Way back in 2009 a great artricle was written on WordPress about one of the four subjects dear to our hearts here at Changed Times. Luckily, during our reading this week we turned up the old article and had the chance to enjoy the superb study on pseudoscience provided by the blog “Cubik’s Rube” which explains the topic in great detail.
We do strongly recommend that our readers use the link above and read this article, not least because it is some 4,000 words long and so much larger than we are able to deal with here! At that, the writer refers to it as “a start” and promises to write more in the future although our initial searches have not found anything quite like this great primer into what pseudoscience is and how to recognise it. Early on, the article refers to how to recognise pseudoscience in the simplest way.
“[It] is what you get when a hopeful but misleading patina of science is used” the writer points out, “to try and smarten up some ideas which, however nice they might be, have no connection to the real world. It’s some phenomenon or notion whose fans will stand by it unwaveringly, regardless of whether it’s actually supported by any evidence. Astrology, for instance, is widely regarded as a pseudoscience.”
It is fairly clear from that simple and clear description that there are two other areas of particular importance to readers in the United Kingdom. We refer, obviously, to the notion that Creationism can be taught in the faith schools and the academy schools throughout the UK and the truly disgraceful situation we have in the National Health Service actually funding alledged “doctors” of homeopathy and “alternative medicine” in our hard-pressed hospitals.
While most letters to Changed Times so far have been spam or junk mail there have been a few serious ones, one of which should be put on the Letters page as soon as that part of the publication is worked out and the other was unfortunately lost but was an excellent question about the Cuadrilla drilling and recent earthquakes in the area – our apologies to the writer, but since they remained anonymous we cannot get in touch to ask you to post it again. The remaining few have pretty much all asked if we are atheists or “believers” and appear to think it is an important issue.
We don’t, but it obviously needs to be made clear.
Here at Changed Times we are, like Tim Minchin describes himself in a recent article in New Scientist, pragmatic realists and, again like Tim, out of that do tend toward atheism. But there is no policy at all about contributors who may be anything from strong atheists to Archbishops for all we care.
- Tim Minchin uses comedy to open a door to rationalism (newscientist.com)
- A “disinformation campaign” against homeopathy? (scienceblogs.com)
- The tools of a real-life ghostbuster [Pseudoscience] (io9.com)
- Private health insurance forcing all customers to pay for pseudoscience alternative therapies (sansscience.wordpress.com)
- What Is Pseudoscience? (scientificamerican.com)