Our world is awash in bullshit health claims. These scientists want to train kids to spot them.

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“We are trying to teach children that stories are usually an unreliable basis for assessing the effect of treatments,” Nsangi explained, adding that stories amount to anecdotal evidence. The kids are also learning to watch out for the perverting effects of conflicts of interest, and to recognize that all treatments carry both harms and benefits and that large, dramatic effects from a treatment are really, really rare.

SCIENTISTS: EARTH ENDANGERED BY NEW STRAIN OF FACT-RESISTANT HUMANS

“While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.”

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/scientists-earth-endangered-by-new-strain-of-fact-resistant-humans

Can We Think Critically Anymore?

“The Internet might very well have been designed for confirmation bias. If you have a theory, you’ll find some site purporting it to be true. (I’m constantly amazed at how many people post Natural News stories on my feed, as if anything on the site is valid.) Levitin notes that MartinLutherKing.org is run by a white supremacist group. Even experts get fooled: Reporter Jonathan Capehart published a Washington Post article “based on a tweet by a nonexistent congressman in a nonexistent district.””

http://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/can-we-think-critically-anymore?mc_cid=38a162efbc&mc_eid=34e2887073

A User’s Guide to Rational Thinking Cut through flawed assumptions and false beliefs — including your own — with these strategies.

“Irrational thinking stems from cognitive biases that strike us all. “People don’t think like scientists; they think like lawyers. They hold the belief they want to believe and then they recruit anything they can to support it,” says Peter Ditto, a psychologist who studies judgment and decision-making at the University of California, Irvine. Motivated reasoning — our tendency to filter facts to support our pre-existing belief systems — is the standard way we process information, Ditto says. “We almost never think about things without some preference in mind or some emotional inclination to want one thing or another. That’s the norm.”

http://discovermagazine.com/2015/july-aug/16-user-guide-rational-thinking

Universal Intellectual Standards

“Universal intellectual standards are standards which must be applied to thinking whenever one is interested in checking the quality of reasoning about a problem, issue, or situation. To think critically entails having command of these standards. To help students learn them, teachers should pose questions which probe student thinking; questions which hold students accountable for their thinking; questions which, through consistent use by the teacher in the classroom, become internalized by students as questions they need to ask themselves.”

http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/universal-intellectual-standards/527