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The Baloney Detection Kit

I found this video via the Anecdote blog. It lists “10 questions to help you decide whether a viewpoint, opinion, theory is worth taking on board and believing.” Here are the questions that will help you detect baloney.
RDF TV – The Baloney Detection Kit – Michael Shermer
They seem quite useful for information literacy training. It has been a sumer of gifts for detecting fool’s gold, what with fak Obama birth certificates and all.
10 Questions for Detecting Baloney:
1. How reliable is the source of the claim?
2. Does the source make similar claims? (eg. if you are into magic (or evolution), then all your ideas have a magic (or evolution) bent)
3. Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
4. Does this fit with the way the world works?
5. Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
6. Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
7. Is the claimant playing by the rules of science
8. Is the claimant providing positive evidence? (it’s too easy to just bag the other side)
9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim?
Credence and credulity – the future depends on it!
Stephen

Posted on: August 14, 2009, 9:36 am Category: Uncategorized