Whether to argue with your local or state politicians about how bad it is to privatize an institution, or for determining the risks from swallowing a prescription or a supplement, we need a basic understanding of what makes for good evidence.
To make it easier for you to acquire that skill, I’ve challenged myself to simplify the massively complex subject called STATISTICS. When someone makes a claim or a recommendation, we have to look at the facts. Often a study will be offered up to support the claim or recommendation. At the heart of any good study is a collection of valid statistics. That’s the point at which most people’s eyes glaze over or roll backward. I want to encourage you to have no fear of statistics. I promise to do the heavy lifting to make it much easier for you to look at a claim or recommendation and determine if it is a good or bad one. We live in a consumer world of “Buyer Beware”. So, if you don’t know how to tell good evidence from bad evidence you will be at a disadvantage, can be easily conned, or can be exposed to dangers as serious as death itself.
For example, one guy wrote about starting a new strategy of taking supplements to cleanse his arteries following his discovery of clogged arteries and after experiencing a heart attack. What he proposed sounds to some people like he is some sort of authority. To me he sounded like a fool. Why? Because I practice what I am encouraging you to practice: the art and skill of asking, “Where’s the evidence?” Any claim, regimen, or recommendations has to be built upon solid foundation of inarguable, solid, scientifically-sound EVIDENCE.
If there is no “solid” evidence, good evidence, then all you are staring at is someone’s UNQUALIFIED opinion.
For those of you wanting to build this new skill of challenging claims by demanding and examining evidence, I have to ask you to click the link included here to jump over to another page/tab on my website where I have space to write a lengthier exposition about the subject of evidence. However, even before you click your mouse button, start building your new habit of telling anyone who is trying to convince you of anything, “I love evidence. Show me the evidence!“
Now, grab a coffee and hop over to the section about building your new skill. It likely will be time well spent. [CLICK HERE to bounce over to my piece, titled,“Spotting Bad Research”.]