Do you ever notice how people form beliefs that seem disconnected from reality? One of the more dramatic examples is the Flat Earth Society.
Despite the popular notion to the contrary, most educated people in Christopher Columbus’ day already knew the earth is round but there have always been a few holdouts.
Despite the fact that we have better technology and more evidence than ever, more people than ever are starting to believe that the Earth is flat. In fact, some estimates place the number as high as 1 in 500 among American adults!
This is one small example. Others include ideas about bigfoot, witchcraft and countless ungrounded health claims. I’m reading a good book right now called Fantasyland. In it, Kurt Andersen argues that the trend of ignoring the reality-based world is uniquely American and it is worsening.
When it comes to your health – I believe that we need critical thinking just as badly as we need good data.
Please know that whenever you hear conflicting claims in health – it is not because no-one knows what is going on and it is not the case that both sides have equal merit. It is almost always because one side is basing conclusions on evidence and the other on speculation.
If you’re curious about some easy ways to tell the difference, please enjoy this story about foxes and hedgehogs.
To your best health,