How to recognized Pseudoscience

Author: Ramshutu ,

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  • Ramshutu
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    Ramshutu
    In light of recent posts, and the general rise of Pseudoscience - from flat earth, creationism, the food babe, fad diets, anti-vax healing crystals and energy channeling, the importance of being able to navigate the sea of woo and pseudoscience is more important than ever.

    What techniques do pepppe follow to recognize pseudoscience when they see it?

  • Goldtop
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    --> @Ramshutu
    Usually, I check to see if their assertions follow the scientific method or like a pseudoscience nutter, does it in reverse, makes conclusions and then goes out trying to find anything that will support them, no matter how silly.

    Then, check to see if there are any papers on it. Often, the nutter will post a youtube video, not realizing there's a paper on it somewhere.

    If the subject matter on the paper is too complicated to understand, then its either ignored or further research is required. Of course, if it is complicated and the assertion comes from clowns like Somebody, we can usually conclude he doesn't understand what he's asserting, much like the creationists here trying to refute evolution.

    More to follow as that's just off the top of the bean.
  • Stronn
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    --> @Ramshutu
    The best way to recognize pseudoscience is to become literate in science. Unfortunately, many people aren't interested enough to take the time.

    That said, there are several hallmarks of pseudoscience. Here is a list of most of the major ones. (I adapted most of these from https://quizlet.com/93340312/hallmarks-of-pseudoscience-flash-cards/)

    1. Any mention of a conspiracy
    2. Linking non-scientific sources (websites, youtube, etc.)
    3. Failure to self-correct
    4. Ignoring refutations and only emphasizing confirmation
    5. Reversing the burden of proof (prove my theory wrong)
    6. Lack of connectivity with previous theories (claimant says everything that came before is obsolete)
    7. Reliance on anecdotal evidence or testimonials
    8. Use of vague or obscure language
    9. Double standards (contrary evidence is dismissed for the slightest flaw; confirmatory evidence is not)

  • disgusted
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    --> @Ramshutu
    You're never gonna get a godist or right winger in this thread.
  • Ramshutu
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    --> @disgusted
    That in itself would not be surprising.
  • Goldtop
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    bump

133 days later

  • EtrnlVw
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    --> @Ramshutu
    Here's the catch, not everything is known in science obviously and never will be so we have lots of potentially true facts and knowledge that has yet to be applied or acknowledged by science. So what the science nutter does is reject anything outside that sphere by labeling it "pseudoscience", it's ridiculous and should be considered a fallacy. Science will never have all the answers and there are certain aspects of our experience that science is unable reach or confirm, so why would anyone put their full trust in that?

    Now before anyone assumes I'm anti-science let me be clear.....we need science and it's a good thing but anyone willing to throw all their eggs in an incomplete field of study has overstepped big time. Science is simply a method that we use to determine and examine things we want to learn about in the natural world it's certainly not the truth, it helps determine what might be true but not in all cases. If science is a progression that means at no time does it possess full complete knowledge, and if it doesn't possess full knowledge then there will always be information and facts outside it and there will always be those skeptics that claim "pseudoscience!" when something falls outside that arena. TBH it's kind of intellectually dishonest.

    This of course does not mean anything claimed outside science is true, some things are obvious but it also means not everything within scientific knowledge is all that exists or are the only facts available. "Pseudoscience" is a term used for atheists to shun Theism lol, or when someone has no more input to offer on a specific topic just use the magic word and everything is solved! it's very much a crutch term that has no real validity for the one's using it. You can replace the term pseudoscience with a question mark, or an "I don't know".

    What techniques do pepppe follow to recognize pseudoscience when they see it?

    Things that don't make sense, or that do not follow in logic is a good start to reject something or label it pseudoscience, not based on whether or not it's claimed somewhere within the scientific field. To push the word where it's used to reject everything that science has yet to uncover is a big mistake, this is where the term can get people in real trouble.
    Recognizing what could be pseudoscience gets tricky though because people will naturally have biases, and those biases could lead to faulty conclusions for example....any knowledge of spiritual type experiences or facts gets pushed under the rug by an atheist because science has not confirmed it, then the atheist is left in the dark about what could be true but might never know because he thought it was just hogwash. This is where the term can diminish a persons true potential of experience and knowing.

    Energy channeling you mentioned, see this should not be something that's labeled "pseudoscience" yet......energy exists, we know everything we do and think or put our attention on produces energy...energy can be focused and utilized, it can have an effect on something....so why would that be in the pseudoscience category? I'm not into crystals and things like that but they do possess condensed energy, and it's obvious we ourselves can put our energy to things and manifest what we want. As a matter of fact the frequencies of energy are everything and within everything, it's where everything becomes possible and where the potential to change something becomes a reality. Energetic frequencies are also where the conscious soul can have different experiences outside the normal physical sense perception. Now go ahead and label what I just wrote pseudoscience lol.

  • mustardness
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    --> @Ramshutu
    In light of recent posts, and the general rise of Pseudoscience
    Just because if may appear to fall into the catagory of "pseudoscience" does not inherently make any conclusions or pathways of thought, irrational, illogical or lacking common sense much less invalid.

    Etrl makes attempt to clarify these points in #7. 
  • Stronn
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    --> @EtrnlVw
    Energy channeling you mentioned, see this should not be something that's labeled "pseudoscience" yet......energy exists, we know everything we do and think or put our attention on produces energy...energy can be focused and utilized, it can have an effect on something....so why would that be in the pseudoscience category? I'm not into crystals and things like that but they do possess condensed energy, and it's obvious we ourselves can put our energy to things and manifest what we want. As a matter of fact the frequencies of energy are everything and within everything, it's where everything becomes possible and where the potential to change something becomes a reality. Energetic frequencies are also where the conscious soul can have different experiences outside the normal physical sense perception. Now go ahead and label what I just wrote pseudoscience lol.
    Ok, I will call what you wrote here pseudoscience.

    What makes it pseudoscience? Mainly it's the use of vague or obscure language (see #8 in my list in post #3 above) that on the surface looks scientific. Examples here include the words "energy" and "frequency", both of which have precise definitions in science. Here you don't use them in any well-defined way, though. The bold sentences especially stick out as woo. What is "frequencies of energy" and are they the same as "energetic frequencies"? The way you are stringing together the words, no one knows what they mean.  What effect do you claim these "energetic frequencies" have, and how would one design an experiment to measure them?
  • mustardness
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    --> @Stronn
    What is "frequencies of energy" and are they the same as "energetic frequencies"?
    Either way, the truth is still the truth thatall energy has an associated frequency  -- or vibration if allowed by those with narrower set of parameters?---.

    /\/\/\/ = frequency, vibration, oscillation between peaks and troughs highs and lows etc.



  • zedvictor4
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    Catch 22. How does one disprove, something that cannot be proven.


  • mustardness
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    --> @zedvictor4
    Catch 22. How does one disprove, something that cannot be proven.
    What exactly { specifically } cannot be proven?

    You offer no proof of the existence of a "Catch 22" scenario and you offer no "Catch 22" scenario. Please share when you have one.

    The conservative has a narrower set of parameters ergo more difficult for them to 'think outside the box' or to realize there in integral box of finite set of events.

    "Dare to be naive" ..Bucky Fuller

    "The biggest impediment to my learning has been my education"...A. Einstien

    "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."...R Feynman


  • Dr.Franklin
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    Dr.Franklin
    Category:Science

  • Alec
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    You're never gonna get a godist or right winger in this thread.
    To spot pseudoscience, it requires contradiction from a reliable source.  Is this a good definition?

  • Stronn
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    --> @Alec
    It's not really a definition at all, just a statement, and not one I would really agree with. Often pseudoscience contains unfalsifiable claims, which by definition are impossible to contradict.

  • Alec
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    --> @Stronn
    Often pseudoscience contains unfalsifiable claims, which by definition are impossible to contradict.
    Any examples?
  • Stronn
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    --> @Alec
    Horoscopes.

  • mustardness
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    --> @Stronn
    Horoscopes.
    That has to be one of the worst examples ever.  Horoscopes have nothing to do with science. 

    You need to review the thread title and try again. Please

  • Stronn
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    --> @mustardness
    See the following Wikipedia article on pseudoscience in which astrology is explicitly mentioned no fewer than 17 times.

  • mustardness
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    --> @Stronn
    See the following Wikipedia article on pseudoscience in which astrology is explicitly mentioned no fewer than 17 times.
    Bravo for wiki, now when you can actually bring forth any rational, logical common sense argument as to how horscopes are related to science, then please share.

    Oh wait, I know what you could offer but for some reason cant pull out of mental hats is horoscopes relation to planets and orbits etc.

    Ok, so you ---or me-- partly got me there, however, beyond that there is not one shred of any connection between horoscopes and science, at least that I'm aware of. Please share if you have any.

    If there are degrees of pseudoscience then again, I think horoscope are poor example because of so little connection between science of planets motion and orbits to all else involved with horoscopes.



  • Stronn
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    --> @mustardness
    You understand that this thread is about pseudoscience, not science, right?

    Astrology's underlying premise is that studying the movements of celestial objects can yield information about the course of everyday human events. On the surface it looks like science, because it purports to study something systematically. It is, however, pseudoscience, because no such effect has ever been demonstrated and, in fact, whenever astrology has made testable claims, those claims have been falsified.
  • mustardness
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    --> @Stronn
    You understand that this thread is about pseudoscience, not science, right?
    You do understand that the word "science" is inherent to word pseudo-science.

    Again, horoscopes, astrology etc has one of the weakest links relating to any science via pseedo-science.

    A link-to-science is why the word pseudo-science exists. 

    Classical numerology has not any link to science that I'm aware of so it cannot even be considered pseudo-science.







  • mustardness
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    M-tard---Classical numerology has not any link to science that I'm aware of so it cannot even be considered pseudo-science.

    ..."I'd suggest numerology isn't pseudoscience, it's just nonsense."....

    Duhh, yeah, that is what I stated previously in differrent words.

  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Ramshutu
    The biggest error people make is listing the following:
    from flat earth, creationism, the food babe, fad diets, anti-vax healing crystals and energy channeling
    and saying 'so how do I tell that it's pseudo-science?'

    This alone shows you are in a wrong mentality to handle the deduction of pseudoscience. You must come in knowing nothing, believing nothing. Every single Round Earther may be a sheep or in on the conspiracy, you need to come in thinking you trust no one and refuse to blindly take anyone's word no matter how close they are to you emotionally.

    Start there and 'pure logic' will begin to open up to you. It is a fascinating journey with a lot of pain at the beginning but elation and wisdom at the end of the tunnel.

    You need to not believe anything at all, whether the majority believe it or the minority do. You simply analyse, hedge your bets on truths and see over time which theories seems to contradict 0 of the others you have concluded in a scheme of pieced together truth.

    If any single thing you believe in even indirectly makes another make less sense, you have either got to patch the missing link or accept that at least one of them is pseudoscience.
  • Ramshutu
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    @RM

    Unforunately, what you just said is mostly meaningless nonsense.

    The issue, say, with flat earth is that it is objectively untrue, and anyone who has any understanding of geometry, observation and 8th grade trigonometry would know it’s both untrue and absurdly so. 

    These are genuinely pseudoscience - as they present themselves as scientific but often are normally unfalsifiable arguments where real evidence and objective measurements are dismissed in favour of unsupported speculation, and the goal is not truth but to support whatever pre-existing conclusion one may have.

    You shouldn’t forget everything you know; this is absolutely absurd; and I guarantee you that those who believe in flat earth simply forget everything they know when it’s convenient - only to remember it when they feel their point is valid.

    To establish facts - you start from a basis of known facts and information - and build up from there; using this method, you seek out the sources of potential error and bias and seek to correct them.