Are we losing the ability to think critically?

Newell Normand
Thursday, December 7th

Are we losing the ability to think critically?  We have access to more information at any time in history yet we can’t seem to stop arguing about the facts.
The latest on Al Franken's resigning

This Hours guest:
Dr. Christopher DiCarlo    - lecturer at the University of Toronto & Executive Director of The Critical Thinking Project
Ron Faucheux - Political Analyst & President of Clarus Research Group


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

We're back in in this hour we're going to be talking about our ability to critically think and to process the overwhelming amount of time information that we are exposed to every day. In our guest on the line doctor Christopher to Carlo is a lecturer at the University of Toronto and executive director. Of the critical thinking project welcome to the show doctor to Carla. It you know what I looked at the title of your new book six steps to better thinking Hata disagree and get along. To me it seems like it couldn't be any more appropriate than now and what we're watching unfold in congress today. Yeah well it's. It does have its applications are on the world of. Absolutely so tell us about. The the the six steps to better thinking NTELOS about which you talk about as it relates to critical thinking. Right so. I've been teaching critical thinking for a couple of decades. And it occurred to me. That a lot of students. Can learn material. In the number of different fixes critical thing courses mimic quickly forget those skills how to use them. After the courses over so. I created six steps and each step corresponds to the first six letters of the alphabet. So is for argument how to constrictor ideas and arguments. Be used for bias. Allows people to better understand. How they're biased in the way they think. He's for context you have to appreciate that inflation doesn't exist back. Ideas for programming being able to. You know right down when a person's argument actually looks like he is for evidence. What type of evidence supports. Arguments and then passes for policies or errors in reasoning so we can better be able to spot them. So and in people's face certain things we know something's not quite right. There are names to those errors and reasoning I provide. A list of the most common policies so those six basic skills I believe in critical thinking anybody. Has the ability issue. I learned movement and use them while it really allows us to. Better facilitate discussion. And at least allow. People to understand why it might be differences of opinion in the first place. And and therefore. It really helps them to. Practice book called the verdict disagreement. So when we think about an argument I mean basically an argument it's an interaction we're you know you're trying to persuade the other side. To come to you to your side. Not to hate and dish drawing the other side. And it seems as though that that's happens a lot today with this notion of identity politics and everything that goes along with that that it's almost about it you know take no prisoner mentality. Destroy. The opponent. But. In in the fifties and sixties we celebrated. The capacity for differences of opinion. I think a little more than what we're seeing while a lot more than we're seeing today. And I think we can return back. To what we might call that level of civility where we know we're going to disagree I mean it this is the fact of life. They're really tough question is are we gonna figure out how to get along through with her disagreements what's the best. You know alternatives that we have available to us. To disagree and still be you know a neighbor. For in some cases you know family members. Now how about a spouse I mean you know in I think sometimes we always focus on a say this all the time on the show we focus on the watch the outcome not the wide. And you know the the route one of the reasons a divorce rate is as high edit as it is in his country as we don't know how to have market. You know without aiding the other side. And I and you know we see these outcomes and and now we see it. In politics of this inability to compromise. Because we don't panel think techno Honda had this exchange of ideas. One way or the other you know the the second step where you talk about bias. I'm always mystified by people that say. They have no bias. They have no prejudice. And act kind of equate that in my own mind a never say this overtly. You know you'll who you're lying to yourself. I. Amanda and and in I think you know is it that you really have to come to grips with yourself before you can actually. And understand you before you're able to really accomplish critical thinking. Well. You'll be old adage you know myself. Goes goes a long way. McCullough demeanor tester of the biased Shaq. And with in the book. I literally have a list different types of biases biological cultural biases. And people can. Do basically a check on themselves to better understand. Why they might think about a particular hot topic issue the waiting now do. And then if they say that in a different part of the world where did you get into your chair at different times here. Or you were different a different sects would would that affect the way they now think about a particular issue. And answers audience that we are. Constantly. Inundated by influences. Some of which are beyond their control and so are within our control. And those are going to affect the way in which we see the world. Come to understand information. And then act on it. I. The deceit that uses context and it's you know to take in I guess information out of context. You say here leads to an they're irrelevant critique lacking in merit. And a I think you know that the greatest example that we deal with this all the time is when folks were talking about something. Generically and all of a sudden everyone's trying to interject race. Our or something else along those lines that is completely out of context to generalize conversation. And and has nothing to do with nothing. It as a relates to the art but were always inner rejecting these. These identifying characteristics. That are just so out of left field and even make any cents. So I mean you know how do you overcome that immunity in it. On the talk show host right and I have people Colin and all the time and and we're talking about. The economy and all of a sudden you know race comes in two or whether you're Republican or Democrat and and we're just talking about economic principles. It's like those things are irrelevant. You just. It. It's difficult to you to try to keep. People on point sometimes without. Having those those by creed and everybody has. Biases it is impossible to let the umpires treat world and it's impossible therefore. To receive information through the media. In this very readership. Without there being some level of bias. I think that quickly realized that and accept that I think the easier time of wonder. In dealing. To keep people on point is one of the most difficult thing. Within critical thinking. And we have to try to separate. What is this completely back. From. What is it like a value judgment. This is the difference between. Eight sites. Where. Science can describe. The way in which certain aspects of the world auction but then people can have value judgment. About so an example. In my neck of the woods beaten. Near Toronto. Which. You know of course. Where you're Canada. Is. It also looked nothing but. You know super apologetic. Ultra politically correct people who never. You know say anything wrong or have any problems whatsoever. I'm and you'll get per cheap prescription drugs at. Prescription universal health care everywhere hurting our society that. It's if the land it's really and the milk and honey but. It's usually frozen so gate. And it's the thing has. In 2006 control there was a lot of shootings. In. And so the chief of police Sen. Is chewing and you know. Said something like. Thought the incidence of handgun activity. Walker's. Predominantly between blacks use the ages of fifteen to twenty. And raked over the coals for saying that because people kept saying races not an issue race an issue here is that. No it's not an issue in terms. About you know holding a judgment against. People of color that's not the point the point was. You're simply just stating. It's an identifying characteristic of statistical data that was being presented. That they. Know what I would just stats Canada which has beaten. You know it's there are federal body. Acquire information. And I I went to look up. To it to confirmed corroborate what he said I confide. Confide in a horse like cult. Doc we got to take a break can no you stay with us through the break and we'll pick this conversation up when we return. One here pretty 260187. Or Texas and 87870. Were talking about critical thinking this is Noual Norman and everybody else. We're back we're talking a doctor Christopher de Carlo lecturer at the University of Toronto and executive director of the critical thinking project. Doctor the color we were talking about this notion of contacts and then say you were talking about statistical data we've had an issue down here as a as a relates to. Civil war statutes. Right and those coming down across the country in a number of cities. It mostly in the deep south. And you know that context issue. Seems to be won the people who just. Just walk right by in bypass. In that issue Greg can you craft that it can you talk to us about that and have you seen that as well. Yeah yeah open and seeing seeing that from time to time. On the news and it turned it that it that it's a difficult issue because. People see those statues in and they think they they only represent. One thing. Tom when in fact there obviously. Involves incredibly. Complex context and much. Those historical figures. Function and operated. It's it's not an easy. Issue two to deal where. If both sides become extremely. As they become polarized. And so. There always seems to be the pendulum swung in one direction the other hand the fact of the matter is that there there are options. Resolution. To think. That. There's only you know two sides see that you have to stand or the statute have to come down. Is that limited thinking it's known as the false dichotomy. There are several solutions that could be done and it comes to those statues. To me as an educator. You know I see them as as as being. Avenues for a teachable moment to open a dialogue about that about history and well let's talk about. What went on it's not just pared down in the past the past occurred. But trying to better understand what happened what what got us here to this point in time and why is this an issue in the first place. So. Obviously you know dialogue over violence is you know re reason over aggression. Seems in my mind and always the better path to take. And you know Brooke let me jump to the last letter that you talked about. You know app which is where fallacies. And you know it in fallacy being in I guess we're. Define and mistaken. I disbelief or you know one you know based on false data. Or the failure. In your reasoning. For things in. And I was struck by the Latin terms achieved that she used in in their ad hominem and for the second one was. And and and and it in a raw audience. And haven't taken Latin in high school. And I've not seen a simple law. In in a long time. But you know the the the that notion. You know this argument from ignorance so to speak as well as. You know and hominem when you're talking about directing it at the person rather than that the position switches I think what. What leads to you so much of the conflict that we have and our country today. That you know we put this our label on his of this do you label missing art of the independent label on us and and that everything works from that label and it ends of being directed. You know either at the position of the art or the person and and and these can't get anywhere on the in the conversation or or of the or or the the argument that you may be haven't about about any particular issue. Yeah people lose site of com. The issue. And then. As soon wrongly. No matter what you're political flavor or and happens to be you'll be a particular mine and it may very difficult. For people to carry out of the conversation. Because preconceptions. These two on attacking the person. Reviews get get in the way. Exactly who doctored the caller we got to get to another break thanks so much for joining us we appreciate your insight in the book is six steps to better thinking. How to disagree and get along thank you so much we appreciate it. We'll be right back after the break this Noual Norman and are done. We're back in no we were just talking about critical thinking in word now going to be getting a update from Ron tocchet political analyst and president of Claris research group on this most recent happenstance and senator Al Franken Franken excuse me. Announcing his resignation from the United States senate. So a big news. Florida's big news sit here he is the first member of the center. To fall in you know the way he sexual reps but allegations. Result they'll feel the authors. But he circling the at this point to poster boy for raw from members of congress to while lost their seat because of error activity. So when we think about this Minnesota act like I. At this Tara called it pretty much of voted democratic in in national elections. Probably forever. I can't remember in my adult. Like four or they didn't. We have a the democratic. Governor. And there RD talking about the lieutenant governor Tina Smith who's a Democrat the end put up. My operational law. Up until that on November 2018 election to take reckons place. Why didn't it it's likely. That's the next senator from Minnesota who will continue to be it Democrat as self flight to Seoul will. Minnesota has some Republicans were elected Republican governors and in in some recent years they also did. Norm Coleman would be incumbent senator an alpha rank in defeat. Patriot right right. And I think it'd be the government of former governor. Tim Pawlenty it was a Republican as well as or call. Temple it was a Republican approach as you remember branch shall present. It will be interesting to see somebody like simple landing with. Would run for the center its leader even go abort they who's a Democrat would run for the senate seat. There was some talks that lieutenant governor would make a commitment not to run for the full term and in it open to achieve with. Continue longer hold the position on the yet so all of Asia who worked out and all that support because. You know we're going into an election year next year aware that Republicans so we have a can seat majority so every seat at this point becomes critical. Yeah you know and and I guess is this. It almost a preface to the 2018 elections in many respects and and then. Obviously there is some concern I guess from the Democratic Party about the election. In Alabama. In what the outcomes going to be in I'm sure there's going to be if more is elected. They're gonna quickly go to some kind of procedure. To not allow him to take his seat in the senate I'm sure. You know you know I think it's certainly possible that Democrats. Will make a big effort to expel or if he's elected. You know I think one of the reasons why. It openly gay couple on Al Franken in the last couple days when they needed to have clean hands that they did you know. I mean if they couldn't say oh we want to expel. You know what more for sure and it. While we're out for a kid who has also been accused of trouble. Are so while. So blanket. What was so you know port that calculation. In the you know one of the things that you walk goal this whole process. It's how rapid. The collapse these big public figures can be. Well we saw with Matt law hour. He was a very popular. On a television personality. We're putting a couple today's Jews that. The American people or Opel fought the one puck out of the 62%. Of negative feelings about it. And and how quickly these things can happen. We saw Charlie Rose literally. Half the day. The problem major television personality. To lose again. And there and it's just incredible Hulk how rapidly this is moved. You know I was looking at at the poll. That you put out in the east favorability ratings in which struck me is that. None of these people liked. No doubt if there are part of I've never seen such strong on favorable numbers. Ever. Well. Even you know Robert Mueller is is only brought into the positive but five points. Right in which. Well all almost all of the national politicians all of the congressional leaders Democrat and Republican. The president the vice president. All these poker. Figures within that trumpet industry should. They all have negative ratings I think the only cap that bumper. Who recently had a positive rating so. Will sort of Jim matters is the secretary that what all the all the national public since its partners. All of the national. Democrats accomplished. The the trot out that. Sprawled in the the American people so polarized. That. That stage if they are just very happy with the quality leadership to people. Yeah I mean it is it is it just continues to the chief strike is on Communist you know. This past election was about draining the swamp in in in doing things differently. And it seems to me were doing things more. You know along party lines and in more divisiveness the inevitable porn and get your thoughts on that you can stay with us through the break up. We'll take a break at this time we're talking new. Run for O'Shea about the Al Franken resignation from the US senate will be right back when he probably 2601878. 8787. This new Lauren on the video. Where vacuum we're talking to Ron tocchet Leo political analysts and president of Claris research group Ronald go to talk lines line wanna talk to Christopher what's gone on Christopher. Yeah guys kinda fun to make the point I don't think a lot to pull the rhetoric coming from the White House. Politician. What's creating. Division. It's the selective reporting. From the media values early in more an example. We're hearing all about more. Being a child predator. But what about John Podesta. What about John Podesta Wyatt tee protected by the media outreach division not choke rhetoric. Where it what do you think Ron. Well I think it's really a combination of ball or. You know it's it's easy to ball control controlled rhetoric that but there's also where are from other politicians Democrats and Republicans. That reporter there should. You know this problem didn't talk with Donald Trump it's been in developing entry years. The media has participated in it particularly. But the cable culture because they like to focus on conflict not finding common ground like that they try it but it like it is people. I would say the other side well actually it is something which chipped out and for a common solutions so talked thank you you know the Apollo here. You know so well point. But it's not so great. That I think all we know that it's not so much partisan problem any more it's a trust well. That the American people who lost trust in a freak. They lost trust in the ability. Politics and government and government officials and institutions. To be all that that the picture shouldn't that be competent. And that true or not so it's a pretty dire situation where trees. You know I had a season media person tell me the new rule. Intellect kills emotion. And when you talk about a lot of these stations and everything else and as you pointed out it's all based on the emotion. And it you know we've lost this this ability to express our our way our our position I should say in a very intellectual way not up and and and it in a nonpartisan way. Sure and you know on main people who strong conservative liberal beliefs certainly have a right to express those who have a right to. Who vote for Saturday to the support actions that that follow those we should it I don't think anybody should they don't. I think what's happening is that when. When every mistake that are Democrat mixes justify it because Republicans do it every mistake Republicans make. It's just flawed because Democrats Stuart. And and people supporting the good of the party. It goes. The you know would go to the country. You know throughout the whole system becomes corrupted. And I think that's really what personally I think voters saying it. And I think they're reacting to it but I just distraught state never even even people for support. Well you know that that. The callers notion a -- somewhat. I agree and I disagree by the same. Token because when you look at your. Poll results. Everybody is equally effective on both sides on all sides brought Democrats and Republicans in the patrol picked as a matter. I mean it's not it suddenly seemed to me that the outcome of any of this of its bias one way or the other is making a difference in Indies poll results. That's why. And you know you could go through some periods where the Democrats or should go through some periods when Republicans were worst. But the bottom line both political parties here have gotten into position. Where they'll living awful mistakes and weaknesses of the opposition. Absolutely I. Go. I have always said we're in a dangerous position when the best thing you have going for your party. Is the other party and it's pretty much are we have gone on at the present time will run thanks so much for joining us we really appreciate your insight thank you for taking time out of your busy day. We appreciate that as well. We'll be right back Noual lawman on Doug Dario. In the next hour we're going to be talking about the team tonight against the dirty birds a saints nine and three the falcons seven and five obviously we come off a big victory over the Carolina Panthers in the falcons come in that is came after a fourteen and on laws. To the vikings we will be talking to Mike d'Italia a WW l.'s NFL and college analyst. About whether or not. You know the saints will be able to prevail over the dirty birds date that dirty birds have favored by one point over the saints in this game and obviously we need to see a big Alvin come marriage show yet again tonight. And we need Julio Jones state trip all over the field and of those two things happen I think we can come out of this. With with another win will wanna hear from you choose 601870. When we return with Mike utility hang on debit every else.