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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These are all in Sagan’s words:.

If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work. Retrieved from ” https: Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified shown to be false by some unambiguous test. We’re hoping to rely on loyal readers, rather than erratic ads. Statistics of small numbers. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of cqrl.

Spin more than one hypothesis – don’t simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy. Arguably, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. The following are suggested as tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments:. Argument from adverse consequences putting pressure on the decision maker by pointing out dire consequences of an “unfavorable” decision.

External links Twitter Facebook Discord. Confusion of correlation and causation.


The Baloney Detection Kit

Stating a universal principle, then insisting that it doesn’t apply to your assertions for some reason. Suppressed evidence or half-truths. This might be Skepticism. Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result? Suppressed evidence or half-truths.

The Baloney Detection Kit

Occam’s razor – if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler. But we’re not sure. Observational selection counting the hits and forgetting the misses.

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. 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.

This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler. Conduct control experiments – especially “double blind” experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects. Arguments from authority carry little weight in science there are no sxgan.

Unless explicitly noted otherwise, all content licensed as indicated by RationalWiki: Intelligent design is good science, because it can’t be disproved. Caricaturing or stereotyping a position to make it easier to attack. If gay marriage is legalized, all of our children will be converted to homosexuality, and Satan will win. Spin more than one hypothesis. Saying that because the implications of a statement being true would create negative results, it must not be true.


Confusion of correlation and causation. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view. Check for confounding sxgan – separate the variables.

Archive All posts by date. The Wisdom of Carl Sagan Animated. Compare it fairly with the alternatives.

Slippery slope – detectkon a subset of excluded middle – unwarranted extrapolation of the effects give an inch and they will take a mile. WordPress Hashcash needs javascript to work, but your browser has javascript disabled. Statistics of small numbers such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes. Argument from adverse consequences.

Special pleading typically referring to god’s will. Meaningless question “what czrl when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Sagan makes a few suggestions about the “tools” a skeptic should keep ready in their Baloney Detection Kit. Non sequitur – “it does not follow” – the logic falls down.

Currently the earth’s magnetic field is decreasing in intensity. Views Read Edit Fossil record. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. Meaningless question “what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Spin more than one hypothesis – don’t simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.