25 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 School Kills Scientific Inquiry

Again, in the customs and institutions of schools, academies, colleges, and similar bodies destined for the abode of learned men and the cultivation of learning, everything is found adverse to the progress of science. For the lectures and exercises there are so ordered that to think or speculate on anything out of the common way can hardly occur to any man. And if one or two have the boldness to use any liberty of judgment, they must undertake the task all by themselves; they can have no adva...
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The structure of curriculum is to set a path and provide no deviation from it, but deviation from the path is the stuff of scientific discovery.

09 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Benjamin Franklin on Vaccinations

In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.
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Franklin regrets not getting his son the small-pox vaccination, which resulted in his death.

15 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 The plural of anecdote is not data

A common way anecdotal evidence becomes unscientific is through fallacious reasoning such as the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, the human tendency to assume that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. Another fallacy involvesinductive reasoning. For instance, if an anecdote illustrates a desired conclusion rather than a logical conclusion, it is considered a faulty orhasty generalization.[10] For example, here is anecdotal evidence...

How anecdotal evidence proves nothing.