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Updated by georginapecas on Oct 08, 2017
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TOK end of the week

What to read to make you think... TOK oriented

Why bad ideas refuse to die | Steven Poole

The Long Read: They may have been disproved by science or dismissed as ridiculous, but some foolish beliefs endure. In theory they should wither away – but it’s not that simple

zombie idea

According to Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, a zombie idea is "a proposition that has been thoroughly refuted by analysis and evidence, and should be dead — but won’t stay dead because it serves a political purpose, appeals to prejudices, or both." Examples include the idea of a flat Earth, a hollow Earth, and a geocentric universe. Further examples include belief in homeopathy and various forms of energy medicine that involve claims about a vital force or subtle energy that is somehow related to health and disease. (Krugman says that he first saw the phrase 'zombie idea' in the context of myths about Canadian health care.)

Is knowing harder than dieting?

(by Eileen Dombrowski, from OUP blog) Oh no! More suggestion, in an article I’m reading, that gaining reliable knowledge from the media might be even harder than sticking to a diet! Just as we’re assaulted with tempting displays of candy and chocolate as we head for the supermarket check-out, we’re faced with screaming headlines, awful photos,…

Taylor Swift’s sexual assault testimony calls out one of today’s most persistent sexist myths

In the US, women are expected to feel bad for men who hurt and disrespect them. The injustice of this expectation was laid bare in pop star Taylor Swift's testimony Thursday (Aug. 10) in a civil trial over an alleged sexual assault. Swift says that David Mueller, a former radio host, reached under her dress...

The Falling Man

Do you remember this
photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the
record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for
the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that
day.

Standing at the Centre of the World: TOK class discussion (with handout)

Standing at the centre of the world: it’s a compelling image. But just who or what is at the “centre”, and what does planting that centre do to our knowledge? Clearly, this question of “centrism” threads through the Theory of Knowledge course, and there are plenty of good entry points to take students into discussion…

Why Buddhist ‘fangsheng’ mercy release rituals can be more cruel than kind

The case of two London Buddhists fined for releasing crustaceans into the sea has thrown the spotlight on a ritual that involves hundreds of millions of wild animals – and a huge industry built around their capture and supply

Sharing knowledge – effectively!

(Eileen Dombrowski, from OUP blog) “Alone we go fast, together we go far.” So goes the proverb quoted by a leading neuroscientist involved in a major new project bringing together 21 labs in Europe and the United States for research on the brain. The international team aims to discover “where, when, and how neurons in…

Superstition helps explain how people think about gun laws

THE Onion put it best: “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” An accurate summary of gun-control opponents’ response to America’s periodic gun massacres, the headline was also familiar.

Why Scientists Have No Faith in Science

A common tactic of those who claim that science and religion are compatible is to argue that science, like religion, rests on faith: faith in the accur ...