really sure about these so-called facts? And, secondly, have we critically examined the facts, or are we using the facts more, as they say, for support than illumination?
I have always loved that quip about facts and illumination. QuoteInvestigator attributes the earliest version of the allegory of drunks and lampposts to A. E. Housmann's critique of his colleagues' scholarship: Read on, Macduff…