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by Maria Popova How to assess the believability of claims without succumbing to cynicism. After last month’s vintage-inspired short films on critical thinking for kids comes this “Baloney Detection Kit” for grown-ups from the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and Skeptic Magazine editor Michael Shermer — a 10-point checklist for assessing the believability of a claim, covering everything from telling the difference between science (e.g., SETI) and pseudoscience (e.g., UFOlogy) to detecting personal agendas. You want to have a mind that’s open enough to accept radical new ideas, but not so open that your brains fall out.” The above sentiment in particular echoes this beautiful definition of science as “systematic wonder” driven by an osmosis of empirical rigor and imaginative whimsy.
Want to spur innovation, creativity and social justice? Get to know a dissenter. Jeremy Mercer | July/August 2010 issue Photo: Fancy Photography (woman); istockphoto.com/dgilder (man) Mabel Yu didn’t trust the numbers. It was 2006 and Yu was an analyst with The Vanguard Group, a financial firm based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, that manages almost $1 trillion in investment funds.