Pseudoscience: Critical Thinking and Author
People often regard the ideas that are generally accepted by the multitudes as “truths”. However, many of them are not scientifically proven and lack logical and reasonable explanations. According to Saupe’s “What is Pseudoscience?”, such ideas are called “pseudoscience”. To be more specific, they are claimed to be scientific, but do not have objective evidence to prove that they are true. If people cannot distinguish between pseudoscience and scientifically proved science, the results would be consequential. False science would lead to the misunderstanding of things and cause people to do things wrongly and might lead to harms and damages eventually. To evaluate if the information is credible, there are some standards; for example, check the credentials of the author, check the credibility of the sources of the information and the relevant sources that the information contains and see if the author has good logics to prove the information (Saupe, 2005).
In the three articles, they all talked about the problems of globalization. They either claimed that globalization benefits the environment or causes harms. Among the three articles, “Green and Brown? Globalization and the Environment” by James J. Boyce appears to be the most credible. The most obvious indicator is that it comes from a published journal; according to the journal, the author’s credential is clearly addressed. In its thesis, the author examined the assumption that the “global North is relatively ‘green’ and the global South relatively ‘brown’”.
He also argued that the claim of globalization leads to a convergence toward better or worse environmental practices cannot be proved by either theoretical or experimental evidence. To support his arguments, the author explained how it is uneven and what global polarization is. The arguments and the evidence the author used to prove his ideas are very logical and also credible since they are mainly from other peer-reviewed journals. The entire article appears to be reasonable and understandable. Thus, this article is considered to be the most credible one.
Just a little bit not as good, the article “Globalization: Myths and Realities” by Jim Dolmas is ranked behind the previous article. In his article, although he has reliable credential, he did not make good use of facts as empirical evidence. The author explained too much by his own views and ideas, and did not use enough references to support what he said. Though, this is overall a credible enough article since the author’s claims and explanations still appear to be logical and understandable.
The least credible article is “The Environmental Benefits of Globalization” by John A. Charles. First of all, the author does not have credential at all since it only mentioned his name and did not give any other information about such as his title or so. Then, while trying to prove that globalization benefits the environment, he did not use enough credible sources. The sources are also not well cited. Although the author still wrote logical and understandable supporting arguments and statements, they still lack the use of scientifically proved facts. As a result, this article appears to be more pseudoscientific. To give another example of pseudoscience, I believe that most of people have been warned not to eat high cholesterol food, such as seafood and eggs. These foods are bad for health because they cause people to have cholesterol level hike. What makes me concerned about this claim is that I have seen some people in my life who eat a lot of these food everyday but still stay in good health.
In fact, according to my research, eating food that contains high cholesterol should not be worried like how people are afraid of eating them now. According to Johnson and Ridlen of the University of Illinois, eating foods like eggs actually does a little effects to human cholesterol level. The main reason that people have high cholesterol level is because their bodies themselves lack the ability to regulate the cholesterol in their blood stream. The intake of cholesterol from food is only partial the cholesterol in the bodies. In most of the cases, the overproduction of cholesterol of the body is the leading cause of high cholesterol level.
Thus, people should not worry too much about eating eggs and other high cholesterol food if their bodies have good control over cholesterol regulation themselves, and we should not see eating eggs as a demon to avoid in our diet. Pseudoscience exists everywhere in our lives. To obtain the accurate knowledge and true science, we need to observe the world and keep questioning to examine the credibility of information to best avoid pseudoscience.
Boyce, J. K. (2004). Green and Brown? Globalization and The Environment. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 20(1), 105-128. Charles, J. A. (2004, July 14). The Environmental Benefits of Globalization. Global Envision. Retrieved from http://www.globalenvision.org/. Dolmas, J. (2004, September/October). Globalization: Myths and Realities. Federal Reserve Bank of Dellas, 13-14. Johnson, H. S., & Ridlen, S. F. (2013). Eggs and Cholesterol. Retrieved from University of Illinois Extensions website: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/eggs/. Saupe, S.G. (2005). What is Pseudoscience? Biology Department, St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN 56321.