Posts Tagged ‘critical thinking’

When the Ring of Truth Is Merely Confirmation Bias

October 22, 2020 — In the face of uncertainty, humans often rely on the ring of truth. Facing a pandemic and big changes to daily life, reports of depression and anxiety grow. Surely this will bring a spike in suicides, people say. Equally certain is the belief that childhood obesity will rise. But sometimes, the ring of truth is […]

Captive to the Bias of an Attractive Narrative

May 11, 2020 — We’ve heard it many times before. Confronted with a daunting medical and scientific challenge, someone comes along to tell us that they can whisk away all that complexity. “I call it a beautiful puzzle,” said one person recently. He was describing how it really won’t be so hard to tame the coronavirus pandemic and get […]

COVID-19: Critical Thinking Versus Unreasonable Doubt

April 27, 2020 — What is the line that separates critical thinking from unreasonable doubt? A contrarian can save us from making grievous errors by failing to question false assumptions. But sometimes a contrarian view and insistent bias are nearly impossible to distinguish. COVID-19 is offering us many such examples. One of them comes at intersection of COVID-19 with […]

Bright Red Lines: Fact, Speculation, and Misinformation

March 27, 2020 — There’s nothing like the high stakes of a pandemic to remind us of danger from blurring the bright red lines separating fact, speculation, and misinformation. This is because an emerging pandemic presents us with ambiguity. But our human nature detests ambiguity. We crave certainty. Without facts to lean upon, we speculate about what might be […]

Fighting for the Moral High Ground of Nutrition

November 30, 2019 — Human history is full of bloody conflicts to claim moral high ground. The Thirty Years’ War pitted the Holy Roman Empire against Protestant states. But we can find nothing holy in the carnage that resulted. Now we wage our wars on twitter. And true believers go at it to claim the moral high ground of […]

Elusive Obesity Culprits: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

November 25, 2019 — The assumption is everywhere. Obesity is simply the result of “eating too much and moving too little…poor diet and lifestyle choices.” So says the UK’s National Health Service. But in fact, it’s not so simple. And it’s worth considering the impact of drugs and other chemicals that nudge us to a higher weight. These are […]

Is This Study Legit? Five Questions to Ask

October 15, 2019 — Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading about new research findings to help us make sense of […]

Obesity Is Getting Worse, Let’s Stay the Course

October 18, 2018 — The more things change, the more they stay the same. French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr coined that phrase in 1849. But we can thank the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health for keeping it current. They’ve issued the 2018 edition of their annual State of Obesity Report. Therein they tell us – at […]

The Fine Art of Fishing in Sea of Fuzzy Science

November 11, 2017 — Like it or not, we are fishing through a lot of fuzzy science about nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. A tremendous amount of new research comes our way every day. Facts, presumptions, and myths swim together in this sea of information. So how can we best fish for some satisfying knowledge? Impressive Journals and Scholars […]