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Critical Thinking Matters

Posted on Friday, August 4, 2023
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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Critical Thinking

Follow me into the stars. Refresh the idea of critical thinking. A new body of literature imagines “dark stars,” invisible “stars” of high mass, composed of what astrophysicists call “dark matter.” Dark matter is inferred from gravity’s behavior in deep space. Why should we care? In a sense, we do not need to. But in another sense, we must. Critical thinking matters.

From a macro-science view, “dark stars” are simply interesting because they might explain “black holes,” intense spots in space from which no matter, not even light, escapes. The new theory suggests that “black holes” come from collapsed “dark stars.”

Again, you say, “Who cares?” We go about our lives whether or not “dark matter” produces “dark stars” and whether or not they collapse to form “black holes,” all because of gravity. But hold, do a bit more critical thinking.

What is gravity? Science says it is the weakest of the four forces holding the Universe together, the one that works at the longest distance. Beyond keeping our feet down, it keeps big things – like stars, planets, and moons – in a magical equipoise, neither flying away nor always colliding.

Unlike other forces – the strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetism – which operate at the small or “quantum” level, gravity only works on the really big stuff – with a long reach.

Interesting, right? Exploring little things, like atoms, electrons, quarks, and neutrinos, may also seem irrelevant, but asking questions sharpens the mind. Isn’t the better part of life learning? And perhaps more practically, do we not get more than we bargained for when we ask questions?

From science to economics, religion to politics, we so often are deluged – and so we accept a lot from “experts” without asking, but is that how you get to the truth? Are we doing the critical thinking needed to arrive at the truth?

What if we started asking, for example, why? For example, why does gravity keep planets in equipoise? Why do they not fly away or crash? Why do plants resist gravity, not stay defeated? In short, why is what is not – not?

In politics, as in science, we often let others shape our views. We do not ask why Yet asking is vital – especially when logic, history, or our own instincts give us reason to wonder or question.

Sure, as science is advanced by hard questions, so is a republic. That is where progress – as well as preserving what works, what should not be changed, and affirming truth – both come from.

Critical thinking – questioning assumptions, wondering aloud, and not letting experts or politicians blindly define what we think, is where it is really at. It is the only way to advance knowledge.

Of course, accepting everything without question is far easier than asking questions, but what did Socrates say? “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Dark stars remind us of gravity, which reminds us there is no why for gravity, which leads to pondering all Creation and a Creator. Questions matter.

Closer to home, questioning a world filled with false, faulty, and flawed assumptions is more important than ever. This is a luxury of freedom, but also part of what keeps freedom alive.

Critical thinking is how we ponder life’s mysteries but also how we keep politicians honest, push discovery and invention, find cures and solutions, and assure accountability. In an age of closing minds, we need to re-open minds with hard questions, far more critical thinking.

Thankfully, in America, we can do that – although we have slowed and are not teaching kids how. From dark stars to dark politics, truth is about asking. As Einstein observed, in his concise way, “Question everything.” When told not to especially – do. No better time than now.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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David Millikan
David Millikan
10 months ago

Critical thinking is what built the United States along with blood, sweat and tears.
Unfortunately today, critical thinking hasn’t been taught in schools for the past 40 plus years and look at what is sitting in the White House because of it DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY for political POWER and CONTROL by putting the United States LAST and ABUSING powers of Office by WEAPONIZING EVERY Federal agency to use against AMERICANS and a former U.S. President for POWER and CONTROL.
Critical thinking is what made the United States #1.
NOT LAST.

ref
ref
10 months ago

University students today are not taught to think critically. They are taught to believe only the leftist viewpoints of their professors. They are taught to hate conservatives and to embrace nonsense like CRT and DEI
As for the universe holding together, one can only believe the words of the Psalmist: “Only a fool says in his heart ‘there is no God. ‘ “

Nancy
Nancy
10 months ago

Seek The Truth
Ask Questions
Think For Yourself

SusanW
SusanW
10 months ago

Thank you for this exceptional and very important article. It is spot on! You and I must be residing in the same world of thought. After exploring the natural world along the River this morning, I returned to work on my curriculums for my various remote classes. My attention was focused on “Finding the Truth” via critical thinking in our modern world. So, when I took a break to see what you were pondering, I truly just laughed. Once again, you have written about and highlighted something very dear to my heart. Sadly, our schools aren’t teaching critical thinking in the classrooms and are ignoring the importance of curiosity and wonder. It was always at the core of my teaching throughout my career. Everything I taught was designed on Bloom’s Taxonomy (the process of higher order thinking): knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. It is critical that Americans, in today’s troubled world, ask more questions, and be better at finding the truth and not just excepting an answer. Ponder and wonder more, so your brain is better trained to see the truth. To find the truth you have to look at an issue from every angle and perspective and do the process of cross checking information. As you said, we need to re-open our minds to see what is really true. Thank you again, Robert, for making a difference in the world.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day,” AE

Rod Noll
Rod Noll
10 months ago

Biden’s critical thinking : Where is my ice cream cone ?

Jeri
Jeri
10 months ago

Critical thinking requires moving intellectually from concrete thinking to abstract thinking. Many have not made that transition. Observe them begging, living in tents on sidewalks, shoving needles between their toes, waiting for someone to give them a trophy. Harsh what I am saying…but true.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
10 months ago

Who’s science these days now that Fauci retired with his golden parachute?

lawrence greenberg
lawrence greenberg
10 months ago

Critical thinking has become a thing of the past. Our children attend schools run almost exclusively by the Left, and educating our children and teaching them how to think has not been part of the agenda for decades. The agenda has long been almost exclusively to indoctrinate the children in Leftist ideology, and to teach them what to think, not how to think. The Left will survive only if unquestioned obedience is what is taught. Anyone asking questions will be silenced because the Left has no answers.

anna hubert
anna hubert
10 months ago

The completely utmost dangerous idea today is critical thinking It has been suppressed and rejected long ago Hard to control masses that are able to think for themselves

SusanW
SusanW
10 months ago

Thank you for this exceptional and very captivating article. It is spot on! You and I are residing in the same world of thought. After exploring the natural world along the River this morning, I returned to work on my curriculums for my various remote classes. This morning my attentions were focused on “Finding the Truth” via critical thinking in our modern world. So, when I took a break to see what you were pondering, I truly just laughed. Once again, you have addressed and highlighted something very dear to my heart. Sadly, our schools aren’t teaching critical thinking and are ignoring the importance of curiosity and wonder. It was always at the core of my teaching throughout my career. Everything I taught was designed on Bloom’s Taxonomy (the process of critical thinking): knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.The true steps of thinking. It is critical that Americans, in today’s troubled world, ask more questions and be better at finding the real truth and not just excepting an answer. Ponder and wonder more, so your brain is trained to see the truth. To find the truth you have to look at an issue from every angle and perspective and use the process of cross checking information. Unfortunately, the new mantra in our country is, if a lie or incorrect information is repeated over and over enough people will believe it to be the truth. Very scary and dangerous. As you said, we need to re-open our minds to see what is really true. Thank you again, Robert, for making a difference in this world.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.” AE

PapaYEC
PapaYEC
10 months ago

Definitely.

John C. Tate
John C. Tate
10 months ago

The article states, “gravity only works on the really big stuff.” This is error. Gravity works on ALL matter having mass.

SusanW
SusanW
10 months ago

Sorry, it was posted twice! Oh, well!

SusanW
SusanW
10 months ago

My response is awaiting approval, which is fine, but hopefully it will be visible soon. Have a great weekend everyone!

Joanne 4 justice
Joanne 4 justice
10 months ago

Critical thinking is essential to make good, informed decisions , and ???? actions for self.
SADLY, critical thinking FOR SELF is negated. and discouraged by the many Communist Radical Progressive Left Wing Dem Comrades within our present government and in American society!
I am thankful ???? that we still have freedom of speech, and other rights insured by our Constitution !
All Americans must protect our beloved ❤️ country and our unique blended culture ! Protect IT from DANGEROUS influencers THAT HAVE BEEN , AND ARE NOW causing SUBSTANTIAL HARM IN uSA..

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