Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that claim to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is often characterized by contradictory, exaggerated or unfalsifiable claims; reliance on confirmation bias rather than rigorous attempts at refutation; lack of openness to evaluation by other experts; absence of systematic practices when developing hypotheses; and continued adherence long after the pseudoscientific hypotheses have been experimentally discredited.The demarcation between science and pseudoscience has scientific, philosophical, and political implications. Philosophers debate the nature of science and the general criteria for drawing the line between scientific theories and pseudoscientific beliefs, but there is general agreement on examples such as ancient astronauts, climate change denial, dowsing, evolution denial, Holocaust denialism, astrology, alchemy, alternative medicine, occultism, ufology, and creationism. There are implications for health care, the use of expert testimony, and weighing environmental policies. Addressing pseudoscience is part of science education and developing scientific literacy.Pseudoscience can have dangerous effects. For example, pseudoscientific anti-vaccine activism and promotion of homeopathic remedies as alternative disease treatments can result in people forgoing important medical treatments with demonstrable health benefits, leading to deaths and ill-health. Furthermore, people who refuse legitimate medical treatments for contagious diseases may put others at risk. Pseudoscientific theories about racial and ethnic classifications have led to racism and genocide.The term pseudoscience is often considered pejorative particularly by purveyors of it because it suggests something is being presented as science inaccurately or even deceptively. Therefore, those practicing or advocating pseudoscience frequently dispute the characterization.
Source: Pseudoscience (wikipedia.org)
As we head towards the end of another extraordinary year, BBC Future is taking a look back at some of our favourite stories for our "Best of 2021" collection. Discover more of our picks here. There should be no doubt about it: Covid-19 vaccines are saving lives.
The mayor of Canada's capital Ottawa has declared a state of emergency in response to more than a week of truckers' protests against Covid restrictions. Jim Watson said the city was completely out of control, with demonstrators outnumbering police.
One of the more bewildering aspects of the Covid crisis in the Czech Republic is the hostility and aggression directed at health workers. But it is a problem that existed before the pandemic, and is unlikely to end with it. "A year ago people were applauding health workers.
The last time Paul Thorn saw his parents, decades ago, they threw away the crockery he ate off out of fear of infection. When he was diagnosed with HIV, in 1988, he had to stop training as a nurse.
How do you solve a problem like bad information? When it comes to understanding science and making health decisions, it can have life-or-death consequences.
Opposition to Covid vaccinations has come in many forms, but none stranger than the "sovereign citizen" defence. It uses defunct ancient English law to try to challenge regulations.
A group of inmates at a jail in the US state of Arkansas are taking legal action, saying they were unknowingly prescribed the horse deworming drug Ivermectin to treat Covid-19.Small doses of Ivermectin are approved for use on humans, but health officials have warned against its use for Covid.
American author Naomi Wolf has been suspended from Twitter after spreading vaccine misinformation. Dr Wolf, well known for her acclaimed third-wave feminist book The Beauty Myth, posted a wide-range of unfounded theories about vaccines.
Doctors in India have hit out against yoga guru Baba Ramdev over his controversial statements against modern medicine. He recently said that tens of thousands died of Covid after taking modern medicines and mocked patients for trying to get oxygen cylinders.
Gwyneth Paltrow's new Netflix series poses a "considerable health risk" to the public, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has said.
We've looked into some of the most widely shared false vaccine claims - everything from alleged plots to put microchips into people to the supposed re-engineering of our genetic code. The fear that a vaccine will somehow change your DNA is one we've seen aired regularly on social media.
A dozen scientists, politicians, and campaigners say they have been tricked into participating in online events promoting climate-change denial.The events were organised by the Creative Society, an international activist group that denies global warming is being caused by human activity.
My 2006 solo show, So Rock, included a very short song with a very long title: If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out (Take My Wife), a 90-second long refutation of the plausibility of astrology, psychics, homeopathy and an interventionist God.
A potentially risky laser treatment offered to menopausal women to rejuvenate the vagina is no better than sham or fake therapy, researchers say. They tested it in a trial to see if it might ease vaginal dryness and painful sex linked to going through the change.
Ivermectin has been called a Covid "miracle" drug, championed by vaccine opponents, and recommended by health authorities in some countries. But the BBC can reveal there are serious errors in a number of key studies that the drug's promoters rely on.
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes "lied and cheated" for money and fame prosecutors alleged on the first day of the former Silicon Valley star's trial. Ms Holmes faces 12 fraud charges over her role at the now-defunct blood-testing firm which was once worth $9bn.
A mysterious marketing agency secretly offered to pay social media stars to spread disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines. Their plan failed when the influencers went public about the attempt to recruit them.
With the surge of the Delta variant in Indonesia, misleading claims about products claiming to be cures and preventions are on the rise.
The woman arrived at a hospital in Peshawar after trying to extract the 5cm (two-inch) nail with pliers. Initially, she told doctors that she had carried out the act herself, but later admitted a faith healer who had claimed he could guarantee she gave birth to a baby boy was responsible.
Six minor girls in central India were stripped and paraded naked as part of a village ritual to summon rains. The incident took place in a drought-parched village in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh state.
What is truth? You can speak of moral truths and aesthetic truths but I’m not concerned with those here, important as they may be. By truth I shall mean the kind of truth that a commission of inquiry or a jury trial is designed to establish.
While Chirindo Chisubi was still mourning her husband, she was shocked by a question asked by the police investigating his death in Kenya's Kilifi County on the Indian Ocean coast. Her husband, Dzuya Chisubi, had been hacked to death over accusations that he practised witchcraft.
The Tower of London's "queen" raven is missing and feared dead, according to staff at the fortress. Merlina, who joined the flock in 2007, has not been seen for several weeks.
On a hot and humid day in Hong Kong, local finance worker Wai Li is visiting Wong Tai Sin, the city’s busiest temple, to use a fortune-telling practice known as kau cim.
One afternoon in April, Mandy Pang’s worst fears came true. She was summoned onto a Zoom with her boss on short notice. Due to the economic downturn from the pandemic, she was being made redundant at her marketing job.
Less than five years ago, animal charities heralded the end of animal sacrifice at a religious festival dubbed "the world's bloodiest". But on Tuesday, the Gadhimai festival began with the killing of a goat, rat, chicken, pig and pigeon.
The people behind Mali's marionette tradition, which has been used to pass on the folklore and culture of a community, are struggling to survive as the recent insecurity has stopped the vital income that came from visitors, as Clair MacDougall reports from Bamako.
The Vatican has opened its doors for its annual exorcism course amid increasing demand among some of the world's Catholic communities.
The bodies of seven people have been found in a mass grave in an indigenous area of Panama where members of a religious sect were believed to be performing exorcisms, officials say. The victims included a pregnant woman, 32, and five of her children, aged one to 11. The sixth was a neighbour, 17.
pseudoscience junk science superstition alternative medicine homeopathy faith healing