Updated: Dec 2, 2020
"The CRAAP test is a test to check the objective reliability of sources across academic disciplines. CRAAP is an acronym for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Due to a vast number of sources existing online, it can be difficult to tell whether these sources are trustworthy to use as tools for research. The CRAAP test aims to make it easier for educators and students to determine if their sources can be trusted. By employing the test while evaluating sources, a researcher can reduce the likelihood of using unreliable information." - Wikipedia
Soundbites. Headlines. Video Clips. All in an instant. And gone in a flash.
We are bombarded each day with a plethora of images and phrases meant to inform us about our world and what is happening. Often, the shock of the headline is too much and we move on to the next bite of information lest we become overwhelmed with the minutia of the day. This is akin to a snack of knowledge - a highly processed and modified snack that is about as complete as a potato chip is healthy.
The CRAAP test is a useful tool for evaluating all the information we receive - it can guide us to the truth behind the headline and allow us the opportunity to formulate our own opinions and thoughts rather than simply accepting everything we hear as truth. The truth is not confusing - it has been muddied by the masses of falsehoods that permeate our culture, media and personal lives. With the CRAAP test, you can clean that muddy water and see the clear, unpolluted truth.
Let's look at just one example of how if we peek behind the curtain, we can find the truth behind the hype.
In 1954 (yup, that far back in time - not very current as far as science is concerned) Adelle Davis published a nutritional theory that plant proteins were not sufficient on their own and needed to be combined with another food-type (primarily a grain) in order for the body to be able to use the 'complete protein'. In 1971 another little book was published, this time by Frances Moore Lappé, that pushed this theory into the mainstream consciousness. It has remained there - for many people - ever since.
BUT WAIT! THAT IS NOT THE WHOLE STORY!
YOU NEED TO KEEP READING!
Even though Lappé reversed herself and published this reversal in 1981 - THAT publication did not get the same attention as her original. Even today, in the year 2020, when all that is needed to learn that this original 'protein combining' nutritional theory has been completely and utterly debunked is a one minute search on Wikipedia - people still believe they need to combine their foods.
A further five minute search of scientific studies will lead the curiously engaged human being to the true science behind the hype and see that many studies have scientifically debunked this theory - time and time again.
And yet! This theory lives on. The headline wins over the truth once again and we, as a society fall one step further back in our own intellectual and evolutionary development - both as individuals and as a species. Sadly, if you search 'protein combining' today on the internet, you will find a plethora of sites pushing this false narrative.
Is the truth worth five minutes of our time or are we happy to keep feasting on the low-grade feed they keep shoveling our way?
Truth and science only stand a chance of being known if we all actively engage with ascertaining the veracity of what we are told, especially before we accept it and apply it to our own lives - or worse, spread the falsehoods to those about whom we care deeply
Truth and science only stand a chance of being known if we all actively engage with ascertaining the veracity of what we are told, especially before we accept it and apply it to our own lives - or worse, spread the falsehoods to those about whom we care deeply.