Have you ever received an email that claims you would die within the next 24 hours if you didn't forward it? As a child, I received many of these chain letters, each with slightly different wordings, but all regarding the same basic subject. This is just one of the many different hoaxes and claims someone might experience on a fairly regular basis. Though many people may not pay any attention to these obvious email hoaxes, young children may find them more believable. Through the application of a variety of the six principles of scientific thinking, it may become more apparent that these types of emails are fabricated.
One of the main principles of scientific thinking we can apply to this type of hoax is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The claim that you will die within a certain time period if you chose not to forward a chain letter opposes what we already know. In order to prove that these forwarded messages are not just fabricated claims, it is necessary to provide sound evidence. Another principle of scientific thinking that can be applied to this scenario is falsifiability. Luckily for the majority of us who decide not to forward one of these emails, we have managed to avoid dying within the time period specified for our death, if we didn't send the message.
As it is easy to see, these chain letters are untrue, though it is still important to examine them through the six principles of scientific thinking. Though many of the different principles can be applied to the validity of these threatening chain letters, it is very relevant to use the extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Next time you receive an email or forward that seems like a hoax, it is important to apply the principles of scientific thinking.