“Evidence-based medicine”: a class discussion, with a caffeine lift!

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(Originally posted on  Activating TOK)  Did you know that green coffee bean extract can help you lose weight? No? Me neither! Today, I’d like to propose a class discussion on thinking critically about media knowledge claims for products that yield fabulous (literally) medical benefits. The discussion is given a caffeine lift by a bite-sized example from a year […]

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“Evidence Based Medicine”: WOK Language and AOK Natural Sciences

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(Originally posted on Activating TOK) When we depend on language to mediate scientific knowledge, the field is ripe for misunderstanding and abuse.  And when life and death are involved, as they often are in medical science, getting it right is important. Hence the attempts of prominent figures who straddle both fields — medical science and communication (e.g. David Gorski, Stephen […]

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Mathematics and Scientific Methodology: example Malaria

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(Originally posted on Activating TOK)  The statistics are horrifying.  Every minute, a child dies from malaria. In 2013, 90% of the world’s malaria deaths occurred in Africa and over 430,000 African children died before their fifth birthdays. And there are plenty more statistics  where these came from : In 2013, there were about 198 million malaria cases (with an uncertainty […]

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Germany’s Pegida: “groping in the dark of logic”

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(Re-posted from Activating TOK ) “As a default, we humans are notoriously irrational,” writes Adam Fletcher . “Many of us suffer from something called dysrationalia which is being unable to think and behave rationally despite having adequate intelligence. Dysrationalia explains why otherwise smart people might believe in horoscopes, Yeti, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or Xenu, the ruler of the […]

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