Detecting Pseudoscience

astrology-chartPseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, contradictory, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.

Indicators of pseudoscience:

  1. Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims – paranormal activity, ESP, intelligent design
  2. Over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation – acupuncture, alchemy
  3. Lack of openness to testing by other experts – cold fusion, acupuncture, intelligent design
  4. Absence of progress – astrology, acupuncture
  5. Personalization of issues – astrology, acupuncture, gun control, intelligent design
  6. Use of misleading language – homeopathy, intelligent design
  7. Misrepresentation of data – fracking, nuclear power, gun control

‘It becomes pseudoscientific when science cannot be separated from ideology, scientists misrepresent scientific findings to promote or draw attention for publicity, when politicians, journalists and a nation’s intellectual elite distort the facts of science for short-term political gain, when powerful individuals in the public conflate causation and cofactors (for example, in the causes of HIV/AIDS) through a mixture of clever wordplay, or when science is being used by the powerful to promote ignorance rather than tackle ignorance. These ideas reduce the authority, value, integrity and independence of science in society.’ (Wikipedia)

2015-03-19T15:35:07+00:00March 11th, 2015|About, Reality|

What is Real?

Objective reality is the raw data of the universe independent of what is, or is not, going on in any person’s mind. Each person’s subjective reality depends on the meaning they give to their perception of objective reality. It is filtered by sensory response, biased by self interest, and limited by the ability to understand what is perceived.

img_1310The Earth was here before you were, and will be here afterward. It is approximately a sphere and revolves around the sun, which warms its surface. It exists independent of any one person’s reality, and is part of the raw data of objective reality. The warmth you feel on a sunny day is subjective. Others may find the day a little too hot, or a little chilly. ‘It’s cold outside’ is a subjective observation. (more…)

2015-03-17T18:50:35+00:00March 8th, 2015|About, Reality|