Pseudoscience  

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This page Pseudoscience is part of the mysticism series. Illustration to the Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (1618) by Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens
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This page Pseudoscience is part of the mysticism series.
Illustration to the Speculum Sophicum Rhodostauroticum (1618) by Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is often characterized by contradictory, exaggerated or unfalsifiable claims; reliance on confirmation bias rather than rigorous attempts at refutation; lack of openness to evaluation by other experts; absence of systematic practices when developing hypotheses; and continued adherence long after the pseudoscientific hypotheses have been experimentally discredited. The term pseudoscience is considered pejorative, because it suggests something is being presented as science inaccurately or even deceptively. Those described as practicing or advocating pseudoscience often dispute the characterization.

The demarcation between science and pseudoscience has philosophical and scientific implications. Differentiating science from pseudoscience has practical implications in the case of health care, expert testimony, environmental policies, and science education. Distinguishing scientific facts and theories from pseudoscientific beliefs, such as those found in astrology, alchemy, alternative medicine, occult beliefs, religious beliefs, and creation science, is part of science education and scientific literacy.

Pseudoscience can be harmful. For example, pseudoscientific anti-vaccine activism and promotion of homeopathic remedies as alternative disease treatments can result in people forgoing important medical treatment with demonstrable health benefits.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pseudoscience" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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