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Sometimes you may be watching a Program Dealing with a Controversial Topic, and Hear Words or Phrases that sound PROFOUND OR INSIGHTFUL.
Their Use Could Be an attempt to Make the Speaker sound Knowledgeable and Authoritative. However, If you pay attention to what is being said, you will often find an Individual Speaking about a Topic Who has a Fundamental Lack of Understanding about the the SCIENTIFIC METHOD OR PROPER RESEARCH METHODOLOGY.
This is ESPECIALLY TRUE IF YOU TUNE INTO ONE OF THE CABLE TELEVISION SHOWS THAT ATTEMPTS TO LEGITIMIZE PSEUDOSCIENCE, AND ONE OF THEIR MANY SUBJECTS OR TOPICS. ( i.e. UFOS, ANCIENT ASTRONAUTS, GHOSTS, CRYPTIDS etc.)
I'll be Describing a Few from Time to Time. See if you can spot Them the Next Time Your Channel Surfing.
"SCIENCE CAN'T EXPLAIN HOW THIS WAS DONE."- Is an Often Used Phrase that seems to Indicate that the Discipline of Science is Stumped by some INCREDIBLE FIND OR DISCOVERY, SO THE PSEUDOSCIENCE BEING PUSHED ON THE SHOW PROVIDES THE REAL ANSWERS.
Intellectual Discipline does not allow Science to make Uninformed or Unwarranted Conclusions, or Offer Opinions and Speculations that Lack any Basis in Reality. The SCIENTIFIC METHOD does not Mean offering Any and All Possible Solutions, AND MAINTAINING THAT THEY ARE ALL EQUALLY VALID.
The Tools of Proper Scientific Study, Together with the Rules of Logic and Critical Thinking;
SYSTEMATICALLY GATHERS EVIDENCE THROUGH PROPER AND SET METHODS TO AVOID CONTAMINATION, OBSERVATIONAL ERROR, AND CONFORMATION BIAS. THIS ALLOWS FOR PROPER EVALUATION AND INTERPRETATION, FREE OF PRECONCEIVED CONCLUSIONS THAT CAN STAND UP TO SCRUTINY.
The Phrase; "WE MUST GO WHERE THE EVIDENCE TAKES US", IS ENTIRELY TRUE. HOWEVER, IT DOESN'T MEAN IGNORING DATA AND HYPOTHESES THAT CAN BE REASONABLY INFERRED FROM OBSERVATION AND TESTING, IN FAVOR OF SPECULATIVE IDEAS THAT HAVE NOT A SINGLE SHRED OF EVIDENCE THAT CAN WITHSTAND EVEN THE MOST CURSORY EVALUATION.
This Leaves us the Most Telling Difference BETWEEN REAL SCIENCE VS PSEUDOSCIENCE; REAL SCIENTIFIC STUDY PROPERLY GATHERS, STUDIES AND INTERPRETS ALL AVAILABLE DATA TO FORM CONCLUSIONS THAT EXPLAIN WHAT HAS BEEN FOUND, OR HYPOTHESIZE ABOUT ALL REASONABLE POSSIBILITIES.
PSEUDOSCIENCE STARTS WITH A CONCLUSION, (THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD), AND TRIES TO FIND ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT IT. THIS IS USUALLY DONE:
- BY MISHANDLING OR MISIDENTIFYING AVAILABLE DATA.
- ASSERTING FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE.
- IGNORING RELATIVE DATA.
- FAILING TO UNDERSTAND, OR LACKING KNOWLEDGE OF
- INCORRECT REPORTING OF SPECIFIC EVENTS, EITHER BY
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OR INSUFFICIENT RESEARCH.
... AMONG OTHER THINGS.
Look for Specific Examples in Future Posts.