False Equivalence and Binaries
False Equivalence: People (kids and adults) struggle to understand that although it's important to look at information and consider evidence from various perspectives (AKA biases), not all information, resources, or "evidence" are worthy of serious consideration. The "you must look at both sides" mentality can lead individuals and sometimes even credible media sources to give way too much air time to information that has already been thoroughly debunked, all in the name of fairness. False equivalency can lead people to doubt facts (or theories that have a preponderance of evidence) because offering an opposing point of view can make it seem like the topic is worthy of debate, when in fact it is not. Even though there are people who believe the earth is flat, or that the moon landing was faked, we don't spend much time sharing their arguments or debating these non-issues. Yet, we often promote debate of other non-issues such as vaccine safety and who won the recent presidential election.
Binaries: A related issue is our culture's obsession with binaries. Sometimes an answer isn't black or white, but black and white. Or gray. Or sometimes white, and sometimes black. Or the answer might be neither .... because it's actually purple, or blue with yellow polka-dots. Limiting ourselves to binaries squashes creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and our ability to get closer to the truth.