Literature on Skepticism, Critical Thinking, and Meta-Cognition

Literature on Skepticism, Critical Thinking, and Meta-Cognition

A Toolkit for thinking about thinking

Written by Knigel Holmes
Photo credit: Alejandro Peters | CC


  • Debunkatron has an enormous collection of literature and resources covering a range of science, skepticism, and debunking topics. “For the fun of debunking, duty of skepticism, and love of science.”
  • Science-Based Medicine is dedicated to evaluating medical treatments and products of interest to the public in a scientific light, and promoting the highest standards and traditions of science in health care. Online information about alternative medicine is overwhelmingly credulous and uncritical, and even mainstream media and some medical schools have bought into the hype and failed to ask the hard questions
  • I Fucking Hate Pseudoscience
  • Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism
  • Science-Based Life Kyle Hill is a freelance science writer and communicator who specializes in finding the secret science in your favorite fandom
  • Denialism Blog discusses the problem of denialists, their standard arguing techniques, how to identify denialists and/or cranks, and discuss topics of general interest such as skepticism, medicine, law and science.
  • Improbable Research Improbable Research Research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK
  • Debunking Denialism Defending science against the forces of irrationality
  • Science or Not? Confused about that press release you just read? Unconvinced by the sciencey-looking website you just visited? Sceptical about the interview you just heard on the radio? It claims to be scientific, but is it good science?
  • Skeptic Blog is a collaboration among some of the most recognized names in promoting science, critical thinking, and skepticism. Regular bloggers include: Brian Dunning, Daniel Loxton, Donald Prothero, Mark Edward, Michael Shermer, and Steven Novella.
  • Bad Science Ben Goldacre is a best-selling author, broadcaster, campaigner, medical doctor and academic who specialises in unpicking the misuse of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, quacks, drug companies, and more.
  • Real Clear Science is your portal to the best, most relevant science news and opinion from around the globe. Here you’ll find everything from small talk fodder to the latest findings from the frontier of discovery. In addition to daily curated aggregation of news articles, university press releases and videos, our site features a plethora of unique, original content, which can be found on the Newton Blog and in our Journal Club.
  • Random Rationality Fourat Janabi is a photographer, and author of Random Rationality and S3: Science, Statistics and Skepticism.
  • Violent Metaphors studies the genomes of modern and ancient peoples in order to uncover details of human prehistory.
  • McGill Blogs Office for Science & Society, Separating Sense from Nonsense
  • Rational Wiki Blog Pseudoscience, cranks, fundamentalism and the eternal battle against public stupidity
  • Rationality Unleashed! explores politics, religion, science, and more from a rational, progressive, and evidence based worldview
  • Skeptico Critical thinking for an irrational world



  • Skeptools applies “the power of the programmable web to the purposes of skepticism.”
  • Web of Trust “is a website reputation and review service that helps people make informed decisions about whether to trust a website or not. “
  • Wayback Machine is an archive and timeline of websites. This tool keeps track of website changes over time.
  • FreezePage “Enter a web address to freeze any page as it looks right now.”
  • Rbutr “tells you when the webpage you are viewing has been disputed, rebutted or contradicted elsewhere on the internet.”
  • Spurious Correlations keeps track of spurious correlations, highlighting fallacious reasoning.
  • DoNotLink “link without improving “their” search engine position”
  • Free Debunking Handbook PDF


  • Snopes the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation
  • Rational Wiki purposes include: 1. Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement. 2. Documenting the full range of crank ideas. 3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism. 4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media. This wiki is an excellent resource for the skeptical inquirer and has a very wide range of subjects. If curious about the credibility of a person or organisation, Rational Wiki is a good place to start
  • Statistics Done Wrong is a guide to the most popular statistical errors and slip-ups committed by scientists every day, in the lab and in peer-reviewed journals. Many of the errors are prevalent in vast swathes of the published literature, casting doubt on the findings of thousands of papers. Statistics Done Wrong assumes no prior knowledge of statistics, so you can read it before your first statistics course or after thirty years of scientific practice.

Scientific and other Literature

  • Myside bias, rational thinking, and intelligence: “Myside bias occurs when people evaluate evidence, generate evidence, and test hypotheses in a manner biased toward their own prior opinions and attitudes. Research across a wide variety of myside bias paradigms has revealed a somewhat surprising finding regarding individual differences. The magnitude of the myside bias shows very little relation to intelligence. Avoiding myside bias is thus one rational thinking skill that is not assessed by intelligence tests or even indirectly indexed through its correlation with cognitive ability measures.”
  • Media Guide to Skepticism: ”Purpose: To provide a clear, easy-to-read guide about the “Skeptical” viewpoint as subscribed to by many who might call themselves Skeptics or critical thinkers; to distinguish practical Skepticism from the popular use of the phrase “I’m skeptical,” and from those who claim to be “skeptics” regarding some well-established conclusion (such as climate change).”
  • A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking: ”This paper presents a concise introduction to critical thinking. It is intended as a handy tool to help anyone evaluate or develop sound reasoning and arguments.”
  • The Debunking Handbook: ”Debunking myths is problematic. Unless great care is taken, any effort to debunk misinformation can inadvertently reinforce the very myths one seeks to correct. To avoid these “backfire effects”, an effective debunking requires three major elements. First, the refutation must focus on core facts rather than the myth to avoid the misinformation becoming more familiar. Second, any mention of a myth should be preceded by explicit warnings to notify the reader that the upcoming information is false. Finally, the refutation should include an alternative explanation that accounts for important qualities in the original misinformation.”
  • I Don’t Know What to Believe: ”This leaflet is for people who follow debates about science and medicine in the news. It explains how scientists present and judge research and how you can ask questions of the scientific information presented to you.”