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Dudley Dowell
pseudo-science
science
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 - 12:00 AM

What is the difference between science and pseudo-science?


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Bo Bennett, PhD
Host, Doctor of Social Psychology

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Bo Bennett, PhD

Host, Doctor of Social Psychology

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About Bo Bennett, PhD

I am the host of this show :) For my complete bio, please see http://www.bobennett.com.
PrintWed, Dec 31, 2014 - 12:00 AM
While there is no clear line between science and pseudo-science (an area of study masquerading as science), there are areas of study that very clearly fall in one of the two categories. Think of this like baldness. There are some who are clearly bald, and some who clearly are not, but there are also those in between. When we talk about what is a science vs. pseudo-science, we generally find that most areas of study fall clearly into one of the categories with many containing elements of the other category. For example, astrology is clear pseudo-science (to virtually all members of the scientific community), however, it may make use of some scientific data and/or methodology such as the change in the gravitational force of the full moon but then leave the realm of science by making unwarranted causal claims (e.g., full moons make people crazy). In the science category, cosmology is clearly a science (to virtually all members of the scientific community), however, claims of the multi-verse might be construed as pseudo-scientific because of their unfalsifiability.

The following chart was created by the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe and outlines the differences nicely.




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