With a popular press that is, as far as science reporting, dumber than a bag of hammers– concerned citizens need critical thinking tools. Lifehacker has a toolkit…
How to Determine If A Controversial Statement Is Scientifically True
Every day, we’re confronted with claims that others present as fact. Some are easily debunked, some are clearly true, and some are particularly difficult to get to the bottom of. So how do you determine if a controversial statement is scientifically true? It can be tricky, but it’s not too difficult to get to the truth.
That article links to this one about ‘confirmation bias’.
Punditry is a whole industry built on confirmation bias.
Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann, Glenn Beck and Arianna Huffington, Rachel Maddow and Ann Coulter – these people provide fuel for beliefs, they pre-filter the world to match existing world-views.
If their filter is like your filter, you love them. If it isn’t, you hate them.
Whether or not pundits are telling the truth, or vetting their opinions, or thoroughly researching their topics is all beside the point. You watch them not for information, but for confirmation.
It’s contrary to human nature to approach life with a blank slate, but it never hurts to air out your assumptions and apply some scientific method now and then.