This is what my life is like. I have four apples. At least I’m pretty sure there are only four, I only bought four, I can only see four and there is no reason to suppose I have any more. There could be five I suppose, but I see no reason to think so. The trouble is, everyone else thinks there are five. I ask people for evidence that there are five apples. I ask them what reason they have to suppose there are five, or to show me how they counted five, and these are the replies I get:
- What do you mean, “count the apples”?
- Have you studied agriculture? If not, how do you know there aren’t five apples?
- The majority of people in the world know there are five apples. Are you saying they are all wrong?
- It’s closed-minded to think there aren't five apples.
- There is plenty of evidence to prove that there are five apples, go and look for it, I’m not counting them for you.
- Apples can’t be “counted” by science, so there are five apples.
- Can you prove there isn’t a fifth apple somewhere?
- Scientists counted only three apples in the past and now they admit there are four, so there are five now.
- The ancient Chinese knew there were five apples; modern science still has not yet caught up.
- They laughed at Galileo when he said there were five bananas, and he was right, so there are five apples.
- Science can’t yet see all the apples. You can’t see radio waves, but they existed before we developed ways to measure them, so why can’t there be a fifth invisible apple now that we just haven’t developed the technology to see?
- Quantum mechanics proves there are five apples.
- I just know the fifth apple is there.
- It’s a government conspiracy to cover up the existence of the fifth apple.
- You’re not keeping up with the latest research. It has now been proven that there are five apples (although I can’t actually remember where this research is written up).
Here’s the thing: I actually have four apples and an orange. These people are so busy making up stories about a fifth apple, they’ll never realize the orange even exists.