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The seven warning signs of junk science

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posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 11:05 PM

I have identified seven indicators that a scientific claim lies well outside the bounds of rational scientific discourse. Of course, they are only warning signs -- even a claim with several of the signs could be legitimate.

1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.

A good article.

How many of those warning signs do you see pitched here every day?

posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 11:25 PM
Excellent post Howard! I read the whole article and saw alarming parallels to things posted here.

Thanks again.

posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 11:38 PM
#2 on the list seems to be a very common trend. 'Oh, the companies have been supressing me for years because it will make everyone save billions of dollars on energy, etc, bs, blah blah blah'.

#5 is a great one. I have watched many infomercials claiming that if you take this 'herbal' pill you will be free of all disease. Or better yet just listen to George "Noooo!" Noory on Coast to Coast.

#7 often involves a lack of displayed mathematics. Just pull up the free energy threads. There is such a thread right now that members are posting on claiming "Newtonian Mechanics is flawed" or that they can put to rest years of research and accepted theories, etc.

I think #6 is almost a given and occasionally through out history we see engineers develop some prett nifty stuff on their own. Such as Foucalt and the pendulum (made it in his mothers basement. What a loser, 30 years old and still living in his mothers basement:roll
. Or how bout this guy who maked colored bubbles a possiblity?

I have to say lack of math and the inability to run the experiment multiple times are the greatest factors to junk/bunk/pseudoscience. (Although it can be very hard to run some experiments more than once)

Nice find.

[edit on 7-1-2006 by Frosty]

posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 02:55 AM
My own warning signs of junk science:

#1 If we still don't completely understand how the human body works, yet short term cause and effect studies are good enough to get anything on the market.

#2 If the people that trust the scientists with their lives start developing cancer at an alarming rate.

#3 If money becomes a greater factor than science itself.

1 + 3 = #4 If a group of scientists discount a claim because it has endured for centuries, that is junk in and of itself. If it has endured, the claim might have some substance and should be investigated. If our ancestors possessed miraculous remedies that modern science cannot understand, maybe our modern science just can't understand. Anything you'll find growing out of the ground has a blend of ingredients, and not just one that does the deed by itself. Damn.

I don't like the guy's bias towards science and natural remedies, and I can see that he probably holds himself in higher esteem than his ancestors. I think that we should learn a little more about the world about us, as any plant is much more advanced machine than any device or medicine we can create.

I do, however, agree with the statement, "I began this list of warning signs to help federal judges detect scientific nonsense. But as I finished the list, I realized that in our increasingly technological society, spotting voodoo science is a skill that every citizen should develop."

It's not all we should develop, but oh well.

posted on Jan, 15 2006 @ 10:09 PM
"I read the whole article and saw alarming parallels to things posted here. " == FEMA

Bingo ! And just how much effort does it take to slightly modify those 7 rules and you get
a heck of a litmus test for conspiracies ? Considering the separation between where this is
and the inferred where it should be used, it may be safe to make a sample connection. I suspect
the "alien of the week" in the UFO forum would be an example of how to instantly illustrate
all seven rules under gross abuse. Thanks for the idea, HowardRoark.

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