joh09320: January 2012 Archives

Blog 1:Chapter 1

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In chapter one, the authors discuss the importance of scientific thinking and how important it is to distinguish fact from fiction. Admittedly they say that it is not always as clear cut as you would believe. Many things we perceive as true even without any hard evidence, simply because someone told us or it seems "right". An idea that caught my eye from chapter one was Scientific Skepticism. Before this course I thought of skepticism as pessimism and always questioning everyone. From the reading I discovered that it means "to consider carefully" and that you should be wary of claims. This does not mean however that you shouldn't keep an open mind that the claims may be true, but you must consider them carefully and look at the evidence before believing them whole heartedly.

I discovered recently that it is smart to be skeptical about claims that seem too good to be true. While on vacation with my family in Florida, a realtor in the building where we rent a beach house from offered to give my dad free dinner and free golf passes and hotel stay at a golf resort. All they had to do was go to a meeting about time shares. My dad went and ended up having to spend 3 or more hours there, looking at these time shares and ended up leaving early without the rewards because it was so ridiculous. In this case he should have realized it was a trap to get you to agree to buy a time share. If he would have thought about why they would be giving all that away, he would have realized it most likely was a waste of time.

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