Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Baloney Detection Kit

The late astronomer Carl Sagan wrote an excellent book about science entitled The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. One chapter of that book was laying out what Sagan called a Baloney Detection Kit. The idea is that there are reliable ways to test claims that will allow us to detect spurious and fallacious arguments, and use science to get at the truth of a theory or hypothesis.

The Richard Dawkins Foundation recently produced a video featuring Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine, where Shermer takes Sagan's idea of a Baloney Detection Kit and lays out the concept for wider distribution. This video is almost 15 minutes long, but well worth the watching, given all of the claims and counter claims flying about these days.

The video is below, You can also download an MP3 audio file of this HERE (6.7 MB); or download a video Quicktime file HERE (122.4 MB).

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