Browsing All Posts filed under »Science«

Driving home the point

December 16, 2011

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Dateline: 5 September 2011 // Posted by: NicHeller12 Source: National Public Radio Story: “Why The Trip Home Seems To Go By Faster” Summary: Psychologist Niels van de Ven reports on a study of his which concerns people’s common perception that returning home from a destination always seems to take a shorter time than the original trip […]

Science vs. Pseudoscience

September 28, 2011

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The task of distinguishing science from pseudoscience is known as the demarcation problem. It is not altogether straightforward, because the boundaries within which “science” is defined are themselves vague. However, most philosophers of science agree that the following notions represent relatively good distinctions. I am separating them here into two categories: “differences of principle” (which refer to epistemological issues, […]

Subtle media pseudoscience

September 5, 2011

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Yes — there is pseudoscience in mainstream media. Sometimes it relates to out-and-out crazy stuff that most people would acknowledge is extremely questionable. But sometimes it relates to iffy (even fishy) science presented as unequivocal fact in media outlets that should really be more critical. This example is from The Irish Times. You can read […]

Unsubtle media pseudoscience

September 5, 2011

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Sometimes the media’s coverage of pseudoscience relates to extravagantly unscientific subject matter. It is often difficult to know if such media are genuinely covering the story as if it were true, or whether they are presenting the material essentially for entertainment purposes. Coverage of UFO visitations is a case in point. Does The Sun really believe […]

What is ‘pseudoscience’?

September 5, 2011

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[For further information about the above image, see here.] The following explanation of pseudoscience is adapted from Hughes, B. M. (2011). Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology. Harlow: Prentice Hall. Pseudoscience. A practice that has the superficial appearance of a science but which fails to meet the quality standards normally required of sciences. See also: http://www.skepdic.com/pseudosc.html

What is ‘skepticism’?

September 5, 2011

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[For further information about the above image, see here.] The following explanation of skepticism is adapted from Hughes, B. M. (2011). Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology. Harlow: Prentice Hall. In science, skepticism is the view that it is reasonable to question and/or investigate any assertion purporting to describe factual information. In this context, skeptics do not accept claims to knowledge […]