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posted on May, 2 2008 @ 03:51 PM

Originally posted by Lethys

Some examples are Phrenology, Intelligent design, dianetics, and alternative medicine.

Being called Pseudoscience isn’t a good thing.

Wow, that's insulting! Scientology in the same class Intelligent design, i.e. anyone of any faith?


posted on May, 2 2008 @ 03:55 PM
reply to post by SlightlyAbovePar

Can't dispute the facts....

pseudoscience is pseudoscience....

Edit: It is no mystery that Intelligent Design is an attempt to thwart the scientific view of evolution. By offering up alternative non-scientific views...

[edit on 5/2/2008 by Choronzon]

posted on May, 2 2008 @ 03:57 PM
Now now. I place scientology FAR lower then just about anything. That list is just whatever came to my mind, while keeping it wide ranging.

Edit 1 and 2: There are all sorts of pseudosience out there, each subverting science in there own ways, some worse then others.

[edit on 2-5-2008 by Lethys]

[edit on 2-5-2008 by Lethys]

posted on May, 3 2008 @ 06:03 AM

Originally posted by Lethys
Now now. I place scientology FAR lower then just about anything. That list is just whatever came to my mind, while keeping it wide ranging.

Edit 1 and 2: There are all sorts of pseudosience out there, each subverting science in there own ways, some worse then others.

[edit on 2-5-2008 by Lethys]

[edit on 2-5-2008 by Lethys]

I agree!

posted on May, 3 2008 @ 07:33 AM
"Pseudoscience" is any branch of scientific thought that is not (and usually can not be) supported by scientific evidence. Unfortunately, the term 'scientific thought' here can be abused in any number of ways, leading to wild speculations that are actually unscientific.

Any religious thought that does not directly contradict science can be thought of as pseudoscience. Any spiritual thought that attempts to explain phenomena can be thought of as pseudoscience. Bigfoot, Nessy, Champ, and the numerous other sightings of 'mythical' creatures can be considered pseudoscience.

While it is true that the term is frequently used as derogatory, it is not such in itself. It simply means that no scientific evidence can be or has been verified to date. As an example, it wasn't long ago that South American explorers returned to their homes with wild tales about a 'man-ape' that attacked them. They were locked away as mad. Shortly afterward, other explorers found the South American gorilla. These explorers were engaged in pseudoscience that later turned out to be science, but if there had been no gorillas, it would have remained pseudoscience.

As to scientology, there you have a great example of science perverted into religion. I read L. Ron Hubbard's book long ago and until the final chapters it sounded pretty good, like he was onto something. He may well have been, but the 'science' took a different direction and evolved into a cultish organization that did not allow true peer review of Hubbard's work. A shame, really, as I believe there was a grain or two of truth in Hubbard's original book.


posted on May, 6 2008 @ 04:14 PM

Originally posted by Lethys
Scientific theories DO pass the rigors of the scientific method.

Ideally, yes but in practice not even close. I don't see why you wish to argue that 'scientific rigor' would allow for so many gross errors and if you do i would ask what the point of such a process is?

The scientific method isn’t some unreasonable burden of proof that nothing can pass.

My point was that so much junk passes for 'science' that the burden of proof is not very high at all. This is what leads me to the conclusion that many other principles should be discussed and since they are not it then stands to reason that the judges are hopelessly biased in favor of certain ideas.

All a theory has to do is agree with reality on experiments.

But that is engineering, not science. If something works it does not really matter if you understand the underlying truth or not but since science is in fact about discovering underlying principles that's hardly a qualification for 'truth'. A theory can in most cases be adapted to describe observation , and most are, but what makes a theory stand out is if it LOGICALLY predicts certain testable results. Even then it may not reveal underlying principles but at least it's a useful theory that will for practical applications.

If a theory is based on reality, and those experiments are within our ability to perform, it can pass the rigors.

So if we can't test it yet it means it's not true? So powered flight is impossible because we couldn't do it until recently? The problem with the majority of scientist is that they can't see much further than the end of their noses and just refuse to consider that they might in fact have wasted their life by choosing a certain path of investigation over another. When that belief is applied to exclude consideration and peer review of those types of theories it often results in good deductive reasoning , or scientific principles, being disregarded in favor of protecting one's own ass. When science is as per grant you will get bad science as true discovery does not care for either budgets, time or what the grant giver has in mind.

Huh? What are you trying to say here?

That the average scientist is intelligent enough to find empirical data that agrees with his conclusion;' post hoc' reasoning comes standard with human intellects and no amount of elitist education is going to prevent it when there is so much to gain from being 'succesful' by finding what you were paid to look for.

Feynman’s point when he was talking about the Cargo cult was that while they were doing what superficially looked like they needed to get the planes to come, they were missing the fundamental and most important parts. This is the same with pseudoscience, while it superficially looks like science, they are missing the most important part, the scientific method.

And once again we have the rivals of a given theory claiming that those who object to their analysis are not good scientist? Would you trust a rival in business to advise you about how good your theory is? Why is it always pseudoscience when it disagrees with established 'facts' and why does that 'pseudoscience' so often supplant the good science over a number of years? Why deny the fact that all new ideas , to say nothing of current 'facts' that allows for modern consumer appliances, would have been considered 'pseudoscience' two hundred years ago? Why was plate tectonics laughed at for fifty years running? Why did Saturn have to be bombarded by a broken up comet before scientist started to admit that cataclysmic asteroid impact happens often enough to be observed by intelligence? Why did they stupidly believe that impact craters are the basins of volcanoes of times gone by? I could go on for pages and pages but you probably wont get the point that the majority of scientist have always tended to get it wrong as they are human and despite the supposed 'rigors' can't seem to do anything other but worship one or another consensus as achieved by apparently not so rigorous methods.

As for Feynman maybe you don't want to quote him given his analysis of just how full of holes quantum theory is?

If you think quantum theory is BS, then why are you using a computer, since if that were the case, your computer wouldn’t work

You are once again confusing engineering with science! You do NOT have to understand how a device 'physical' works to replicate it and make use of it and the fact that quantum physics doesn't make sense goes a long way to pointing out how do not have to understand a device to make it work in certain ways.

Here is a good summary of the foundation problems in quantum theory.

If quantum theory was wrong, semiconductors wouldn’t work.

Semiconductors work because they do; to use such as evidence for one theory or another patently ludicrous and not rigorous in the least. Are you now going to argue that the ancient Babylonians knew about electricity, electrons and quantum theory because they managed to make batteries?

In just the same way we don't presume a 6 year old ( or for that matter a 70 year old) working on a computer to require any understanding of the underlying physics, that makes it's functioning possible, we should not presume that the THEORIES derived , or presented as explanation, to have any ultimate bearing towards determining ultimate objective truths. If you wish to do that your not approaching in a scientific fashion and since that seems to be the way the majority of scientists do it we are left with the the conclusion that the majority of scientist arrives at their self serving conclusions because they are not even following the few outlines normally agreed to represent the scientific method.

Even Quantum electrodynamics produces prediction that are about as accurate as getting the distance of L.A. and New York correct down to the length of a human hair.

But how do we really know that? I mean to what are we comparing the result? Tape measures? So there are more than one way to determine that distance down the length of a human hair?
Quantum electrodynamics ( don't even get me started on electrodynamics) is certainly USEFUL but since quantum theory is fundamentally absurd ( no causality in evidence) it's clearly not meant to be a serious scientific theory and is best employed by engineers, not scientist. Engineers don't care if it's 'the truth' , objective, clever, accurate or anything else as long as the bridge last a a thousand years or the pc works long enough not to blow up ( or whatever) before it's replaced with a newer model. As you may surmise i have fare more respect for engineers who's beliefs about reality are tested on a daily basis by those who employ their products.

Quantum physics is about the most well tested theory in the history of science.

Well i don't at all agree but if you were close to the truth that wouldn't say much about the history of science. In fact the history of science more often than not shows that there isn't much good to be said for scientist and their 'methods'. Like all those 'well tested' theories before it it will either be changed significantly or be thrown out entirely.

Scientists DO submit to peer review journals. Even after an article is published, researchers still analyze and critique it.

Scientist who want to get published try to have their worked peer reviewed but as they may or may not know you actually have to employ the same reasoning and principles for your peers to understand what your saying. Much like a monkey inspecting the work of Tesla history has time and again proved that geniuses are not well served by having those who adhere to consensus inspect their work. Who's work gets publishes and who's do not and why were Wegener laughed out of the room if he was ultimately correct? Was his presentation bad and if so what's the point of the scientific method if it can't pick ultimate winners over losers before it's patently obvious for everyone else to see? Isn't that more a question then of a decision to sanction 'the truth' at some specific time when humanity most certainly don't need any more people who wish to tell us 'how things are' at any given time? Where is the benefit to us?

Although sometimes scientists do lie, when they get caught, they get in serious trouble. Here are some examples:

Funnily both were considered to be 'good' scientist and both were published numerous times before they were caught. What does that say about scientific rigour and what does it say about how often to better liars would be caught? Did you notice that both times they were caught by using the same graphs ( the same pictures if you will ) in supposed different experiments? Is that how arrogantly stupid you have to be to get caught? Is that the scale of the misconduct that is allowed before steps are taken? How can you on the one hand argue that the peer review process is both useful to weed out non-sense/science and on the other admit that it can't even catch such obvious liars? Why have the vast majority of peer reviewed papers published not been retracted or redacted as new information became available over the last few decades? Were they all right?


posted on May, 6 2008 @ 04:15 PM

If scientists lied so often just to collect their paycheck, then why would they be willing to come down so hard on those who falsified data?

Why would the police sometimes arrest policemen for the crimes and misdemeanors we know they all commit at one time or another ? You simply HAVE to act against those who abuse their authority too blatantly as you must retain some semblance of credibility when your job depends on public financing. If scientist were to ignore ALL abuses of the scientific method no one would consider it credible and a four or ten years worth of degrees might suddenly not gain anything like the income it used to as major institutions realise that they may not be getting their money's worth.

If everyone lied, wouldn’t the labs and universities involved be doing everything they can to sweep it under the rug.

Your presuming that no one lied to cover up these incidents earlier and that they were simply discovered one monday morning with things being resolved Tuesday morning. That is not how it works and i am confident that a investigation will reveal that their methods were never all that sound and that there were suspicions ( one guy published one paper every week where the norm seems to be half a dozen a year ) about their methods all along. As i said their abuses were so blatant that they had to be dealt with for the sake of larger community.

And usually in these cases, it is the scientists themselves that catch on to what’s happening.

How many others are well informed enough or have access to the data? Why did they get away with publishing so many papers if the peer review process is so rigorous?

When a CEO or some high ranking employee lies, they get a huge bonus, when a member of the Bush administration lies, they win the metal of freedom, when a scientist lies, they get fired.

When a CEO or some high ranking individual tells a lie that provides protection to their peers they are protected at all cost and rewarded for their service just like a Bush administration official will be protected while they serve their 'community' of interest. People will almost always cooperate as long as there is a community of interest but if certain individuals go against the common interest of their specific grouping , and refuse to mend their ways, they will be dealt with to once again protect the common interest. There is no logic fallacy here and it's just a question of how severely the individual overstepped the bounds of their communities tolerances.

These so called “less descriptive and useful” theories helped us make computers and send people to the moon.

That's a question of engineering, not science. When people like you stop confusing science and engineering there might be hope to put scientist in their place but until then people will keep presuming that engineers need to know how the universe works to make devices ( as if you can't just test various methods as is the norm any ways) or that scientist regularly surprises engineers. In fact i would say the average engineer is a far better scientist given how his results are peer 'reviewed' by actual employment in this harsh reality. If we dragged the collective theories of scientist out in broad daylight half will scurry back to a dark corner with most of the rest being too lifeless and stupid to understand that they 'just can't stand up'.

All that site does is provide short paragraphs that really don’t go into any detail at all.

So are you worried about what the details might indicate? Any specific reason why you just wont go find out?

Theories being criticized and scrutinized before supporting evidence comes in is not the same as being suppressed.

But what represents supporting evidence when the theories they will eventually replace obviously had to have had very bad supporting evidence? Doesn't that just say that the volume of evidence in favour has absolutely everything to do with our own subjective reasoning?

Such early criticism is a good thing. Criticism helps us identify potential flaws in a theory.

Which must be why scientist despises public scrutiny and insist on 'peers' reviewing their work? Right? Talk about a incestuous mess.

And in all those examples, the new theories WERE accepted when the experimental results came out. If you were correct, such acceptance would never have happened.

So now reality is determined by 'experimental result' and not by fundamental truth? The world wasn't round until we had experimental results to show as much? What utter nonsense? Are you listening to yourself or do you really believe that the truth only becomes the truth when some people finally decide that they have seen enough evidence? So your basic argument is that scientist accepts the truth , finally, not because it has become impossible to deny ( can't deny the possibility of powered flight with passenger aircraft flying everywhere) but because they just didn't know any better? Why are scientist on the one hand intelligent enough to come up with these grand theories but on the other hand too stupid to notice the writing on the wall until someone writes over it in neon and drags the entire wall to wherever scientist congregates?

In conclusion im no skeptic of scientific achievement but in my view we have been progressing at a tremendously slow pace as compared to what i have seen to be possible by investigation alternatives to widely accepted scientific principles. I am not advocating for a less scientific approach but for one that strictly adheres to the root principles while never losing sight of the fact that reality is not determined by the availability of explanations or theories. I do not believe that we live in a 'matrix' of sorts and simply do not buy into the notion that reality does not exist independent of observation as quantum physics seems to indicate. If that's the best quantum physics can come up with i will ignore it and point out that there was reality before life and maintain that claim until someone shows me that this universe was intelligently designed thus fulfilling the quantum theory's requirement for a external observer.


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