Tools for Critical Thinking: Blog

Why Blog about Critical Thinking in Biology?


Oxford University Press published my book, Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology, in April 2015. I wrote this book because 37 years of teaching biology at the University of Nevada, Reno, taught me that the most important thing for students to learn is how to think critically about ideas and evidence. To become thoughtful and well-informed citizens, students need to learn how to evaluate evidence from observations, comparisons and correlations, experiments, and even models. They need to learn how to make decisions based on the weight of disparate forms of evidence. I use engaging, contemporary examples to illustrate these and other tools of critical thinking. For several of these examples, researchers have published new findings that extend the discussion in my book. New work in the months and years to come will undoubtedly overturn some of my conclusions. I use this blog to call attention to these developments so readers can use my book as a foundation for understanding new research and for continuing to hone their critical thinking skills.


If you have any questions or comments, please email me at jenkins at unr dot edu.


Table of Contents



Revisiting Politicians Talking Science

August 24, 2021



A Connection between Marijuana and Climate Change

August 24, 2021



A Connection between Coronavirus and Climate Change

March 25, 2021



A Ray of Hope

January 22, 2021



Dealing with our Climate Emergency: Individual and Collective Action

November 13, 2020



Greenland's Glaciers: New Evidence of a Critical Tipping Point

August 22, 2020



What Do COVID-19 and Feral Horses Have in Common?

July 14, 2020



Critical Thinking about COVID-19

July 4, 2020



COVID-19 Science: Misconceptions about Testing

June 20, 2020



Tipping Points for Better and Worse

June 12, 2020



Coronavirus and Climate Change

April 3, 2020



Why Are We Facing a Climate Emergency?

March 31, 2020; updated May 5, 2020



Global Climate Change in Pictures and Graphs

February 25, 2020



Risks and Rewards of Vaccination

February 11, 2020



Some People Say ...

January 28, 2020



Critical Thinking in Practice

October 18, 2019



Experiments as the Gold Standard for Research: A New Twist

June 18, 2019



Vaccination Is in the News Again

April 12, 2019



Becoming an Ecologist: A Detour Makes a Difference

March 16, 2018



Why I Worry about Climate Change

March 15, 2018; updated August 31, 2019



On Climate Science, the New York Times Blows It

May 8, 2017



"This is a sad day for the children of the U.S."

April 19, 2017



Monarch Butterflies, Milkweed, and Migration: The Law of Unintended Consequences

February 7, 2017



Medical Use of Marijuana Revisited

January 11, 2017



Storytelling in science: What can we learn about critical thinking from stories about mountain lions and sea otters?

July 23, 2016



Careful Readers Are a Writer's Best Friends

March 8, 2016



More Politicians Talking Science

November 23, 2015; updated August 27, 2019



Research on Medicinal Uses of Marijuana: Is the Cart Before the Horse?

September 16, 2015; updated August 24, 2019



Brownie, You're Doing a Heck of a Job

September 9, 2015



Vaccination and the Eradication of Human Diseases

August 17, 2015



Complexities of Causation

(in climate change and large-scale vaccination programs)

 August 13, 2015



When Politicians Talk Science

June 28, 2015