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Thread: Science/pseudoscience

  1. Top | #11
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Pseudoscience generally starts with the conclusion they want then "searches for evidence" to support that conclusion.

    Science generally starts with a question then poses and tests hypotheses for validity by trying to falsify the hypotheses.

  2. Top | #12
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    You could try to measure with precision when the results become 'pseudoscience', but I'd just call professional studies in the softer sciences more difficult to nail down and repeat.
    If a discipline has no established underlying material substrate upon which theory can be based or if there is no existing continuously evolving theory based on established material systems (chemistry comes out of physics, biology comes out of chemistry and physics, neuroscience comes out of biology, chemistry and physics, ...) then there is no basis for calling it a science.

    Of course one could argue that something like Theory of History comes out of subsets of primary sciences if one chooses to build that case. It would be really challenging.

    Normally those interested in using such analogies do a lot of handwaving without connecting dots or even disciplines. These wind up being the invalid links between soft science and pseudoscience. That is to say that unless one explicitly builds from material elements of primary science into a structural basis for whatever soft science one wishes to promote one is building pseudoscience.

  3. Top | #13
    Deus Meumque Jus
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    You could try to measure with precision when the results become 'pseudoscience', but I'd just call professional studies in the softer sciences more difficult to nail down and repeat.
    If a discipline has no established underlying material substrate upon which theory can be based or if there is no existing continuously evolving theory based on established material systems (chemistry comes out of physics, biology comes out of chemistry and physics, neuroscience comes out of biology, chemistry and physics, ...) then there is no basis for calling it a science.

    Of course one could argue that something like Theory of History comes out of subsets of primary sciences if one chooses to build that case. It would be really challenging.

    Normally those interested in using such analogies do a lot of handwaving without connecting dots or even disciplines. These wind up being the invalid links between soft science and pseudoscience. That is to say that unless one explicitly builds from material elements of primary science into a structural basis for whatever soft science one wishes to promote one is building pseudoscience.
    It'd make for an interesting project to look at the science that's been done in a field like Sociology.

    I can read Berger's Social Construction of Reality which is a great book with a lot of insight, but I have no idea where it's ideas are coming from or founded in. Was it basically a philosophy built on observation, or derived in some empirical way?

    I hazard a guess that many Sociology studies are done without connection to other disciplines, as you say, where patterns are found but not always fully understood. Hey.. the 19th century wasn't that long ago.

  4. Top | #14
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    rousseau you should go back and look at the History Social Psychology in America. You might bump in to Kurt Lewin, also known as the father of Sociology lurking there with his Hodological space Model for the approaching/attraction and withdrawing/repulsion Adapted from Vector Topology model which conveniently came along about then.

  5. Top | #15
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    It is the demarcation problem as Ipetrich put it.

    Intialy Einsteins ideas wre dismissed as preposterous by mainstream scince. The idea that time was not absolute was phi;lisophicaly troubling.

    I listen to Coast To Coast AM on the radio for entertainment. If you want to understand the difference between science and pseudo science listen to the show or go online. George Nory.

    Did you know that if you put mushrooms in the sunlight it will absorb vitamin D from the light?
    Did you know oil is constantly being made in the Earth and oil wells will refill?

    Religion is mythology and supernatural, not pseudo science.

  6. Top | #16
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Oh when religion is presented as explanation of things in the world it is pseudoscience.

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    Stephen T-B
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    I had in mind Creation "Science".

    A deliberately misleading misnomer.

    What muddies the water is that there are scientists whose normal areas of work require them to follow the scientific method, qualifying them as scientists, but they abandon the scientific method where it leads to conclusions which contradict the religious beliefs they cling to. Yet they are presented by their fellow believers as bringing science to the criticism of those "unacceptable" conclusions.

  8. Top | #18
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Doing something by protocol is not different from doing something by ritual in discipline. Holding two contrary views, one in objective terms the other under subjective presumptions is doable, normal, and sane. It's a bit like working while sober versus working while drunk. Different behaviors are expected.

  9. Top | #19
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    In terms pf overlapping lifespans Jesus just happened a few years ago, metaphorically.

    Modern science is only 100 or so years old. Christianity has the human inertia of 2000 years.

    Until the early 20th century religion and mythology in general was he main way to answer perennial questions.

    There are Native Americans who insist on living on reservations in semi isolation emerged in old beliefs.

    Sveince provides quantitative knowledge that can do physical things. Religion provides comfort.

  10. Top | #20
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Wrong, though it may be true that superstition and belief in faeries informs most peoples' decision making right up to the present in most cultures STEM continued to rise throughout the last 2000 years.

    When rationalism and engineering collapsed with Rome around 500 AD Middle eastern science and mathematics began to bloom and continued to do so for about 600 years. China also had technological boom around 1100 and the Renaissance arrived around the time Venice flowered in about 1300. What we call modern science arose in England and Germany in the 17th-18th centuries. There's a bit of wiggle room on all the above but it does show that STEM continued right through the dark ages.

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