We explain what pseudosciences are and what are their characteristics. In addition, types and examples of pseudosciences.
What is a pseudoscience?
Pseudoscience or pseudoscience is called to all forms of affirmation, belief or practice that appears to be scientific without being, that is, without following the objective verification steps stipulated in the Me. all scientific. Therefore, the postulates of a pseudoscience cannot be proven reliably, nor do they have official scientific status, nor are they endorsed or legitimized by any area institution.
Science is characterized by the acquisition of knowledge through the observation and experimentation of reality, empirically. Pseudosciences, on the other hand, are based more on a system of popular beliefs, judgments and half truths, which always remain in an uncertain region, often infallible, unverifiable and even mystical.
The limits between science and pseudoscience have political and philosophical implications, and are vital in matters of health, law, environmental policy or scientific education. However, many pseudoscientific beliefs are deeply rooted and distributed in people of all educational and cultural conditions .
Hence, in the fields of knowledge the term pseudocient fico is used with a pejorative load, to say something that is closer to the occult and to popular mythology that to properly logical, rational and scientific knowledge.
See also: Exact Sciences.
Characteristics of pseudoscience
A pseudoscience usually has some of the following characteristics:
- It is occultist . It relies on the gloom of scientific knowledge, usually as part of a story of global conspiracy, arcane knowledge or secret traditions, so that their followers feel they have a supreme and exclusive truth.
- It has no official legitimacy . Pseudoscientific doctrines do not appear in official scientific publications, nor do they have the support, support and interest of the institutions that hold and promote scientific knowledge. On the contrary, they are frequent in dissemination, superstition and occult publications.
- Copy the scientific terminology . Apparently, a pseudoscience uses scientific terms and language similar to that of an official discipline, but without the support and specialized knowledge behind the sciences. It is a kind of “disguise” that does not support a specialized review and that many times exposes the author's ignorance regarding the specific issue without wanting to, since they use scientific terms inaccurately or contrary to their meaning.
- It is dogmatic . It raises a series of beliefs that must be accepted or rejected, but that do not allow refutation and verification, as the exact sciences do.
- It does not pursue general laws . Unlike the sciences, they usually raise particular cases that contradict the general apparatus of the human sciences.
- Does not accept revision . He usually attacks his detractors with ad-hominem arguments (to the person), such as accusing of blindness, of being part of the "system" or of persecuting the "enlightened ones."
- It is immutable . They adhere to their body of beliefs without rethinking, reassessing or developing them further, even in the face of the evidence of official scientific discourse.
- It is inconsistent . Their approaches are not integrated with other fields of knowledge (external incoherence), nor do they respond in a consistent manner to their own postulates (internal incoherence).
Examples of pseudoscience
Some of the disciplines currently considered as pseudosciences are the following:
- Astrology The belief that the position of the stars at the time of birth of a child has a marked influence on his character, his destiny and his relationships with others.
- Magnetotherapy A practice that involves diseases as imbalances in the magnetic and electric field of the human body, and that aspires to cure them by applying magnets and metals on the skin.
- Cryptozoology The study of living beings (animals) unknown to contemporary zoology, from testimonies and vestiges (traces, remains, etc.), when not supposed photographs, as happened with the Loch Ness Monster, with the Yeti, etc.
- Feng Shui Coming from the east of the world, this discipline explains the energetic currents of people through the orientation and disposition of the elements of their home, to achieve a harmonious therapy. useful
- Phrenology Widely practiced in the nineteenth century, this doctrine sought to determine the facilities, impulses and personality defects of people based on the shape and characteristics of their skull.
- Parapsychology The study of extrasensory phenomena among living human beings, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, and even contact with the dead or with entities of other planes .
- Uphology . The doctrine that sustains the presence on Earth of extraterrestrial life and that tries to prove its manifestations and its contacts with the human species, as well as its responsibility in the construction of great historical landmarks (such as the pyrénées Ides of Egypt).
Types of pseudoscience
There is no official classification of pseudosciences, but we could broadly classify them according to the logic of their doctrine:
- Conspiratory Those who aspire to reveal to the public a `` truth '' that has been denied by powerful and secret groups or consortia of global interests.
- Historicists Those who try to demonstrate their postulates through reinterpretations of true historical events in light of their doctrine.
- Metaphysics Those who try to give an alternative explanation (usually magical, mystical or para-scientific) to real and proven phenomena, omit those who still do not They have been deciphered by science.