Pseudoscience: Objective or Subjective?

Michael Ruse
Florida State University, United States |

Received: 19-May-2019 | Accepted: 14-July-2019 | Published Online: 24-November-2019
Disputatio [Dec. 2019], Vol. 9, No. 13, pp. 00-00 | DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3567210
Article | [EN] | Full Text | Statistics | Copyright Notice [sp] | Vol. 9 No. 13

How to cite this article:
Ruse, Michael (2020). «Pseudoscience: Objective or Subjective?». Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 9, no. 13: pp. 00–00.

Abstract | What is pseudo-science and when do charges of pseudo-scientific thinking generally arise? These questions are answered by looking at six examples where the charge of pseudo-science has arisen: anti-vaccination and the claims that it causes illnesses, Creationism – the claim that the Bible is literally true –, chiropractic and claims about curing cancer and the like, pre-Darwinian evolution, that is developmental hypotheses before the Origin of Species (1859), Immanuel Velikovsky and his book, Worlds in Collision, and the Gaia hypothesis that the Earth is an organism. It is agreed that there is an objective foundation to charges of pseudo-science and the author’s testimony in a court case in Arkansas in 1981, arguing that Creationism is not genuine science, is used to support this claim. Karl Popper’s criterion of demarcation invoking falsifiability is a key notion here. However, it is argued that charges of pseudo-science occur most frequently when conventional practitioners are under threat. Then claims of pseudo-science are used to attack the non-conventional opposition. The examples are used to support this conclusion.
Keywords |
Pseudoscience · Falsifiability · Evolution · Velikovsky · Gaia.

Pseudociencia: ¿objetiva o subjetiva?

Resumen | ¿Qué es la pseudociencia y cuándo surgen generalmente las acusaciones de pensamiento pseudocientífico? Contesto estas preguntas analizando seis ejemplos en los cuales ha surgido tal acusación: el movimiento antivacunas, que afirma que la vacunación causa enfermedades, el creacionismo, la afirmación de que la Biblia es literalmente verdadera, la quiropraxia y afirmaciones similares sobre curar el cáncer, evolución predarwiniana, es decir, hipótesis evolucionistas anteriores a El Origen de las especies (1859), Immanuel Velikovsky y su libro Mundos en colisión, y la hipótesis de Gaia, que afirma que la Tierra es un organismo. Asumo que hay un fundamento objetivo para la pseudociencia y utilizo el testimonio del autor en un caso judicial en Arkansas en 1981, argumentando que el creacionismo no es una ciencia genuina, para respaldar dicha afirmación. El criterio de demarcación de Karl Popper, que invoca la falsabilidad, es una noción clave aquí. Sin embargo, argumento que las acusaciones de pseudociencia ocurren con mayor frecuencia cuando los profesionales convencionales están bajo amenaza. Por lo tanto, estas acusaciones se emplean para atacar posiciones no convencionales. Presento varios ejemplos para apoyar esta conclusión.
Palabras Clave | Pseudociencia · Falsabilidad · Evolución · Velikovsky · Gaia.


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