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Response to HarveyDarkey (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 10:02 PM

17. I smell baloney. So...The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Saganís Rules for Bullshit-Busting

 

and Critical Thinking

by Maria Popova

Necessary cognitive fortification against propaganda, pseudoscience, and general falsehood.
...
But the kit, Sagan argues, isnít merely a tool of science ó rather, it contains invaluable tools of healthy skepticism that apply just as elegantly, and just as necessarily, to everyday life. By adopting the kit, we can all shield ourselves against clueless guile and deliberate manipulation. Sagan shares nine of these tools:
...

2) Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

3) Arguments from authority carry little weight ó ďauthoritiesĒ have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.

4) Spin more than one hypothesis. If thereís something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among ďmultiple working hypotheses,Ē has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.

5) Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because itís yours. Itís only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge. Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you donít, others will.
...

...

More, here.

Always a good time for a little Sagan.

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HarveyDarkey Mar 2014 OP
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LineReply I smell baloney. So...The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Saganís Rules for Bullshit-Busting
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