What would it take to change your mind?
“What evidence would have to be presented for you to change your mind?”
I believe that’s how a good debate should start. Today in class I got to talking about the scientific process with one student. He stated, “So you only believe things if they’ve been referenced and peer reviewed?”
I thought about it for a second before I said yes. Let me explain my position:
First off, I have no problem trying things without sufficient evidence (granted I don’t believe it has any potential to hurt someone). For example, maybe stretching and foam rolling the calves can help someone with their squat form; let’s say their feet no longer pronate. That’s great, but I cannot tell you why it happened. It could have been a number of things, maybe their stretch tolerance changed but it could also be likely that they just changed their form and the intervention didn’t do anything other than make them think more about their feet not caving in.
This is called post hoc ergo propter hoc which is a logical fallacy that states, “since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X.” I cannot tell you that the foam rolling and stretching changed the squat form. I have some evidence that people that pronate and collapse on their squat may have tight calves but how can I apply that to the individual? And just because something worked for an individual how can I apply that to everyone? The same intervention might work for two people but for two completely different reasons!
So why would a scientific paper be the only thing that would change my mind? Well, because I’ve “learned” far too many incorrect things. This had made me a better critical thinker. There are plenty of people out their much smarter than myself but I pride myself in my ability to withhold belief until evidence is present. I stick to my guns, and would happily change my mind on any subject if the evidence is present. That’s where I stand; I no longer mindlessly buy into ideas because they sound good, I’ve learned my lessons. So if you want to change my mind, you know what you have to do, present solid evidence to me and if you can’t do that then maybe you should start questioning your beliefs.