The scientific rule of thumb is simple: When you make a bold claim, you need significant research to back it up.
Telling us that eating vegetables is healthy can be justified by a fairly simple high school science paper. But if you want to claim that the moon is made of celery and Elmer’s Glue, we’re going to need more than your back-of-the-envelope calculations.
Lately, we’re seeing two things begin to take the place of good research when making outrageous claims:
Lots of online celebrity.
Particularly bold and noxious claims.
Being angry or a famous podcaster (or both) doesn’t excuse you from the burden of proof.