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Doug Axe on fear of critical thinking in science

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From Douglas Axe, author of Undeniable, at Evolution News & Views :

Much of my book is devoted to developing an argument around everyday experience and common sense, a combination I refer to as common science. It seems to me that Darwin’s thinking is quite vulnerable to refutation by common science. After all, selection doesn’t really make anything. It merely chooses among things that have already been made. That’s what the word means. The only kind of selection that gives you clams or snails is the kind you do while ordering dinner at a French restaurant.

[Critic] Sharma dismisses such thoughts as childish “pre-theoretical” thinking.

One of my book’s themes is that we adults shy away from common-science deductions like that for the wrong reasons. Fearing that smart people couldn’t possibly have overlooked such obvious facts for so long, we tend to assume they must know something the rest of us don’t. More.

Let’s distinguish between “smart people” and “intellectuals” (people whose currency is mere ideas).

Anyone can be deceived; even smart people are sometimes deceived. But intellectuals are better than most of us at arguing away the obvious. Many political disasters, costing million of lives, have resulted from this fact.

On a trivial level, intellectuals may believe that chimpanzees are entering the Stone Age or that we need to get rid of the standard of falsifiability so as to make the multiverse – a concept they need – science. Or that the government should prosecute skeptics of their hysteria du jour.

Most of us are best off with: When in doubt, doubt. If it sounds unbelievable, don’t believe it.

See also: From Undeniable, “the vague language of prejudice”

Video: Doug Axe presents the thesis of his new (and fast-selling) book, Undeniable

Doug Axe’s Undeniable: The trailer

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2 Replies to “Doug Axe on fear of critical thinking in science

  1. 1
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Speaking of things with shells, classic evolutionary theory predicts that, as Sharma states, some prior non-shelled things would mutate slowly towards their current shelli-ness.

    So the fossil record should show the later shelled things (shells fossilise quite a bit better than soft tissue) immediately prior to the introduction of the modern types.

    But there only six possible shelled forms that actually work, and all six patterns arrive simultaneously in the Cambrian, fully formed, without exception.

    Does Sharma care at all that the evidence is contrary to the theoretical prediction? Does she even know?

  2. 2
    mahuna says:

    ScuzzaMan @1

    Wow. Another wondrous example I’d never seen anywhere else.

    “all six patterns arrive simultaneously” has to be mathematically impossible as a result of chance. Where is all this “niche-filling” that’s supposed to drive the fittest to survive? Shouldn’t there be a hundred failed shell experiments to produce 6 “fit” ones?

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