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The Baloney Detection Kit

A great summary of critical thinking.

After reading 11 Rules for Critical Thinking, a thoughtful reader forwarded along this video of Michael Shermer the editor of Skeptic Magazine. Inspired by Carl Sagan’s idea that there is a lot of baloney out there, Shermer proposes a 10-point checklist to assess the believability of a claim and help us sift through the noise.

The complete checklist:
1. How reliable is the source of the claim?
2. Does the source make similar claims?
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?
9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim?

This is a great complement to The Work Required To Have An Opinion.