Pseudoscience or Science?

What is pseudoscience?

And how can you distinguish it from real science?

Click on the above links to begin your research.

One way to detect pseudoscience is to be observant of claims that are made, yet not tested under scientific conditions. Remember that scientific claims should be reproducible, predictable, and testable.  Isn’t it just easier to imagine that these actions have been taken rather than investigate it all for ourselves? Not only are we lazy, but apparently we are biologically hardwired to see patterns which seem to confirm our bias. To learn more about this idea, see this presentation by Michael Shermer

Please reply to this post by explaining pseudoscience and by providing at least one example that you encounter in your everyday experiences and observations.  What makes your example pseudoscience? What scientific thinking could be applied to test the claims that are made? How can you defend yourself against such claims?

49 thoughts on “Pseudoscience or Science?

  1. A pseudo-science is something that claims to be scientific but can’t be tested because hypothesises are too vague. My example for this would be creationism becuase some people claim some phenomina to be ‘acts of god’ and that it is scientific that our world could have been created in 7 days. I can defend myself against this by showing them evidence of billions of years of life with the fossils of dinosaurs.

  2. Pseudoscience is an idea that can never be proven by experience. It is proposed as a scientific theory that has never been confirmed. A great example of pseudoscience are UFOs because there have been claims of their existence but they can’t ever be tested with scientific evidence. Crop circles have been seen as shapes formed by UFOs but they have never been confirmed.

  3. Pseudo-science is a claim that has not been proven scientifically. For example the zombie acopolypse that was caused by the incident of drug over dose. This is pseudo-science because it is caused by the movies that were about zombies which causes people to believe.

  4. It is really intresting how he saw pictures evern without the outline and how the girlskissed a monkey and felt the good becuase they believed it was the guys.

  5. pseudoscience is a belief or process that disguises as science and can’t be tested or proven. An example of pseudoscience is: Back in the days, some people thought that Earth was flat. It couldn’t be proven though, and it wasn’t until later, that it was proven that Earth was round

  6. Pseudo-science is false science or theory, for example in science people thought that the world was flat but was discovered later that the world was round.

  7. Pseudoscience is a scientific theory or belief that is based on unscientific or untested assumptions. An example of this is racism. Some people believed that there was biological evidence to support their conclusion that a certain ethnicity was inferior when in fact it was untested and completely untrue.

  8. How is selectivity benificial for you? And, is selectivity benificial for others too?

  9. Pseudo-science is having an idea or theory that somewhat explains the what occurs or why it happens. An example is creationism vs evolution, public schools now debate whether or not we should teach “evolution” because it can offend religion. Creationism is the thought of the world made by a greater force. Evolution is the thought that we exist from a development through generation and generations. This is all pseudo-science, because we’ll never exist to witness or test if any of these theories are true. I won’t exist to determine which origin of life is more correct, because they both have holes and flaws.

    • Do you think “evolution” is important even though it is just a thought? And, can “evolution” be more than just a thought?

  10. I thought that this was a cool idea for an example of pseudo-science. Your example reminded me of the zodiacs. Do you think the Zodiacs are pseudo-science?

  11. Pseudoscience is a science that is not nearly all science. Pseudoscience is like religion/beliefs that people put into science form and claims as it science.For example people would think that astroglogy is a type of science. It is the study of the astronomy,but some study the movement of stars and planets to help predicts one fate,but to acknowledge it as a study of science is rare to many scientist. The study of astrology is a mixture of one beliefs on how your fate can be determine by the movements of stars and planets.

    • I think astrology is somewhat true, but its really what we think. Its like that one trick that doctors use on patients. They’re sick, so a doctor “prescribes” medication. When it is really just a sugar pill. The patient thinks they’re cured, its what the mind sets us to think. Personally I strongly believe that a Zodiac is accurate to determine my fate, because I witness and experience it.

      • but doesn’t your belief that it is true effect how you interpret what your being told?

  12. I think an example of pseudoscience would be how clouds are shape in the sky because I see shapes and figures of animals or everyday symbols such as the cross on the church, hearts for valentines, animals like dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. My example is pseudoscience by how I picture the clouds is shaped in my mind but the clouds were already shape like that. I think theories, hypothesizes, observations and laws could be applied to test the claims. Yes, I can defend myself by proving the claims wrong or right using the scientific theories, laws or methods.

    • I agree with your thought, but I think we can only determine the truth and law behind life is to actually experience it, rather just using numbers and other ways to predict what something may be or look like.

  13. i think that pseudo-science is a collection of beliefs mistakenly observed as being based on scientific method.

  14. I think pseudo science is about selectivity. During the auction on Gila’s scientific term selectivity, the image she drew to represent her word was the vase/two faces. If you focus on the black colors, it is the two faces image and if you focus on the white color, it is the vase. In the video, I remembered hearing about Type I and Type II errors. This reminded me about how I reacted when I was home alone. I was home with my little sister Rosemary. When I was in my parent’s room, I heard footsteps in the hallway. I was so scared, so I picked up the fly swapper and used it as a weapon. I walked out slowly, thinking to myself: is it a ghost? a thief? I was still scared, but then it turned out to be my uncle only. I made an error, thinking it was a ghost/thief, but it was just my uncle.

    • Do you think assuming conclusions could errors just like how you mistaken the sound of footsteps of ghost or theif for your uncle?

  15. Pseudoscience means an idea that claims to be scientific but lack empirical evidence. Science has empirical evidence and pseudoscience doesn’t. For example, one time I was home alone and I heard someone calling my name but no one was there but me. My mom told me that if someone called your name and you are alone by yourself don’t answer it because it might be a ghost. My example is pseudoscience because I didn’t see it but only hear it and empirical evidence means a source of knowledge acquire observation or experiment. I also didn’t test it and I don’t have any prove so my example is a pseudoscience. Scientists had made a ghost finding device that which measured the temperature in the rooms. They believe that a ghost brings in a cold presence like a cold wind blow in the rooms although there is no prove on what so ever that they exist.

    • In order to defend myself from pseudoscience, I must prove what I hear or what I believe to see if it’s true.

    • Many cultures have different beliefs over this topic, do you think that the more people that believe in something the more possible it is?

      • Well, I think yes because if the more people believe it then the more chances that there might be a ghost or ghosts out there.

      • What type of evidence would be needed to convince everyone that ghosts exist? Considering many people claim to have video and audio evidence of ghosts but everyone is still skeptical.

  16. The belief of therapeutic touch where a healer or priest passes his or her hands to heal a person is an example of pseudoscience. I believe the scientific thinking of a rationalist can be applied to test whether or not the belief of therapeutic touch truly works. Moreover to defend myself against pseudoscience claims I strongly believe in the saying “Its not about what you know it’s about what you can prove.”

  17. Pseudo-science is ideas or claims that are scientific, but does not have any scientific support or evidence. An example of this would be ghosts. Their has been claims of finding ghosts by using thermometers to find the temperature in rooms. Scientists test temperatures in rooms because it is believed that the presence of ghosts can cause a change in the temperature of the room, however there has been no real proof of the existence of ghosts.

    • I think this is a terrific example of pseudoscience. In my opinion, I believe in ghosts. I think that ghosts are considered fake because people make claims that proofs of ghosts are somehow edited. Therefore, it makes it harder for other people to believe.

    • Do you believe that ghosts exist?
      If yes, then do you believe that there is a change in temperature when there are ghosts?

      • leslie, are u saying that if temperature involves in ghost, then it isnt pseudoscience?

    • I like the example im not sure whether I believe or not. Theres moments where stories seem so true but then some stories seem so unbelievable. I find this topic to be a form of entertainiment instead of science.

  18. Pseudoscience is fake science where its claims are generally broad and have exceptions for every time it crosses a counter example. An example of pseudoscience is 2012. Everybody believes in 2012 but its not scientifically proven to be true.

  19. Pseudoscience is a belief that is claimed to be science but is not proven or tested. I beleieve an example is when someone reads the lins o the palm of your hands. This is pseudoscience because the “fortue teller” is telleing you your future based on lines but it hasnt been shown or experimented.

    • I think that your example of pseudoscience is really interesting. My sister had had her palms read. I think that she was in a desperate situation that made her scared. Though, I think that she had gone to get her palms read because a religious belief rather than a scientific belief. I highly doubt that she was thinking scientifically.

    • culture is a great impact in society but to what point can we trust fortune tellers and from where do the get their power to read hands or is it just a joke?

  20. selectivity: being bias seeing towards one way and not want to see the other way. through out the day i favor ideas that would be benificial towards me.
    pseudo-science: its a belief claimes to be related to science but has not been justified by science.