Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Baloney Detection Kit

Just in case you're unfamiliar with Carl Sagan's "Baloney Detection Kit", the Richard Dawkins Foundation has created a video where Michael Shermer takes us through the steps to thinking skeptically and critically about pseudo scientific claims. I encourage everybody to watch it, it's a step in the right direction when it comes to analysing evidence, and debunking the "bunk".

How reliable is the source of the claim?
Does the source make similar claims?
Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
Does this fit with the way the world works?
Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
Is the claimant playing by the rules of science?
Is the claimant providing positive evidence?
Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
Are personal beliefs driving the claim?


  1. Woops....creationism/ID/strengths/weakness doesn't even make it past #1.

  2. You know, Sparrowhawk, I do believe you're right.

    Of course, lying for Jesus is becoming an industry.