Tag: critical thinking

The perils and pitfalls of “doing your own research” about COVID-19 (or any other science)

Ethan Siegel at Forbes argues that you "must not 'do your own research.'" While the title grates, Siegel is correct that most of us are not really capable of "doing our own research" about most scientific and medical questions because we lack the necessary background. We must therefore be humble and be very, very careful about "doing our own research."

/ August 3, 2020
COVID party

COVID-19 parties: Urban legend or real thing?

You've probably seen breathlessly scolding stories in the media about young people holding "COVID parties", in which attendees intentionally try to become infected with COVID-19. Are these parties really a thing, or are they an urban legend? The answer is not entirely clear yet, but current evidence (more specifically, the lack of evidence) for them is much more consistent with the latter...

/ July 13, 2020

Media Literacy Is Key

Media literacy is an important component to teaching science and critical thinking. We'll add that to our to-do list.

/ June 26, 2019

Why People Deny Science

A new study further shows that people are inconsistent in how they justify their beliefs.

/ November 14, 2018

Answering Our Critics – Again!

Critics of Science-Based Medicine keep making the same old tired arguments, despite the fact that their arguments have been repeatedly demolished. Here is a list of recurrent memes, with counterarguments.

/ February 13, 2018

What Not To Write in an E-mail to SBM

What to do, and what not to do, when sending a critical e-mail to SBM or elsewhere – assuming you want to be taken seriously.

/ February 7, 2018

Fooling Myself

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool. –Richard Feynman I like to think of myself as a rational person, but I’ve been fooled by my own experience again and again. I’ve made bad decisions and wasted time and money believing what I was seeing, instead of being objective and looking...

/ June 2, 2016

The Brown M&M’s of Science-Based Medicine

Medicine is constantly changing, and like most health professionals, I am required to maintain my competency to practice. I doubt pharmacists are unique in being inundated with offers of continuing medical/pharmacy education. Some courses are free, some cost hundreds of dollars, and it can be difficult to distinguish the high-quality programs from the biased or low-quality education that furthers a agenda, rather...

/ April 21, 2016

The Fog of Medicine

I often get called on to be a diagnostician. The referring doctor is uncertain what is going on in the patient, often a fever of unknown origin, and they call me to help figure it out. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Making the correct diagnosis is not easy, even after 35 years. The classic phrase is the fog of war, but...

/ January 22, 2016

What Should We Do in the Absence of Evidence?

What to do in the absence of a clear diagnosis and randomized, controlled trials? Often nothing, sometimes something. It's complicated.

/ May 1, 2015