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A pseudoscience is an established body of knowledge which masquerades as science in an attempt to claim a legitimacy which it would not otherwise be able to achieve on its own terms; it is often known as fringe- or alternative science. The most important of its defects is usually the lack of the carefully controlled and thoughtfully interpreted experiments which provide the foundation of the natural sciences and which contribute to their advancement.

The term "established body of knowlege" is important here, because the pursuit of scientific knowledge usually involves elements of intuition and guesswork; experiments do not always test a theory adequately, and experimental results can be incorrectly interpreted or even wrong. In legitimate science, however, these problems tend to be self-correcting, if not by the original researchers themselves, then through the critical scrutiny of the greater scientific community. - Source: What is Pseudoscience? How can I recognize it? Last accessed Feb. 7, 2006



A pseudoscience is set of ideas based on theories put forth as scientific when they are not scientific. - Source: Pseudoscience, The Skeptic's Dictionary. Last accessed, Feb. 7, 2006

Classic examples of pseudoscience include the so-called 'technology' used and sold by Scientology (e.g. dianetics, e-meter)


Secular Distinguishing Science and Pseudoscience by Rory Coker, Ph.D, QuakWatch.
Secular The 10 Commandments of Helping Students Distinguish Science from Pseudoscience in Psychology by Scott O. Lilienfeld, APS Observer, September 2005, Volume 18, Number 9. Association for Psychological Science. Last accessed, Feb. 7, 2006


Secular Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions by James Randi
Secular The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions by Robert Todd Carroll
Secular Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer

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Apologetics Index research resource Religion News Blog items that include the term 'pseudoscience'


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This post was last updated: Feb. 7, 2006