Sunday, August 8, 2021

Blog Post on Pseudoscience

    Learning about the psychology behind pseudoscience is very interesting and thought-provoking, however, we are viewing it from a post-modern point of view. With many advances in science and mathematics, we as a species feel we have a pretty good understanding of everything, and we are confident that we are correct. This makes it easier to label things that don't align with our current understanding as wrong. Now instead of viewing pseudoscience from this view, try to put yourself in the shoes of the first doctors, scientists, and engineers. They did not have this framework of science and mathematics; they were essentially shooting in the dark. The act of identifying patterns and using them to draw conclusions, regardless of what the current beliefs are, is what allowed them to advance society. Imagine if Galileo Galilei, instead of creating the telescope, decided to just agree with the belief system at the time - that Earth is the center of our solar system. The point is that a lot of scientific advancement came from theories that did not follow our scientific method, and were therefore pseudoscience according to modern standards. This concept is really intriguing to me because it shows how far we have come as a species, but it also shows how we tend to "forget our roots" in a sense. Today, if you make a claim that goes directly against what we believe, you will instantly be labeled a conspiracy theorist or uneducated, even though it took many, many absurd (at the time) claims to achieve the beliefs and understanding we now have. 

    While I am not saying that every claim or thought is legitimate and should be tested, it is important to remember that some revolutionary ideas seemed preposterous at the time they were proposed. Fortunately, the scientific method actually has pseudoscience built into it. It's actually one of the first steps: hypothesizing. The big difference between real science and fake is that pseudoscience just gave up after creating the hypothesis, or at least messed up somewhere along the way. It is good to realize this because you can see how pseudoscience isn't necessarily always evil or harmful. It only becomes harmful once it has been scientifically disproven, yet is still thought of as legitimate.

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