ARP3089 – Critical Thinking in Archaeology and Palaeoecology

Module Overview

This module examines a range of often controversial arguments within and outside Archaeology and Palaeoecology, and focuses on ways of reasoning and logical fallacies within those arguments. Topics discussed include ‘fringe’ science where a degree of archaeology is involved, such as the so-called ‘crystal skulls’ or the existence of giants or extremely long-lived humans as supposedly documented within religious texts, but also wider debates using Earth-(pseudo)science, such as the age of the Earth, supposed evidence for a global flood, flat Earth, chemtrails and global warming denial. While discussing these topics, we look at the nature of the arguments made, and identify logical fallacies. We also look at hypothesis-testing. This module equips students with enhanced capabilities to apply critical thinking during and after their studies.

Learning outcomes

You will gain experience in applying critical thinking to a range of topics inside and outside archaeology, build knowledge on and understanding of lines of reasoning and develop your ability to identify logical fallacies in arguments.

Module Co-ordinator: Dr Maarten Blaauw