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Thread: what is a "new idea" in science

  1. #1 what is a "new idea" in science 
    Forum Freshman looking4recruits's Avatar
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    Not any new idea: what is a scientific "new" idea?

    Debates have raged in this forum as to what is pseudo and what is genuinely an extension from contemporary ideas.

    Could any present a guideline on what is a new idea sprung from science and what is read from the back of a bus?


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    pseudo science uses the words of science but rests on notions that have long been discredited - in short, you're building a house on quicksand


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    For me pseudo science can also be about the methodology. The pseudoscience may contain science jargon. It may address topics that are considered by science, but it does not adher to the rigours of the scientific method. Experimental evidence is not gathered correctly; anecdotal evidence is taken as wholly viable; exceptions are taken to be the mean; peer review is absent; only facts that support the 'theory' are considered; claims are made that there is a conspiracy to protect the status quo; etc

    If a thread was opened on UFOs, claiming they were alien visitors, offered a means of testing the hypothesis, and perhaps a fresh take or presentation of the evidence, I would happily see it within the main segments of the forum. In contrast it is pseudo science to say that evolution must be true because so many scientists believe in it.

    So, for me, it's more about the method than the idea itself that distinguishes pseudo science form real science, though I agree with marnix that some ideas have been so thoroughly debunked as to unworthy of any further consideration without new data.
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    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    For me pseudo science can also be about the methodology. The pseudoscience may contain science jargon. It may address topics that are considered by science, but it does not adher to the rigours of the scientific method. Experimental evidence is not gathered correctly; anecdotal evidence is taken as wholly viable; exceptions are taken to be the mean; peer review is absent; only facts that support the 'theory' are considered; claims are made that there is a conspiracy to protect the status quo; etc

    If a thread was opened on UFOs, claiming they were alien visitors, offered a means of testing the hypothesis, and perhaps a fresh take or presentation of the evidence, I would happily see it within the main segments of the forum. In contrast it is pseudo science to say that evolution must be true because so many scientists believe in it.

    So, for me, it's more about the method than the idea itself that distinguishes pseudo science form real science, though I agree with marnix that some ideas have been so thoroughly debunked as to unworthy of any further consideration without new data.
    The probelm I find is when some deem it appropriate to cascade malarky in place of scientific methods and methodological clairvoyance.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    the following site is not a bad place to start for an introduction to the differences between science and pseudoscience
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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