Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Seven Signs of Bogus Science

Read about them here.

To sum up:

1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media.
2. The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work.
3. The scientific effect involved is always at the very limit of detection.
4. Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal.
5. The discoverer says a belief is credible because it has endured for centuries.
6. The discoverer has worked in isolation.
7. The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation.

The author, physicist Robert Park, provides this disclaimer:

"Of course, they are only warning signs -- even a claim with several of the signs could be legitimate."

This is true, and should be kept in mind. However, if a claim or claimant exhibits any of these characteristics, it would do the student of science well to investigate further.
Park ends with a very important, if simple, message:

"But as I finished the list, I realized that in our increasingly technological society, spotting voodoo science is a skill that every citizen should develop."


These characteristics of bogus science are reminiscent of Martin Gardner's signs of scientific crackpots laid out in his 1952 book In the Name of Science:
1. He considers himself a genius.
2. He regards his colleagues, without exception, as ignorant blockheads.
3. He believes himself unjustly persecuted and discriminated against.
4. He has strong compulsions to focus his attacks on the greatest scientists and best established theories.
5. He often has a tendency to write in a complex jargon, in many cases making use of terms and phrases he himself has coined.

Those of us that have followed the creation/evolution 'debate' for any length of time will clearly recognize the fact that many if not all of these signs/characteristics can be found on any anti-evolution website, in any creationist book, in any Intelligent Design press release.


Rudy Wellsand said...

Strong Science-site! NEW Tho't: Is Destiny CONTROLLED by CODES?

You have DNA and RNA CODES in you, plus other CODES that switch things ON and OFF in your body; to CONTROL you!



See the "Chosen"Code and "Color" Code; VISIT: ! Save or Print this to study! Leave a comment if you will.

Doppelganger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daniel said...

Thanks for the comments. I have a new post up. I'd love to find out for sure that I'm right, but I doubt I will, and yet I have a really have a strong suspicion that I am.

Mostly it was MikeGene's reaction that convinced me. Also it was the coincidence in the names of the two individuals, (Thomas) and the fact that I have inside info that MikeGene is junior faculty at a public university.

Rich Hughes said...

Has THE code got ANYTHING to do WITH randomly CAPITALIZING words?

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