Portal talk:Science

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Pseudo- vs. Cargo Cult Science[edit]

"Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status."

"Cargo cult science refers to practices that have the semblance of being scientific, but do not in fact follow the scientific method."

I doubt that these introductions are suitable to distinguish the two concepts from each other and believe that Cargo cult science should be revised. Other points in the examples:

  • I do understand why the wrong methodology in the oil drop experiments is considered to be cargo cult science, and neither "true" science, nor pseudoscience. Ok.
  • I do not understand it in the case of Jaques Lacan:

"He became obsessed by a particular mathematical figure called a Borromean knot, in which he saw the key to the unconscious, to sexuality and to the ontological situation of mankind. His quasi-mathematical, pseudological fantasies—the culmination of the cargo cult science of his school..."

—Raymond Tallis
... if Lacan stated things like that, this is pure pseudoscience; I really don't see why we need the concept of cargo cult science here and suspect that Tallis simply confused them or was not aware of their differences?
  • About the Aircraft Cabin Air Sampling Study... without further details this seems to impose the conclusion "Any scientific activity with any fault in method is cargo cult science." Is that so?

--KnightMove (talk) 05:15, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Absolutely good points there. I think none these examples make sense. On the other hand, this might also mean that the term just is inaccurately applied to different kinds of pseudo scientific papers. While this may not be corrected with a Wikipedia article, the vagueness of definition should be made clear in the examples section - or the section should possibly be removed.

--146.211.0.10 (talk) 08:35, 9 January 2013 (UTC)