Ask for evidence

25 Nov

My son tells the story of a motivational speaker who came to talk at his high school. The one thing he remembers is the claim that “its has been scientifically proven that we need seventeen hugs a day.”

Really? Exactly seventeen? When I search on the internet I find a range for the recommended daily minimum dose of hugging: 4,  8, and 12 are commonly proposed. And who were these scientists and what evidence supports this claim? Am I really seriously hug deprived?

We are awash in urban legends and nonsensical advice. Sometimes popular nonsense can have terrible real world consequences, as in the case of the anti-vaccine myths. We need to use our critical thinking skills. We need to ask for evidence.

That is why I am very glad to see the launching of the Ask for Evidence campaign.(hat tip to BoingBoing)

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