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Skeptics: arm yourselves The baloney detection kit

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posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
With all due respect you seem to be missing the whole point. The "baloney detection kit" is a set of tools and guidelines for skeptical thinking, not a replacement for nor supplement to the scientific method.


That's fine, and I have no disagreement with that. But you realize you are marking a clear difference between "skeptical thinking" and thinking that only takes for granted what has been proven by the scientific method, right?


It would be useful in addressing such things as religious claims


I find this ironic considering the scientific method was created for the exact same purpose. The church denied heliocentrism as well as a number of other observable facts, and so the scientific method was developed in order to demonstrate as rigorously and incontrovertibly as possible that the church was making false claims.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The scientific method has led to ALL of our technological advances, by allowing us to create systematic schools of engineering that are standardized and universally understandable. If this "baloney detection kit" were used for the same thing, it would never go anywhere, because the ensuing "academics" would be more like "politics" where people like you guys are left arguing with each other over whether or not a source is "credible" or whether or not something is too "unbelievable" from the rest of your current understanding of the world to be "possible" (by your own standards of course, and not the objective universe's).

This is the "skepticism" of today. People take the scientific method for granted, forget that it is the central and sole determination of what is scientifically true or false, and simultaneously with forgetting that start tacking on a list of logical fallacies such as this list, by assuming things that were never demonstrated to begin with.

"Credibility" is not demonstrated rigorously by the scientific method, and thus is not scientifically quantifiable and thus not scientific at all. "How the world works" is also a scientifically meaningless statement, unless they dramatically reword it to something specific and testable. Are you telling me you don't realize these call on personal opinions, not scientific demonstrations? And so what does that mean to you? Taking personal opinions, non-scientific thinking, to judge over scientific claims being made, for example. That is what this thread teaches. And you tell me I'm buying baloney? Don't tell me you're that naive. I'm more of a skeptic than you are.




posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by RedBird
 




If the same guy who's been saying for 15 years that the moon is made of cheese despite overwhelming evidence to suggest it’s not, suddenly comes forward with a new theory that mars is made of paprika, you should be very sceptical of his claim


You could be skeptical or just address the issue and proove that mars is not made out of paprika.



When you watch a guy's youtube video of a UFO, and he's got 50 other similar videos as well, all of which he took himself, chances are he's misinterpreting a common man-made or natural phenomenon.

So the more evidence one produces the less credible it is? Seeingufospa was a good example however she was debunked by looking into her videos and what she was filming, she was not debunked because she a lot of videos.



Yes it does. If someone has tried to disprove the claim – maybe they’ve succeeded! Check it out first before you blindly believe the claim and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.Trust me, this is a very important step in becoming a critical thinker. Debunk yourself and your own beliefs whenever you can.


But the question was has anyone tried to disproove the the claim, not has anyone disprooved the claim.



Scientific evidence is not subjective. It is, by its very nature, objective and verifiable. We’re not talking about “proof” OR “theories” we’re talking about evidence - “FACTS”.


Now this is kind of a double standard we have the theory of evolution and the theory of ID they are both theories without "facts" but only one is accepted. So theories can be valid as long as they are theories that one likes. Scientific evidence can be altered to say whatever you want like in global warming or how smoking did not cause cancer when the tobaco companies got scientist to investigate.



This does not “beg the question” (ie. Circular reasoning), and the rules of science are very straight forward. I recommend you look up the “Scientific Method” on Wikipedia if you’re confused.


Im familiar with the scientific method but honestly that is grade school stuff. The same method can be used to proove or disproove the same thing like global warming.



I’ve addressed this already; evidence is by its very nature objective. Interpretations of evidence are less so. And evidence is not “what the reader agrees with” – you’re confusing knowledge with belief.

Im not confusing anything, read up here on ATS and what people will accept as "proof" on both sides of any argument.



Does the new theory explain as many things as the old one?


This does not work with many topics like UFOs, for UFOs what was the "old" theory.



Sceptics are not using their “personal beliefs” to come to the answers. They’re following the preponderance of the evidence. True Believers, on the other hand, are usually philosophically or religiously married to their beliefs, and no amount of contradictory evidence will ever convince them otherwise.

Skeptics are just as married to their beliefs as their counterparts. Skeptics accept theories that fit their beliefs while discounting theories that come from others.



It’s clear to me that you don’t at all understand science, the nature of knowledge, or, really, much of anything at all.
You should work harder to deny ignorance – especially your own.


I understand plenty it is ignorant to believe these 10 little points can be a guiding rule for anything.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
I'm more of a skeptic than you are.


Well, congratulations, I suppose.

By all means if you prefer scentific method as paramount device for skepticism then go for it. Carl Sagan, no doubt a huge proponent of scientific method, developed this set of guidelines for easily recognizing fallacious and false arguments. I do not see it as a competitor to scientific method nor a new bible for the establishment of truth. It is nothing more than a handy toolkit for the basics of skeptical thought. Take it or leave it, but I find nothing inherently flawed in the listed articles.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by Subconsciously Correct
reply to post by cripmeister
 


How is skepticism the opposite of belief when skepticism is a belief in itself? To be skeptical instead of open is a tendency you choose to have and believe. I do not see the a separation between the two. "Believers" generally tend to believe in something if it sounds plausible to them. "Skeptics" generally tend to believe in materialistic proof of ideas and that proof should be verified by science. These are my overall generalizations anyway. Let me guess, this is philosophical and has no basis ; )


Skepticism is not a belief, it is a way of approaching various claims. Theism and atheism are beliefs, one believe in a deity and the other doesn't. Neither of them require proof. Agnosticism on the other hand is not a belief, an agnostic wants proof of a deity before accepting it. An agnostics answer to the question - Do you believe in God? is - I don't know. Agnosticism and skepticism are similar in that they are both critical approaches.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 08:18 PM
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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 how 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?


This also seems to close the door to anything new, this "baloney detection kit" fails on so many levels.
For instance Einstein wrote his first paper in 1901. So how reliable is the source? It is not he is a patent clerk
Does he make similar claims? Not really.
were they verrified by someone else? No they were not accepted at the time because physicists did not think atoms were real.
Does it fit in with the way the world works? It did not, he was writting about something which was not "real".
I think you get the point, this "detection kit" has nothing to do with science and everything to do with keeping things the same, it is just bad science. Bad science is not just, not following the scientific method. Bad science is flaunting and bending the scientific method to to get the result you desire.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by zaiger
 


You continue to misunderstand what this is all about. This guide is not an alternative to the scientific method nor is it intended to be. It is simply a guide that everyday people can use when they encounter extraordinary claims from psychics, ET/abduction believers etc. It is really just using common sense. The late Carl Sagan was an outspoken skeptic of ET visitation claims, he was also a scientist and relied on the scientific method in his work. Do you consider him close minded?

btw, did you watch the video?

[edit on 7-4-2010 by cripmeister]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 09:24 PM
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reply to post by cripmeister
 




You continue to misunderstand what this is all about.


No i do understand what this is all about, this only works if you are already have your mind made up. In the above i made an example using einstein. His theories would have set off this "detection kit". So you can be skeptical of anything except this skeptical bs detection kit?



This guide is not an alternative to the scientific method nor is it intended to be. It is simply a guide that everyday people can use when they encounter extraordinary claims from psychics, ET/abduction believers etc. It's really just using common sense.


I did not say this was a replacement for the scientific method. From what it seems it sounds like discount everything untill an authority on the subject says otherwise.



The late Carl Sagan was an outspoken skeptic of ET visitation claims, he was also a scientist and relied on the scientific method in his work. Do you consider him close minded?


That is really not revalent to the topic at all, my feelings about anything will not change how this detection kit fails.
and yes i watched the video. The detection kit can really only be used to dismiss some old claims.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by zaiger

No i do understand what this is all about, this only works if you are already have your mind made up. In the above i made an example using einstein. His theories would have set off this "detection kit". So you can be skeptical of anything except this skeptical bs detection kit?


Being skeptical is not the same as having your mind already made up. I suspect the issue here is that you don't know what skepticism is. Einstein studied mathematics and physics before he began working as a patent clerk. He did not appear out of nowhere, he had a scientific background. Sure, be skeptical of the guide but can you provide the layman with a better tool for evaluating extraordinary claims?



I did not say this was a replacement for the scientific method. From what it seems it sounds like discount everything untill an authority on the subject says otherwise.


The whole point is for you to make your own judgement based on these questions. You might not even have to use all of them.



The detection kit can really only be used to dismiss some old claims.


How so? Please explain.



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:35 PM
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I just saw this video over on KeelyNet...

I have to say that Shermer is a skeptic first, researcher second.

In order to understand 'the fringe', you have to be a researcher first, skeptic second.

He is only familiar with 'ufology' through the obviously bunk tabloids...

In fact you can tell the video is just poking fun at 'the fringe' because he and Dawkins think they are so smart.

I'd like to see them debunk Zero Point Energy... and Nassim Haramein physics.

And whats with his comment about the Pyramids?! They are 'just piles of rocks'?!

He has no clue what he's talking about. Oh yeah, the egyptians could've just piled them up over hundreds of years... how ignorant. He doesn't even think about it, he just assumes the mainstream is correct.

His book 'why people believe weird things' was one of my required text for my class 'Science, Psuedoscience, and Subjectivity'... and it was a terrible skeptic book.

He doesn't even understand why people believe them, he just speculates and thinks he knows why.

Maybe he should spend some time on ATS, I think his world would be blown wide open.

It would be good to get him here so he really does understand why people believe what they do.

I give him a huge



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by cripmeister
Skepticism, the opposite of belief

Every once in a while very interesting claims are posted on ATS, I am mostly interested in the UFO phenomena by the way. I find that it is easy to get swept away by seemingly honest claims. But as long as I have the right questions somewhere in the back of my head I have a good chance of discovering the reality behind the claims. Here is a list of questions you might want to ask.



Just what is it about UFOs that interest you so much? Have you discovered the reality behind any of the claims yet?



posted on May, 19 2010 @ 04:36 PM
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Skepticism goes both ways.

You have those who are skeptical, and you have those who are skeptical of skeptics.

the "BS" detection kit - (I like that name better) - is the most basic skepticism. It is useless because you become skeptical from common sense. For those who gave the examples in this thread, I think you know who you are.

Being skeptical IMO doesn't mean disregarding information, but disbelieving first, because of your own common sense. Evidence obviously re-enforces beliefs.

Some things are flat out extraordinary, yet true. Somethings are flat out extraordinary and false. Being skeptical just means its extraordinary, and needs investigation.

As far as skeptics who are skeptical of skeptics - I think its because even when the OG skeptics come up with evidence, they hastily jump to conclusions, such as "most likeliness", which can motivate the route of observation and interfere with the observing evidence.



posted on May, 20 2010 @ 01:56 AM
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Originally posted by wigit

Originally posted by cripmeister
Skepticism, the opposite of belief

Every once in a while very interesting claims are posted on ATS, I am mostly interested in the UFO phenomena by the way. I find that it is easy to get swept away by seemingly honest claims. But as long as I have the right questions somewhere in the back of my head I have a good chance of discovering the reality behind the claims. Here is a list of questions you might want to ask.



Just what is it about UFOs that interest you so much? Have you discovered the reality behind any of the claims yet?


That's a really good question, I think it's the mystery I'm attracted to. Most of them have turned out to be hoaxes but some are still open.



posted on May, 20 2010 @ 04:53 AM
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So a sceptic presented with ufo stories basically have two tick boxes available. 1= hoax, 2= still open.

I have three 1= hoax, 2= still open, 3=deffo! Could have another box for 'mistake' but we'll shove them in the hoax column for easiness.

Why don't you succumb to a third option? Are you scared in case you make a fool of yourself, or you really haven't found a case that's worthy of a tick in box 3 yet? Are some of your "still open" cases not worthy of a 3? Maybe you're really just being stubborn, because of folk like Sagan, Randi etc?



posted on May, 20 2010 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by wigit
So a sceptic presented with ufo stories basically have two tick boxes available. 1= hoax, 2= still open.

I have three 1= hoax, 2= still open, 3=deffo! Could have another box for 'mistake' but we'll shove them in the hoax column for easiness.

Why don't you succumb to a third option? Are you scared in case you make a fool of yourself, or you really haven't found a case that's worthy of a tick in box 3 yet? Are some of your "still open" cases not worthy of a 3? Maybe you're really just being stubborn, because of folk like Sagan, Randi etc?


I have a third "box", misidentification. Hoaxes are deliberate but misidentifications are not. I make a fool of myself every day



posted on May, 20 2010 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by cripmeister
I make a fool of myself every day



Haha. Me too. Not about UFOs though. I'm too stubborn to ever admit that.



posted on Aug, 15 2012 @ 03:53 AM
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Just thought I would bump this thread after the recent posting patterns on ATS. It's a video that is definitely worth a watch and some rules that can be applied to help us weed out some of the disinfo and wild claims out there.




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