Demarcation Of Science And Pseudo Science Philosophy Essay

introductionPlease give a short summary of all three articles [1-3] taken together as a discussion of the difference between science and pseudo-science in general, and particularly astrology as example pseudo-science.

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The pseudoscience comes from a Greek prefix pseudo which means false. Pseudoscience pretends to believe in practice of methods which are not scientifically proven but appears with high probability. Pseudoscience obligation on some figures and facts are not appropriate evidence, proofs and practical tests. Science is making life of people easy and eliminates sophistication. Some people with little knowledge of science try to convince their idea without proper scientific methods in scientific domain.

The following are some characteristics of pseudoscience

Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims

Over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation

Lack of openness to testing by other experts

Absence of progress

Personalization of issues

Use of misleading language

Astrology pretends to justify their work to scientist, astrologer and clients. Experiments of astrologers never be predicted and what kind of facts they will accept. Astrology tends to rely on client satisfaction arguing that if their clients are satisfied because astrology is accurate. Astrologers try to escape themselves from procedures and methods of science by saying that they can only help and guide people about their personal and hidden abilities, points that can have positive effect on their life and they can lead a better life by choosing right paths in their destination. However, science requires scientific evidence.

Pseudoscience is a methodology, belief or practice that is claimed to be scientific or that is made to appear to be scientific, but it does not adhere to an appropriate scientific methodology. The word pseudo means false. The good way to find false predictions is to check it properly with best practices of scientist and researchers.

Demarcation of science from pseudoscience is quite necessary. Due to high status of science, people try include their non scientific and pseudoscientific claims into scientific domain. Therefore demarcation issue is always on the pressing. Demarcation issue is important in many practical applications such as: Healthcare, Expert testimony, Environmental policies, science education etc. According to many authors, pseudoscience is a non-science claiming to be science. They also believe that to be pseudoscientific, an activity or claim has to satisfy following criteria:

it is not scientific, and

its major proponents try to create the impression that it is scientific.

According to Popper, the theory be falsifiable, or more precisely that “statements or systems of statements, in order to be ranked as scientific, must be capable of conflicting with possible, or conceivable observations”. Kuhn disapproved Poppers theory of demarcation he criticized Popper for characterizing “the entire scientific enterprise in terms that apply only to its occasional revolutionary parts”.

Paul states a two points criterion for a theory or claim to be pseudo scientific. One of these is that the theory fails to progress, and the other that “the community of practitioners makes little attempt to develop the theory towards solutions of the problems, shows no concern for attempts to evaluate the theory in relation to others, and is selective in considering confirmations and disconfirmations” (Thagard 1978, 228).

Many authors have put forward a list of criteria as a demarcation criterion. One such list is as under:

Belief in authority.

Nonrepeatable experiments.

Handpicked examples.

Unwillingness to test.

Disregard of refuting information.

Built-in subterfuge.

Explanations are abandoned without replacement.

Why is it important to distinguish science from non-science? Describe the problem of demarcation and its significance for science according to Sven Ove Hansson’s article [1]

It is in general discussion that pseudoscience is non-science as brain Baigrie says “what is objectionable about these beliefs is that they masquerade as genuinely scientific ones.” Authors and researchers predict about two criteria.

It is not scientific, and

Its major proponents try to create the impression that is scientific.

It is quite inevitable to distinguish between science and non science in many ways. For example, in Healthcare, Expert testimony, Environmental policies, Science Education etc. In Healthcare Pseudoscience activities can be dangerous for patient’s health and life. Accurate facts and figures are required in court cases. Judges decision should be based on best available knowledge.

Sometimes litigants try to present non-science claims as solid science. Therefore, justice should be able to distinguish between science and pseudoscience. Environmental experts also need to differentiate between science and pseudoscience. Best available knowledge will help them to make decisions when there are valid but yet insufficient evidence of environmental hazard. State and school authorities should take measures to protect curricula from unreliable and disapproved teachings.

Sconce is our most reliable source of knowledge in daily life, its quiet inevident to differentiate science from pseudo-science. Due to importance of science, some people attempt to exaggerate the scientific status of various claims, teachings, and products. In order to tackle this issue, demarcation of science is necessary.

What are the characteristics of pseudoscience according to [2]

Pseudoscience has following characteristics as mentioned in article.

Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims

Over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation

Lack of openness to testing by other experts

Absence of progress

Personalization of issues

Use of misleading language

Give a short account of astrotest [3] and its results.

The Article was intended to proof weather astrologers can predict or not. Author invited astrologers to take part in an astrotest. He gave the astrologers the birth data of 7 anonymous test subjects and they also receive 7 questioner filled by the test subjects. They have to match each birth chart with the corresponding questionnaire. Author offered 2500 dollars for the astrologer who matched all 7 birth chart with the corresponding questionnaire.

Then he looked for suitable test subjects that are not between two ascendent or if the subject was born 5 minutes late or before the registered birth date they would have been on different sign. So he rejected such subjects to avoid ambiguity for the astrologers.

The astrologers sent 10 questions each and he made 25 questions and added 24 multiple questions to it and he gave the questions to 10 experienced astrologers to give their opinion on it and none of them had a big objection to it.

All 50 participants were given 10 weeks to complete the astrotest and 44 participants completed the test. Many of the participants had experience in astrology. And they were asked about their expectations and half of the 36 participants who responded the questions said they expected that they have matched all correct. But the result was very different from their expectation the most successful participant only manages 3 correct matches and half of the participants didn’t score a single hit. And there were a lack of similarities between the answers of the participants.

There was also a difference in response to the results between the astrologers some were surprised by the lack of agreement and others admitted that the possibilities of astrology were more limited then they had thought and others say astrology only works in actual practice and sixteen still believe science can still prove astrology right. And they gave reasons like horoscopes are too much alike, the answers of the subjects were often similar, the questions were not always answered truthfully and some said about incomplete information of subjects.

Astrology and science are in conflict since astrology says its methods are testable and science focuses on astrology where as astrology focuses on client satisfaction and use words that cannot be falsified

What are your conclusions on science contra pseudo-science discussion?

Pseudoscience is extremely dangerous for our society. Science on other side is supported by proper methods, proofs and logics. Mankind is relying more and more on scientific methods and practices in routine life. Therefore, work should be done on emergency basis to eradicate and prevent pseudoscience entrance in the demarcation of science. In my opinion, people try to take pseudoscience too easy or as a source of amusement or fun. This can at certain times be very dangerous and Quakers are encouraged by this attitude. For example:

Our political system can be sabotaged by the pseudoscience.

Our education system can also become a victim of pseudoscience, and can be disastrous for our youth.

Hundreds of people lives can be lost if not provided appropriate treatment in time, healthcare department should be prevented from pseudoscience.

Instability can be introduced in our routine life by asserting pseudoscience in the religion

A very important responsibility lies on media as electronic and other kinds of media’s influence are increasing day by day in our routine life.