This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Carl Sagan And Skeptical Thinking Essay

1204 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, 2006). It is essential to always apply critical and skeptical thinking when approaching science and to detect when trust is violated.
In his essay “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection” Carl Sagan suggests that there is great danger in losing one’s critical thinking skills (Sagan, 1997). According to The Foundation for Critical Thinking critical thinking is the method of using rational analysis to improve thinking in a self-directed process (Defining Critical Thinking, 2011). Sagan presents a set of tools called the “baloney detection kit”. His kit of skeptical thinking relies on examined and explored arguments along with methods differentiating between facts and falsehood that can assist in recognizing the truth.
The first tool is finding the evidence from independent sources (4). Data we receive is not free of biases, opinions, and distorted information. People have personal beliefs and ideology; as a result biases can influence actual facts. A message travels from sender to receiver in an eight step process called the model of communication (Bovée & Thill, 2012). Part of the communication process consists of decoding a message by the receiver. 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...

Find Another Essay On Carl Sagan and Skeptical Thinking

Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World as Social Commentary

743 words - 3 pages Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World as Social Commentary        Carl Sagan sums up his view of the basic flaw of man in one phrase: "history reveals that we humans have a sad tendency to make the same mistakes again and again" (Sagan 424). Humans today have an understanding of the world around them that is vastly superior to that of their ancestors. In spite of this, a growing number of people perpetually fail to scrutinize to the degree

Humans Know Nothing Essay

1330 words - 5 pages - Quotations and Famous Quotes on Knowledge." Famous Quotes, Quotations and Proverbs in Web. 15 Mar. 2011. . Dunham, Yarrow. "What's in a Name: Labels and the Development" of Social Knowledge". Auditorium, University of California Merced. 10 March 2011. Lecture. Sagan, Carl. “Can We Know the Universe?: Reflections on a Grain of Salt.” Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science. New York: Random House, 1979. 13-18. .

Cosmos TV Show, a Sinopsis

847 words - 4 pages Cosmos TV Show Shadow McKinney Comm 207 11 Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the cosmos TV show. Introduction I.Attention Material: Cosmos is a great and appealing TV show which explains and breaks down the science of the cosmos and earth, and Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Duryan started this amazing shoe in the 1970's; however, today Seth MacFarlane and Neil deGrasse Tyson run the show which brings more creditable claims and amazing

The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

1327 words - 5 pages Critical thinking skills in daily life can be the difference between a good decision and a bad decision. Skeptical thinking, likewise, is an important tool that many people use in order to discern between these decisions, and to make educated choices about their lives and the things that they choose to believe. As a consumer of science, I believe that it is important for people to have a repertoire of skeptical thinking skills, or tools, in

An Evolutionary Shift

975 words - 4 pages Language”, in which Spivey argued that computing technology is showing similarity to the human brain but at a higher processing level thus allowing us to solve problems in which humans could not. Most importantly with all of these facts presented, an argument can finally be presented against Carl Sagan. The argument I formed is that we can fathom the universe, using our ever growing and advancing technology. Carl Sagan stated that there are 10^16 atoms

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey and the issue of literacy

845 words - 3 pages Antonio Community Collegehttp://en.grrolier.comDouglas, Frederick. From "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, anAmerican Slave" A World of IdeasHenkle, Michele A. 'Forging Identity Through Literary Reinterpretation:The Ideological Project of Frederick Douglas's Narrative"Journal ofLiterature and Psychology (Spring- Summer 2002)., Carl and Ann Druyan. "Literacy: The Path to a More Prosperous,Less Dangerous, America." Parade Magazine 6 March 1994: 4-7.

The Importance of Critical Thinking

2438 words - 10 pages knowledgeable about the Scientific Method, as opposed to thinking of science as simply memorizing some proven facts. He explains, “The method of science, as stodgy and grumpy as it may seem, is far more important than the findings of science” (Sagan 22). One reason for this failure is the problem that occurs with the vocabulary of science. Science has been criticized by many as having a language entirely unto itself. Math has this aspect as well

blue dot

796 words - 4 pages daylight once again with a blank sheet of good quality paper. So, I will proceed by stating that I am stuck in the idea that Carl Sagan, while being the well respected scientist that he was, wrote The Pale Blue Dot to challenge humans to stop fighting and get along, cancel the belief that there is a “higher power” that cares or loves us or impress upon his audience that there is no other place to dwell in this universe. I believe differently. Sagan

The Murderer of Isacio

2365 words - 10 pages showing up murdered? Just like a bunch of triangle noses, nothing interesting to talk about except what you can make up or distort.” Treg grumbled and pulled his chair to the table. Isa paused from guzzling down her water and chirped to Eda, “Where is Sagan?” The group had not noticed that Sagan was missing. Sagan, the fifth representative of the household was not from one of the four founding nations that defined Isacio. Sagan lived in the basement

A Discusision on Animal Rights

1325 words - 5 pages , Susan. 'Animal Passion.' People Weekly. January 18, 1993: 35-9.Regan, Tom. 'The Case for Animal Rights.' The Norton Reader. Ed. Arthur M. Eastman, et al. New York: Norton 1992, 680-691.Sagan, Carl. 'The Abstraction of Beasts.' The Norton Reader. Ed. Arthur M. Eastman, et al. New York: Norton, 613-620.Tapply, William. 'Who Spaeks for People?' Feild and Stream. June 1991: 48-49, 98.OutlineI IntroductionII Animal IntelligienceA. Ameslan1. Washoe2

A Discusision on Animal Rights

1280 words - 5 pages , Susan. 'Animal Passion.' People Weekly. January 18, 1993: 35-9.Regan, Tom. 'The Case for Animal Rights.' The Norton Reader. Ed. Arthur M. Eastman, et al. New York: Norton 1992, 680-691.Sagan, Carl. 'The Abstraction of Beasts.' The Norton Reader. Ed. Arthur M. Eastman, et al. New York: Norton, 613-620.Tapply, William. 'Who Spaeks for People?' Feild and Stream. June 1991: 48-49, 98.Outline

Similar Essays

Importance Of Science About Carl Sagan "Science And Hope"

871 words - 3 pages Carl Sagan discusses the importance of science and how it helps citizens make smart decisions in "Science and Hope". Science can be described as the study of nature or recognition of how and why things work, using logic and experimentation. Sagan describes four important reasons for a determined effort to express science. (Sagan 392) The first reason Sagan discusses is the understanding of science and how it cam be the road out of poverty and

Abortion: Is It Possible To Be Both Pro Life And Pro Choice? Carl Sagan And Ann Druyan

1032 words - 4 pages In this paper, I will investigate the right to life for embryo based on Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s article “Abortion: Is it Possible to be both “Pro-life” and “Pro-Choice”?” My conclusion is an embryo is a potential person thus it has the right to life. Sagan and Druyan argue that embryo does not have human characteristics; therefore it is acceptable to abort it. I will show that embryo is at least a potential person, so it has the right to

Skeptical Thinking Essay

1246 words - 5 pages . This hypothesis is obviously testable by dropping any objects from an equal height. Falsifiability is also present in this hypothesis because when any two objects do not hit the ground at the same time and air resistance is not present, then the hypothesis can be declared wrong. The tools for skeptical thinking that Carl Sagan presented in his essay prove to be very beneficial when it comes to determining if information administered to you

Writing Assignment 1

1191 words - 5 pages The “Tools for Skeptical Thinking” is a list of principles written by American astrophysicist, astronomer and writer Carl Sagan. This list is meant to help people distinguish a well reasoned argument from a poorly reasoned one. In this list there are six tools that stand out as particularly important for discerning good and bad information. These six tools allow people to make more informed decisions about the scientific information that they