“Science proves it: Money really can buy happiness” – LA Times “Science Proves That With Practice, Your Brain Can Become Better At Tasting Wine” – Huffington Post “Science Proves You Can’t Hold Your Baby Too Much” – parents.com What’s wrong with these headlines? The phrase “science proves” is one of my biggest pet peeves. Writers love it because it’s dramatic and attention-catching, but it’s also incredibly misleading. This may come as a surprise, but science doesn’t prove anything. It never has. It never will.
Doing science is hard, but for many, reading about science is harder. However, learning how to read and think critically about science is a valuable skill in today’s fast-growing world of information and innovation. Here are three easy steps you can take today to read science like a pro:
Understanding the difference between correlation and causation is essential for anyone who's interested in becoming science literate. In order to appreciate this, let me present you with a shocking fact: When ice cream sales increase, so do homicide rates (1).