We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Carl Sagan's bunkometer list, via SDA re global warmingclimate change climate disruption:
Whenever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts”
Encourage substantive debate on the “evidence” by knowledgable proponents of all points of view.
Arguments from authority carry little weight as “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that there are no authorities; at most; there are “experts”.
Spin a variety of hypotheses. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each. The ones that survive are the ones to do in depth study on.
Do not become attached to any hypothesis just because it’s yours. Find reasons for rejecting all, including your own, hypothesis.
Quantify. If whatever you are explaining has a measure, quantify it so that measurement is more possible. Vague hypothesis, or those difficult to quantify will be the most difficult to prove or disprove.
If there is a chain argument, then each and every link must work, including the premise.
Use Occam’s Razor; which is to choose the hypothesis that explains the data in the simplest terms.
Ask: is the Hypothesis testable and falsifiable. Hypothesis that are not testable are not worth much. Could you duplicate accurately, at least theoretically, the hypothesis?