Real scientific controversies play out in the scientific literature, through papers drawing on many other sources of data.
Phony controversies tend to play out in the media, through press releases, stump speeches, and polemical writing reshared via social media.
Somewhat related: something I wrote a while back. Each step along the way of doing the science increases your confidence, but ultimately what you need in any scientific finding is confirmation of a result.
Once the weight of experimental result hits a certain critical mass, the expectations swing away from needing data to confirm a theory to needing exceptional data to disprove it.