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Lie-proof your life with Carl Sagan’s “baloney detection” checklist course of their training, scientists are equipped with a baloney-detection kit. Based on the book “The Demon Haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark” published by Headline, The following are suggested as tools for testing. The Fine Art of Baloney Detection is an essay by Carl Sagan in his constitutes what Sagan very politely calls a “Baloney Detection Kit.

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Never mind the consequences if the speed of light changed from fast to slow; atoms and the energy of photons would be so messed up that the early creation earth would probably fry any young earth. Special pleading typically referring to god’s will. In other words, it is testable? These are all in Sagan’s words: Non sequitur – “it does not follow” – the logic falls down.

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The Baloney Detection Kit

Currently the earth’s magnetic field is decreasing in intensity. Retrieved from ” https: Comments 0 Be the first to comment.

This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler. We’re hoping to rely on our loyal sagzn rather than erratic ads. Check for confounding factors – separate the variables. For concerns on copyright infringement please see: People who go to church are happier than others.


Archive All posts by date. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours. Perhaps they no longer need each other. Suppressed evidence or half-truths. Excluded middle, or false dichotomy.

These are all in Sagan’s words:. In this essay, he gives advice for devising conclusions, as well as advice for avoiding logical and rhetorical fallacies. Conduct control experiments – especially “double blind” experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects. Of course, the creationist just put a “time dilation field” around it, and everything is OK. Post hoc, crl propter hoc. This assumes the answer to the question.

If there is a chain of argument every link in the baolney must work. Slippery slope – a subset of excluded middle – unwarranted extrapolation of the effects give an inch and they will take a mile.

Begging the question assuming an answer in the way the question is phrased. Spin more than one hypothesis. To support Open Culture’s continued operation, please consider making a donation. Evolution isn’t good science, since it can’t be proven. Misunderstanding the nature of statistics President Eisenhower expressed astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence!


Post hoc, ergo propter hoc – “it happened after so it was caused by” – confusion of cause and effect.

Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric: Intelligent design is good science, because it can’t be disproved. This especially goes for Carl Saganperhaps the greatest science communicator of the past century or so. Assuming a current trend has remained constant throughout its history and will continue to do so detetcion the future, even though no evidence suggests such an extrapolation is justified.

Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit

Arguments from authority carry little weight in science there are no “authorities”. Fiction Free Audio Books: They will do so again in the future.

Science as a candle in the dark” published by Headline, Weasel words – for example, use of euphemisms for war such as “police action” to get around limitations on Presidential powers. The fact that atmospheric scientists still have minor disagreements about the specifics of global warming abloney misrepresented as indicative of a lack of consensus about the existence of the phenomenon.