Skepticism: Why Critical Thinking Makes You Smarter - Bill Nye, Derren Brown & more

Video from Big Think

"It's not always easy to tell the difference between objective truth and what we believe to be true. Separating facts from opinions, according to skeptic Michael Shermer, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, and others, requires research, self-reflection, and time. Recognizing your own biases and those of others, avoiding echo chambers, actively seeking out opposing voices, and asking smart, testable questions are a few of the ways that skepticism can be a useful tool for learning and growth. As Derren Brown points out, being "skeptical of skepticism" can also lead to interesting revelations and teach us new things about ourselves and our psychology. Read Michael Shermer's latest book "Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye" at" from video introduction.

"TRANSCRIPT: LAWRENCE KRAUSS: I like to keep an open mind but not so open that my brains fall out. And that's the key point. We have to skeptically assess the information we receive. We can't be gullible because when we get a lot of information, it's absolutely certain that some of that information is wrong. And so we have to always filter what we get. And we have to ask ourselves the following question: "How open does my brain have to be to accept that information? Does it have to fall out?" And by that, I mean when someone tells you something you have to ask "Is this consistent with my experience? Is it consistent with the experience of other people around me?" And if it isn't, then probably there's a good reason to be skeptical about it; it's probably wrong. If it makes predictions that also appear to be in disagreement with things that you observe around you, you should question it..." from video introduction.

Lawrence Krauss on How to Develop Your Critical Thinking Skills

Video from Big Think

"Strange answers aren’t inherently wrong, and satisfying answers aren’t inherently right, says Lawrence Krauss in this critical thinking crash course. The astrophysicist explains how principles of scientific skepticism can be applied beyond the laboratory; it can be a filter for the nonsense and misinformation we encounter each and every day. Here, he establishes a handful of core questions that critical thinkers ask themselves, which can be used to challenge your misconceptions and sense of comfort, question inconsistency, and think past your brain's evolved biases. Piece by piece, you can systematically remove nonsense from your life. Lawrence Krauss' most recent book is The Greatest Story Ever Told -- So Far: Why Are We Here? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS: Lawrence Maxwell Krauss is a Canadian-American theoretical physicist who is a professor of physics, and the author of several bestselling books, including The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing. He is an advocate of scientific skepticism, science education, and the science of morality. Krauss is one of the few living physicists referred to by Scientific American as a "public intellectual", and he is the only physicist to have received awards from all three major U.S. physics societies: the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics." from video introduction.

"Good words here from Greg Koukl:

The primary purpose of reason is to help us discover what is true. The primary tool of reason is argument. An argument is a specific kind of thing. Think of it like a simple house, a roof supported by walls. The roof is the conclusion, and the walls are the supporting ideas. If the walls are solid, the conclusion rests securely on its supporting structure. If the walls collapse, the roof comes down, and the argument is defeated. The task of critical thinking is to weed out distracting or irrelevant details so you have an unobstructed view of the structure of the core argument and can assess its strength. This involves a simple, four-step plan. First ask, “What is the claim?” This may seem like an obvious initial step, but you’ll be surprised how often we charge ahead without having a clear fix on a target. Take a moment to isolate the precise point being made. Write it down in unambiguous terms if you need to... from the article: A Crash Course in Critical Thinking


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