unscientific claim that is wrongly presented as scientific
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- A good rule of thumb for diagnosing an activity as pseudoscientific is the existence of ad hoc explanations: “my telepathic powers aren’t working today because of a force field emanating from the hostile talk-show host.” There are no “bad-gravity days” and there are no days when your TV set stops working because electromagnetic waves feel hostility.
- Using the term pseudoscience, then, leads to unnecessary polarization, mistrust, disrespectfulness, and confusion around science issues. Everyone—especially scientists, journalists, and science communicators—would better serve science by avoiding it.
- Katie L. Burke, "Stop Using the Word Pseudoscience" (August 25, 2016)
- 'Tis strange how like a very dunce,
Man, with his bumps upon his sconce,
Has lived so long, and yet no knowledge he
Has had, till lately, of Phrenology—
A science that by simple dint of
Head-combing he should find a hint of,
When scratching o'er those little pole-hills
The faculties throw up like mole hills.
- Thomas Hood, Craniology, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 597.
- If we would stand up and be counted on the side of reason, we ought to drop terms like 'pseudoscience' and 'unscientific' from our vocabulary; they are just hollow phrases which do only emotive work for us.
- Larry Laudan, "The Demise of the Demarcation Problem", in Cohen, R.S.; Laudan, L., Physics, Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: Essays in Honor of Adolf Grünbaum (1983)
- The term “pseudoscience” has become little more than an inflammatory buzzword for quickly dismissing one’s opponents in media sound-bites. … 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?
- Richard J. McNally, "Is the pseudoscience concept useful for clinical psychology?". The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice (2003)