Monday, June 06, 2011

3277 Critical Analysis

Monday, June 6, 2011

Woman describing how one does not realize how final death is: “And then I found I was waiting for him to come home. He'd been dead long enough now, it was time for him to come home.”


Yeah, back on one of my favorite hobby horses again. Mainly because I've recently been exposed to a few more egregious examples of muddled thinking.

Another blogger mentioned a newsletter. I located it and read it. As often happens when someone has an agenda, the writers stated "facts" (whether verified or not is another issue), and then drew conclusions from those facts that were in no way supported by those facts! Connections were made between statements where there was no direct connection. "Oh, this sounds good - let's throw this in, too!"

If someone were to read this uncritically, they'd believe those conclusions to be valid. They may or may not be true - my point is that they are not supported by the "evidence" offered.

I stewed about that for a while, and concluded that anyone who'd accept those "proofs" and arguments is beyond reason anyway, so I didn't bother to attempt to refute it.

Then just this morning I ended up (again, one of those link to link to link wanderings) at a site on making one's own kefir (pronounced keFEER, by the way, regardless of how Dr. Oz mispronounces it - it's an Arabic word), where there was a discussion of making it from non-bovine milks, including cocoanut milk and soy milk. Some commenter sneered that she didn't see why anyone would want to make it from soy, after all, "soy is very bad for you", and she included a link to a site that slams all soy products.

So, ok, I went there.

And yeah, they had their own drum to beat. And again, they stated "facts", and drew from them asinine conclusions. Which to an uncritical reader, would sound like a valid argument.

For example, the author states that since soy products have arrived in the western hemisphere, the rates of high cholesterol and obesity have soared. From this, they drew the conclusion that soy causes obesity and high cholesterol.

Um, the timelines might match up, but that doesn't mean they are in any way related. In fact, the people who consume the MOST soy, both fermented and unfermented, who seek it out, are vegetarians and vegans, and they are emphatically NOT members of the typical artery-clogged obese herd.

Note that by the same logic (or lack thereof) we could conclude that actually, obesity and high cholesterol create a craving for soy! How is that any more silly than the other conclusion? It's based on the same data, handled the same way.

It may or may not be true that too much soy is bad for you, but this website sure as hell doesn't present any good arguments.

It reminded me of the breakfast cereal commercials that pissed me off - the "healthy" cereal that bragged that people who ate it were the most healthy, and had the best BMIs, implying, of course, that it was the cereal that did it. Snort! The people most likely to buy a cereal whose very box screams, "this stuff tastes like cardboard, but it's loaded with FIBER!!!" are the same people who take the stairs instead of the elevator, and run marathons for "fun". Oh, come on.

Please, everyone, read critically. Think critically. Ask whether the conclusion is really supported by the facts.


1 comment:

little red said...

People no think no more. Computer tells people what to think. Me no haz to... Just looky up on interwebz and I haz all I needz to know. 'Specially if they haz references, or says they do.