Science and pseudo-science

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Science and pseudo-science

By email, following on the heels of my post about the Merck-commissioned, Elsevier-published fake journal Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, a reader asked whether the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPandS) also counts as a fake journal. I have the distinct impression that folks around these parts do not hold JPandS in…

It seems that some people respond to public concern about swine flu and its spread by trying to sell you stuff. This stuff is not limited to face masks and duct tape, but includes products advertised to prevent, diagnose, or treat swine flu, but whose claims of safety and efficacy do not have a basis…

Over at DrugMonkey, PhysioProf has written a post on the relative merits of “correct” and “interesting”, at least as far as science is concerned. Quoth PhysioProf: It is essential that one’s experiments be “correct” in the sense that performing the same experiment in the same way leads to the same result no matter when the…

Science and belief.

Given that in my last post I identified myself as playing for Team Science, this seems to be as good a time as any to note that not everyone on the team agrees about every little thing. Indeed, there are some big disagreements — but I don’t think these undermine our shared commitment to scientific…

A regular reader of the blog emailed me the following: Have you ever considered setting up a section for laymen in your blog where posts related to the philosophy of science, how research is conducted, how scientists think etc. are archived? An example of what I think might be a good article to include would…

In my last post, I allowed as how the questions which occupy philosophers of science might be of limited interest or practical use to the working scientist.* At least one commenter was of the opinion that this is a good reason to dismantle the whole discipline: [T]he question becomes: what are the philosophers good for?…

Prompted by my discussion of Medawar and recalling that once in the past I called him a gadfly (although obviously I meant it in the good way), Bill Hooker drops another Medawar quotation on me and asks if I’ll bite: If the purpose of scientific methodology is to prescribe or expound a system of enquiry…

In the May 18th issue of Science, there’s a nice review by Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg [1] of the literature from developmental psychology that bears on the question of why adults in the U.S. are stubbornly resistant to certain scientific ideas. Regular readers will guess that part of my interest in this research…

On the post in which I resorted to flowcharts to try to unpack people’s claims about the process involved in building scientific knowledge, Torbj√∂rn Larsson raised a number of concerns: The first problem I have was with “belief”. I have seen, and forgotten, that it is used in two senses in english – for trust,…

This is another attempt to get to the bottom of what’s bugging people about the case of Marcus Ross, Ph.D. in geosciences and Young Earth Creationist. Here, I’ve tried to distill the main hypotheticals from my last post on the issue into flowcharts*, in the hopes that this will make it easier for folks to…