A critical thinking experiment in real time
I’ve been talking a lot lately about teaching kids critical thinking. I’ve been pretty hard on the schools, for stressing memorization and regurgitation, and ignoring the process
But on Monday, April 26, we all have a chance to strike a blow for critical thinking on a global scale.
Let me explain.
Over the past six months or so, a variety of garden-variety idiots have variously attributed tectonic plate phenomena to cosmic wrath.
Pat Robertson explained on national TV that the Haitian earthquake was caused by retribution for the Haitians’ “pact with the devil” over the bloody slave revolt in 1790 (wow, did that take the deity a seriously long time or what?).
Rush Limbaugh blamed the Icelandic volcanic eruption on cosmic wrath over the American health care bill (because the best way to seek vengeance against the American liberals is to seriously inconvenience John Cleese).
And Iran’s Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi announced that “Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes." (We are women, hear us roar–our boobs have unimaginable power.)
This last inane statement, unlike the first two, is what we science types call a “testable hypothesis.”
And it is going to be tested. Oh, yes. A critical thinking experiment is being planned in real time. The brainchild of Jen McCreight, who blogs at Blag Hag. BOOBQUAKE is designed to test the concept that immodest dress causes tectonic plate disruption.
Women are asked to wear their lowest cut, most immodest blouse on April 26th. If you happen to wear a short skirt, too, I can’t imagine that that would skew the results.
I have a see-through t-shirt that should do nicely.
To drive the lesson home to our kids, though, it’s important to make sure they understand the working hypothesis of the experiment. Then park them in front of CNN for the day, and let them watch, like we did when Katrina was leveling New Orleans.
I’m going to pop popcorn.