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One of my favorite shows ever is The X-Files. If you’ve watched the show then you understand, “I want to believe!” UFOs and most things shown in The X-Files, however is pseudoscience.
Things You Like To Think Are Scientific
What is pseudoscience? This week we have decided to not cover a scientific topic, but instead to talk about things that are popular to think are scientific, but in fact are not. Like for instance that UFOs created the great pyramids, or astrology and star signs and how you can predict your future with them. Have you ever gone to a carnival and there was a fortune teller? Yep, that qualifies as pseudoscience.
Method to the Madness
The next question that you might ask yourself is: “What differs science from pseudoscience?”. The answer to that is the scientific method.
The scientific method is defined by several steps. First one creates a testable prediction. Then the scientist would test the prediction and gather data from said tests. This then allows for the scientist to develop a general theory about how the data correlates to the predictions. Then continual observations of the experiments hopefully has created new questions and allowed for the scientist to come up with a hypothesis. Then the method starts over.
Easy to Believe What You Expect
This is not how pseudoscience is not tested. Pseudoscience is a combination folklore and confirmed expectations. And people believe in pseudoscience because it uses vague, contradictory, exaggerated or unprovable claims, and an over-reliance on confirmation rather that the rigorous use of the scientific method to disprove the claim. Have you ever seen something that you couldn’t explain? I think that everyone has. But the difference between people who believe in pseudoscience and those who believe and use science is how they react to those type of observations.
And people believe in pseudoscience because it uses vague, contradictory, exaggerated or unprovable claims, and an over-reliance on confirmation rather that the rigorous use of the scientific method to disprove the claim.
Do I Believe?
So do I believe in Bigfoot? Nope.
Do I believe in the Hollow Earth hypothesis? Not on your life.
What do I believe in? I believe in solid science. I much prefer the “viten” to the “skrap” in VITENSKRAP.