One of the goals of effective thinking advocacy is to help people relieve themselves of some of their kooky notions. This is a goal that is shared with those in the skeptic movement, who think that spreading public understanding of science will help people reject pseudoscience and reach conclusions based on reason and evidence. It seems plausible enough: teach people about evolution, for example, and they should reach the conclusion that neither man nor beast really came from the mythical Garden of Eden.
Wouldn’t we expect that people exposed to some university-level coursework in science will be better equipped to evaluate scientific claims critically, and distinguish genuine scientific knowledge from pseudoscience and generic hokum? It turns out that it doesn’t, according to a new paper from Massimo Pigliucci. For rational… Continue reading