What is Pseudoscience: Definition and 26 Discussions

Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is often characterized by contradictory, exaggerated or unfalsifiable claims; reliance on confirmation bias rather than rigorous attempts at refutation; lack of openness to evaluation by other experts; absence of systematic practices when developing hypotheses; and continued adherence long after the pseudoscientific hypotheses have been experimentally discredited.The demarcation between science and pseudoscience has philosophical, political, and scientific implications. Differentiating science from pseudoscience has practical implications in the case of health care, expert testimony, environmental policies, and science education. Distinguishing scientific facts and theories from pseudoscientific beliefs, such as those found in climate change denial, astrology, alchemy, alternative medicine, occult beliefs, and creation science, is part of science education and literacy.Pseudoscience can have dangerous effects. For example, pseudoscientific anti-vaccine activism and promotion of homeopathic remedies as alternative disease treatments can result in people forgoing important medical treatments with demonstrable health benefits, leading to deaths and ill-health. Furthermore, people who refuse legitimate medical treatments to contagious diseases may put others at risk. Pseudoscientific theories about racial and ethnic classifications have led to racism and genocide.
The term pseudoscience is often considered pejorative particularly by purveyors of it, because it suggests something is being presented as science inaccurately or even deceptively. Those practicing or advocating pseudoscience therefore frequently dispute the characterization.

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  1. T

    How do mods combat pseudoscientific misunderstandings among users

    The internet is full of nonsensical ideas and conspiracy theories which is why sometimes those nonsense ends up on PF. Let's be fair some trolls post pseudoscience on PF intentionally while there are many who post them here unintentionally, like me five years ago. So according to the rules...
  2. P

    A Popular Pseudoscience Video on General Relativity: Analysis & Criticism

    Here is the video: [link deleted by moderators] His basic idea is to take the spacetime interval and add a 5th term for the 5th dimension he is describing so it looks like: $$\Delta S^2 = c^2\Delta t^2 + c^2\Delta w^2 - \Delta x^2 - \Delta y^2 - \Delta z^2 $$ where w is the difference in time...
  3. Astronuc

    How to Spot Pseudoscience in an Age of Conspiracy Theories

  4. nomadreid

    Medical PMC journals as source? Example on "ozone therapy"

    I am having a discussion with a friend who advocates "ozone therapy": re-injection of your blood after being enriched with ozone, done by a doctor. Since I am very skeptical of this fad (all I can see is that ozone destroys double bonds in carbon chains, which does not seem like a good thing--...
  5. sebwild

    B Is Cymatics just psuedoscience?

    I understand cymatics as a phenomenon of sound vibration causing matter to create geometric patterns based on the properties of the surface and material used. It is my understanding there is nothing more to it than this and that it does not represent the language of sound or nature. Also that it...
  6. A

    I Is gravitational prospecting pseudoscience?

    Is gravitational prospecting pseudoscience? From the literature, it says that we can know what is beneath a site (say for prospecting for oil. metals, etc) from measuring the local "g" field/acceleration at various locations. Together with other information, we can know the mass distributions...
  7. K

    B Postulates and pseudoscientific hypothesis difference?

    A postulate is a statement that is taken to be true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further theories. (e.g. Bohr's postulates) Hypothesis is a theory which can after testing be accepted or rejected. But a postulate is something that is assumed to be true without proof. Among other...
  8. O

    Moving From Pseudoscience To Actual Science -- Resources requested

    Hey everyone! I need your help. My new girlfriend is smart, but she's misled and attracted to pseudo-scientific ideas (i.e crystal healing, astrology). I find this fairly annoying. She is a true social scientist though and searches for valid science when it comes to psychology, so I know she is...
  9. S

    B I'm conducting an Experiment -- Moving my hand through a wall

    Hey, I would like to showcase my experiment I'm doing. I'm 16, in high school, and the only science I know is chemistry. But that was a default class. I'm learning about Quantum Physics on my free time. and would very much like to become a scientist in that field. To start off this is kind of a...
  10. hubot

    What happens after exceeding the speed of light?

    I'm curious about one thing. What happens after exceeding the speed of light? What are you opinions about this? What does it mean as the formula m=\frac{m_0}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}} goes after subsitute to equation example mass to m_0 and speed higher than speed of light to v negative mass...
  11. nsaspook

    News Berkeley, stop the pseudoscience

    http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/05/13/berkeley-passes-cellphone-right-to-know-law/ How about spending time and money on talking and texting while driving, something that's really dangerous.
  12. C

    News Freedom of speech and pseudoscience

    Problem: -freedom of speech (treated as almost sacred idea); -spread of pseudoscience. I think that quite many people here feel some kind of serious discomfort. Both supporting freedom of speech while in the same time being outraged by pseudoscience. In topic about anti-vaxines crusade, someone...
  13. SpunkyMonkey

    Fukushima Anti-nuclear Fukushima Pseudoscience Debunked

    An investigation of "studies" by the lifelong anti-nuclear activist Joseph Mangano proves they're bunk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOreFp9983I See also a recent Popular Mechanics smack down of Magano' pseudoscience.
  14. L

    The most ridiculous bit of pseudoscience

    that you've ever heard? Was watching an old episode of QI the other night and came across drapetomania, which is utterly shocking. Have heard a lot of nonsense being passed off as science in the past, what's the most ridiculous you've heard?
  15. E

    The Double Slit Experiment & its Connection to Pseudoscience

    The Double Slit Experiment & its Connection to "Pseudoscience" Introduction Hello everyone :), thank you for taking the time to view this as I have ALOT of questions regarding The Double Slit experiment and its connection to "The Law of Attraction" (LOA) or what many call pseudoscience. I...
  16. P

    Superluminal neutrinos now 'pseudoscience'?

    are the supposed superluminal neutrinos at gran sasso now considered 'pseudoscience'?
  17. C

    Medical Is psychoanalysis pseudoscience ?

    I have heard that kind of comments about psychoanalysis, but I am not a expert on the subject. So, can anyone explain to me what is true about this opinion or why many people say this about psychoanalysis? I repeat, I am not an expert on the subject, so if I am wrong in my hypothesis let me know.
  18. A

    Is true or is it another pseudoscience crap

    I read in a book that "the laws of physics as defined by Newton and Einstein work just fine as long as one don't account for gravity ,rotation or acceleration." Also he said that there is no proof that the space is curved as predicted by Einstein, but i read before that it was poven by an...
  19. X

    Popular science equals pseudoscience

    I've noticed this forum negatively views down up on popular science. Would many of you guys think that popular science is basically pseudoscience.
  20. L

    Organic food is a topic for pseudoscience?

    I need to write 3-5 paragraph for a topic about science, non-science reported like science , or pseudoscience. I want to know if Organic food is a topic for pseudoscience? If so, what should I write about? I want to write how healthy organic food are, better tasting, chemical-free, etc. This...
  21. Z

    Medical Psychiatry, a serious medical discipline or an uplifted pseudoscience?

    I'm sure we can all agree that psychiatry is at least not as hard as physics. To evaluate people's conditions by a 'professional opinion' is a little worse than calculating things by physical laws and then testing it to conform to experimental results and clearly defined margins of errors...
  22. J

    How to fight against metaphysics and pseudoscience?

    How to fight against metaphysics and pseudoscience?
  23. A

    Relativity without the aether: pseudoscience?

    Special relativity (SR) SR and Lorentz ether theory (LET) are empirically equivalent systems for interpreting local Lorentz symmetry. These two theories are equally valid, but it is not possible (so far) to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the postulates of either theory over the other by...
  24. J

    Unmasking a Pseudoscience: The Tachyon Detector

    some time ago i found this information http://www.spots.ab.ca/~belfroy/tachyonDetector.html [Broken] on internet about a supposed "tachyon detector " . I have to confess that i believe this junk until a more deep study of electronics and amplificators led me to conclude that this is only...
  25. D

    Book Research RE Spin Wave technology: Pseudoscience or just incomplete?

    I am researching different technologies to fit into a science fiction story that I have been working on. While Sci-fi usually takes liberties with science in the name of good storytelling, I think it is important to provide as much believability as possible, and this is why I am coming to these...
  26. J

    Pseudoscience in my country

    hi all ive scanning the media in my country and find a lot of pseudoscience, because of a political law of "freedom of thinking", this crap is really making big damage in our society, we are infested of astrologist, numerologist,magic cristals, everything you can imagine, and there are nobody...