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Hannah Cline

on 8 June 2011

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Transcript of Pseudoscience

Pseudoscience Etymology What is Pseudoscience? (n.) A collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method. "Pseudo-"

"scientia" For example: Astrology (horoscopes) Ghost hunting Ufology (UFOs) Hypnosis Acupuncture Astrology Ghost Hunting What is it?
The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs. What is it?
Ghost hunting is the process of investigating locations that are reported to be haunted by ghosts. What is it?
A system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain What is it? What is it?
The induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action, and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction.

Why is it a Pseudoscience? Acupuncture Hypnosis Ufology How to identify a pseudoscience: Why do people believe in them? What are the impacts? Subjectivity
Getting solid scientific results is challenging A field can be described as a pseudoscience when "the studies are claimed to exemplify the methods and principles of science, but do not adhere to an appropriate scientific methodology, lack supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lack scientific status." The study of UFOs. Why is it a Pseudoscience? "The field lacks a cumulative scientific progress; ufology has not advanced since the 1950s."
The assumptions on which the research is based are often highly unlikely to be true Inconsistent
Over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation
Lack of openness to testing by other experts
Absence of progress
Use of misleading language
Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims Why is it a pseudoscience? Vague
Considered by many people to be "an elaborate placebo"
Very little solid supporting data Hannah Cline Why is it a pseudoscience? The equipment commonly used for "ghost hunting" (EMF meters, wireless microphones, cameras, etc.) is not designed for the job
"Illogical and unscientific"
Fails to consider alternative conclusions
"If ghosts walk, their feet apply force to the floor, but if they go through walls they are without substance" Why is it a pseudoscience? Inconsistent - astrological claims sometimes conflict with what is known in physics
Requires that there is some kind of forces that connects everyone together and to space
Insufficient evidence People have a tendency to hold comforting beliefs Jumping to conclusions Curiosity Associations based on resemblances Personal Motives Medicine & treatment
Science education
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