Jonathan Maloney, PhD Candidate
Founder, Principal Content Creator, President
Physics, Northern Illinois University, PhD (2021)
Applied Mathematics, Northern Illinois University, B.S.
Geology, Northern Illinois University, B.S.
Garret Wise, B.S.
Physics, Northern Illinois University, B.S.
Philosophy, Northern Illinois University, Minor
Having a lifelong love affair with science, Garrett entered university to pursue a career as a scientist. Having been influenced by….. Read more →
At one point in my life, I found myself in the grips of a pseudo-scientific worldview. In particular, I had irrational fears regarding the safety of both GMOs and vaccines. Through hours of “research,” I had convinced myself that somehow the science wasn't settled and that there was more to the story that we weren't being told. In my defense, I had grown up to a parent who was an alternative-healthcare practitioner and these irrational fears had been indoctrinated at a young age.
At some point in my late twenties and after years of working in the industry, everything changed for me. I began to study logic, a branch of philosophy, to learn the structure of arguments, the different types of arguments, as well as the concept of a logical fallacy. Further, I discovered cognitive psychology and how heuristics (i.e., mental shortcuts) can lead to pitfalls in cognition known as cognitive biases. I then used what I learned to evaluate my own beliefs. Why do I believe this? Why is this person an authority figure? How do we know that science works? My whole worldview was critically analyzed using the skills that I had learned. In the end, this process forced me to change some of my long-held beliefs.
Now, more than ever, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information due to the invention of the internet and the myriad of technical devices that give us constant access to it. However, all this access does have a dark side. We have a President yelling “Fake News!”, individuals impersonating “experts” on YouTube, Google “researchers,” get rich quick charlatans, and many more who are more than happy to spread lies to get your attention. The solution to combating this growing threat is to become a better “critical thinker,” which is the primary goal of this site.
Oh, before I forget; I'm a scientist. Specifically, I'm a PhD candidate in Physics and if I can convince myself that GMOs and vaccines are not safe, than anyone can. Therefore, it is all of our responsibilities to become better critical thinkers and I intend to help you get there. What is more, on your path to becoming a critical thinker, you will most likely have to re-evaluate some of your own beliefs, which can be uncomfortable. Don't worry; this is apart of the process. One of the most important lessons you are going to learn here is the ability to change your beliefs when presented with new information. You must open yourself up to the possibility of being wrong.
*Note: We will often use "big words" throughout this site as we intend to expand your vocabulary. Links to definitions will be included.