Balony Detection Kit Video

Discussion in 'General Science' started by steveb, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. steveb

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    I ran across this video on "The Baloney Detection Kit" by Michael Shermer. Basically, it's a list of some key questions that a scientific-thinking person should use to separate fuzzy-thinking, false-claims and scams from honest scientific inquiry.

    I just point to it for those who are interested. In a sense this is preaching for the joy of the choir and the irk of the heathens. :p
  2. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Definitely preaching to the choir. The folks who need it will never sit still long enough to watch it. Short attention span theater and all that.
  3. steveb

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    Most definitely.

    I'm wondering if we should extract the list and refine it to our own liking. Then subject all quack ideas to a rating based on how many rules are broken.

    It could be a good comic relief from the grief they cause us. Instead of trying to debate with them, we can just refer them to this thread and tell them they are a 10 on the baloney scale. :p (With evidence, of course, so that we are not hypocrites.)

    It's clear that the moderators here and most of the members hold similar views. Even if we don't always agree on particular theories, I think this site has a "soul" that reflects Michael Shermer's thinking.

    Here is a direct extraction of the list Michael Shermer provides.

    1. How reliable is the source of the claim?

    2. Does the source make other similar claims?

    3. Have the claims been verified by somebody else?

    4. Does the claim 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 for the claim?

    9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomenon as the old theory?

    10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim?
  4. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    This is excellent material... But have you looked over some of the threads dealing with "HHO" or perpetual motion devices? The only question that could be answered by the posters is #10. The answer would be a resounding "YES!!!", and that would be enough to justify the claim.
  5. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    Good watchin!
  6. Paulo540


    Nov 23, 2009
    Dawkins is a smart guy. A lot of people dismiss him because he is anti-theology.

    As far as question 10, if you answer yes, then the claim is suspect.

    Unless the specific personal belief is based on established scientific law, of course. :)