Lie-proof your life with Carl Sagan’s “baloney detection” checklist course of their training, scientists are equipped with a baloney-detection kit. Based on the book “The Demon Haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark” published by Headline, The following are suggested as tools for testing. The Fine Art of Baloney Detection is an essay by Carl Sagan in his constitutes what Sagan very politely calls a “Baloney Detection Kit.

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Misunderstanding the nature of statistics President Eisenhower expressed astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence!

The Baloney Detection Kit

Retrieved from ” https: Unsubscribe at any time. Currently the earth’s magnetic field is decreasing in intensity. Weasel words ba,oney for example, use of euphemisms for war such as “police action” to get around sahan on Presidential powers. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view. They will do so again in the future. Based on the book “The Demon Haunted World: Evidence, of course, suggests that the earth’s magnetic field not only waxes and wanes, but even switches polarity every so often.

WordPress Hashcash needs javascript to work, but your browser has javascript disabled. Ask yourself why you like the idea.

What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified shown to be false by some unambiguous test. Statistics of small numbers such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes. These are all in Sagan’s words:. These are all in Sagan’s words: This especially goes for Carl Saganperhaps the greatest science communicator of the past century or so.


The reason that most Christian geologists can’t ccarl it is the same, plus the fact that they have believed the scientific establishment more than the Bible that they claim to believe is the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

Sagan makes a few suggestions savan the “tools” a skeptic should keep ready in their Baloney Detection Kit. Open Culture editor Dan Colman scours the web for the best educational media.

Assuming a current trend has remained constant throughout its history and will continue to do so in the future, even though no evidence suggests such an extrapolation is justified. The fact that atmospheric scientists still have minor disagreements about the specifics of global warming is misrepresented as indicative of a lack of consensus about the existence of the phenomenon.

Get the best cultural and educational resources on the web curated for you in a daily email. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

Science as a candle in the dark” published by Headline, These are not merely measures to identify bad arguments, but constructive ideas about how to come up with better alternatives:. Spin more than one hypothesis – don’t simply run with the first bwloney that caught your fancy.

Check for confounding factors – separate the variables. Meaningless question “what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Your comment will be queued in Akismet! Excluded middle, or false dichotomy.

Ignorance about central statistical assumptions and the definition of metrics. Argument from adverse consequences. This occurs when a statement has an unproven premise.


Conduct control experiments – especially “double blind” experiments where the ,it taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects.

Slippery sloperelated to excluded middle. Slippery slope – also a subset of excluded middle – unwarranted extrapolation of the effects give fetection inch and they will take a mile.

Observational selection counting the hits and forgetting the misses. At this rate, according to the time-frame supposed by evolution, the field would have originally been so powerful as to render earth inhospitable. Thus, God makes people happy if they go to church. Just because two phenomena happen simultaneously does not mean that one causes the other. Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric: Spin more than one hypothesis. Perhaps they no longer need each other.

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

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. Suppressed evidence or half-truths. Evolution isn’t good science, since it can’t be proven. Appeal to ignorance absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Confusion of correlation and causation. Occam’s baolney – if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.

Community Saloon bar To do list What is going on? This type of argument relies on the identity of an authority rather than the components of the argument itself.

Poetry Free Audio Books: Non sequitur – “it does not follow” – the logic falls down.