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Critical Thinking

11.1. Although statistics are considered to be the most widely spread and credible evidence for ones words, sometimes the numbers are used inappropriately and lie instead of giving proofs. Statistics can be inaccurate because of the bias of the author or publisher. In other case, it can be predetermined by lack of information. Some other confusing features of the statistics can be the usage of mean, median or mode values. In addition, one can omit some information on purpose or use the strategy of proving one thing but concluding with another. Some examples of the deceiving statistics can be traced in Abbeys Polemic: Industrial Tourism and the National Parks. One should pay attention to the lines that tell about the price for a linear mile of the road. The numbers from half a million to one million are quite confusing not only for a too big gap between them but also for comparing them to the salaries of ten park rangers for ten years (Abbey 418). However, if previously Abbey talked about rather high wages of the workers, here the wage of the ranger appears to be $5-10 thousand per year, which is not a high wage. One more example of exaggeration of numbers is 50 thousand of lives when talking about the bloody tyrant (Abbey 426). The simple reason of being doubtful about the credibility of the numbers is that it does not even include the word approximately while it rarely happens that statistical numbers are so round.

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12.1. The result of omitting information in an argument usually is disinformation and also manipulating the data in a way that can let one present the situation from a different aspect that is biased and advantageous for them.

12.2. If information has been omitted from an argument, percentages instead of absolute numbers are usually provided. The relevant comparison is important in order to make the statement accomplished. Considering the risk statistics, it is essential to be attentive to the absolute and relative terms. Therefore, one should find out the purpose of the writer, take another look at the problem, and use critical questions.

12.3. First of all, Abbey mostly talks about the disadvantages of industrialization and expenses that are needed, including statistics that are not very credible but striking. However, these appear to be the numbers that are not compared to any that the industrial parks would bring. The text is focused on one point of view and gives some supportive arguments while no contra arguments were disproved. Therefore, the comparison was not relevant.

13.1. In order to identify an alternative conclusion, one should think logically, study the reasons without looking at the authors conclusion, and search for the possible solution to a problem.

13.2. Abbey’s is sure that no roads and cars should be present in the national park. Gradual destruction of our national park system is the only alternative (Abbey 431). To my mind, the alternative conclusion is that it is important to remind the real value of the park and find out if the moral and spiritual benefits it can give or the economic benefits for the country are more important.

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14.1. Among the mental obstacles, one should mention the seductive quality of belief in just world, personal experience, the urge to simplify, stereotypes, availability heuristic, belief perseverance, and wishful thinking. People encounter them very often in their lives. The personal experience is important, and people are more likely to learn by their own mistakes than by somebody elses. However, I believe it is always important to consider the peculiarities of each situation. The belief in a just world is closely connected with one’s life experience. Those who have already felt that unjust deeds of others are very common try to analyze more and think twice in order to avoid them. I try to do so but at the same time to behave fairly towards others. Stereotypes are one of the biggest problems of the society. To my mind, it is important to make an effort not to pay attention to the human race, gender or other affiliations. Urging to simplify is also well-known to me. Sometimes it provides more free time. However, I understand that the serious issues that need analysis should be studied very attentively. Belief perseverance is a real obstacle that is difficult to overcome for it is connected with the egoistic human nature. Considering the availability heuristic, it is obvious that the simplest judgments are the first to appear. Nevertheless, it has already been mentioned above that simple does not mean right. Wishful thinking is met quite often as it is also common of human nature to regard self as the cleverest and, therefore, believe that only what you wish to be true is true.

The Population Bomb

1. The main argument of Ehrlich is that the population of the Earth is growing considerably and getting closer and closer to the heat limit. Finally, regarding the energy dissipation, the temperature of the world roof would be kept around the melting point of iron to radiate away the human heat generated (Ehrlich 437).

2. Some of Ehrlichs ideas are wise as the massive disaster is very likely to happen to the humanity. However, he obviously has not taken into account some important factors. His predictions about India and starvation have not come true though according to the date, they should already have. In 2010, its population has grown high, but the poverty level has decreased. Ehrlichs statistics use non-credible numbers that are used more to impress the readers rather than inform them or let make any predictions. For instance, it is not clear where the number sixty million billion people was taken from, as well as one billion billion people. The temperature that is stated to be the iron melting point could hardly be counted without special data. In addition, the problem that is closely connected with famine and is more likely to be the focus of the study is not overpopulation but distribution of resources. However, Ehrlich has not referred to this issue.

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