Thursday, July 20, 2017

Critical Thinking

Today is International Chess Day. Chess is a game that requires the ability to think critically and logically.

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., 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. 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!


  1. I am with you about the spreading things blinding over facebook. A month or so ago a person I thought at least respected me as a friend and who is very pro-Trump said to me "Well you don't look at all the info and make your own decision." Of course, where she came up with this alternative fact is not known, or it must be how she acts (throwing stuff up on facebook all the time), because its not how I function. I could respect her views up until then, and of course it helped I really didn't talk politics with her. Needless to say I've had enough of her for awhile. So anyhow, I am in agreement with you and enjoyed this post. I am actually going to use the cheat sheet at school and post it in my room because these teenagers are learning all the wrong ways to handle "news' and in their emotional brains they are always going off about a weird look or comment. Hope its a great day. You just helped make mine. Hugs-Erika

    1. I'm glad this helped. I swear if I hear #ButHerEmails or #BlameObama one more time.... My conservative Facebook friends have just quit talking to me. It's sad, because if we stop talking to each other where are we?! :(

  2. Great post and information! I think the best way to improve your critical thinking skills is by practicing and you have outlined some clear steps to take to help with this 😀. I really like this approach and have found many benefits to using critical thinking for example it transforms your decision making ability and enables an appreciation of differing viewpoints. Thanks for sharing and wishing you a lovely week and weekend! J 😊

    1. I wish people would approach these things with less emotional outburst and more fact-checking. Understanding the other point of view helps when you're talking to people, but folks seem to have quit talking to folks who disagree.

  3. NO one ever landed on the moon. The moon is too far away. The Holocaust never happened. All those Jews just made it up. The world should be ruled by 140 characters or less.

    And if you believe the above statement, you don't know ME!

    1. The Earth is Flat and 5,500 years old! Ignorance is bliss!

  4. I had critical thinking in college. I think it should be introduced in grade school, actually. We need to spread more critical thinkers all over the earth...especially the people in charge should be well versed.

    1. I took logic in college, and I agree it oughta covered early and often. Question Everything and think things through. People are too gullible.