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Pseudoscience is any subject that appears superficially to be scientific or is claimed by its proponents to be scientific, but is not supporting by testable evidence, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Pseudosciences have been characterised by the use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims, over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation, lack of openness to testing by other experts, and a lack of progress in theory development.

Astrology and alchemy are ancient examples of pseudoscience. Astrologers claim that the stars control our lives and that astrologers can predict our futures. One of the best known examples of alchemy was the continued attempt to turn base metals into gold.

Some examples of more recent pseudoscience include dianetics and "creation science". Scientologists claim that dianetics provides a true alternative to psychology.

Creation science claims to provide scientific proof that the world was created by a divine agency, without the involvement of evolution, and usually just a few thousand years ago. "Intelligent design" is similar to creation science, but attempts to conceal the inherent religious basis for its claims. Some proponents of "intelligent design" have even proposed a "fourth law of thermodynamics" that is said to prove evolution to be false. The Wedge Document, now in the public domain, was a secret internal document of the Discovery Institute, that set out a plan to substitute the teaching of evolution in schools by that of the pseudoscience of "intelligent design".

Pseudoscience is given legitimacy by being academic in nature. Feminist theories of the Matriarchy, for instance, are pure pseudoscience, but taught as if they had empirical support. wiki.answers.com

Published:Mar 6th 2013
Modified:Mar 6th 2013

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