The author directly addresses and attempts to refute the notion that only scientists are equipped to evaluate scientific evidence. She argues that, and explains how, even if someone cannot evaluate a study’s data or methods, that person can evaluate whether the data is logically used to support arguments.
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This article does an excellent job of reminding students that they can evaluate whether the structure of an argument is logical, even if they cannot understand the individual premises. With regard to the sciences, this article would be very helpful for introductory students, because it helps them understand that they can evaluate scientific claims, even if they don’t understand all of the data or methods.
The first half of the article references previous blog posts which were not did helpful or relevant to the SLOs. BUT…the article is brief, and the second half was useful.
Recommendations for use
Use this article to introduce students to the idea that they can evaluate the logic of a scientific claim (or an argument in general), even if they cannot understand the raw data (or evidence in general). This blog post would pair well with an exercise where students map and evaluate the logic of an argument.