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Science and Pseudoscience Paper 3

Science and Pseudoscience Paper 3 - Yocom 1 Blake Yocom...

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Yocom 1 Blake Yocom Freshman Seminar Professor Goldberg 10 March 2006 Science and Pseudoscience Introduction Over the course of centuries, a battle has ensued between science and pseudoscience. They are unquestionably at opposite ends of the factual spectrum which inevitably causes this battle to continue with no end in sight. However, the credence of science over pseudoscience is clear, for the word “pseudo” implies “fake, false, or counterfeit” and is frequently used to imply wrongdoing (Rosenhouse) . Science on the other hand, is the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena based on factual evidence (Science) . It is imperative to comprehend the fundamental differences between these two fields and ponder the necessary question of whether the information one reads, hears, and sees, is science or pseudoscience. It is an ever increasing challenge to answer this central question due to the societal reliance on twenty-four hour cable news which often provides bogus scientific information (Coker) . Indubitably, the preeminent, though not effortless, method to differentiate between pseudoscience and science is to become conversant on the latter. To be knowledgeable on how ideas are classified as science allows for the detection of pseudoscience (Coker) . Simply put, an individual who is proficient in the scientific method and with validating or falsifying evidence is better able to expose pseudoscience. An example of this would be the peer review system currently in place when articles are published in academic journals. Through numerous
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Yocom 2 presentations on topics ranging from the Existence of a Soul and Healing with Bioenergy, to Steroids and Tuberculosis, it becomes apparent as to what constitutes pseudoscience and what can accurately be deemed science. A closer look at some similarities and differences between science and pseudoscience will allow for a better understanding of what constitutes a science. Similarities A common theme between science and pseudoscience is the quest for knowledge. Since the beginning of time, man has been searching for answers to the unknown. Scientific advances by civilizations in the Ancient Middle East included mathematics, transportation, and iron smelting. Greek culture contributed alphabets, astronomy, and other philosophical theories to the human race (Science) . These contributions all came about from a mutual appreciation of knowledge. It is evident that with a better understanding and further explanation of what makes things the way they are furthers us both educationally and economically. For example, Newtonian physics resulted in our understanding of trajectories of space shuttles and satellites (Longino) . Without this technology, weather prediction, cellular telephone use, and exploration of space would be unheard of. The motivations for the pursuit of science are the same as many areas of pseudoscience such as the search for intelligent life and UFOs (UFOs & Intelligent Life, 16 Feb 2006) .
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Science and Pseudoscience Paper 3 - Yocom 1 Blake Yocom...

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