Thursday, May 12, 2011

Scientific principles for everybody's toolkit

I ran across this very nice article where quite a few prominent scientists and geeks were asked which scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit. Richard Dawkins (a hero of mine) for example highlights the double blind experiment, which indeed is extraordinarily important in weeding out charlatans and hidden and subjective bias. The latter is something very insidious that the experimenter is often not even consciously aware of. It is well worth a read in its entirety.

The Dawkins contribution also reminded me of a fantastic talk at one of the TED conferences by James Randi. It is absolutely superb and I urge everybody to watch it.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that critical thinking is a very important tool for everyone. However, IMHO, Dawkins is well known as a fondamentalist on its own. Many times have we seen him attacking people without any respects, seeking to humilate. I don't see there an authentic search for truth, just another form of religion (atheism instead of the more neutral agnosticsism). Dawkins' fetish book "god dellusion" is full of logic mistakes, but more sadly filled with hatrid against non-atheists. I prefer people that respect others'point of view while defending their own perspective.