Hello, I have a Question on pseudoscience
Posted: 11 April 2010 06:23 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi Im Chance.  I was wondering if any of you could give me some advise?  I was recently assigned to do a paper on pseudoscience and I am now one ounce familiar with the topic.  I think it is something that claims to be a science but really isnt, but some people think it is but there isnt enough proof to prove it is one or there is proof it isn’t one and believers just wont give it up. Am i on the right track?  Also besides any advise on this topic (which would be greatly appreciated)  is there any good sites I can use to find more info on this?

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Posted: 11 April 2010 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It would probably be easier if you decide which particular pseudoscience you want to do a paper on. There are so many that are wrong in so many different ways that it would be easier if you pick one, THEN ask. If you want to keep it general, you can do a paper on the scientific process, and then explain why the pseudosciences fail.

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Posted: 11 April 2010 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Themann - 11 April 2010 06:23 PM

Hi Im Chance.  I was wondering if any of you could give me some advise?  I was recently assigned to do a paper on pseudoscience and I am now one ounce familiar with the topic.  I think it is something that claims to be a science but really isnt, but some people think it is but there isnt enough proof to prove it is one or there is proof it isn’t one and believers just wont give it up. Am i on the right track?  Also besides any advise on this topic (which would be greatly appreciated)  is there any good sites I can use to find more info on this?

You’re asking a very big question, Themann. A pseudoscience is something that sounds like a science (”pseudo”) but isn’t.

To make this clear, we have then to figure out what it is for something to actually be a science. That involves the scientific method. Typically, pseudosciences are studies or belief systems that use the trappings of science (words, instruments, etc.) without using the scientific method. So, for example, the ghost-hunters on TV typically are pseudoscientific. They use the trappings of science (using scientific instruments, etc.) without actually doing science.

To find out more about pseudoscience I’d suggest starting with back issues of Skeptical Inquirer magazine and the Skeptic’s Dictionary.

And welcome to the CFI Forum. Hope you’ll stick around!

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Posted: 11 April 2010 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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OK thank you.  I plan to have picked a main topic for my paper by tomorrow morning.

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Posted: 11 April 2010 08:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Take a look at this posting just put up at a very good site for Science. It is about homeopathy, and one of the videos discusses science vs pseudosciences, as well as a very tragic case.
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=4649#comments

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Posted: 11 April 2010 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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If you end up choosing the pseudoscience topic Homeopathy I’ve compiled some starter links at this thread:
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/7084/

Brian Dunning’s Skeptoid podcast often debunks a wide range of pseudoscience: http://skeptoid.com/
A video he did regarding pseudoscience: http://herebedragonsmovie.com/

Wikipedia is always a good place to start an investigation for more sources and general info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoscience

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Posted: 12 April 2010 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Welcome.  I am not sure which sites could help you with this endeavor.  There are some good sites that cover this, but I don’t have that list available currently.  I suggest starting with Doug’s suggestions though.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 12 April 2010 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Themann - 11 April 2010 06:23 PM

pseudoscience?

I think it is something that claims to be a science,
but really isn’t,
but some people think it is,
but there isn’t enough proof to prove it is one,
or there is proof it isn’t one,
and believers just wont give it up.

excuse my juggling your words,
but I think you did a great job of summing it up.
although I suspect your professor expects more words, so you better listen to the others cheese

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Posted: 14 April 2010 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks for the tips ill check out those links

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Posted: 14 April 2010 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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i had to pick 5 topics and go into depth on one. i picked cryptozoology, homeopathy, astrology, ufology(is that correct? thats what i found for the name for UFO studies), and telepathy.  I chose cryptozoology for my main one.

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