Cargo cult science  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Cargo cult science refers to practices that have the semblance of being scientific, but are missing "a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty". The term was first used by the physicist Richard Feynman during his commencement address at the California Institute of Technology, United States, in 1974. Cargo cults—the religious practice that has appeared in many traditional tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures—focus on obtaining the material wealth (the "cargo") of the advanced culture by building mock aircraft, landing strips, and the like.

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