SUNDAY, AUG 4, 2013 01:45 PM EDT

Science deniers just donít think: All hail the scientific method

The scientific method's the best way for people to get smarter, precisely because theories get revised and improved


Excerpted from "You Are Now Less Dumb"

Back when Shakespeare said you were the paragon of animals, both noble in reason and infinite in faculties, he did so during a time when physicians believed the body was filled with black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood, and all sickness and health depended on the interaction of those fluids. Lethargic and lazy? Well, thatís because you are full of phlegm. Feeling sick? Maybe youíve got too much blood and should go see a barber to get drained. Yes, the creator of some of the greatest works of the English language believed you could cure a fever with a knife.

Itís easy to laugh at the very wrong things that people once believed, but try not to feel too superior.

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