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Spotting Pseudoscience

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What history has taught us is that when we are too solid in our views and the box has been constructed too solidly around us, it takes someone from outside of the box to shatter and revolutionize the current world view.

This was true of Galileo when Aristotle was the box, this was true of Einstein when Newton was the box, and this was true of Darwin when Taxonomy was the box.

Only the most mediocre discoveries come from within the box (micro-evolution), but for macro-evolution to occur we need that lone scientist, thinking and working in his attic.

 

Einstein did not violate any protocols of science. He went into new territory but this had a solid basis (from E&M), was done rigorously, and did not contradict any experimental evidence — three things generally lacking in crackpottery. That's the box we're discussing.

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Yah, crackpot ideas like Magnetic Reconnection, Dark Matter and Energy, Back Holes, etc., you mean? It ALWAYS takes controversy to upset any belief. Beliefs have a way of taking on their own momentum apart from the evidence. Usually every few hundred years the old theories are replaced by new ones as technology advances and new data becomes available. It is those that fight against this new data to merely keep the status quot that do more damage than crackpots. It has happened this way since we invented science. When old theories die you must restructure your educational systems, new books printed, curriculum disrupted, ongoing experiments funding's cut. A financial burden as well. It is no easy matter to change ones ideas about what one thinks controls the universe, let alone the disruption in financial and educational sectors.

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EmField talks about 'belief'. He doesn't talk about experiment, or observation, or falsification, or verification, he talks about 'belief'.

 

Well, we know he has his 'belief'.

 

Too bad for him that 'belief' is not a part of science.

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EmField talks about 'belief'. He doesn't talk about experiment, or observation, or falsification, or verification, he talks about 'belief'.

 

Well, we know he has his 'belief'.

 

Too bad for him that 'belief' is not a part of science.

 

That is because you believe Magnetic Reconnection is possible, although no evidence even suggests it is possible, In fact all the evidence points to its impossibility.

http://maxwell.byu.edu/~spencerr/websumm122/node69.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauss%27s_law_for_magnetism

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02sc-physics-ii-electricity-and-magnetism-fall-2010/magnetic-field/

 

When you find a magnetic monopole let me know and we will discuss magnetic reconnection. Until then any theory that includes it is going contrary to everything we know about magnetic fields. Pseudoscience.

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Magnetic Reconnection?

 

I'd ask what you're talking about, but you've been asked that since you started.

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Magnetic Reconnection?

 

I'd ask what you're talking about, but you've been asked that since you started.

 

Do we need to do a search and see how many of you have supported magnetic reconnection theories to explain events? Half the theories mainstream uses has no basis in reality. And the funniest part of all that, in your need to be important, you will agree with every one. The more ridiculous and arcane the faster you will jump on the bandwagon. Black Holes, a nice mathematical fudge, but far from reality. Even Einstein agreed they are not reality. http://www.cscamm.um...hwarzschild.pdf As a matter of fact you can't even use Schwarzschild's original formula, but instead every modern textbook shows only the corrupted version by David Hilbert. (http://en.wikipedia....rzschild_metric)

 

You wont let any idea that crosses his theory surface, but you will sure ignore him when you want your pet theories.

 

Red-shift from velocity and distance? http://www.sciencedi...030402608000089 Nope, even against what Hubble believed:

Hubble believed that his count data gave a more reasonable result concerning spatial curvature if the redshift correction was made assuming no recession. To the very end of his writings he maintained this position, favouring (or at the very least keeping open) the model where no true expansion exists, and therefore that the redshift "represents a hitherto unrecognized principle of nature. http://en.wikipedia....ki/Edwin_Hubble
See previous link for the hitherto unrecognized principle of nature. Nor even what Einstein believed in:
A static universe, also referred to as a "stationary" or "Einstein" universe, is a model in which space is neither expanding nor contracting. Albert Einstein proposed such a model as his preferred cosmology in 1917.
Since it seems we have discovered the cause of red-shift, plasma, then both Hubble and Einstein were correct after all,
Einstein's static universe is closed (i.e. has hyperspherical topology and positive spatial curvature), and contains uniform dust and a positive cosmological constant
...
After observations indicated that the universe was expanding, most physicists of the twentieth century assumed the cosmological constant is zero. If so (absent some other form of dark energy), the expansion of the universe would be decelerating. However, with the discovery of the accelerating universe, a positive cosmological constant has been revived as a simple explanation for dark energy.

 

So you revived the cosmological constant that you did away with because it pointed to a static universe. And now try to tell me that same constant explains an expanding universe. You disregard how much plasma there is in space: http://www.space.com...nly-bright.html So much it blocks 50% of the light from edge on galaxies, and so thick in interstellar space it blocks 70% of edge on galaxies in deep field images. Throw in even more mass hidden in the light this time instead of the dark: http://www.jpl.nasa....hp?feature=2287 and one begins to wonder why you have not started recalculating the total mass and just how much Dark matter and Dark Energy is really required???

 

And I am more on topic than you, you ignore 99% of the universe (plasma) and then are required to make up about the same amount of fairy dust to explain it.

http://www.nasa.gov/...launchnews.html

You have been avoiding plasma for over 100 years, ignoring every laboratory experiment with it, and you wonder why you are constantly surprised with every new data set.

 

 

Pseudoscience

Edited by EMField

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Using Galileo or Kepler or even Einstein as an example misses the point that this is a modern guide, not one for people dead for decades or centuries.

The reason I hark back to epicycles and phlogiston, is that is the last time when we can generally agree as to what is right and wrong in physics. If we discussed recent events, we would be at cross purposes; because you believe that things like quarks, gluons, dark matter and the Higgs field show how incredibly successful modern collaboration is. Whilst to me these things prove that deciding the laws of nature by committee, just weaves a tangled web of garbage.

 

Obviously most theories by lone geniuses are going to be rubbish, because almost all new ideas are wrong whoever comes up with them. But the point is that modern physics is so religiosised that it would surely be impossible for any mainstream physicist to come up with anything really controversial, so the only place a revolutionary idea could come from is an outsider working in isolation.

 

Physicists dismissing the idea of a modern lone genius, is wishful thinking and a self-fulfilling prophesy. The more they say it is impossible, the more they get to believe their own propaganda. So when a lone genius does get it right, they are in a perfect position to ignore the substance of the theory, and instead reject it on the grounds that everybody knows it is impossible nowadays for a lone genius to take on the might of the scientific establishment.

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But the point is that modern physics is so religiosised that it would surely be impossible for any mainstream physicist to come up with anything really controversial, so the only place a revolutionary idea could come from is an outsider working in isolation.

 

 

This point is frequently raised, but always by non-scientists who have no idea how scientific research is done or how the scientific community interacts.

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This point is frequently raised, but always by non-scientists who have no idea how scientific research is done or how the scientific community interacts.

So you are arguing that all points made by non-scientists, can be disregarded, because the people making the points are not true believers? So you would never criticise a political decision because you are not a politician, or a religion because you are not a priest?

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So you are arguing that all points made by non-scientists, can be disregarded, because the people making the points are not true believers?

 

What an amazing ability you have to generalize from a specific!

 

I am stating that this statment:

modern physics is so religiosised that it would surely be impossible for any mainstream physicist to come up with anything really controversial, so the only place a revolutionary idea could come from is an outsider working in isolation
is always made, when it is made, by a non-scientist who doesn't know what he's talking about.

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I am stating that this statement: is always made, when it is made, by a non-scientist who doesn't know what he's talking about.

Actually James Lovelock shares the view, and he is certainly one of the greatest living scientists; although he does not get proper recognition, presumably because he works outside the scientific mainstream, does not talk nonsense, and is an able-bodied white male. You can search for a BBC programme called 'Beautiful Minds', if you are interested.

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Mainstream ignore Kristian Birkeland for 42 years, ridiculing him even, until satellites were launched and proved him correct. Yet to this day there is no talk of the Birkleland currents that he predicted, nor the charge that must be flowing, instead they doggedly insist space is electrically neutral against all evidence to the contrary. They are blinded by their own religion, for that is what modern science has become. Science by faith and not data.

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I've been called a "Pseudoscientist" and thought I was being complimented and encouraged. Duuuugh. I wonder if any psuedoscientists have ever come up with true scientific fact and/or later found it was not pseudoscience but real science?

 

Perhaps definitions will help.

 

I have read many science-minded writers who seem quick-draws when it comes to debunking but their language is full of words and phrases that suggest over-filtered Opinions and they are very defensive of their ideas. At least their attitudes seem to blindly stick them to old ideas without any reconsiderations

 

Eienstein seemed to think that as far as intelligence goes, imagination is more important than knowledge. Also, he seemed to follow absurdity.

Edited by pcalton

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I wonder if any psuedoscientists have ever come up with true scientific fact and/or later found it was not pseudoscience but real science?

One example is Erasto Mpemba http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpemba_effect

who observed that hot water sometimes freezes faster than cold water.

 

What's interesting is that I don't think he did anything pseudoscientific, but he was denounced by scientists who assumed the effect was impossible.

 

This shows that there is not really a clear division between pseudoscientists and scientists, because either group can do things properly and either can do things wrong. "Real" scientists usually learn what they're doing with formal education, and are typically more familiar with how to spot and avoid pseudoscience. But I think that in any field of study one can get complacent and take some knowledge for granted, like in the example above:wrongly assuming that hot water must pass through the same state as cold water on its way to freezing, so must take longer.

 

I think that anyone who got interested in science as a hobby or as amateurs, and then worked at it and studied and learned to do it right, may be included in your list. Science itself develops with the efforts of many over the years, so not all could have started off doing it right, if they themselves helped develop the right way to do it.

 

Edit: Additional answers:

http://ask.metafilter.com/167792/What-was-once-Pseudoscience-that-is-today-Accepted-Science

http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/Analytical_Chemistry/Quantifying_Nature/The_Scientific_Method/Science_vs._Pseudo-science%3A_Limitations_of_the_Scientific_Method#From_Pseudo-Science_to_Science

Edited by md65536

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You are likely mistaken. Pseudoscience attempts to fake the correct application of scientific principals. Science can sometimes be practiced badly. It's an important distinction.

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You are likely mistaken. Pseudoscience attempts to fake the correct application of scientific principals. Science can sometimes be practiced badly. It's an important distinction.

That's true. Someone points out in the first "additional answers" link I posted that many of the examples aren't pseudoscience.

 

Pseudoscience attempts to fake application of science, but very often the ones doing it don't realize they're doing it. They "don't know what it is that they don't know." Other times it is an intentional attempt to fake it, like with people who know the principles but find some reason to reject them (I'm thinking of climate deniers, or people who fight against science with alternative pseudoscience).

 

However, I think that if someone presents incorrect facts, and falsely claims that science backs up their arguments, then they're probably faking it, even if they don't know they're faking it. If they try to apply principles and make a mistake, that's something else. Applying scientific principles incorrectly but assuming it's correct due to nothing but overconfidence in one's knowledge certainly fits your definition of pseudoscience, whether it's done by scientists or amateurs.

 

Yes, getting science wrong isn't pseudoscience. But getting it wrong yet claiming it's right, while skipping over any attempt at scientific reasoning, or providing evidence or proof etc., must be?

Edited by md65536

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A nice exposition about Quantum Physics Woo... and how it makes many of us feel. 8-)

 

 

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A piece about sorting the wheat from the chaff in news articles and honing your BS detector to be more accurate.

 

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Something else that makes something likely to be pseudoscience is if it's in the field of physics and has no maths.

not always because newton made his maths after he made ideas about gravity

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