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The skeptic's Dictionary
 The Skeptic's Dictionary
The skeptic's Dictionary is for sale at Amazon.com. Both new and used available.












A students page for Physics 105, a practical introduction to the physics and science in everyday life designed for the non-science student.
Wizard

Pseudoscience



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Some theories have been empirically tested and rather than being confirmed they seem either to have been falsified or to require numerous ad hoc hypotheses to sustain them, e.g., astrology, biorhythms, facilitated communication, plant perception, and ESP. Yet, despite seemingly insurmountable evidence contrary to the theories, adherents won't give them up.

Some pseudoscientific theories rely on ancient myths and legends rather than on physical evidence, even when their interpretations of those legends either requires a belief contrary to the known laws of nature or to established facts, e.g., Velikovsky's, von Dniken's, and Sitchen's theories.

Some pseudoscientific theories are supported mainly by selective use of anecdotes, intuition, and examples of confirming instances, e.g., anthropometry, aromatherapy, craniometry, graphology, metoposcopy, personology, and physiognomy.

Covering subjects such as; alchemy, astrology, astrotherapy, auras, Avatar, biorhythms, cartomancy, chiromancy, craniometry, divination, enneagram, graphology, hypnosis, I Ching, iridology, metoposcopy, multiple personality, isorder, Myers-Briggs, Ouija board, palmistry, past life regression, personology, phrenology, physiognomy, reflexology, Rorschach ink blot test, runes, scapulimancy, stichomancy and tarot cards.


The Skeptic's Dictionary -Pseudoscience   [New Window]

"A pseudoscience is set of ideas based on theories put forth as scientific when they are not scientific."

"Scientific theories are characterized by such things as (a) being based upon empirical observation rather than the authority of some sacred text; (b) explaining a range of empirical phenomena; (c) being empirically tested in some meaningful way, usually involving testing specific predictions deduced from the theory; (d) being confirmed rather than falsified by empirical tests or with the discovery of new facts; (e) being impersonal and therefore testable by anyone regardless of personal religious or metaphysical beliefs; (f) being dynamic and fecund, leading investigators to new knowledge and understanding of the interrelatedness of the natural world rather than being static and stagnant leading to no research or development of a better understanding of anything in the natural world; and (g) being approached with skepticism rather than gullibility...." -[copyright 2002 - Robert Todd Carroll]-

Science & Pseudoscience Review in Mental Health   [New Window]

"The Review" is more formally the Science and Pseudoscience Review Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT).

Anti-Quackery WebRing.

This ring is for sites that combat & debunk health-related frauds, myths, fads, and fallacies, and are more interested in real, objective, scientific proof, than in the speculative, subjective, and unproven theories and anecdotes of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM)

Occultopedia   [New Window]

"The whole of beliefs, knowledge and practices known as "the occult" could be with every reason regarded as the beginnings of the modern day sciences. Alchemy was the direct ancestor of chemistry, astrology the forerunner of astronomy, magnetism the predecessor of hypnotism; medicine evolved from magic, zoology from crude medieval bestiaries and mineralogy from primitive crystal mysticism. We can also trace many of the early processes of philosophy, psychology and theology to these same unorthodox roots."-[Copyright Occultopedia]-

Directories & Guides

Pseudoscience/Paranormal/Skepticism Home Page for PHY105   [New Window]

Resources for Selected Areas of Pseudoscience and Paranormal Phenomena, and for Skeptical Perspective. This page includes links to documents by promoters and advocates, as well as by skeptics and critics.  This page includes links to documents by promoters and advocates, as well as by skeptics and critics. There is a notice taht states; "This page is no longer maintained. The course for which it was developed ended in 2004." However, the resources are still available and in my opinion is still to be considered a good Guide.

Pseudoscience at Wikipedia®         [New Window]

"Pseudoscience is a methodology, belief, or practice that is claimed to be scientific, or that is made to appear to be scientific, but which does not adhere to an appropriate scientific methodology, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lacks scientific status. The term comes from the Greek prefix pseudo- (false or pretending) and science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge"). An early recorded use of the term was in 1843 by the French physiologist François Magendie.

As taught in certain introductory science classes, pseudoscience is any subject that appears superficially to be scientific, or whose proponents state that it is scientific, but which nevertheless contravenes the testability requirement or substantially deviates from other fundamental aspects of the scientific method. The term is inherently pejorative, because it is used to assert that something is being inaccurately or deceptively portrayed as science, and those labeled as practicing or advocating it normally dispute the characterization." -[Wikipedia®]-

Don Lancaster's Pseudoscience Library        [New Window]

This site starts with a good description of Pseudoscience;  what the Houynnyhymms politely termed "That which is not so". Ludicrosities such as free energy, alien abductions, cold fusion, UFO's, or perpetual motion.

There are three levels of pseudoscience:
  • Tain't likley, McGee.
  • Boy, a whole flock of 'em flew over that time.
  • What are they on, and where do we get some of it?
Because so much of it is so mesmerizingly awful, much of pseudoscience makes for wondrously fascinating reading.
Pseudoscientific Arguments - A Simple Guide For Proving Anything          [New Window]

Good article by an Australian psychology student; "...In my view, science should be accessible to everyone; but there's a lot of unreliable information flying around on the internet. So now, rather than write about science, I've found myself writing mainly about pseudoscience. It's basically science without all the things that are supposed to make it science. Some people use pseudoscience to promote and sell their products, services, or ideas. It sounds like science, but it's not. It's gibberish dressed up as science..."   -[Soolin McCauley]-