TOK Book Review: The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe: How to Know What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake.

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Published just last month, this book stands out as an excellent resource on critical thinking for teachers of Theory of Knowledge.  Do you already know neurologist and science educator Steven Novella? You may, like me, already be a fan of his keen analysis, clarity, and skill of combining vast knowledge with a light touch.  He’s […]

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Retraction of major research on eating: a failure in scientific methodology, or a corrective in the process?

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Shock waves in the human sciences! Six more of Brian Wansink’s published papers are being retracted, Cornell University announced September 20 , bringing the total to 13, and the professor has resigned in disgrace.  It is not just scientific peers who are affected as Brian Wansink’s flawed methodology is exposed and his papers are withdrawn from journals. Millions of ordinary […]

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“Crisis of authentication”: true art, false art, and the science of detection

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Cunning criminality is nothing new.  But the “faithful duplicity” of some recent forgeries has stunned art experts and shaken the markets and social organizations that envelop this area of knowledge.  Stories of stolen fortunes and international detective work however, can kick-start student interest as we use fake art to raise questions about real art. The […]

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“Deepfakes” and TOK: more trouble ahead for critical thinking? 

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Could the development in artificial intelligence dubbed “deepfakes” really “trigger social unrest, political controversy, international tensions” and “even lead to war” ? Have our previous methods of telling fact from fiction been irremediably undermined? As teachers, we’re careening down new paths in evaluation of knowledge claims, trying to learn to steer in time to teach our students to drive! Technology just got even more amazing, and our […]

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“Art is dialogue about difficult subjects”

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“Only art has the power to build bridges between communities,” asserts an art historian in response to a current exhibit in Srinigar, Kashmir.  One of the hosts of the exhibition similarly affirms, “Art is dialogue and conversation about difficult subjects.”  As TOK teachers, we have a world of examples to bring to class on art […]

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