(Roughly) Daily

Oh yeah?…

It’s tough to assess the dueling explanations of the fix(es) that we’re in , and to judge the completing claims for remedies.  Happily, a professional skeptic– founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, Scientific American columnist, and economics professor)– Michael Shermer has ridden to the rescue with his Baloney Detection Kit— “ten questions we should ask when encountering a claim.”

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?

(Presented by The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. C.F. also, the ever-insightful Howard Reingold’s “Crap Detection 101,” with it’s allusion to John McManus’ terrific Detecting Bull: How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web.”)


As we get to the bottom of things
, we might note that, while this is the day that folks in the U.S. celebrate the Declaration of Independence in 1776 of the US from Great Britain, it is also a day to spare a memorial thought for two of the drafters and signers of that document, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (respectively, of course, the second and third Presidents of the United States), as both died on this date 1826.

source: SomethingKnew

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