While browsing through articles to stay up-to-date with the latest news, I stumbled upon an intriguing article title. Here is the article in question, so titled “You must not do your own research when it comes to science”. Despite being a few years old, the article delved into expert opinions on controlling the spread of the pandemic. However, upon reading the entire piece, it seemed like an attack against the importance of critical thinking, both in the content and the title.
The article explains that you should not do your own research, it frames it within the context of the pandemic but is worded generally, as though you should never do your own research – ever. It continues to discuss fluoride in water for a bit before summarising that most people do not understand how to correctly research, and so rather than learning to do so they simply shouldn’t.
I was left thinking – isn’t science literally the study of the natural and physical world, achieving a greater understanding through research, experimentation and validation? Isn’t telling people to stop thinking for themselves really the wrong way to go about things?
The importance of critical thinking
Critical thinking is an essential skill in today’s fast-paced world. It helps us to make better decisions, solve complex problems, and develop creative solutions. Critical thinking also enables us to better evaluate the information we consume, helping us to separate fact from fiction and form well-informed opinions. By developing our critical thinking skills, we are able to evaluate situations more effectively and come up with logical conclusions. This is especially important when it comes to making decisions that will have a long-term impact on our lives or the lives of others.
Furthermore, critical thinking can help us become better communicators as it encourages us to consider other points of view and actively listen in order to gain a better understanding of differing perspectives. In short, developing strong critical thinking skills is key to navigating the modern world.
How can you become a better critical thinker?
The first step to becoming a better critical thinking is to become a better listener. Work on really listening when people are speaking, asking clarifying questions if you don’t understanding what is being said.
Asking questions of yourself and your opinions is also a great way to challenge your assumptions and evaluate the evidence in front of you. Analyse the arguments being made from as many different perspectives as possible to identify any inconsistencies or logical fallacies and consider potential solutions.
Examine the underlying motives in the information being portrayed, when evaluating information it is important to consider why someone may be presenting it in a certain way and what their motivations might be for doing so.
Finally, learn from your mistakes. Take the time to reflect on any errors in your thinking processes so that you can learn from them and avoid making similar mistakes in the future.