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For example, the age of fossils is based on radiometric dating, which is justified by reasoning that radioactive decay follows a Poisson process rather than a Bernoulli process.Similarly, Percy Williams Bridgman is credited with the methodological position known as operationalism, which asserts that all observations are not only influenced, but necessarily defined by the means and assumptions used to measure them.Moral philosophers since David Hume have debated whether values are objective, and thus factual.In A Treatise of Human Nature Hume pointed out there is no obvious way for a series of statements about what ought to be the case to be derived from a series of statements of what is the case.Consistent with the idea of confirmation holism, some scholars assert "fact" to be necessarily "theory-laden" to some degree.Thomas Kuhn points out that knowing what facts to measure, and how to measure them, requires the use of other theories.A common rhetorical cliché states, "History is written by the winners." This phrase suggests but does not examine the use of facts in the writing of history. Even a dragnet cannot tell us for certain what it would be like to live below the Ocean's surface.Even if we do not discard any facts (or fish) presented, we will always miss the majority; the site of our fishing, the methods undertaken, the weather and even luck play a vital role in what we will catch.

A "fact" can be defined as something that is the case—that is, a state of affairs.

Apart from the fundamental inquiry into the nature of scientific fact, there remain the practical and social considerations of how fact is investigated, established, and substantiated through the proper application of the scientific method. argues that the inherent biases from the gathering of facts makes the objective truth of any historical perspective idealistic and impossible.

In addition to these considerations, there are the social and institutional measures, such as peer review and accreditation, that are intended to promote factual accuracy (among other interests) in scientific study. Facts are, "like fish in the Ocean," of which we may only happen to catch a few, only an indication of what is below the surface.

Those who insist there is a logical gulf between facts and values, such that it is fallacious to attempt to derive values from facts, include G. Moore, who called attempting to do so the naturalistic fallacy.

Factuality—what has occurred—can also be contrasted with counterfactuality: what might have occurred, but did not.