Issues of pseudoscience

Pseudoscience- is parasychology considered a pseudoscience?

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  • Created by: chetan
  • Created on: 12-04-11 13:00

Characteristics of science- why parapsychology doe

  • Falsifiable- ability to prove the hypothesis incorrect
  • replicability- the ability to replicate results
  • objectivity- to avoid using personal opinion and use only observable phenomena

Parasychology- Pseudoscience:  Hines-

  • irrefutable hypothesis- it is not possible to disprove the hypothesis i.e. ESP believers suggest that the reason why there have never been any positive results is because the sceptics presence causes the phenomena to dissapear.
  • Linked to 'Burden of proof'- supporters of parapsychology claim they need no evidence of what they believe so it is up to the sceptics to dissprove their claims- THE COTTINGLEY FAIRIES.
  • Lacks carefully controlled, replicable research. 
  • The file drawer problem- only the significant results which support the hypothesis are used.
  • all is mostly due to the unfalsifiable hypothesis.
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Randi's 6 hallmarks of pseudoscience and is Anomal

  • Irrational/illogical- does not form a logical argument, it is good saying pigs can fly but the truth is that even with wings pigs would not be able to support their own body weight.
  • inconsistent with known facts- e.g. PK- if it were to exist then the second law of thermodynamics, and law of motion would be incorrect.
  • ignores well established principles of science.
  • Does not change to new findings.
  • relies on the interpretation of a single leader or text- anecdotal.
  • it cannot be used to predict the future.
  • Yes- Richard Dawkins
  • No- Gregory- thunder and lighting- once considered act of gods but are now known to be electricity. similarly anomalistic phenomena should be allowed to develop and progress so that it can be explained in scientific terms.
  • No- Song- we cannot just label theories pseudo science just because we don't understand them, if this happens then science will be prevented from making new innovations.
  • No- AAAS- largest scientific organisation in the world allowed the parapsychological association to become a member.
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