Critical Thinking 101

allaboutthejourney
Critical Thinking 101

Sometimes it takes a simple thought -- Critical Thinking 101 -- to shake the foundation of an entire thought system…

It was during a youth sports camp in late 1999 that I had an effortless epiphany.

"Make sure your kids drink plenty of water," we were told. "Hydration, hydration, hydration -- that's the key."

"No problem," I thought. "Everyone knows this basic principle of nutritional science."

Then it hit me...

When I was playing sports as a kid, water was treated merely as a reward. Even if we got a moment at the drinking fountain, the coaches would monitor our time so we didn't drink too much. "You'll get a stitch in your side!" they said. In fact, at half time, we only got orange slices, because fluids would "cramp us up and slow us down."

Then, I remembered my father's experience with sports as a kid. During his generation, athletes actually took salt tablets -- sometimes in large amounts. Coaches actually viewed hydration during a game as taboo.

Ka-zip (or whatever it sounds like when a shutter clicks on a camera)! I had one of those "picture-moment" experiences, where a truth comes into focus and sticks with you forever...

Science isn't static. Science changes over time. The observable evidence doesn't change, but the scientific understanding of that evidence does…

In my straightforward illustration, three generations of athletes faced three different views of nutritional science. The observable evidence regarding water and the human body didn't change, but the scientific presentation (and especially, the public perception) of that evidence advanced at least three times over a few decades.

For some reason, this simple thought challenged me.

For some reason, this inconsequential moment in my life opened a floodgate of far-reaching questions.

I needed to look at the observable evidence again. It was time to start examining my decades-old presuppositions about science, nature and technology. I decided to go back to the big picture basics of the world around me... I started to read and study...

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