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Pseudoscience for the Responsible [Rules of Engagement]

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It seems that pseudoscience, while often colourful, sometimes stimulating and - on occasion - entertaining, suffers from shortcomings which are dependent on the wielder of the hypothesis under scrutiny.


Unlike conventional scientific theory, which is based upon a continually progressing and narrowing identification of event-level observations that can be demonstrated and explained via the scientific method, there is no unilateral standard within pseudoscience that restricts any one individual or group of individuals to a single approach to any given problem.


Without such control, it is only a matter of time before any pseudoscience hypothesis spins wildly out of control. I cite most of the threads in this forum as evidence.


Additionally, it is not always possible to move from Step 1: Observation & Hypothesis, to Step 3: Theory.

The reason for this is that without specific protocols and the will to apply them to their fullest extent, anyone wishing to propound a pseudoscientific idea is more likely to rely on hyperbole, flights of the imagination and 'joining the dots' to mould the observations into a shape that fits with a predetermined conclusion. As we have seen many times over this sort of approach does not last long.


So where to go from here? The aspiring pseudoscientists among us (Hi Zarkov) need some flashcards methinks.



  1. The failure of an individual to accept, understand or believe a widely accepted theorem or principle does not make that theorem or principle incorrect. As such, it cannot be cast aside whenever convenient.
  2. Because of (1), where an established theorem or principle clashes with a pseudoscientific hypothesis, the observed effects upon which the theorem or principle are based should be explained in terms of the pseudo hypothesis.
  3. If (2) is not possible, the pseudo hypothesis must incorporate full proof as to why the theorem or principle is incorrect.
  4. When new information is presented of which the pseudoscientist was previously ignorant, and which contradicts any part of the hypothesis, the hypothesis should be reviewed rather than argued over.
  5. Dogma is no substitute for data.
  6. Attack is not the best form of defence. A good hypothesis should not need to be defended.
  7. Criticism is not necessarily cynicism.
  8. Passing off any hypothesis as fact, science or truth is nothing short of pure folly, regardless of whether or not the hypothesis is pseudoscientific.
  9. Playing the intellectual property card in order to refrain from posting evidence is not justifiable. All members' IP addresses are logged with every post, and associated with the username for which they have registered personal details.
  10. Finally, a word of caution to the Pseudoscience Lite masses. While striving to be different is an admirable quality, it is in no way a good reason to cast aside whichever scientifically established theories one can find outlandish alternatives to. There comes a point where it just gets silly (re: Nasca Lines thread. Yes, satire.)


Did I miss anything out?

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Pseudoscience is discarding methodology in favor of seeking ways to convince others of the validity of an idea or phenomenon without evidence or in spite of contrary evidence.

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