A typical 19th century phrenology
chart. Phrenology (from Greek: φρήν phrēn, "mind" and λόγος Logos, "knowledge" is a defunct field of study once
Phrenologists claimed to predict personality traits from reading "bumps" in the head. Phrenology was first considered a pseudoscience in 1843 and continues to be widely considered pseudoscience. 
Pseudoscience is defined as a body of knowledge, methodology, belief, or practice that is claimed to be scientific or made to appear scientific, but does not adhere to the scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding Scientific method refers to bodies of Techniques for investigating phenomena  The term comes from the Greek root pseudo- (false or pretending) and "science" (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge"). Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. An early recorded use was in 1843 by French physiologist François Magendie, who is considered a pioneer in experimental physiology. François Magendie ( October 6, 1783 &ndash October 7, 1855) was French physiologist considered a pioneer in experimental physiology
As it is taught in certain introductory science classes, pseudoscience is any subject that appears superficially to be scientific or whose proponents state is scientific but nevertheless contravenes the testability requirement, or substantially deviates from other fundamental aspects of the scientific method. Testability, a property applying to an Empirical Hypothesis, involves two components (1 the logical property that is variously described as Contingency  Professor Paul DeHart Hurd argued that a large part of gaining scientific literacy is "being able to distinguish science from pseudo-science such as astrology, quackery, the occult, and superstition". Astrology (from Greek grc ἄστρον astron, "constellation star" and grc -λογία -logia) is a group of Systems The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus (clandestine hidden secret referring to "knowledge of the hidden" Superstition ( Latin superstitio, literally "standing over" derived perhaps from standing in awe used in Latin as a unreasonable or excessive belief  Certain introductory survey classes in science take careful pains to delineate the objections scientists and skeptics have to practices that make direct claims contradicted by the scientific discipline in question. 
Beyond the initial introductory analyses offered in science classes, there is some epistemological disagreement about the extent to which it is possible to distinguish "science" from "pseudoscience" in a reliable and objective way. Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, "knowledge" + λόγος, " Logos " or theory of knowledge Objectivity is both an important and very difficult concept to pin down in philosophy  The term itself has negative connotations, because it is used to indicate that subjects so labeled are inaccurately or deceptively portrayed as science. Words and phrases are pejorative if they imply disapproval or contempt  Accordingly, those labeled as practicing or advocating a "pseudoscience" normally reject this classification.
Pseudosciences have been characterised by the use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims, over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation, lack of openness to testing by other experts, and a lack of progress in theory development.
The standards for determining whether a body of knowledge, methodology, or practice is scientific can vary from field to field. Knowledge is defined ( Oxford English Dictionary) variously as (i expertise and skills acquired by a person through experience or education the theoretical or practical understanding Methodology (also called manner) is defined as "the analysis of the principles of methods rules and postulates employed by a discipline" Within natural scientific method they involve agreed principles of reproducibility and intersubjective verifiability. Scientific method refers to bodies of Techniques for investigating phenomena Reproducibility is one of the main principles of the Scientific method, and refers to the ability of a test or Experiment to be accurately reproduced or replicated Intersubjective verifiability is the capacity of a concept to be readily and accurately communicated between different individuals (" intersubjectively " and to be  Such principles aim to ensure that relevant evidence can be reproduced and/or measured given the same conditions, which allows further investigation to determine whether a hypothesis or theory related to given phenomena is both valid and reliable for use by others, including other scientists and researchers. A hypothesis (from Greek) consists either of a suggested explanation for a phenomenon (an event that is observable or of a reasoned proposal suggesting a possible The word theory has many distinct meanings in different fields of Knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion. A phenomenon (from Greek φαινόμενoν, pl φαινόμενα - phenomena) is any observable occurrence In Psychology, validity has two distinct fields of application In Statistics, reliability is the consistency of a set of measurements or measuring instrument often used to describe a test. It is expected that the scientific method will be applied throughout, and that bias will be controlled or eliminated, by double-blind studies, or statistically through fair sampling procedures. Scientific method refers to bodies of Techniques for investigating phenomena Bias is a term used to describe a Tendency or Preference towards a particular perspective, Ideology or result especially when the tendency interferes The blind method is a part of the Scientific method, used to prevent research outcomes from being influenced by either the Placebo effect or the Observer All gathered data, including experimental/environmental conditions, are expected to be documented for scrutiny and made available for peer review, thereby allowing further experiments or studies to be conducted to confirm or falsify results, as well as to determine other important factors such as statistical significance, confidence intervals, and margins of error. Peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work research or Ideas to the scrutiny of others who are In scientific inquiry an experiment ( Latin: Ex- periri, "to try out" is a method of investigating particular types of research questions or Falsifiability (or "refutability" is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment In Statistics, a result is called statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by Chance. In Statistics, a confidence interval (CI is an interval estimate of a Population parameter. The margin of error is a statistic expressing the amount of random Sampling error in a survey 's results 
In the mid-20th Century Karl Popper suggested the criterion of falsifiability to distinguish science from non-science. Sir Karl Raimund Popper ( July 28 1902  &ndash September 17 1994) was an Austrian and British Philosopher and a professor Falsifiability (or "refutability" is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment  Statements such as "God created the universe" may be true or false, but no tests can be devised that could prove them false, so they are not scientific; they lie outside the scope of science. Popper subdivided non-science into philosophical, mathematical, mythological, religious and/or metaphysical formulations on the one hand, and pseudoscientific formulations on the other—though without providing clear criteria for the differences.  He gave astrology and psychoanalysis as examples of pseudoscience, and Einstein's theory of relativity as an example of science. Astrology (from Greek grc ἄστρον astron, "constellation star" and grc -λογία -logia) is a group of Systems Psychoanalysis is a body of ideas developed by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and his followers which is devoted to the study of human psychological functioning and behavior This page is about the scientific concept of relativity for philosophical or sociological theories about relativity see Relativism. More recently, Paul Thagard (1978) proposed that pseudoscience is primarily distinguishable from science when it is less progressive than alternative theories over a long period of time, and the failure of proponents to acknowledge or address problems with the theory. Paul Thagard is Professor of Philosophy, with cross appointment to Psychology and Computer Science, and Director of the Cognitive Science Program at the  Mario Bunge has suggested the categories of "belief fields" and "research fields" to help distinguish between science and pseudoscience. Mario Augusto Bunge (born September 21, 1919, Buenos Aires) is an Argentine philosopher and physicist mainly active in 
Philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend has argued, from a sociology of knowledge perspective, that a distinction between science and non-science is neither possible nor desirable. Paul Karl Feyerabend ( January 13, 1924 – February 11, 1994) was an Austrian born Philosopher of science best known for The Sociology of Knowledge is the study of the relationship between human thought and the social context within which it arises and of the effects prevailing ideas have on societies  Among the issues which can make the distinction difficult are that both the theories and methodologies of science evolve at differing rates in response to new data.  In addition, the specific standards applicable to one field of science may not be those employed in other fields. Thagard also writes from a sociological perspective and states that "elucidation of how science differs from pseudoscience is the philosophical side of an attempt to overcome public neglect of genuine science. "
Skeptics, most prominently represented by Richard Dawkins, Mario Bunge, Carl Sagan and James Randi, and the Brights movement consider all forms of pseudoscience to be harmful, whether or not they result in immediate harm to their adherents. Scientific skepticism or rational skepticism ( also spelled scepticism) sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry, is a scientific or practical Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL (born 26 March 1941 is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and Popular science Mario Augusto Bunge (born September 21, 1919, Buenos Aires) is an Argentine philosopher and physicist mainly active in Carl Edward Sagan ( November 9 1934 &ndash December 20 1996) was an American Astronomer, astrochemist, author James Randi (born August 7 1928 (stage name The Amazing Randi) is a stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of Paranormal These critics generally consider that the practice of pseudoscience may occur for a number of reasons, ranging from simple naïveté about the nature of science and the scientific method, to deliberate deception for financial or political gain. Scientific method refers to bodies of Techniques for investigating phenomena At the extreme, issues of personal health and safety may be very directly involved, for example in the case of physical or mental therapy or treatment, or in assessing safety risks. In such instances the potential for direct harm to patients, clients, the general public, or the environment may be an issue in assessing pseudoscience. (See also Junk science. Junk science is a term used in US political and legal disputes that brands an advocate's claims about scientific Data, Research, )
The concept of pseudoscience as antagonistic to bona fide science appears to have emerged in the mid-19th century. The 19th century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1801 and ended on December 31, 1900, according to the Gregorian calendar Among the first recorded uses of the word "pseudo-science" was in 1844 in the Northern Journal of Medicine, I 387: "That opposite kind of innovation which pronounces what has been recognized as a branch of science, to have been a pseudo-science, composed merely of so-called facts, connected together by misapprehensions under the disguise of principles".
A field, practice, or body of knowledge might reasonably be called pseudoscientific when (1) it is presented as consistent with the accepted norms of scientific research; but (2) it demonstrably fails to meet these norms, most importantly, in misuse of scientific method. Social norms have been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values beliefs attitudes and behaviors Scientific method refers to bodies of Techniques for investigating phenomena 
Subjects may be considered pseudoscientific for various reasons; Karl Popper considered astrology to be pseudoscientific simply because astrologers keep their claims so vague that they could never be refuted, whereas Paul R. Thagard considers astrology pseudoscientific because its practitioners make little effort to develop the theory, show no concern for attempts to critically evaluate the theory in relation to others, and are selective in considering evidence. Sir Karl Raimund Popper ( July 28 1902  &ndash September 17 1994) was an Austrian and British Philosopher and a professor Astrology (from Greek grc ἄστρον astron, "constellation star" and grc -λογία -logia) is a group of Systems Paul Thagard is Professor of Philosophy, with cross appointment to Psychology and Computer Science, and Director of the Cognitive Science Program at the More generally, Thagard stated that pseudoscience tends to focus on resemblances rather than cause-effect relations.
Science is also distinguishable from revelation, theology, or spirituality in that it claims to offer insight into the physical world obtained by "scientific" means. Revelation is the act of revealing or disclosing (see etymology or in the theological perception making something obvious and clearly understood through active or passive communication Theology is the study of a god or the gods from a religious perspective Spirituality, in a narrow sense concerns itself with matters of the Spirit, a concept closely tied to religious belief and Faith, a transcendent reality However, when scientific research produces conclusions which contradict a creationist interpretation of scripture, the strict creationist approach is either to reject the conclusions of the research, its underlying scientific theories, or its methodology. "Creationism" can also refer to Creation myths in general or to a concept about the origin of the soul.  For this reason, both creation science and intelligent design have been labeled as pseudoscience by the mainstream scientific community. Creation science or scientific creationism is a movement within Creationism which attempts to use scientific means to disprove the accepted scientific theories on Intelligent  The most notable disputes concern the effects of evolution on the development of living organisms, the idea of common descent, the geologic history of the Earth, the formation of the solar system, and the origin of the universe. eVolution is the third Album by eLDee, it was due to be released in 2008  Systems of belief that derive from divine or inspired knowledge are not considered pseudoscience if they do not claim either to be scientific or to overturn well-established science.
Some statements and commonly held beliefs in popular science may not meet the criteria of science. For the 1935-1949 film series see Popular Science (film. Popular Science is an American monthly Magazine founded in 1872 "Pop" science may blur the divide between science and pseudoscience among the general public, and may also involve science fiction.  Indeed, pop science is disseminated to, and can also easily emanate from, persons not accountable to scientific methodology and expert peer review. Scientific method refers to bodies of Techniques for investigating phenomena Peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work research or Ideas to the scrutiny of others who are
If the claims of a given field can be experimentally tested and methodological standards are upheld, it is not "pseudoscience", however odd, astonishing, or counter-intuitive. If claims made are inconsistent with existing experimental results or established theory, but the methodology is sound, caution should be used; science consists of testing hypotheses which may turn out to be false. In such a case, the work may be better described as ideas that are not yet generally accepted.
The following have been proposed to be indicators of poor scientific reasoning.
Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims
- Assertion of scientific claims that are vague rather than precise, and that lack specific measurements. 
- Failure to make use of operational definitions (i. An operational definition is a demonstration of a process &mdash such as a Variable, term, or object &mdash relative in terms of the specific Process e. publicly accessible definitions of the variables, terms, or objects of interest so that persons other than the definer can independently measure or test them).  (See also: Reproducibility)
- Failure to make reasonable use of the principle of parsimony, i. Reproducibility is one of the main principles of the Scientific method, and refers to the ability of a test or Experiment to be accurately reproduced or replicated Parsimony is a 'less is better' concept of frugality economy stinginess or caution in arriving at a hypothesis or course of action e. failing to seek an explanation that requires the fewest possible additional assumptions when multiple viable explanations are possible (see: Occam's Razor)
- Use of obscurantist language, and misuse of apparently technical jargon in an effort to give claims the superficial trappings of science. Occam's razor (sometimes spelled Ockham's razor) is a principle attributed to the 14th-century English Logician and Franciscan Friar, Obscurantism (from the Latin obscurans, "darkening" is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known
- Lack of boundary conditions: Most well-supported scientific theories possess well-articulated limitations under which the predicted phenomena do and do not apply. 
- Lack of effective controls, such as placebo and double-blind, in experimental design. Placebo is a substance or procedure a patient accepts as medicine or therapy but which has no specific therapeutic activity The blind method is a part of the Scientific method, used to prevent research outcomes from being influenced by either the Placebo effect or the Observer (see Scientific control)
Over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation
- An assertion should allow the logical possibility that it can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment (see also: falsifiability)
- Assertion of claims that a theory predicts something that it has not been shown to predict
- Assertion that claims which have not been proven false must be true, and vice versa (see: Argument from ignorance)
- Over-reliance on testimonial, anecdotal evidence or personal experience. Scientific controls allow Experiments to study one Variable at a time and are a vital part of the Scientific method. Falsifiability (or "refutability" is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam ("appeal to ignorance") or argument by lack of imagination, is a Logical fallacy The expression anecdotal evidence has two quite distinct meanings Personal experience of a Human being is the moment-to-moment Experience and Sensory awareness of internal and external events This evidence may be useful for the context of discovery (i. e. hypothesis generation) but should not be used in the context of justification (e. Theory of justification is a part of Epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of Propositions and Beliefs Epistemologists are concerned g. Statistical hypothesis testing). A statistical hypothesis test is a method of making statistical decisions using experimental data 
- Pseudoscience often presents data that seems to support its claims while suppressing or refusing to consider data that conflict with its claims.  This is an example of selection bias, a distortion of evidence or data that arises from the way that the data are collected. Selection bias is a distortion of evidence or data that arises from the way that the data are collected It is sometimes referred to as the selection effect.
- Reversed burden of proof. This article is about a logical fallacy The term "negative proof" can also refer to a Proof of impossibility. In science, the burden of proof rests on those making a claim, not on the critic. "Pseudoscientific" arguments may neglect this principle and demand that skeptics demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that a claim (e. In ordinary usage skepticism or scepticism ( Greek 'σκέπτομαι' skeptomai, to look about to consider see also spelling differences g. an assertion regarding the efficacy of a novel therapeutic technique) is false. It is essentially impossible to prove a universal negative, so this tactic incorrectly places the burden of proof on the skeptic rather than the claimant. 
- Appeals to holism as opposed to reductionism: Proponents of pseudoscientific claims, especially in organic medicine, alternative medicine, naturopathy and mental health, often resort to the “mantra of holism” to explain negative findings. Distinguish from the suffix -holism, which describes addictions Reductionism can either mean (a an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts or to simpler or more fundamental things 
Lack of openness to testing by other experts
- Evasion of peer review before publicizing results (called "science by press conference"). Peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work research or Ideas to the scrutiny of others who are The term science by press conference is a phrase referring to scientists who put an unusual focus on publicizing results of research in the media.  Some proponents of theories that contradict accepted scientific theories avoid subjecting their ideas to peer review, sometimes on the grounds that peer review is biased towards established paradigms, and sometimes on the grounds that assertions cannot be evaluated adequately using standard scientific methods. By remaining insulated from the peer review process, these proponents forgo the opportunity of corrective feedback from informed colleagues. 
- Some agencies, institutions, and publications that fund scientific research require authors to share data so that others can evaluate a paper independently. Data sharing is required in most academic research but is not ubiquitous Failure to provide adequate information for other researchers to reproduce the claims contributes to a lack of openness. Reproducibility is one of the main principles of the Scientific method, and refers to the ability of a test or Experiment to be accurately reproduced or replicated 
- Assertion of claims of secrecy or proprietary knowledge in response to requests for review of data or methodology. 
Lack of progress
- Failure to progress towards additional evidence of its claims.  Terence Hines has identified astrology as a subject that has changed very little in the past two millennia. Terence Bernie Hines (b 9 April1969 is professor of Neurology, a Science writer.  (see also: Scientific progress)
- Lack of self correction: scientific research programmes make mistakes, but they tend to eliminate these errors over time. Scientific progress is the idea that Science increases its problem solving ability through the application of some Scientific method.  By contrast, theories may be accused of being pseudoscientific because they have remained unaltered despite contradictory evidence. The work Scientists Confront Velikovsky (1976) Cornell University, also delves into these features in some detail, as does the work of Thomas Kuhn, e. Thomas Samuel Kuhn (surname ˈkuːn July 18, 1922  &ndash June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively g. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) which also discusses some of the items on the list of characteristics of pseudoscience.
Personalization of issues
- Tight social groups and granfalloons, authoritarian personality, suppression of dissent, and groupthink can enhance the adoption of beliefs that have no rational basis. A granfalloon, in the fictional religion of Bokononism (created by Kurt Vonnegut in his 1963 novel Cat's Cradle) is defined as a This article describes the psychological trait of authoritarianism Suppression of dissent occurs when an individual or group which is more powerful than another tries to directly or indirectly censor, persecute or Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing analyzing and evaluating ideas In attempting to confirm their beliefs, the group tends to identify their critics as enemies. In Psychology and Cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoids 
- Assertion of claims of a conspiracy on the part of the scientific community to suppress the results. 
- Attacking the motives or character of anyone who questions the claims (see Ad hominem fallacy). An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem ( Latin: "argument to the man" "argument against the man" 
Use of misleading language
- Creating scientific-sounding terms in order to add weight to claims and persuade non-experts to believe statements that may be false or meaningless. For example, a recent hoax referred to water as dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) and describing it as the main constituent in most poisonous solutions to show how easily the general public could be misled. "Dihydrogen monoxide" redirects here For the H2O molecule see Water (molecule. In the context of Biology, poisons are substances that can cause damage, Illness, or Death to Organisms usually by
- Using established terms in idiosyncratic ways, thereby demonstrating unfamiliarity with mainstream work in the discipline.
The National Science Foundation stated that, in the USA, "pseudoscientific" beliefs became more widespread during the 1990s, peaked near 2001 and have declined slightly since; nevertheless, pseudoscientific beliefs remain common in the USA. The National Science Foundation (NSF is a United States Government agency that supports fundamental Research and Education in all the non-medical  As a result, according to the NSF report, there is a lack of knowledge of pseudoscientific issues in society and pseudoscientific practices are commonly followed. Bunge (1999) states that "A survey on public knowledge of science in the United States showed that in 1988 50% of American adults [rejected] evolution, and 88% [believed] astrology is a science'".
Commentators on pseudoscience perceive it in many fields; for example, Pseudomathematics is a term used for mathematics-like activity undertaken by either non-mathematicians or mathematicians themselves which does not conform to the rigorous standards usually applied to mathematical theorems. Pseudomathematics is a form of Mathematics -like activity that does not work within the framework definitions rules or rigor of formal mathematical models
Neurologists, clinical psychologists and other academics are concerned  about the increasing amount of what they consider pseudoscience promoted in psychotherapy and popular psychology, and also about what they see as pseudoscientific therapies such as neuro-linguistic programming, EMDR, rebirthing, reparenting, and Primal Therapy being adopted by government and professional bodies and by the public. Psychotherapy is an Interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living Psychology (from Greek grc ψῡχή psȳkhē, "breath life soul" and grc -λογία -logia) is an Academic and Neuro-linguistic programming (or NLP) is an Interpersonal communication model applied in Psychotherapy and other contexts of communication and change Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing ( EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy that was developed to resolve symptoms resulting from disturbing and unresolved life experiences Primal therapy is a trauma -based Psychotherapy created by Arthur Janov, Ph  They state that scientifically unsupported therapies used by popular or folk psychology might harm vulnerable members of the public, undermine legitimate therapies, and tend to spread misconceptions about the nature of the mind and brain to society at large. Norcross et al.  have approached the science/pseudoscience issue by conducting a survey of experts that seeks to specify which theory or therapy is considered to be definitely discredited, and they outline 14 fields that have been definitely discredited.
A concept used in some fringe psychotherapies is orgone energy. Orgone energy is a hypothetical and largely disputed extrapolation of the Freudian concept of Libido first proposed and promoted in the 1930's by Psychoanalyst "There is an increasing degree of overlapping and blending of orgone therapy with New Age and other therapies that manipulate the patient’s biofields, such as therapeutic touch and Reiki. New Age ( New Age Movement and New Age Spirituality) is a Social Collective Phenomenon and a Spiritual Nature Therapeutic touch (TT, also called Non-Contact Therapeutic Touch (NCTT or Distance Healing, is an energy therapy claimed to promote healing and reduce is a Spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui. After three weeks of Fasting and Meditating on Mount Kurama, in Japan 'Biofield' is a pseudoscientific term often used synonymously with orgone energy. Klee states that there is even small minority of psychiatrists that promote orgone therapy, though such organizations are frowned upon by the general psychiatric community. Psychiatry is a medical specialty which exists to study, prevent, and treat Mental disorders in Humans Psychiatric 
However, there is also concern that overzealously striking down methods considered to 'lack scientific support' could be ignoring any therapeutic value observed by clinicians and their patients. Moreover, the very nature of psychology is still under fierce debate, and no single central model has yet been accepted by the scientific community, implying that the rejection of any method on solely theoretical grounds could be in error.  This fact in particular, combined with the subjective nature of the phenomena under study, makes it difficult to immediately and unequivocally discount or validate any given method or its theoretical justifications.
Pseudoscientific thinking has been explained in terms of psychology and social psychology. Psychology (from Greek grc ψῡχή psȳkhē, "breath life soul" and grc -λογία -logia) is an Academic and Social psychology is the study of how people and groups interact The human proclivity for seeking confirmation rather than refutation (confirmation bias), the tendency to hold comforting beliefs, and the tendency to overgeneralize have been proposed as reasons for the common adherence to pseudoscientific thinking. In Psychology and Cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoids According to Beyerstein (1991) humans are prone to associations based on resemblances only, and often prone to misattribution in cause-effect thinking.
Some transitions from pseudoscience to science
There are examples of presently accepted scientific theories that were once criticised as being pseudoscientific. The transition is marked by increasing scientific scrutiny and specificity within the field and an increased level of evidence to support the theory. Continental drift theory was once considered pseudoscientific (Williams 2000:58), but is now part of mainstream science especially since the paleomagnetic evidence was discovered that supported plate tectonics. Continental drift is the movement of the Earth 's Continents relative to each other Paleomagnetism is the study of the record of the Earth's magnetic field preserved in various Magnetic Minerals through time Plate tectonics (from Greek τέκτων tektōn "builder" or "mason" describes the large scale motions of Earth 's Lithosphere
Atwood (2004) suggested that "osteopathy has, for the most part, repudiated its pseudoscientific beginnings and joined the world of rational healthcare. "
Criticisms of the concept of pseudoscience
Pseudoscience contrasted with protoscience
Protoscience is a term sometimes used to describe a hypothesis that has not yet been adequately tested by the scientific method, but which is otherwise consistent with existing science or which, where inconsistent, offers reasonable account of the inconsistency. Protoscience refers to historical philosophical disciplines which existed prior to the development of Scientific method, which allowed them to develop into Science It may also describe the transition from a body of practical knowledge into a scientific field.  By contrast, "pseudoscience" is reserved to describe theories which are either untestable in practice or in principle, or which are maintained even when tests appear to have refuted them.
It is disputed (notably by Feyeraband, see above) whether meaningful boundaries can be drawn between pseudoscience, protoscience, and "real" science. Especially where there is a significant cultural or historical distance (as, for example, modern chemistry reflecting on alchemy), protosciences can be misinterpreted as pseudoscientific. Chemistry (from Egyptian kēme (chem meaning "earth") is the Science concerned with the composition structure and properties Alchemy a part of the Occult Tradition is both a philosophy and a practice with an ultimately unknown aim involving the improvement of the alchemist as well as the making of
After over a century of dialogue among philosophers of science and scientists in varied fields, and despite broad agreement on the basics of scientific method, the boundaries between science and non-science continue to be debated. The demarcation problem in the Philosophy of science is about how and where to draw the lines around Science. Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions foundations and implications of Science. A scientist, in the broadest sense refers to any person that engages in a systematic activity to acquire Knowledge or an individual that engages in such practices Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding Scientific method refers to bodies of Techniques for investigating phenomena  This problem of demarcation can be problematic in cases where standard scientific ways (experiments, logic, etc. Scientific method refers to bodies of Techniques for investigating phenomena ) of assessing a theory or a hypothesis cannot be applied for some reason. 
Many commentators and practitioners of science, as well as supporters of fields of inquiry and practices labeled as pseudoscience, question the rigor of the demarcation, as some disciplines now accepted as science previously had features cited as those of pseudoscience, such as lack of reproducibility, or the inability to create falsifiable experiments.
It has been argued by several notable commentators that experimental verification is not in itself decisive in scientific method. Thomas Kuhn states that in neither Popper's nor his own theory "can testing play a quite decisive role. Thomas Samuel Kuhn (surname ˈkuːn July 18, 1922  &ndash June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively " Daniel Rothbart said that "the defining feature of science does not seem to be experimental success, for most clear cases of genuine science have been experimentally falsified. " The latter proposed that a scientific theory must "account for all the phenomena that its rival background theory explains" and "must clash empirically with its rival by yielding test implications that are inconsistent with the rival theory". A theory is thus scientific or not depending upon its historical situation; if it betters the current explanations of phenomena, it marks scientific progress. "Many domains in ancient Greece, for example, domains that today are called superstition, religion, magic and the occult, were at that time clear cases of legitimate science. " This is an explicitly competitive model of scientific work; Rothbart also notes that it is not a completely effective model. 
Kuhn postulated that proponents of competing paradigms may resort to political means (such as invective) to garner support from a public which lacks the ability to judge competing scientific theories on their merits. Politics Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions Libel is a verse genre primarily of the Renaissance, descended from the tradition of invective in classical Greek and Roman poetry Philosopher of science Larry Laudan has suggested that pseudoscience has no scientific meaning and mostly describes our emotions: "If we would stand up and be counted on the side of reason, we ought to drop terms like ‘pseudo-science’ and ‘unscientific’ from our vocabulary; they are just hollow phrases which do only emotive work for us".  Richard McNally, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, states: "The term 'pseudoscience' has become little more than an inflammatory buzzword for quickly dismissing one’s opponents in media sound-bites" and "When therapeutic entrepreneurs make claims on behalf of their interventions, we should not waste our time trying to determine whether their interventions qualify as pseudoscientific. Rather, we should ask them: How do you know that your intervention works? What is your evidence?". 
- Bauer Henry H (2000). Intelligent Junk science is a term used in US political and legal disputes that brands an advocate's claims about scientific Data, Research, The James Randi Educational Foundation ( JREF) is a Fort Lauderdale Florida Non-profit organization founded in 1996 by magician and This is a list of fields of endeavor and concepts regarded as pseudoscientific by organizations within the international Scientific community or by notable skeptical Paradigm shift, sometimes known as extraordinary science or revolutionary science, is the term first used by Thomas Kuhn in his influential Paranormal is an Umbrella term used to describe unusual Phenomena or experiences that lack an obvious Scientific explanation Parapsychology is a discipline that seeks to demonstrate the existence and causes of Psychic abilities and life after death using the Scientific method Distinguish from the genuine medical-related science called Pathology. Protoscience refers to historical philosophical disciplines which existed prior to the development of Scientific method, which allowed them to develop into Science Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices initially created by American Science fiction author L The Sokal affair (also Sokal's hoax) was a Hoax by physicist Alan Sokal perpetrated on the editorial staff and readership of the Postmodern The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience is a collection of articles that discuss the Skeptics Society 's scientific findings of investigations into popular Michael Brand Shermer (born September 8, 1954 in Glendale California) is an American science writer historian of science founder of The Skeptics The Skeptics Society is a Nonprofit, member-supported organization devoted to promoting Scientific skepticism and resisting the spread of Pseudoscience Time Cube is a website created by Gene Ray in 1997 where he sets out his proposed theory of everything, a description of the nature of the universe True-believer syndrome is a term coined by M Lamar Keene in his 1976 book The Psychic Mafia. Science or Pseudoscience. University of Illinois Press.
- Beyerstein BL (1990). "Brainscams: Neuromythologies of the New Age" (PDF). International Journal of Mental Health 19 (3): 27-36.
- Charpak Georges (2004). Georges Charpak (born August 1, 1924) is a Polish - French Physicist and Nobel Prize in Physics winner Debunked. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801878675.
- Derksen AA (1993). "The seven sins of pseudo-science". J Gen Phil Sci 24: 17-42.
- Derksen AA (2001). "The seven strategies of the sophisticated pseudo-scientist: a look into Freud's rhetorical toolbox". J Gen Phil Sci 32: 329-350.
- Gardner M (1983). Science – Good, Bad and Bogus. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Gauch Jr Hugh G (2002). Scientific Method in Practice. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521017084.
- Hansson SO (1996). "Defining pseudoscience". Philosophia naturalis 33: 169-176.
- Joseph J (2002). "Twin studies in psychiatry and psychology: science or pseudoscience?". Psychiatric Quarterly 73: 71-82. doi:10.1023/A:1012896802713. A digital object identifier ( DOI) is a permanent identifier given to an Electronic document.
- Martin M (1994). "Pseudoscience, the paranormal, and science education". Science & Education 3: 1573-901. doi:10.1007/BF00488452. A digital object identifier ( DOI) is a permanent identifier given to an Electronic document.
- Ostrander GK, Cheng KC, Wolf JC Wolfe MJ (2004-12-01). "Shark Cartilage, Cancer and the Growing Threat of Pseudoscience". Cancer Research 64: 8485-8491. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-2260. A digital object identifier ( DOI) is a permanent identifier given to an Electronic document.
- Sampson W, Beyerstein BL (1996-09/10). "Traditional medicine and pseudoscience in China". Skeptical Inquirer.
- Sagan Carl (1996). The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle In the Dark. The Demon-Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark is a book by astrophysicist Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan, which was first published
- Shermer M (2002). Why People Believe Weird Things – Pseudoscience, superstition, and other confusions of our time.
- Wilson F (2000). The Logic and Methodology of Science and Pseudoscience. ISBN 155130175X.
- Pratkanis, Anthony R. (July/August 1995). "How to Sell a Pseudoscience". Skeptical Inquirer 19 (4): 19-25.
- ^ a b Magendie, F (1843) An Elementary Treatise on Human Physiology. 5th Ed. Tr. John Revere. New York: Harper, p 150. Magendie refers to phrenology as "a pseudo-science of the present day" (note the hyphen).
- ^ "Pseudoscientific - pretending to be scientific, falsely represented as being scientific", from the Oxford American Dictionary, published by the Oxford English Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED) published by the Oxford University Press (OUP is a comprehensive Dictionary of the English
- ^ For example, Hewitt et al. Conceptual Physical Science Addison Wesley; 3 edition (July 18, 2003) ISBN 0-321-05173-4, Bennett et al. The Cosmic Perspective 3e Addison Wesley; 3 edition (July 25, 2003) ISBN 0-8053-8738-2
- ^ See also, e. g. , Gauch HG Jr. Scientific Method in Practice (2003)
- ^ The National Science Foundation adopts the definition of (Shermer, 1997): "claims presented so that they appear [to be] scientific even though they lack supporting evidence and plausibility" (Shermer 1997, p. The National Science Foundation (NSF is a United States Government agency that supports fundamental Research and Education in all the non-medical 33). In contrast, they say, science is "a set of methods designed to describe and interpret observed and inferred phenomena, past or present, and aimed at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or confirmation" (Shermer 1997, p. 17). Shermer M. (1997). Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company. cited by National Science Foundation (official report) (2006). The National Science Foundation (NSF is a United States Government agency that supports fundamental Research and Education in all the non-medical "Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding", Science and engineering indicators 2006.
- ^ "A pretended or spurious science; a collection of related beliefs about the world mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method or as having the status that scientific truths now have. ", from the Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition 1989. The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED) published by the Oxford University Press (OUP is a comprehensive Dictionary of the English
- ^ For example, Hewitt et al. Conceptual Physical Science Addison Wesley; 3 edition (July 18, 2003) ISBN 0-321-05173-4, Bennett et al. The Cosmic Perspective 3e Addison Wesley; 3 edition (July 25, 2003) ISBN 0-8053-8738-2
- ^ Memorial Resolution: Paul DeHart Hurd. www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/cubberley/collections/memorial.html retrieved 6 November. 2006
- ^ Hurd, P. D. (1998). "Scientific literacy: New minds for a changing world". Science Education, 82, 407–416. . Abstract online at www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/32148/ABSTRACT; retrieved 6 November. 2006
- ^ For example, a course is offered at the University of Maryland entitled "Science & Pseudoscience" 
- ^ The philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend in particular is associated with the view that attempts to distinguish science from non-science are flawed and pernicious. The University of Maryland College Park (often referred to as The University of Maryland UMD, UMCP or simply Maryland) is a public research Paul Karl Feyerabend ( January 13, 1924 – February 11, 1994) was an Austrian born Philosopher of science best known for "The idea that science can, and should, be run according to fixed and universal rules, is both unrealistic and pernicious. . . . the idea is detrimental to science, for it neglects the complex physical and historical conditions which influence scientific change. It makes our science less adaptable and more dogmatic:"
- ^ However, from the "them vs. us" polarization that its usage engenders, the term may also have a positive function because "[the] derogatory labeling of others often includes an unstated self-definition "(p. 266); and, from this, the application of the term also implies "a unity of science, a privileged tree of knowledge or space from which the pseudoscience is excluded, and the user's right to belong is asserted " (p. 286) -- Still A & Dryden W (2004) "The Social Psychology of "Pseudoscience": A Brief History", J Theory Social Behav 34:265-290 doi:10.1111/j.0021-8308.2004.00248.x
- ^ e. A digital object identifier ( DOI) is a permanent identifier given to an Electronic document. g. Gauch HG Jr. Scientific Method in Practice (2003) 3-5 ff
- ^ Gauch (2003), 191 ff, especially Chapter 6, "Probability", and Chapter 7, "inductive Logic and Statistics"
- ^ Popper, KR (1959) "The Logic of Scientific Discovery". Logik der Forschung is a 1934 book by Karl Popper. It was originally written in German, but reformulated in English by Popper himself
- ^ Karl R. Popper: Science: Conjectures and Refutations. Conjectures and Refutations (1963), p. Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge is a book written by philosopher Karl Popper. 43–86;
- ^ Thagard PR (1978) "Why astrology is a pseudoscience" (1978) In PSA 1978, Volume 1, ed. Asquith PD and Hacking I (East Lansing: Philosophy of Science Association, 1978) 223 ff.
- ^ Bunge M (1983) "Demarcating science from pseudoscience" Fundamenta Scientiae 3:369-388
- ^ Feyerabend P Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (1975)
- ^ For a perspective on Feyerabend from within the scientific community, see, e. g. , Gauch (2003) at p. 4: "Such critiques are unfamiliar to most scientists, although some may have heard a few distant shots from the so-called science wars. "
- ^ Thagard PR (1978) "Why astrology is a pseudoscience" (1978) In PSA 1978, Volume 1, ed. Asquith PD and Hacking I (East Lansing: Philosophy of Science Association, 1978) 223 ff. Thagard writes, at 227, 228: "We can now propose the following principle of demarcation: A theory or discipline which purports to be scientific is pseudoscientific if and only if: it has been less progressive than alternative theories over a long period of time, and faces many unsolved problems; but the community of practitioners makes little attempt to develop the theory towards solutions of the problems, shows no concern for attempts to evaluate the theory in relation to others, and is selective in considering confirmations and non confirmations. "
- ^ Cover JA, Curd M (Eds, 1998) Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues, 1-82
- ^ Flaws in dating the earth as ancient
- ^ http://www.creationontheweb.com/images/pdfs/tj/v17n1_proteins.pdf
- ^ ‘It’s not science’
- ^ Statements from Scientific and Scholarly Organizations. National Center for Science Education. Retrieved on 04-01-2008.
- ^ Royal Society statement on evolution, creationism and intelligent design http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/news.asp?year=&id=4298
- ^ Popular Science Feature - When Science Fiction is Science Fact
- ^ e. g. Gauch (2003) op cit at 211 ff (Probability, "Common Blunders")
- ^ Paul Montgomery Churchland, Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (1999) MIT Press. p.90. "Most terms in theoretical physics, for example, do not enjoy at least some distinct connections with observables, but not of the simple sort that would permit operational definitions in terms of these observables. [. . ] If a restriction in favor of operational definitions were to be followed, therefore, most of theoretical physics would have to be dismissed as meaningless pseudoscience!"
- ^ Gauch HG Jr. (2003) op cit 269 ff, "Parsimony and Efficiency"
- ^ Hines T (1988) Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: A Critical Examination of the Evidence Buffalo NY: Prometheus Books. A Skeptical Inquirer Reader
- ^ Lakatos I (1970) "Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. " in Lakatos I, Musgrave A (eds) Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge pp 91-195; Popper KR (1959) The Logic of Scientific Discovery
- ^ e. g. Gauch (2003) op cit at 178 ff (Deductive Logic, "Fallacies"), and at 211 ff (Probability, "Common Blunders"). Scientific claims that do not confer any predictive power are considered at best "conjectures", or at worst "pseudoscience". e. g.  Macmilllan Encyclopedia of Philosophy Vol 3, "Fallacies" 174 ff, esp. section on "Ignoratio elenchi"
- ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy Vol 3, "Fallacies" 174 'ff esp. 177-178
- ^ Bunge M (1983) Demarcating science from pseudoscience Fundamenta Scientiae 3:369-388, 381
- ^ Thagard (1978)op cit at 227, 228
- ^ Lilienfeld SO (2004) Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology Guildford Press (2004) ISBN 1-59385-070-0
- ^ Ruscio J (2001) Clear thinking with psychology: Separating sense from nonsense, Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth
- ^ Peer review and the acceptance of new scientific ideas (Warning 469 kB PDF)*Peer review – process, perspectives and the path ahead; Lilienfeld (2004) op cit For an opposing perspective, e. g. Peer Review as Scholarly Conformity
- ^ Ruscio (2001) op cit.
- ^ Gauch (2003) op cit 124 ff"
- ^ Gauch (2003) op cit 124 ff"
- ^ Lakatos I (1970) "Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. " in Lakatos I, Musgrave A (eds. ) Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge 91-195; Thagard (1978) op cit writes: "We can now propose the following principle of demarcation: A theory or discipline which purports to be scientific is pseudoscientific if and only if: it has been less progressive than alternative theories over a long period of time, and faces many unsolved problems; but the community of practitioners makes little attempt to develop the theory towards solutions of the problems, shows no concern for attempts to evaluate the theory in relation to others, and is selective in considering confirmations and disconfirmations. "
- ^ Hines T, Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: A Critical Examination of the Evidence, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY, 1988. Terence Bernie Hines (b 9 April1969 is professor of Neurology, a Science writer. ISBN 0-87975-419-2. Thagard (1978) op cit 223 ff
- ^ Ruscio J (2001) op cit. p120
- ^ a b Devilly GJ (2005) Power therapies and possible threats to the science of psychology and psychiatry Austral NZ J Psych 39:437-445(9)
- ^ e. g. archivefreedom.org which claims that "The list of suppressed scientists even includes Nobel Laureates!"
- ^  National Science Board. 2006. Science and Engineering Indicators 2006 Two volumes. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation (volume 1, NSB-06-01; NSB 06-01A)
- ^ Justman, S. (2005). Fool's Paradise: The Unreal World of Pop Psychology. Ivan R. Dee. 
- ^ e. g. Drenth (2003) ; Herbert JD, et al. (2000) Science and pseudoscience in the development of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: implications for clinical psychology. Clin Psychol Rev. 20:945-71 [PMID 11098395])
- ^ e. g. Drenth (2003) ; Herbert JD, et al. (2000) Science and pseudoscience in the development of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: implications for clinical psychology. Clin Psychol Rev. 20:945-71 [PMID 11098395])
- ^ Norcross J. C. Garofalo. A. Koocher. G. P. (2006) Discredited psychological treatments and tests: a Delphi poll. Professional Psychology. Research and Practice, 37: 515-522.
- ^ Klee GD (2005) The Resurrection of Wilhelm Reich and Orgone Therapy The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice (Vol. 4, No. 1)" | available online
- ^ Gerald C. Davison, PhD, President of the American Psychological Association's Clinical Psychology Division ;Davidson is reporting to the APA's clinical members on the Presidential Task Force's report on Evidence-Based Practices in Psychology (EBPP).
- ^ (Devilly 2005:439)
- ^ Atwood KC (2004) Naturopathy, pseudoscience, and medicine: myths and fallacies vs truth. Medscape Gen Med6:e53 available online
- ^ Popper KR op. cit.
- ^ Gauch HG Jr (2003)op cit 3-7.
- ^ Cover JA, Curd M (Eds, 1998) Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues, 1-82
- ^ Thomas Kuhn. , "Science: conjectures and refutations" In Philosophy of Science and the Occult, edited by Patrick Grim, op. cit. , pp. 126-7
- ^ Kuhn TS "Logic of Discovery or Psychology of Research?" in Grim, op. cit. p. 125
- ^ Rothbart D "Demarcating Genuine Science from Pseudoscience", in Grim, op. cit. pp. 114.
- ^ Rothbart, Daniel, op. cit. pp. 114-20.
- ^ Laudan L (1996) "The demise of the demarcation problem" in Ruse, Michael, But Is It Science?: The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy pp. 337-350.
- ^ McNally RJ (2003) Is the pseudoscience concept useful for clinical psychology? SRMHP Vol 2 Number 2 Fall/Winter
Robert Todd Carroll (born 1945 PhD, is an American writer and academic Imre Lakatos ( November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) was a Philosopher of mathematics and science, Robert Lee Park (born January 16, 1931 in Kansas City Missouri) also known as Bob Park, is a Professor of Physics at Events 338 BC - A Macedonian army led by Philip II defeated the combined forces of Athens and Thebes in the Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Events 69 - The end of the Year of the four emperors: Following Galba, Otho and Vitellius, Vespasian Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.© 2009 citizendia.org; parts available under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License, from http://en.wikipedia.org
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- The Anatomy of Pseudoscience - Steven Novella, MD
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- Plate Tectonics: The Rocky History of an Idea by Brian Simison, University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology, retrieved August 2, 2006
- Nonsense (And Why It's So Popular) a course syllabus from The College of Wooster, retrieved December 21, 2007
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