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ASCI 2000 class 3

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Arts and Sciences
ASCI 2000
Pat Barclay

ASCI2; Class 03 How Do We Know What We Know? Part I Why Be Skeptical? A story of conversion: Michael Shermer, Editor of Skeptic Magazine - Originally very credulous - Cyclist; tried many alternative therapies – often with very negative results - There are many failed ideas When is Skepticism Warranted? What kind of question should be asked? - Factual - Values (should something work this way) - Interpretative (meaning) -- For the following, we’re focusing on the objective side (there is an absolute “Truth”) Baloney Detection 1) How reliable is the source of the claim? 2) Does the source make similar claims? 3) Have the claims been verified by someone 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 in favour of the theory or just denying evidence against their theory? 9) Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory? 10) Are personal beliefs driving the claim? Highlights - It’s okay to say “I don’t know” |----------------------------------|-------------------------------| Most likely true Don’t know Most likely untrue - Science does not ‘prove’ theories or facts – things just get closer to the end points - Also: there are many things that scientists do not know… yet. Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science 1) Pitches the cl
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