I’m going to do a bit more nit picking with falsehoods, explaining why I think it is both important and necessary to use words and phrases which best fit the message being conveyed, or at the very least, showing the courtesy of defining said terms prior to using them in an educational approach.
When we are attempting to convey complex ideas from within our own brains* to another person, it is necessary to be both concise and correct to a certain degree varying with audience.** For instance, in my posts here, I attempt to convey maximum correctness, while I allow myself the freedom to descant on and aberrate (why doesn’t Firefox recognize that word?) from any given topic to further explain my intention and meaning. Blogs such as this are highly useful for this reason. Other forms of communication, Twitter, for example, require concision far more than blogs do, thus requiring a sacrifice in the correctness of a statement.
One can consider verbal descriptive accuracy, in nearly all fields of science, to be similar to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, in that you can either be precise (location) or brief (velocity) in explanation. This is, of course, a metaphor, I do not imply that there is some chart labeled brevity v. accuracy and only voluminous works can be accurate; it varies with subject, breadth, and audience.
This is what “good” falsehoods are used for, they are mostly or partly correct and illustrate main ideas in concise language. (read: “they are memorable”) Typically, with “good” falsehoods, if one were to go through and specify exactly how the words are being used in this context, along with the connotations and implications specific to this instance, it would no longer be a falsehood; it would also defeat the purpose of using the falsehood in the first place.
We are left with a wide spectrum of descriptive approaches ranging through (but not limited to) metaphorical, euphemistic, narrative, allegorical, mathematical, physical, and visually illustrative methods. These approaches can, and often are, quite mixed in presentation. Visually illustrative explanations typically incorporate at least one other method, but do so with direct imagery rather than relying upon the reader or listener to imagine. For descriptions of environmental or social disasters, (Katrina, overfishing, reef loss…) these images can illustrate the problem in a far more emotionally charged manner. Metaphor and euphemism are useful for discussing topics often considered taboo or difficult to explain without sufficient background (equating electrons to little balls bouncing around atoms or diseases transmitted through excrement, effluvia, etc).
Good falsehoods are, and will continue to be, useful in education, but we should always, when we have the opportunity, explain them. The desire to present accurate information in an optimally condensed form is precisely where falsehoods arise from, but one must be careful not to strip away or insert ideas which alter the meaning, lest we end up with another falsehood.
“brains” rather than “minds” as this dualism is another falsehood (also not explained by quantum mechanics)
1) the more the two individuals discuss a topic, the more likely it will be that other related topics can be somewhat condensed; the working definitions will (generally) already be established
2) individuals in a the same field of study and discussing an idea within this field will also be more likely to not require such defining for terms as they will be familiar with its use in this field.