ETX 30 Lecture 5

ETX 30 Lecture 5 - Environmental Toxicology 30 Chemical Use...

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Environmental Toxicology 30 Chemical Use and Abuse Topic: Scientific Method, Critical Thinking, and Risk Assessment I. Math, Science, and Statistics a. What does the data really mean? i. Think about the symptom, cause and population b. Questions i. How do you determine if a drug is actually producing a real (measurable) effect in yourself or a group of patients? 1. Data and stats ii. How do you critically evaluate drug advertising, chemical contaminant exposure report/news? iii. Need at least simple Math to look at something scientifically c. Innumeracy- “I don’t do math…” i. Recommended reading INNUMERACY-MATHEMATICAL ILLITERACY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, John Allen Paulos (AAAS University Creativity Awardee, 2003) ii. “To combat [innumeracy] John Allen Paulos has concocted the perfect v accine: this book, which is in many ways better than an entire high school math education! Our society would be unimaginably different if the average person truly understood the ideas in this marvelous and important book. It is probably hopelessly optimistic to dream this way, but I hope that Innumeracy might help launch a revolution in math education that would do for innumeracy what Sabin and Salk did for polio.” – Douglas Hofstadter, Pulitzer prize winner, author of GODEL, ESCHER, and BACH 1. Whoopdie-do! d. Example i. If there is a 50% chance that it will rain on Saturday and 50% chance on Sunday, what is the chance it will rain over the weekend? e. Beware of… i. GIGO-garbage in, garbage out 1. “Any bit of nonsense can be computerized…but that does not make the nonsense any more valid” Paulos p. 50 a. Data must be meaningful to give results ii. Inability to disprove a claim is not evidence FOR the claim. “You can’t prove X is wrong” is not evidence that X is right. II.

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ETX 30 Lecture 5 - Environmental Toxicology 30 Chemical Use...

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