What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Burden of Proof

The Big Idea for Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science. In today's lesson, Lawrence Krauss explains why it matters so much that we teach it in our schools:

If we allow nonsense to be promulgated in the schools, we do a disservice to our students, a disservice to our children, and we’re guaranteeing that they will fall behind in a competitive world that depends upon a skilled workforce able to understand and manipulate technology and science.

There is also a bigger idea that we need to teach to students, and that is about the nature of proof. According to Bertrand Russell's famous teapot analogy, the philosophical burden of proof falls on those who make claims that are scientifically unfalsifiable. 

Understanding the burden of proof is a skill that is often lacking in our public discourse, particularly in our digital age in which it is so easy to play fast and loose with the facts. If this aspect of critical thinking is further eroded through the teaching of unfalsifiable concepts, the consequences could be profound for a generation of students. 




  1. 1 It's Time to Stop Validating Ignorance
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 The Fact of Evolution
    Richard Dawkins
  3. 3 Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Deny Evolution
    Bill Nye
  4. 4 Pastor Rick Warren Debates Religious Tolerance
    Rick Warren

Burden of Proof

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