sábado, agosto 29, 2015

Lessons in critical thinking and William Saletan – Part 1


Slate magazine's William Saletan with Fail Report Card
In the first of a two-part series, Claire Robinson responds to journalist William Saletan’s recent attack on her and other GMO critics
In a recent incisive article on the GMO debate, Timothy Wise of Tufts University laments the "current vehemence" of the battle. He singles out Slate magazine’s William Saletan as one of the more extreme examples of those ready to tar "anyone who dares call for precaution with the stain of being another science-denying zealot". Wise accuses pundits like Saletan of "polarizing" the debate so much that they actually contribute to the suppression of scientific inquiry.

This couldn’t contrast more with how Saletan himself sees things. He responded to my three-part critique of his recent GMO promotional in Slate with a lecture on “how to think critically”. The implication is that this is something he is rather good at, whereas I and other GMO opponents are not.

So let’s take a look at the supposed gold standard of critical thinking, as exemplified by Saletan. And because we all have a life beyond the wit and wisdom of gullible journalists, I’ll restrict myself to a few major lessons in critical thinking in which Saletan gets a big “F” for “fail”.

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