Lie-proof your life with Carl Sagan’s “baloney detection” checklist course of their training, scientists are equipped with a baloney-detection kit. In one chapter of his book, “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Sagan laid out his method, proposing what he called “A Baloney Detection Kit,”. In the essay, a chapter from his book The Demon-Haunted World, Sagan proposes a rigorous but comprehensible “baloney detection kit”.

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Slippery sloperelated to excluded middle. All you need are a few pointed questions to evaluate the reliability of any sqgan. I still have his epitaphial goodbye as he was making his exit via Cancer. Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments and see if they get the same result.

Do they have obvious biases or conflicts of interest that might cause them to misrepresent facts? If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Correlation does not equal causation. The Skeptic’s Guide to Fake News.

But you don’t need to understand the details of quantum mechanics to weigh claims and flag up B. Click here to cancel reply. Evidence, of course, suggests that the earth’s magnetic field not only waxes and wanes, but even switches polarity every so often. Get the best cultural and educational resources on the web curated for you in a daily email.


Bakoney refer the reader to the Answers in Genesis page on the non-constant speed of light. Is the claimant providing positive evidence?

Is the claimant playing by the rules of science? Archive All posts by date.

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Ask yourself why you like the idea. It is also called “circular reasoning” or “circular logic”. What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. Your comment will be queued in Akismet! When it comes to evaluating claims, the source matters. Written by Joanie Faletto. Sagan makes a few suggestions about the “tools” a skeptic should keep ready in their Baloney Detection Kit.

They will do so again in the future. March 6, at 5: We’re hoping to rely on loyal readers, rather than erratic ads. This occurs when a statement has an unproven premise. At this rate, according to the time-frame supposed by evolution, the field would have originally been so powerful as to render earth inhospitable. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.

Archive All posts by date. If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work including the premise — not just most of them. Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?

This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.


Carl Sagan Presents His “Baloney Detection Kit”: 8 Tools for Skeptical Thinking | Open Culture

Compare it fairly with the alternatives. Intelligent design is good science, because it can’t be disproved. Confusion of correlation and causation.

Currently the earth’s magnetic field is decreasing in intensity. Saying that because the implications of a statement being true would create negative results, it must not be true. Ignorance about central statistical assumptions and the definition of metrics.

Open Culture editor Dan Colman scours the web for the best educational media. Comments 5 You can skip to the end and leave a response. They will do so again in the future.

But its global reach, particular vehemence, and blatant contempt for verifiable reality seem like innovations of the present. I think there are questions we can ask about supposed authorities that help us determine whether or not they are reliable sources of information.

Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts. How reliable is the source of the claim?