Determining Scientific Truth Online

There is a wonderful posting on Lifehacker with the title "How To Determine If A Controversial Statement is Scientifically True". I sure wish that more people would develop their critical thinking skills by following this sort of advice. The entry has been put together by consulting with Phil Plait, Ph.D. (author of The Bad Astronomer blog) and David McRaney (author of the blog You Are Not So Smart). They offer a multi-step approach including
  • Learning to avoid confirmation bias
  • Using Google, Snopes and other sites as a first line of defense
  • Searching public journals and contacting science advocates
  • And, finally, visiting your local library and consulting both librarians and reference materials there.
All of these steps, they emphasize, have to be carried out with a sharpened sense of critical thinking.