Links and resources

RolandD

Active Member
How 'bout a single thread to share other websites? Here's my initial contribution:

http://skeptoid.com A weekly podcast by Brian Dunning. From the website:

Each weekly episode focuses on a single phenomenon — an urban legend, a paranormal claim, alternative therapy, or something just plain stupid — that you've heard of, and that you probably believe in. Skeptoid attempts to expose the folly of belief in non-evidence based phenomena, and more importantly, explains the factual scientific reality.

http://rationalwiki.org Others have mentioned it, so here's the link.

Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes:

  1. Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement.
  2. Documenting the full range of crank ideas.
  3. Explorations of authoritarianism andfundamentalism.
  4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.
We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue.

It would also be nice to hear the opinion of others on the sites that are posted. I find that many sites present themselves as skeptical and rational, but in reality peddle bunk.
 

Clock

Senior Member.
What a great idea for a thread! Not sure why we didn't see this before! So many sites... where to begin? :rolleyes:

Skeptoid and Rational Wiki are great sites. Rational Wiki helps for a quick look up on the theories that your are looking for.

http://skepticproject.com/

Is a great website that was once a hotspot for debunking. The forums appear to be inactive these days, mainly because most of the key members that were once on the website retired from debunking. However, some of the Featured articles are very good. (It is also THE website that debunks Alex Jones)

http://thrivedebunked.wordpress.com/

This is where most of the members of Skeptic Project went on, (and where they retired) Of course it focuses on debunking the Thrive movie, it also clears up the confusion between many theories that are out there.
 

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
Here are some links from my bookmarks...


Blogs, Forums, podcasts.


http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/forumindex.php

  • Full of really smart people saying really smart things about a lot of stuff.

www.theskepticsguide.org/

  • The show features discussions of myths, conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, the paranormal, and many general forms of woo-woo, from the point of view of scientific skepticism.

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/field_guide_to_critical_thinking/

  • The mission of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry is to promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims.

http://www.pandasthumb.org/

  • The anti anti-evolution movement.


Critical Thinking, Logical Fallacies, etc.

http://www.cracked.com/article_1946...-that-make-you-wrong-more-than-you-think.html

  • 5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think.

http://www.fallacyfiles.org/

  • A list of things I commit more often than I should.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Sources of bunk are sometimes also great sources of debunking. AboveTopSecret.com is surprisingly useful, especially for older conspiracies. You need to search it with Google though, by adding "site:abovetopsecret.com" to the query, and trying to be specific. Examples:

bird deaths site:abovetopsecret.com
wtc molten steel site:abovetopsecret.com
wtc 767 control flutter site:abovetopsecret.com

and most recently was very useful for this:
fake hotel saudi cnn platform site:abovetopsecret.com

You can often tell if it's going to be useful by looking at the Google snippet, then a quick scan of the tread often turns up useful stuff
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
http://skepticalhumanities.com/category/conspiracy-theory/

"[h=2]About Skeptical Humanities[/h]Someone new to the skeptical movement will immediately discover the large number of websites and discussions that are devoted to skepticism in science, and this is wonderful. It is important to realize, however, that the humanities also have scholarly standards that employ critical thinking and judgments based on the examination of evidence."



http://www.reddit.com/r/conspiratard/

http://illuminutti.com/about/

http://www.skepticsfieldguide.net/
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
http://whatstheharm.net/index.html

Casualties of pseudo-science and misinformation...
A bumbling, hooded commando calling himself the "Phantom Patriot" invaded the fabled grounds of the Bohemian Grove during the weekend hoping for a shootout.
...
He told The Chronicle during a jailhouse interview that he went to the Monte Rio retreat Saturday night intent on exposing child abuse and human sacrifice and punishing the perpetrators.
"I was expecting armed resistance and I would have fired back if I was fired upon," he said
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haha.
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
I found this today.
The World Wide Web offers information and data from all over the world. Because so much information is available, and because that information [can appear to be fairly “anonymous”, it is necessary to develop skills to evaluate what you find. When you use a research or academic library, the books, journals and other resources have already been evaluated by scholars, publishers and librarians. Every resource you find has been evaluated in one way or another before you ever see it. When you are using the World Wide Web, none of this applies. There are no filters. Because anyone can write a Web page, documents of the widest range of quality, written by authors of the widest range of authority, are available on an even playing field. Excellent resources reside along side the most dubious. The Internet epitomizes the concept of Caveat lector: Let the reader beware.
This guide discusses the criteria by which scholars in most fields evaluate print information, and shows how the same criteria can be used to assess information found on the Internet. Use the tabs on this guide to further explore and consider how to effectively evaluate online information.
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http://guides.library.jhu.edu/content.php?pid=198142&sid=1657518
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
This website for educators provides a good definition of the various terms and how one can avoid the pitfall of claiming an opinion is fact.

Vocabulary - You will need to know and understand these terms before reading this section.
  • opinion: Personal preference that is not is not always the same for two or more people.
  • fact: A bit of information that is based on evidence.
  • science: Knowledge about the natural world that is based on evidence that is gathered systematically.
  • observation: A bit of information that is collected by using the 5 senses, sometimes with the help of technology.
  • data: Facts that have been uncovered scientifically by systematic observations or experimental tests.
  • inference: An interpretation of, or an opinion about, an observation.
  • test: An intentional effort to collect observations that may help answer a question.....
http://www.ck12.org/earth-science/Scientific-Explanations-and-Interpretations/lesson/user:chubbard/Science---Fact-or-Opinion%3F/
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
This website just popped up on my FB.
http://rbutr.com/

Rbutr.com, I can't access much on my phone but it looks like a nifty tool that tells you if a page content is rebutted and links to the source. Anywho have a look.
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
I Just came across this website with many useful links and resources at http://skeptiforum.org/

These are the categories, each of which has several links to reliable resources, articles, boards and forums; most of which many of the researchers at Metabunk are already familiar with. Take a gander.

How can we tell if an article is credible or full of baloney?
How can we tell if a study is good?
Where can we find research and full studies?
Who can we ask for help?
Who is reliable and who should we distrust?
What are some good science and skepticism websites?
Where can we learn more on critical thinking?
How can we use search engines better?
How does peer review work?
Where can we find some software tools?
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
An advanced overview of many mathematical formulas,
and Aerospace engineering. (orbits and rockets).

http://web.csulb.edu/colleges/coe/ae/engr370i/

There are others, but this one is well-worded, in that even I can get a grasp of :confused:


It's a college course, Cal St. Long Beach, "ENGR 3701"
Instructors:
Dr. Adeline Schmitz (a.schmitz@csulb.edu)
Mrs. Asieh Jalali (ajalalif@csulb.edu)
Dr. Hamid Hefazi (hamid.hefazi@csulb.edu)

NOTE: t was last modified, 2006.
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
I Just came across this website with many useful links and resources at http://skeptiforum.org/

These are the categories, each of which has several links to reliable resources, articles, boards and forums; most of which many of the researchers at Metabunk are already familiar with. Take a gander.

How can we tell if an article is credible or full of baloney?
How can we tell if a study is good?
Where can we find research and full studies?
Who can we ask for help?
Who is reliable and who should we distrust?
What are some good science and skepticism websites?
Where can we learn more on critical thinking?
How can we use search engines better?
How does peer review work?
Where can we find some software tools?


I liked the linked video on that website

 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
This college Physics course has most of its materials available online. It is worth a look...

The Scientific Method - Critical and Creative Thinking
(Debunking Pseudoscience)


One of the many useful links found towards the bottom of the page: Fuzzy Thinking and PseudoScience


This list is abstracted from "Why People Believe Weird Things", written. by Michael Shermer. Reading this book is highly recommended. Particularly, chapter 3 of Shermer is recommended here. It provides an excellent outline of fallacies in thinking.

1. Anecdotal evidence is not useful.
All an anecdote tells you is what happened in one case. It tells you nothing about the general population and you cannot draw any general conclusions from it. You must have well-designed and controlled experiments to get enough data to reach real conclusions.

2. You need more than scientific language.
Words and phrases must have precise operational definitions. All hypotheses must be testable.

3. Bold claims need evidence.
Extravagant claims require a lot of evidence. The boldness of a claim does not make it true. A far-out claim will not be accepted until it has been successfully tested many times. The bulk of evidence must support it.

4. Radical (heretical) claims can be wrong.
Surely the Wright brothers got laughs concerning their attempt to fly. Alfred Wegener was scorned when he proposed that Earth's continents actually move around. These ideas survive because they stood the test. The Wright brothers' airplane actually flew, and a mass of evidence has shown that Wegener was right. But - there is a large number of other radical claims that did not withstand the tests and have been forgotten.

5. Where is the burden of proof?
Who must prove what? The person making an extravagant claim must prove, via experiments and evidence, that the new claim is actually more valid than current ideas. The new hypotheses must make better predictions and successfully explain more phenomena better than current theory. The current experts are not obligated to prove that their idea is better.

6. Rumors are not necessarily real.
You have almost certainly heard some wonderful story and later wondered if could really be true. Large numbers of such stories fall into the category of "urban legends," meaning that they never really happened. It is wise to take these stories as amusing fiction until you can find some confirmation of them.

7. Unexplained does NOT mean not explainable.
The fact that you have never seen or cannot explain some phenomenon does NOT mean that it must be some unexplained supernatural thing. It would be quite arrogant to assume that you know everything.

8. Watch for rationalization of failures.
Pseudoscience cannot tolerate failures; they will be rationalized or explained away in some manner. True science must accept negative results as part of the search for the truth.

9. Look out for "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" reasoning.
If event B follows event A, that does NOT prove that A caused B. Event B could follow A purely by chance. You must have well-designed and controlled experiments to show that B always follows A. A single occurrence is not sufficient.

10. Beware of coincidence.
Truly random behavior can produce some interesting coincidences. Causal relationships do not always exist. Some interesting combination of events may be nothing more than chance. The fact that you have never heard of it before may mean simply that the probability of it is very low and you don't expect to see it often.

11. Check the misses as well as the hits.
Is the thing you are looking at really representative of its population? If one prediction of a "psychic" appears to be correct, how many others were not correct? We tend to remember the hits and forget the misses.

None of this is intended to say that there are no problems in real scientific thinking.

1. Theory influences observations.
What you see is often influenced by what you expect to see. Observations will be interpreted according to current knowledge, which can obscure important implications of the observations.

2. Observations change the observed quantity.
The classic example of this is found in the measurement of the motion or position of a sub-atomic particle. The process of measuring perturbs the particle.

3. Instrumentation influences results.
The basic idea here is this: that which your instruments cannot detect does not exist. Spectacular advances in knowledge often occur when detection capabilities improve so that previously unseen things or phenomena can be seen.
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SR1419

Senior Member.
^Someone needs to post this on Dane's website....and Michael Murphy's...and Russ Tanner's...and Patrick Roddie's...and Max Bliss'...and....they need to understand it.
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
I'd like to add the website, Retraction Watch, to the list of "Links and Resources' thread. Purveyors of fear and misinformation will often cite a Retracted study or Pseudoscience when trying to make their case, the good folks at Retraction Watch have provided a valuable, searchable resource bringing attention to bad science and falsified studies.

Herndon's RETRACTED paper claiming that airplanes are spraying coal fly ash

Seralini's RETRACTED paper claiming harmful effects of genetically modified maize and the Roundup herbicide on rats


Infascelli's RETRACTED paper claiming GMO Dangers
 

Galan

New Member
I came across this site while looking for information on population growth over time.

http://ourworldindata.org/


Topic by topic the data-entries show you how the world is changing:

  1. 1Population Growth & Vital Statistics
  2. 2Health
  3. 3Food & Agriculture
  4. 4Resources & Energy
  5. 5Environmental Change
  6. 6Technology & Infrastructure
  7. 7Growth & Distribution of Prosperity
  8. 8Economic Development, Work & Standard of Living
  9. 9The Public Sector & Economic System
  10. 10Global Interconnections
  11. 11War & Peace
  12. 12Political Regimes
  13. 13Violence & Rights
  14. 14Education & Knowledge
  15. 15Media & Communication
  16. 16Culture, Values & Society
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Interesting data visualisation. From my limited research, it appears well referenced. An Economics website.

Max Roser – Economist, is the principle author. A 'data visualizational historian'.


Institution: Nuffield College, Oxford, Oxford Martin School

I am getting paranoid in my old age. The latest trend in web page design, making everything smart phone accessible, makes a lot of websites all look the same.

Happily this site is simple. No annoying advertisement feeds.

Hope it proves useful
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Fact Checking resources from The American Press Institute


The American Press Institute conducts research, training, convenes thought leaders and creates tools to help chart a path ahead for journalism in the 21st century.

The Press Institute is an educational non-advocacy 501(c)3 nonprofit organization affiliated with the Newspaper Association of America. It aims to help the news media, especially local publishers and newspaper media, advance in the digital age.
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These are the general categories


The American Press Institute is curating this page of timely questions and vetted resources for fact checkers — along with our tips on how to navigate the data. We’ll update it often. Send us your suggestions and questions.

So, what would you like to know? Get started with these topics:

Immigration

Health Care

Economy

Campaigns and Voting Records

Social Media Users

Social Media and Web Content

Photos and Video

Crime

Public Health

Climate Change
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This is an example of a question within one of the above categories....


Climate Change
Is man-made climate change happening? Is there a scientific consensus?
See “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.”

TIP: Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature”, a 2013 paper by Cook, Nuccitelli, et al, is the most well-known review of the subject. The researchers studied 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts published between 1991 and 2011, and found that of those taking a position, over 97 percent agreed that climate change is man-made. Cook et al also contacted over 8,500 of the authors and asked them to classify their own papers (not just the abstracts). This again found that of those papers taking a position, 97 percent agreed that humans are causing global warming.

A 2009 paper by William R.L. Anderegg et al (including one researcher from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which also helps fund the API’s Fact-Checking Project), found that between 97 and 98 percent of climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of man-made climate change as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The paper also found that those who believe in man-made climate change have substantially more climate expertise and scientific prominence than researchers who do not.

Another study, Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change, by Peter T. Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman of the University of Illinois, found that out of more than 3,000 earth scientists, 82 percent thought human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures. For climate change specialists, who numbered 79 individuals, 97.4 percent agreed.

In a 2004 study, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Naomi Oreskes(then of the University of California-San Diego) analyzed 928 abstracts with the keywords “climate change,” published from 1993 to 2003. She found that zero rejected the consensus position. (Oreskes found that 75 percent backed the consensus position explicitly or implicitly, and 25 percent dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no stance on current man-made climate change.)

In addition, the scientific consensus is backed by organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society, and national science academies around the world. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed its support for this position in 2014 with the publication of its Fifth Assessment Report, summarizing the current scientific knowledge on climate change.

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Whitebeard

Senior Member.
I borrowed this book from my local library, and just finished reading it

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SECRET-SOCIETIES-Nick-Harding/dp/1904048412

Not a book that goes into any great detail, but it does offer an interesting overview of various organisations, real and imaginary, that the CT crowd like to drag out as proof of various global dodgy dealings, and it does so in a skeptical and hard nosed way. For example it looks at Bohemian Grove and concludes "..that it is just a glorified frat house for rich boys who miss their days at university..." and also concludes that the Illuminati is really "...a secret society that exists only as a heady fantasy in the fevered imaginations of conspiracy theorists.."

As I said, it's not a book for in depth study, but it does give some simple history lessons into various groups and societies and some handy simple debunkings into the wilder claims some CT's make about them

The same author has also penned a second volume on the subject...

Which I have just ordered on the off chance of a good read.

(he has also penned works on Atheism and urban legends)
 

CeruleanBlu

Senior Member.
This NASA project may have some possible future use by those in the chemtrail/geoengineering debunking activities.

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/na...-sleuth-out-air-traffic-improvement-mysteries

For the first time ever, air traffic researchers can view and analyze archived flight data collected and merged from all air traffic facilities across the U.S., with fast update rates ranging from one second to 12 seconds for every flight’s position. Previously, researchers only had access to national flight data that was similar to internet flight tracking, with one-minute flight updates and no information about flights on the ground at airports. Or, they had access to separate flight data sets from 77 different Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic facilities, which made research very challenging. NASA’s newly improved tool, the Sherlock Air Traffic Management (ATM) Data Warehouse, merges all of the air traffic facility data to produce analysis-ready, end-to-end flight information at these improved resolutions for the entire U.S. airspace.
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Sherlock contains over 36 terabytes of raw data, with more collected daily. The merged flight data will soon be available for all of the archived data going back to 2011. This will enable researchers to look at very large data sets of many billions of flight tracks, and at trends in the national traffic picture over the past five years, which in turn will help predict future traffic.
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I don't know what the availability of this flight information to the general public will be, but at least the information will be available to someone!
 

Knigel

New Member
Here is the updated link from the Skepti-Forum reference (A Guide to Kinda Looking Smart on the Internet: How to Find and Evaluate Online Information) shared in this thread above: https://nodesci.net/blog/2015/05/17/a-guide-to-kinda-looking-smart-on-the-internet-how-to-find-and-evaluate-online-information/

I've also started putting together a new collection of science and skepticism references in a wiki on Skepti-Forum (I've also added many of the links from this thread because they are great recommendations): http://skeptiforum.org/t/science-skepticism-reference-wiki/28

I make these lists mainly for my own reference, but have also found that they are useful to people exploring science and skepticism. I use these for anyone looking for a place to start. I know that many experienced skeptics already know most of this material and these organisations.

Here's a blurb from my article above explaining my reasoning further:
"We frequently talk about scientific issues because they are important to us. Each day we encounter hundreds of news articles and blog posts talking about science. For many of us, scientists cannot seem to make up their minds and everything is controversial. If we take a look at any one of the polarized issues in public science debates such as vaccines, GMOs, or climate change, two sides both present an abundance of scientific literature. If we look at both sides of the literature, we see that there are reputable professionals on each side and the research on both sides seems just as thorough as the other. We all need to talk about science although we may not be scientists ourselves. Science affects us all. However, one of the most frustrating issues for many of us is trying to find the information we need then figuring out if that information is reliable and credible. If people with an extensive science background cannot agree on scientific issues, how can the public distinguish the good information from the bad? Finding and evaluating information online is frustrating, but some of these following tools should make the detective work a little easier. Through investigation, and by challenging our own assumptions, we can often find that there really aren’t two sides to every story."
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Not a website, but a book.

Its by Dr Zakaria Erzinclioglu, who was A senior researcher in forensics at Cambridge University and director of the institute of forensic science at Durham University, consultant to police forces all over the UK and author of several books, both academic and popular on criminal investigation techniques.

This book gives a fairly easy to read over view of forensics, including everything from details of various wounds (stabbing, gun shot, impact etc) to stuff like DNA profiling and patterns of debris left from explosions.

Besides being an interesting and informative read, it contains some useful information for debunkers. A good example is in the chapter dealing with the effects of injuries on the human body. Among the examples given are a case of an Austrian man, stabbed in the heart by his wife during a domestic dispute, who refused an offer to get medical assistance, and calmly walked out of one room into another and sat down to watch TV, where he bled to death. There are several others given. A very handy source to have next time your confronted with a CT who claims that someone can't walk or run given 'that' type of injury.
 
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