Debunking pseudoscience

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While this wiki is primarily for falsifiable hypotheses and theories, it is also important to analyze claims for falsifiability or lack thereof. This includes leaving articles with non-falsifiable claims up as examples of their non-falsifiability and to show clearly that they are unscientific. This serves the function of debunking them, so that claims of them being ”scientific” do not stand uncontradicted. This is important in destupidization. Such articles should have titles beginning with "Debunkal: ", for example, an article can be titled "Debunkal: psychoanalysis". This is only for debunking non-falsifiable claims. Falsifiable but false claims are to be debunked in articles with titles that begin with "H/T: ", not with "Debunkal: ", see. Actual debunkal articles, on the other hand, are in this category.


One example would be to add Karl Popper's argumentation showing psychoanalysis to be non-falsifiable and therefore unscientific as an article. Such articles should also contain analyses of what makes the claims non-falsifiable. For example, in the case of psychoanalysis it is the fact that anything a "patient" says can be turned to confirm psychoanalysis, by "admitting" or by "denying by defense mechanism" and the directly following effect that it predicts unavailability of facts that does not fit into "mind models" to critical thought.

Similarities in infalsifiability under other differences

Spinoffs can be linked to debunkal articles about claims that share the same lack of falsifiability essences under differences that are not relevant to falsifiability.

For example a "Debunkal: psychoanalysis" article can link to a "Debunkal: cognitive bias theory" article showing that "modern" cognitive bias theory can also claim that anything a person says confirms it, and that it also predicts data that does not fit into "mind models" to be unavailable to critical thought. Such an article should make it clear that while cognitive bias theory differs from psychoanalysis in that the former claims that data that does not "fit in" is lost forever while the latter claims that it is repressed and can potentially be recovered, the fact that it is the availability of data to critical thought (not differences between lacks of availability) that is key to the existence of scientific thought, that distinction has no bearing on the demarcation of science.

See also Can a diagnosis be a falsifiable H/T?.

Can a pseudoscience develop into a science?

In cases when current lack of falsifiability is merely due to technological limitations, technological progress can transform a non-falsifiable claim into a falsifiable claim. That, in a sense, turns a pseudoscience into a science, making it possible for some debunkal articles to be changed into H/T articles. One historical example is that a few decades ago, it was not possible to detect exoplanets, therefore H/Ts on the existence of exoplanets have turned from non-falsifiable to falsifiable, from unscientific to scientific.

Many possible explanations, Occam's razor

However, multiple possible explanations including simpler explanations must be taken into account in such an assessment, (Occam's razor).

For example, even if Duncan McDougall's experiments supposedly showing people to decrease in weight when dying was to be successfully repeated, the fact that it could be explained by many things such as evaporation of warm urine leaking upon brain death means that it would still not prove the existence of a "soul" or mind independent of the brain. Even if all known forms of matter were to be ruled out as explanations, that still would not prove survival of a mind without the brain.

In these cases, a debunkal article can make it clear that the claim contains unnecessary assumptions.

Cases of irredeemable nonsense

In the case of claims that can never be disproven this is not possible, however. For example, if a consciousness-based interpretation of quantum mechanics explains away the fact that quantum computers do not work at room temperature even if nobody is looking at them by claiming that "they do not work because the researchers do not think that they will work", it is total bullshit.

Even in such cases, a debunkal article may be useful to show that the nonsense is exactly that, nonsense.

Transforming H/T articles to debunkal articles

If an article that have been published as a H/T article on the Falsifiable Scientific Method MediaWiki is found to lack falsifiability, it is appropriate to transform it into a debunkal article. In such cases, the content is best cut and pasted into the new debunkal article, with the same title except the initial "H/T:" is replaced with an initial "Debunkal:". The article should begin with a note at the top that it is a debunkal and what is written below is not a scientific hypothesis or theory, followed by the original text that was pasted there, and finally a section at the bottom explaining the lack of falsifiability. The original article should be turned into a redirect to the new article (debunkal) rather than leave dead links.