from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A theory, methodology, or practice that is considered to be without scientific foundation.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun False or pretended science; a pretended science.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun Any body of
knowledge purportedto be scientific or supported by sciencebut which fails to comply with the scientific method.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun an activity resembling science but based on fallacious assumptions
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
The term pseudoscience is also often applied to theories which are falsifiable and have in fact been falsified and discarded. astrological theories predicted regular planetary effects on the earth and human health, but testing those failed.
Yes, this article is intended as a serious part of the phlosophy of science, and to address the question of whether the term pseudoscience has any "scientific" content at all.
However, in response to uour comment, the bottom line I thinlk is that there is nothing objective about the term pseudoscience While itself appearing to be a scientific judgement, it is a term that seems irremediably subjective and unscientific
This is NOT a defence of bad science, rather it is to say that something might properly be criticised as illogical, contrary to known facts, vague, incoherent, fraudulent etc, all of which can be documented objectively, but the term pseudoscience is merely an arbitrary judgement based on presumed authority; it's a label guaranteed to inflame but with no content.
Partly, this is because many critics of particular areas simply do not use the term pseudoscience, partly because of the lack of an effective operational definition of pseudoscience, and partly because the pejorative overtones detract from objectivity.
However, scientists do not use the term pseudoscience is any serious way, its a term of mere abuse, signifying that something is beneath their serious consideration.
Numerous presentations debunked with documentation what they called the pseudoscience and dictatorial intentions promoted by the UN, the European Union, and the Obama administration.
Those who know about pseudoscience and the common tricks employed by pseudoscientists will be much less likely to be fooled than someone who has been taught that the term "pseudoscience" is useless rhetoric.
In any case Macht's OP stands; 'pseudoscience' is a label thrown about for political purposes rather than a useful classification for the pursuit of truth.
When regulated health professionals themselves engage in pseudoscience, it is up to the colleges and professional bodies to step in and ensure that obesity care is delivered in an ethical and professional manner with due regard to best evidence.