Critical Thinking Academy: Boost Awareness & Intelligence

Learn how not to be fooled by marketers, salesmen, politicians, and others.
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  • Lectures 15
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2016 English

Course Description

Easily learn the basics of critical thinking.

Every human needs these skills to keep from being cheated or fooled. Learn how to detect logical fallacies used by the best politicians and salesmen.

Course includes several handouts, including one free book, plus the Critical Thinking Checklist. Multiple examples are given of logical fallacies or other failures in critical thinking, so that you will know how to respond. This course can easily be finished in one day with an hour of video and over a hundred pages of handouts.

The course is divided into modules. The first introduces the basics of critical thinking and includes examples. Each subsequent module presents a topic and claims that have been made about that subject. Video lessons take those claims apart, piece by piece, and analyzes them using critical thinking.

Take this course to sharpen your mind for everything you do in life. Critical thinking skills are essential with any of life's important decisions.

  • Managing a business,
  • Voting,
  • Purchases,
  • Health,
  • Finances,
  • Marriage,
  • Lifestyle choices, and
  • Much, much more...

What are the requirements?

  • You should have at least an intermediate grasp of English language. There are no other requirements for taking this course.
  • We do ask that you remain open-minded when learning these skills. Such open-mindedness is, after all, a vital part of critical thinking.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Become aware of logical fallacies when others attempt to use them instead of rigorous facts to argue a position.
  • Recognize and overcome our own biases.
  • Choose the right tools for investigation.
  • See past the false implication.
  • Recognize the logical bait and switch.
  • Overcome the false generality.
  • Deconstruct blame tactics when they're used against us.
  • Unravel wrongly-defined words.
  • Recognize the guilt trip technique when it's being played on us.
  • Become immune to the emotional pitch.

What is the target audience?

  • This course is for any person who wants greater critical thinking skills, whether or not they are familiar with the subject. This is for beginners, intermediate, and advanced critical thinkers who enjoy learning new ways of looking at a topic.
  • This course is not for anyone who would not enjoy a fresh perspective on critical thinking. This course is probably not for you if you expect lessons in critical thinking to be delivered in some standard format used by some universities.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Critical Thinking Academy Introduction
02:31

A brief description of critical thinking's benefits, plus an explanation of the course format and handouts.

  • Better problem solving results.
  • Better decision making.
  • Being more precise and more effective.
  • Analyzing claims made by others for truthfulness and accuracy.
  • Seeing past the hype and marketing dazzle so often encountered in life.
  • The most accurate way of looking at, and thinking about the facts we discover.
  • Greater clarity in removing emotional reactions from our judgment of data.
  • Examining evidence with a clean perspective.
06:11

The basics of critical thinking and how we can be fooled by marketing experts, politicians, the news media and more. Implication can be used to trick us into thinking a certain way without realizing we've been tricked.

This lecture lists some of the approaches of good critical thinking, and also lists some of the skills achieved by learning to improve our own critical thinking.

Two examples are given to help us understand critical thinking in the context of real world concerns.

Critical Thinking Introduction
4 questions
Section 2: Analyzing Climate Change Claims
07:45

Introducing the "climate change" debate, presenting some of the claims made in Al Gore's film and pointing out some of the logical fallacies he used to sell his idea.

  • Bait and switch
  • False implication
  • Appeals to emotion

In this module, we will call the opposing sides,

  • Warming Alarmists
  • Climate Skeptics

But we will also be looking at a third perspective to see what both sides seem to be missing.

06:24

Good communication depends on people using the same definitions for the words they use. One diplomatic meeting between the British and Americans nearly fell apart because the two English speaking parties did not use the same definition. The British defined "table a discussion" as the act of focusing on that topic—placing the subject in the center of the main table. The Americans, however, defined "table a discussion" as the act of setting a topic aside—placing it on a side table for review at a later time. They weren't talking about the same "table."

The "climate change" debate has similar problems. Several terms have been mangled, poorly defined, or poorly chosen.

11:56

This is a musical video introducing "thermophobia" (fear of warmth) as a disease of attitude and lack of knowledge. The video is broken down into 5 parts:

  1. Fear Itself
  2. Ice Age Madness
  3. Fear of the Ordinary
  4. Which sounds better: Cold?...
  5. Which sounds better: ...Warm?


01:20

The Warming Alarmists don't explicitly say that "global warming" is bad, but they imply it in a number of ways. But how true is this implication. Here we look at some profound evidence which contradicts their implied claim that warming is bad.

The handout with this lecture explores this idea more deeply.

01:23

Al Gore and the United Nations have implied very strongly that CO2 (carbon dioxide) is bad. They call it "carbon pollution." But how true is this implication? Here we look at some simple information which contradicts their claim. Combined with the goodness of warming, carbon dioxide can be seen as nothing but good.

The handout discusses this idea in greater detail.

02:31

Another musical video focusing on extreme wind, debunking the notion that global warming causes more extreme weather. The planet Venus has plenty of heat, but zero wind. In this video, you discover why there are no storms on the entire planet.

01:53

The Warming Alarmists claim that global warming causes more extreme weather—tornadoes, hurricanes, and the like. How true is this claim? First, we look at the graphs of hurricane counts and energy, plus the NOAA graph of strong tornado counts. Their claim does not match reality. When this video explains the science behind wind energy, in very simple terms, you will understand how horribly wrong the Warming Alarmists have been on this.

01:21

Warming Alarmists claim that global warming causes more droughts (as well as floods). Here, you learn why they are wrong. The science is quite simple.

10:46

Another musical video explaining extreme weather from other viewpoints. This video not only expands on the topic of strong winds, but also covers the idea of droughts.

The dangers of rising sea level are put into a larger context, comparing those problems to the far more deadly threats of global cooling.

01:54

The Warming Alarmists claim that Climate Skeptics (or "deniers") are funded by Big Oil (petroleum industry). This ad hominem logical fallacy is not only a distraction from the topic itself, but the implication is clearly not true. When you find out why, you will understand how cunning the Warming Alarmists have been all along. Their tricks do not work against someone with greater critical thinking skills.

02:38

With everything we've learned in this course module, it becomes clear that the "climate change" claims by the Warming Alarmists are fraudulent. Here, we look at two possible reasons for this hoax:

  • Money, and
  • Power.

This is not an exhaustive study, but it does present some of the facts which help us to put the debate into a more global perspective. Much more research is needed to achieve solid answers, but this video gives us a possible starting point.

04:00

This review looks at many of the techniques which Warming Alarmists have used to distract us from the use of critical thinking.

  • Bait and switch
  • False implication
  • Wrongly-defined words
  • Wrong use of words
  • Oxymoron
  • Outright lies
  • Ad hominem logical fallacy

We also look at how the use of some terms are meant to stop any discussion before it has a chance to start—terms like "settled science" and "scientific consensus."

Critical Thinking and Climate Change
9 questions
Section 3: Where Would You Like to Go Next?
01:00

This is your invitation to tell me where you would like to explore next. What topics would you like to see included in this course? Critical thinking can be applied to nearly everything in life. Some topics require more critical thinking than others. And some subjects can be dangerous without it.

The attached list is only a small sampling of the possibilities. So, let me know what you would like included in an upcoming module.


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Instructor Biography

Rod Martin, Jr., Udemy expert instructor

Perpetual student and perpetual teacher.

Professor Martin has had several successful careers—Hollywood artist with screen credit, software engineer with a degree summa cum laude, published author and first-place award-winning essayist, and college professor in information technology, mathematics and ethics.

Artist

As an artist, he worked with Star Wars, special effects manager, George Mather and with two-time Academy Award winning designer, Saul Bass. He has had one-person shows of his space art at the Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles, at the world renowned Griffith Observatory, and other venues.

I.T. Specialist & Software Engineer

As an information technology specialist, he has worked for Control Data Corporation, Bank of America, Ceridian Payroll, Global Database Marketing, and IPRO Tech. He has also created 3D astronomy software, "Stars in the NeighborHood," which remains available online. He has programmed in over 20 languages.

Writer

As a writer, he has written both science fiction and non-fiction. In 1983, he co-authored as Carl Martin, with John Dalmas, Touch the Stars: Emergence. In 1994, he won first-place awards for both an essay ("Outsiderness in the Scientific Community," Krupnick Award) and a short story ("Toady," Dutton Books Award). In 2012, he published The Art of Forgiveness. In 2014, as Carl Martin, he published two other books of science fiction, Touch the Stars: Diaspora, and Entropy's Children. In 2014, he published The Bible's Hidden Wisdom, and The Spark of Creativity, and in 2015, Watered Down Christianity.

Teacher

As a college professor, Mr. Martin has taught college algebra, database development, web development (HTML, CSS, and PHP), computer fundamentals, assembly language, professional ethics, and quality in software development.

Mr. Martin maintains nearly twenty websites, including websites for Rod Martin, Jr., Tharsis Highlands and Ancient Suns, starting in 2001.

Spiritual Searcher of Truth

Throughout his life, Mr. Martin has hungered to know more about the universe in which we all live, including the spiritual side of it all. He has studied comparative religion, including Christian Fundamentalism, Scientology, Buddhism (Tibetan and Thai), Judaism, Kabbalah (Bnei Baruch) and Christ's teachings. He has written several books on spirituality and the Bible.

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