Whilst in the process of editing Building your Skeptical Toolkit I came across a couple of chapters that didn’t really fit in the the feel I was going for with the rest of the book and which, while interesting and informative, also went a bit beyond the scope of what I wanted to cover. Rather than just doing away with them I thought I would make them available for you to download, completely free of charge, as I still think they provide useful information that everyone really should be aware of and make for an interesting read. Feel free to share them without people, just be sure to point them in my direction.

My Expert is Better than Your Expert

The world is a complicated place and there simply isn’t enough time for us to learn everything there is to know about every topic out there. As such we turn to experts. The problem is that there are so many people on all sides of every issue claiming to be experts, how do you know who to listen to?

This chapter looks at what makes a real expert and gives you six things to keep an eye out for when trying to decide if the person you are listening to is a true expert or just full of hot air.

Good Skepticism and Bad Skepticism

Everyone claims to be a skeptic these days. The people who claim 9/11 was an inside job call themselves skeptics, so do those who deny the evidence for global warming or evolution. But are they really practising skepticism or skepticisms evil twin…denialism?

This chapter looks at some of the ways you can tell the difference between someone who has a truly skeptical mind and someone who just uses the word to cover up a pre-existing conclusion.

Pseudoscience Bingo

Sometimes it can be tricky working out if you are dealing with an actual scientific claim or just a whole load of pseudoscientific hogwash. That’s where Pseudoscience Bingo comes in. Simply examine the claim before you and tick off any red flags that come up. If you score five in a row you can be pretty sure you are dealing with pseudoscience rather than the real thing.

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