When lecturing on science and pseudoscience at colleges and universities, I am inevitably asked, after challenging common beliefs held by many students, "Why should we believe you?" My answer: "You shouldn't."
I then explain that we need to check things out for ourselves and, short of that, at least to ask basic questions that get to the heart of the validity of any claim. This is what I call baloney detection, in deference to Carl Sagan, who coined the phrase "Baloney Detection Kit." To detect baloney--that is, to help discriminate between science and pseudoscience--I suggest 10 questions to ask when encountering any claim.
This article was originally published with the title Baloney Detection.