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Is it a simple matter to distinguish a scientific argument from a pseudo-scientific argument?

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John 3/14/03 Block IV Is it a simple matter to distinguish a scientific argument from a pseudo-scientific argument? Mankind has always endeavored to understand the world and its surroundings, to know and understand how and why things happen. Through this, both science and pseudo-science was born. A pseudo-science is something that claims to be scientific, but really isn't. Some examples of pseudo-science include things like astrology, numerology, and other so-called "sciences". A science tries to explain how and why things happen by creating laws that dictate what nature does. The laws of a scientific argument are based upon the hypotheses of scientists. In order for a hypothesis to become a theory, it must be tested meticulously. The best way to prove it true is by proving it false. ...read more.


A proven pseudo-scientific argument (theory) can always be proven right, which may seem good; however, in most cases, they can never truly be tested and seem to just explain everything known. They may be correct, but that doesn't make them anymore scientific. If there is no way to prove it wrong, then it really can't be proven right, either. A large problem of knowledge exists in whether one believes an argument is scientific or pseudo-scientific due to different reasoning. If someone believes aliens are monitoring humans from a different planet or are exchanging technology with the government, a knower might perceive the argument as being pseudo-scientific because it cannot be proven wrong, while another might perceive it to be scientific because he/she has observed it. Science, then, must be able to be prove an argument or hypothesis right by attempting to prove it wrong. ...read more.


Hume's method states the strength of an argument should be a product of repetition. The critical attitude is a way of trying to establish an argument rather than trying to prove its genuineness. Popper believed then that the critical attitude is identified with the scientific attitude and that the assertive attitude is associated with the pseudo-scientific argument. Therefore, Popper's method can be used to show that a truly scientific argument is true. It is not very hard to distinguish a pseudo-scientific argument from a scientific argument as long as the knower understands the definitions of pseudo-science and science and knows the difference between the two. A pseudo-scientific argument can't be tested by Popper's method, making it rather obvious that it isn't a truly scientific theory. A scientific argument must be able to have someone trying to falsify it, or it really isn't a theory, but a restatement of an already known fact. ...read more.

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