Carl Sagan and Skeptical Thinking Essay

1166 Words 5 Pages
Among the tools for skeptical thinking provided by Sagan’s essay are: facts confirmation, authority can be wrong, comparing your hypothesis objectively to others, quantify, chain of argument, and always try to falsify the hypothesis.
The foundation of science is built on trust. It is constructed on the fact that scientists using research and precise testing to based data on. Scientific testing uses analytical and statistical methods accurately and respectfully to obtain results (Committee on Science, 2009). Methods include: conducting experiments that will isolate cause and effect on the phenomena being studied, observing and formulating physical laws, and using accurate quantitative measurements (Dr. Richard, Paul ;Dr. Elder, Linda,
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The decoding process includes applying skeptical thinking to the message by analyzing it according the receiver’s own experience and reason. Evidence should be supported by more than one source in order to prove a claim. A good example will be religion versus science controversy regarding the creation of our world. Science has offered evolutionary ideas that are backed with scientific evidence from many fields including biology, geology, and anthropology. On the other hand religion has offered a theory based on only one source -the bible, and in particular the book of Genesis. The bible does not provide scientific information and explanations on millions of years of evolution but instead provides a six day creation story.
The second tool that I think is extremely significant is checking the “authority” behind the claim (4). Scientists could be experts in their field of study however no individual should be announced an authority. A validity of a claim must be judged by other scientists in the same field that are considered experts. A single expert could fake scientific result with the intention of supporting his claim; a good example is the Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk who was convicted in fraud. Dr. Hwang which was considered a top expert in the field of stem cell research was found guilty of fabricating scientific results. The incident undermined the field of cloning and science has suffered tremendously from lost in

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