Today is also the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The connection between these two things may not be obvious, but in these days of wild-eyed conspiracy theorists who spread crazy tales folks just believe because they "trust the source"... Well, I'd just like to say that yes, people have landed on the moon. I understand confirmation bias and realize that the more evidence that's provided the more people cling to their tin foil hat opinions, but I do wish our culture was more supportive of critical thinking and less willing to accept whatever we're being fed by the talking heads and the raving talk radio loons.
There are free resources online that are useful in learning about logic and critical thinking and in developing skills in those areas. CriticalThinking.org, the University of Michigan, and Wikipedia have good overviews and are good places to start.
Wikihow has some clear steps to take to develop your critical thinking skills:
Method 1 Honing Your Questioning Skills
1 Question your assumptions.
2 Don't take information on authority until you've investigated it yourself.
3 Question things.
Method 2 Adjusting Your Perspective
1 Understand your own biases.
2 Think several moves ahead.
3 Read great books.
4 Put yourself in other peoples' shoes.
5 Set aside at least 30 minutes a day to improve your brain function.
Method 3 Putting It All Together
1 Understand all your options.
2 Surround yourself with people smarter than you.
3 Fail until you succeed.
GlobalDigitalCitizen.org offers a "cheat sheet" of questions to ask to evaluate information:
I'm tired of hearing, "I don't have time to research this, but I trust the source and I do have time to spread it all over Facebook," and "Where there's smoke there's fire," and "Many people say this is true." Think, people! Think!