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Today, I was reading an article about the new info regarding the 9th plannet in the system .I tried to understand more,hence I researched the net and I got into Youtube videos and pages written about that topic. A lot of other info about similar things like twin sun came up as well. My issue started when I realised the more I look into it the more “specialists” with impressive credentials I find and more conspiracy theory come up. QUESTION: for a non scientist person like me how would you recommend to filter info and what can be done to keep on the science path when all the lecturers look “qualified”. How do you decide what to belive in? Thank you

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  • $\begingroup$ In most scientific matters, Wikipedia is a good start, much better than Youtube. In this case, the relevant page is: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_Nine. Even if you do not read it completely, it should help dispel crazy claims (jut see if they are reflected there). $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Rollandin May 19 '18 at 8:08
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Perhaps the best advise I could give you is: learn the basics!

It is very difficult to get fooled by those 'specialists' once you understand the basic facts: what can you learn from the motion of the planets, how gravity works, ... these are all questions that will help you understand and be critical about all the mis-information you will find around, and they are not too difficult to digest for a person already interested in science such as yourself.

From my experience as a member of Physics SE I can tell you are in the right place already, if you're curious about a subject, ask around, I am pretty sure somebody will come up with an outstanding answer.

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There are a number of heuristics that can help.

First: Anybody talking about a conspiracy of scientists to hide scientific knowledge has already demonstrated that they’re either delusional or dishonest. The whole social basis of science is that people get rewarded for finding and disclosing info. Even one person presenting real evidence is enough to get others trying to prove or disprove it. Any “vast conspiracy” about twin suns or polar ice wall would break down quickly.

Another heuristic is bad logic. Quora questions have a lot of this: “Since we don’t even claim to have gone to the Moon in decades, how can anybody believe we did 50 years ago?” Or more recently “what can we learn about the location of Martian cities from which space probes they code to shoot down?” Not a real need to read much further on those...

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people, who are true specialists, have the ability to explain their stuff in simple easily understandable language to anyone, if you have difficulty understanding someone even with a lot of credentials, then they are likely have poor understanding of what they talk about too

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