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The Black Swan Test and Good Science

By Marcus Santer

This months ZEN+ Journal focuses on 10 critical questions.

10 questions you need to ask when assessing the validity and importance of any headline linked to a scientific study.

Armed with these 10 questions you’ll be able to quickly establish science fact from science fiction.

An essential skill when you consider how many times science is used to make sensational claims for new foods, products and pharmaceutical drugs.

During my research on this subject I’ve been digging deep into what the difference is between Good Science and Bad Science.

I know, I know.

I was initially surprised to discover there was a bad science category.

And I also came across Karl Poppers Black Swan Test, which goes something like this:

Pretend you’re a scientist and your theory is that all swan’s are white.

As a good scientist you have a duty to find a black swan, to test your theory.

The minute you or anyone else sees a black swans your theory is no longer valid. In spite of how many white swans you can point to.

How come?

Because your theory is no longer consistent.

That’s the Black Swan Test in a nutshell.

And for yours and anyone else’s theory to be valid it must satisfy three things:

  1. Have no evidence to dispute it
  2. It holds up over time
  3. Your results are repeatable

That’s good science.

And once you start to look at what’s reported on in popular media – through the lens of good science – you’ll be shocked at just how much bad science there is.

Especially when it comes to health and nutrition.

So make sure you read November’s edition of The ZEN+ Journal and discover how easy it is to protect yourself against bad science.

Because with the mountain of information coming at you today, being able to sort the wheat from the chaff is essential.

And…

As critical thinking is so important, if you become a ZEN+ Journal reader today, I’ll send you a copy of October’s Journal which looked at some of the most common ‘Mind Traps’ we humans have a tendency to fall for…

Over…

And over…

And over again.

You can become a ZEN+ Journal reader here.

Bye for now

Marcus