Epistemology (what is the truth?)

Sagan scale 🎨

A tool to gauging weather somebody is too skeptical or too open to ideas from.

“It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension. But if you are able to exercise only one of these modes, which ever one it is, you’re in deep trouble. If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never learn anything new. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world ... On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all."

Specific evidence

Many mechanisms in the world are very specific. If explanations are too "round" or too generic this might mean it's not real. i.e. There is a woman in the State of Washington with large following, who claims to make contact with a 35,000-year-old somebody. Why exactly 35,000 and not 34,365 years ago? Sagan talks about Ramtha in

Bad explanation: Easy to Vary. Good explanation: Hard to Vary from his i.e. Demether myth explanation seasons vs. current one: the earth is tilted 23 degrees and when circling sun (every detail plays a role)

Search of hard to vary explanation is the basis of enlightement.

Things can have disproportionate effects. Sometimes introducing an a very small of agent can have a really large effect and vice versa – sometimes introducing a vary large agent can have really little effect.


People who exhibits

Law of the Instrument

People who even are really good at some local area of knowledge that are thinking their expertise transcends the boundaries of the disciplines and it can explain surpassingly high volume of subjects. (Read more on Law of the Instrument here)

Forceful Interpretation

Below is the the image of paths of the planets in the solar system before and after the realization of heliocentrism. Whenever there is a trace of dogmatism in the way people treat ideas it might mean that these ideas might be propagated by a force of preserving position the group hierarchy. Examples:

Mainstream evolutionary biologist fight with a view that there might be a parallel process to natural selection. Would proving that aesthetic selection is true undermine findings and status of majority of experts? Read More:


Common intellectual attitude: Everything is perfectly created and there is no space for skeptical inquiry (a version of relativism).

In Voltaire’s classic novel Candide, Dr. Pangloss is a teacher of “metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology” who believes he lives in the best of all possible worlds. “It is clear,” he said, “that things cannot be other than the way they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. For instance, noses were made to support spectacles, hence we wear spectacles. Legs, as anyone can see, were made for breeches, and so we wear breeches. Stones were made to be shaped into castles; thus My Lord has a fine castle because the greatest baron in the province ought to have the finest house. And because pigs were made to be eaten, we eat pork all year round. So those who say that everything is well are speaking foolishly; they should say that everything is best.” from