Pseudoscience and Society

Pseudoscience and Society
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Pseudoscience and its Impact on the Society

By Husain Ali Meghani

Pseudoscience is a belief that people mistake to be based on science. It’s difficult to say whether there’s the lack of awareness in the masses or it’s the deep roots that pseudoscience has established in the society. The impact and the outcomes of pseudoscience varies from culturally and on their beliefs. Believers of pseudoscience tends to be defensive when it comes to the denial of the pseudoscience mechanism. However, from the view of science and psychology, until proven; pseudoscience is considered a universal negative in the scientific world. Although the boundary between science and pseudoscience is hazier than ever, pseudoscience lacks verifiability, reproducibility and falsifiability. To a great extent, pseudoscience is deeply entrenched in dogmatic beliefs, and in spite of changing times, the explanations provided are not updated. According to Smith (2010) “pseudoscience pretends to be scientific, and actually misapplies scientific techniques” (p. 39).  Smith also answers to the possible identification of the believers of pseudoscience can be misinterpretation of numbers, perceptual or memory error, a placebo effect, or sensory anomalies that allows a person to be encharm or impress by works of pseudoscience or pseudoscientists.

A common example of a pseudoscience is astrology, which is rooted deeper into the human society across the globe. Smith writes “Astrology is an ancient form of divination, a way of acquiring information, seeing into the future or seeking interpretation” (p. 51). The number is not deterministic but a vast majority of people believe or had believed in the horoscopes; through in the dailies, astrology claims that a person’s future is influenced by the time they were born (Mcburney, 2002). In contrast, there is no scientific evidence to back this up. Mcburney also discusses that astrology collides with the basic principles of science, that is; its continuous evolving nature, science is based on objective reality and empirical findings. Horoscopes tend to give general and vague statements about the future; they are not specific, and it seems strange that there are around 7.5 billion people in the world currently, and 12 zodiac signs, if we equally divide the population on the basis of assumption, then it comes to 625 million people, and a logically 625 million people cannot have same happenings in a day as suggested by daily horoscopes.                              

Reference

Mcburney, D. (2002). How to think like a psychologist: Critical thinking in psychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

Smith, J. C. (2010). Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker’s Toolkit (1st ed.). Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.