The Importance of Pseudosciences

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience' started by Asexperia, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    You got pixie dust all over my screen.
     
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  3. KUMAR5 Registered Senior Member

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    Is is true that pseudoscience or many pseudoscience served as base material or clues to science? Science would had just presented these in more disciplined, accurate & systematic way.
     
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    No.

    Historically that was true, to some extent. Alchemy and astrology did not become distinct from astronomy and chemistry until the application of the true scientific method had weeded out the ideas that had no scientific basis. This took about a couple of hundred years to do.

    But pseudoscience today seems to be almost entirely the cultivation of ideas which have already failed the tests of science.

    Homeopathy, for instance, is a good example of something for which not only does its "theory" fly in the face of science, but observation has shown it doesn't work either. And yet it refuses to die, in this case due to the large commercial interest there is in making money out of naive people.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  7. KUMAR5 Registered Senior Member

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    I was talking, how science get clues to research any new understanding . I feel, many from from ancient but unproven understandings Probably idea of astronomy, chemistry etc might have received from astrology, alchemy etc.
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Before the rise of the disciplined way of thinking that constitutes natural science, at the European Renaissance, scientific and unscientific ideas about nature tended to be mixed up. It was not so much that alchemy gave ideas to chemistry, for instance, but that the distinction between the two only became clear once scientific thinking was established. In the case of alchemy, it was not the ideas but the practical techniques that proved useful, once chemistry arose.

    Today, any alleged physical phenomenon is open to scientific study and as a result most pseudoscience claims have already been tested and found to be false...which is why they are classed as pseudoscience. After all, as post 30 points out, "pseudo-" means "lying" or "false", which is a label one can only attach to an idea after examining it according to scientific criteria.

    For instance, you may recall in a previous thread evidence was provided to show that the claims of effectiveness of homeopathy have been subjected to testing and found to be false - just as the theory of chemistry predicted they would be. So in that case we can have a high degree of confidence that there are no scientific insights to be learned from studying it further. It is a black and white case: both the (ludicrous) theory and the practical techniques of homeopathy can safely be dismissed.

    But there are modern methods of medical treatment, such as osteopathy, acupuncture and even chiropractic, in which although again the theory is evidently pseudoscience, the techniques are argued by some to have a degree of utility in practice, especially for some forms of back pain. So I suppose it is possible that some scientific insights may be gained from them.
     
  9. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    Have you ever seen the recipe for making mice? Carl Sagan pointed out that the result was as expected but the means were totally misleading. Astrology, alchemy, etc., have no discipline, so they would do more harm than good in the evolution of scientific rigor.
     
  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    To some extent. For instance, folk medicine sometimes works, even though they don't know why. That can lead to medicines like aspirin. Perhaps local legends of a strange creature leads to the discovery of a new species.
     
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  11. KUMAR5 Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, many older theories remained unproven in science. However, science is still not final. We do not know, what comes tomorrow. I do not understand that, how many older systems unproven in science still exist in people at mass. I feel side affects matter much for it.
    However, I was saying science should have got many clues from older systems to research further and introduce in a systematic form.
     
  12. KUMAR5 Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, science has presented these systems in a disciplined way with different names.
     
  13. KUMAR5 Registered Senior Member

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    Science research is going on, no yet absolute & final. No one knows, what come tomorrow. Yes, many older ideas should have brought new species of science understandings in more disciplined form with different names.
     
  14. river

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    These so called " pseudosciences " is more about the paradigm of those names who went before .

    We , the people need to understand that , modern science is cought up in the past , 1900th century thinking . And further back , much further back .
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    All theories in science remain permanently unproven. This is intrinsic to science.
     
  16. river

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    Now that is a statement of all statements .

    exchemist , do you really know what you just said ?
     
  17. KUMAR5 Registered Senior Member

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    Shocking. DO People accept scientific things as unproven thing?
     
  18. KUMAR5 Registered Senior Member

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    I think, he bit overshooted. He might had meant not fully proven. In sense, partially proven.
     
  19. river

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    What things ?
     
  20. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    No, science proved they were absurd and found the correct way to study those "systems".
     
  21. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    You know more about science than any new born babe.
     
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Not at all.

    Here we go again.... This is something I and others here have often been called upon to explain, to people unfamiliar with the nature of science. But no problem to repeat - it is one of the reasons a forum like this one exists.

    In science, the only proven facts are reproducible observations of nature. All the theories that attempt to explain observations, and to predict what further observations can be expected, are models of nature that are strictly speaking only provisional. History shows us that the models (theories) of science are occasionally shown to be either wrong or incomplete. Newtonian mechanics is a classic example. We still use it for the vast majority of mechanical problems, with great success, but we know it cannot account properly for the behaviour of entities at the atomic scale, or for objects travelling relative to one another at close to the speed of light. For such phenomena we need quantum theory and special relativity respectively.

    Does that mean Newtonian mechanics is "wrong"? Well yes and no. It is just that we have found it seems to be only an approximation, valid under certain conditions and needs to be supplemented by these more complete theories, once one moves away from those conditions. So it is an incomplete description of nature.

    It was Karl Popper who pointed out that any theory in science can in principle be "falsified", i.e. shown to be wrong or incomplete, by a new and unexpected observation that does not fit the theory. Whereas, regardless of how many millions of observations one makes that do fit the theory, none of those can ever possibly prove that tomorrow some new and unexpected observation will not occur that overturns it. A scientific theory is therefore falsifiable but never provable.

    Now, in practice there are many, many theories that are so successful, and that have never been found unable to account for observations, that we accept them from day to day as if they are "true". But this "truth" remains only provisional, even if we as scientists "believe" it to be "true" for practical purposes.

    Where pseudoscience fails, by comparison, is that the theory is not supported by reproducible observations. My earlier post 50 on this thread summarises the difference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  23. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Senior Member

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    They confuse "theory" and "law" due to willful ignorance.
     

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