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Vasper85Posted: Jul 03, 2011 - 04:24

Level: 1
CS Original

Courtesy of Michael Shermer, my personal favourite being number 6.

Let's say you have a "theory" like anti-vax, or MIHOP, where do the majority of the experts stand on the issue? 911 truthers and anti-vaxxers, and climate change deniers like to point out the number of experts that support their side of the story, but when looking at the numbers of experts that support the other side, it is most often very lop-sided. And the thing about science is theories are to be falsifiable and results are to be replicable.

Why did the Fleischmann and Pons who "discovered" cold fusion not then go on to win the Nobel? Because no one could replicate their results. No serious scientist would believe that cold fusion, based on Fleischmann and Pons work, was even possible.

That is how science works. Make your hypothesis, look at the evidence, does the evidence support your hypothesis, make your conclusion (and you could conclude that your hypothesis is bunk). Science is not a conspiracy, so when Al Gore says that climate change is a settled science, he is speaking a truth, it is settled because the preponderance of evidence points to man made global warming, not due to the sun, or natural pre-existing weather cycles.

This is not to say that science is free from the tendency of becoming bogged down with dogma and tradition, but if you hold to the basic tenets of falsifiability and repeatability it won't lead you astray.

In fact if we were to get all old testament on this and wrote out commandments we wouldn't need ten. We could get by with three.

1. Thy hypothesis shalt be falsifiable.
2. Thy results shalt be repeated.
3. Thou shalt publish in a peer-reviewed journal for critiques and challenges.

And for the record, for offenses like creating your own journal where you and your conspiracy minded buddies can publish and review each others work and call that a "peer" reviewed journal, they is only one place for people like that.

Mobile, Alabama.

I would've said hell, except I have no empirical evidence of hell.

Without further ado.

1.How reliable is the source?

2.Does the source believe in similar type claims?

3.Have the claims been verified as true by someone else?

4.Does the claim fit with the way the world works?

5.Has anyone tried to falsify/disprove it?

6.Where does the preponderance of evidence point to?

7.Are the people making the claim playing by the rules of science?

8.Is the claimant providing positive evidence or denying contrary evidence?

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

10.Does the personal beliefs drive the research?

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Wolf BirdPosted: Jul 03, 2011 - 12:40

I shoot you dead.

Level: 9
CS Original</p>

Brian Dunning's "How to spot pseudoscience".

#2 [ Top | Reply to Topic ]
EdPosted: Jul 04, 2011 - 09:45

Level: 10
CS Original

In case someone hasn't seen it, the Richard Dawkins Foundation made a video on this:

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