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- 1 Global warming as possible example
- 2 Attribution
- 3 Homeopathy
- 4 "A New Kind of Science" and Wolfram
- 5 Bad criticism
- 6 Poor cross-reference?
- 7 Criticisms: the list of examples
- 8 Criticisms
- 9 Please reduce references to footnote format
- 10 Cold fusion debate
- 11 Aether and String Theories?
- 12 Do N-rays fit the definition?
- 13 How is this consistent?
- 14 More bogus nonsense about cold fusion
- 15 pseudoscience vs. pathological science
- 16 Support for polywater
- 17 CORRECT!!
- 18 The Lysenkoism Blurb
- 19 Pathological science is not Pseudoscience
- 20 Antiscience
- 21 Facilitation of introduction
- 22 False reference
- 23 WikiProject class rating
- 24 Is cold fusion a pathological science according to 2004 DOE ?
- 25 Article mostly fringe
- 26 Cold Fusion not "Langmuir-Pathological"
- 27 Intelligent Design
- 28 Bart Simpson as an authority on pathological science?
- 29 Why has this discipline had few publications.....Since 1822.....???
- 30 Please vote - A consensus vote as to whether to consider the journal Homeopathy an RS for physics, science, or medical conclusions
- 31 Removed here
Global warming as possible example
Should put global warming hypotheses as an example. Its supporters are still rising. Sometime around 2020 to 2050, when the current semi-centennial warming trend reverses, perhaps it will fade into oblivion. --Ed (?)
- Ed, this kind of comment is not helpful. The scientific studies confirming the existence of a global warming trend are now just indisputable. This is a real scientific field, and the data and computer models are getting much firmer. Of course, how much of the current global warming is due to man-made contributions is still debateable (and well should be!) but this effect is real, it is measurable, and it is in no way pseudo-science. Your over-the-top comment on this topic betrays a political agenda, and not a scientifically informed view. --RK
- If they are "indisputable" then why does the NOAA dispute it? Note that the NOAA is the same source used by advocates of the CFC-ozone-UV-cancer connection. Is the NOAA trustworthy only when it supports an environmentalist position, and discreditable otherwise? Your comment -- not mine -- betrays a political agenda, and not a scientifically informed view. --User:Ed Poor
- Ed, you clearly didn't read the first five criteria here, because global warming theory obviously doesn't fit any of them, and if you think it does, you either can't read plain English or you don't give a damn about the truth (I suspect the latter). Whether or not it might happen to fit the sixth criterion might be an interesting discussion somewhere, but not in an encyclopedia. --Lee Daniel Crocker
- I read it. Did you read the NOAA web page showing a 0.01 degree cooling trend since 1979?
- From the article: "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a scientific agency of the United States Department of Commerce". They are a politically-driven institution whose purpose is to support the goals of big business.
- "The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause." Okay, this might only be half true, because we can detect anthropgenic greenhouse gas emissions. But global temperature correlates better with the sunspot cycle than with carbon dioxide levels, so this criterion is partly acceptable.
- "The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results." This is obviously true.
- When someone claims something is "obviously true", it's time to beware of observer bias. The increased frequency and strength of atlantic hurricanes and pacific tropical storms, the retreat of alpine glaciers and the polar ice caps, the earlier arrival of spring and changes in geographical distribution of insect species - I could go on, but all these effects are easily measurable, highly significant, and many orders of magnitude above the threshold of detectability. So, I've got evidence to back my position that this criterion is not met. What have you got? You've got "obviously true". I think you're "obviously biased".
- "Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested." One of the IPCC scenarios assumes that the entire world grows economically at the same rate as the United States. This strains credulity, as do several other of their scenarios.
- "Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment." All right, this criterion might not fit, but the fact that the IPCC et al. totally ignore the contrary evidence of the NOAA is just as good a criterion as this one.
- "The ratio of supporters to critics rises and then falls gradually to oblivion." As you point out, this is true.
- Don't worry, I'm not going to jump in and make wholesale changes in articles to suit my opinions. I promised SR and April I wouldn't. But on the talk pages I will talk.
- I would expect no less, my esteemed opponent (you can read that in much the same vein as "the honorable gentleman" in a British parliament debate :-). Believe me, I am as much a skeptic of many environmental claims as any rabid righter--hell, I don't think there's really any evidence that warming would be harmful in any way (except possibly to a few folks who build houses too close to shore), and I generally oppose many of the enviro-wacko's legislation proposals. I think the Sierra club is a gang of extortionists. But despite those political opinions, I refuse to classify as "patholoical science" that which is a very widely held and respectable scientific opinion, because my honesty comes first, and only then my politics. --LDC
- Aw, you're so honorable! You, you, you gentleman, you! There, I said it: I called you a name. Want to make something of it?!
- Without getting into the debate about global climate change, I'd note that the IPCC numbers were heavily political and were in effect making engineering decisions about how much life was worth in the places that would have reduced economic activity or more flooding or bad weather. Their numbers added up to 15x more value for a life in the developed than developing world!
- See more at http://www.gci.org.uk - 'value of life' section
- So, this is another definition of "pathological science" or "political engineering" - assuming widely variant safety standards for different parts of your user base...
- Yes, but not in the sense this article is about...
I think this is a magnificent example of 'pathalogical science' on display. The Global warming deniers certainly qualify. Observe their dismissal and refusal to even aknowledge the proponderance of physical observable evidence listed above. Thats worse than an 'ad hoc' excuse, thats just straight head-in-sand tactics. Observe their outright LIE about the NOAA, claiming they deny global warming (on the front page of NOAA right now are three seperate articles about the real and measurable impacts of global warming). They have an agenda, its not based on science, truth or reality, and they squirm and wiggle every time such science is actually presented. They act and reqct exactly like flat-earthers, creationists or holocaust deniers. Thank you for putting on such an ideal demonstration of the subject matter of the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 09:18, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
- Yes Global Warming is a great example of Pathological science. Through all geological history the globe has either been warming or cooling, never stable. Of course the comment above fails to mention the pathology in the science that posits global warming is man made. Therein lies the pathology of the misdirection inherent in the whole global warming debate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 12:43, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm impressed that Irving Langmuir managed to co-author a paper published in 1989 despite being dead since 1957. How did he manage this astonishing feat ? Did he write his bit in 1956 and then send it to his co-author who took his time over the rest ? Or is it someone else of the same name -- in which case the beginning of the article needs changing. --Derek Ross 03:01 Apr 24, 2003 (UTC)
Is homeopathy really a pathological science in the sense discussed at this page? I'd rather remove it. --till we *) 16:31, Aug 12, 2003 (UTC)
- Homeopathy is claimed, by practitioners, to be a medical remedy. Scientists have not only shown that it's theoretically impossible, but have actually shown as much with experimentation. It has not one iota of evidence to back it up. As such, it falls smack-dab into the middle of "pathological science". Same as Scientology. Maybe we should add that? Dave420 15:03, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
"A New Kind of Science" and Wolfram
I saw that someone removed mention of Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science" from this article. I had originally placed mention of it in the pseudoscience article, but someone suggested that it did not really belong there because ANKOS does not really have any following (adherents who believe in the path being preached by Wolfram), and a field must have some kind of following to qualify as a psuedoscience. Fields with just one adherent (the author in this case) would more properly belong to an article on "crank science" or "pathological science" or "junk science" or some other descriptive term.
All the reviews that I have read to date of ANKOS have been, frankly, scathing, though all the reviewers have been too polite (or more likely, too afraid of lawsuits) to call it pseudoscience. Yet the article on ANKOS has been rewritten recently to remove any hint of what seems to be universally critical opinion regarding the work. So someone please tell me, where is the proper place on the Wikipedia to point out that in the opinion of many, Wolfram has gone off the deep end. --Grizzly 06:40, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)
- "removed mention of Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science""?
- ANKOS does not really have any following
- "path being preached by Wolfram"?
- "field must have some kind of following to qualify as a psuedoscience"? Woh ... that's entirely POV ... he has some ppl [ie. a limited group] that follow him ..
- "Fields with just one adherent"? is theredata to support that?
- "the author in this case"? yea he's a smart guy ...
- "properly belong to an article on "crank science""? bzzt ... =-] I think it wouldn't fit there ... mabey abit fringe (and speculative), but not psuedo ... more like protoscience ...
- "pathological science"? he is on a mission ...
- ""junk science""? IYO again I see ...
- "descriptive term"? hmmm ... =-\ ...
- "All the reviews that I have read to date of ANKOS have been, frankly, scathing"? hmmm ... I'll look into that ...
- IYO "reviewers have been too polite"? I see the POV now ...
- "or more likely, too afraid of lawsuits" rightly so ...
- "call it pseudoscience"? no ... because it's not ...
- "Universally critical opinion"? I don't think that is the case ... though criticism should be acknowledged ...
- "where is the proper place on the Wikipedia to point out that in the opinion of many, Wolfram has gone off the deep end"? In the protoscience article or in the specified article ... --Sincerely, JDR
- It defnitely belongs in the ANKOS article. That article is currently nothing more than a summary of the book, and is strongly POV (supporting the book's arguments). I would recommend rearrange the article so there's a section on a summary, and a section on criticisms, including rebuttals of the criticisms. If I knew the criticisms myself I would work on it. --zandperl 14:09, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Geez-uss! What an article!
Ok, I have removed the entirety of the "Criticisms" section. Not a single example offered had ever been referred to as "pathological science". Hell, with the possible exception of Mpemba effect and Halton Arp, they all predate the invention of the term.
Oh sure, people didn't believe the examples, but that's not even remotely the same thing. If someone can offer examples of things that were called pathological science and later turned out not to be, put it in there.
For the record: just because people say you are full of crap doesn't mean they say you're involved in pathological science. read the &^%$%^ definitions people!!! --Maury
- You have missed the point of the examples entirely. It is not that there were called pathological because that term was only coined in the early twentieth century. The point is that critics of the concept claim that those issues satisfied Langmuire's criteria quite as soundly as do N-rays. What would help the article be NPOV would be a table of those examples showing exactly what Langmuire would have thought was pathological about them. I agree that the old article was a mess and you have done a brave job in cleaning it up but I think it is now less NPOV. --Cutler 10:13, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
- None of those examples were pathological, for precisely the reasons you quote. You state that "those issues satisfied Langmuire's criteria quite as soundly as do N-rays", yet I claim that with the two exceptions I offered, none of them come even remotely close to satisfying any of the conditions.
- To be pathological the experimenter must be working on something at the edge of detectability, and defend it with ad-hoc "answers". Would you agree that this is the crux of Langmuire's definition?
- Let's take the most modern of the examples given in the original article, prions. Did prions fit any of the "rules" for pathological science? Was it at the limit of detectability? No. Were there claims of great accuracy? No. Were critisms met with ad-hoc answers? No. Did the ratio of supporters fade to oblivion? No.
- Prions, in fact, are exactly typical for science. A new idea was offered that flew in the face of current thinking, and the supporters offered more and more, stronger and stronger, evidence for their position. After a while the evidence became overwhelming. There is nothing pathological about this example, no one has ever called it that, nor does this example illustrate anything out of the ordinary: this is the normal evolution of a theory -- and the same is true of Vitamin C, Alfvén waves and most of the other examples offered.
- Let's take another, one that's perhaps a better illustration because it shows the opposite. The article suggested that Langmuir's introduction of the term was ironic, because he was a "believer" in the cubical atom. The implication is that he was subject to this problem himself. Yet once again this example fails on all counts. In fact its a perfect example of the difference between something being "wrong" and something being "pathological", Langmuir gave up on the concept as soon as it became clear that the Bohr model was a better solution to the problem.
- Again, I'm more than willing to include examples of pathological science that turned out not to be -- in fact I think the article is missing an important part without them -- but I note again that not one of those examples was pathological. --Maury 13:29, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
- Let's focus on what we agree on. Am I right in thinking that you agree that the issue is around the extent to which these ideas satisfy Langmuire's criteria, rather than whether anybody actually used the term pathological? The question is then a) What were Langmuire's criteria? b) To what extent to various departures in science satisfy the criteria? Though of course, this feels all very content and PoV, rather than reporting what various people have contended? What we are trying to embark on here is a test of the usefuleness of the idea pathological science, rather than an encyclopedia article. If there are only the two of us interested in this it is not worth writing about. --Cutler 00:02, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
- Maury Markowitz writes: "none of them come even remotely close to satisfying any of the conditions." I amended the article to point out that cold fusion also fails to meet any of the conditions set by Langumuir, except possibly #6. Skeptics often claim that cold fusion meets these conditions, but the literature shows it does not. (This does not prove that cold fusion is real. It may even be pathological for some other reasons that Langumuir never thought of.) Nowhere in the cold fusion literature does anyone claim "great accuracy." Experimentalists do not cite fantastic theories or make ad hoc excuses. They do not claim that, "many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results."  This raises an interesting point: many other scientific claims do require multiple measurements. The top quark is a good example. Yet no one says it is pathological. Even people who agree that pathological science exists would probably say that the top quark would have to meet several of these criteria before it fits. Since cold fusion does not meet any of them, logically it should not be listed in this article. However, skeptics universally claim that it does meet them, so for practical purposes it should probably be listed here with a disclaimer. Also as a practical matter, if we took it out I am sure they would quickly add it back in.
- (I do not know why the skeptics keep claiming cold fusion meets these criteria. I suppose they have not read any papers on the subject. It seems odd to make a case that anyone can see is wrong as a matter of fact. In other words, you might claim that cold fusion researchers are inept, but it is a matter of fact that they say they use ordinary instruments with ordinary accuracy, and they never say they have to make multiple measurements to resolve the signal.)
- On balance, I think Langumuir's rule-of-thumb criteria cause more harm than good. At best they are thought provoking, but for the most part they are used by closed minded people to ignore replicated experimental evidence. --Jed Rothwell
-  Let me amend that. In some (but not all) studies of neutrons, statistical techniques are used. I am not aware of reports of excess heat, tritium or other evidence that required statistical techniques to separate signal from noise. Note that the quote about "many measurments" came from F. Franks, "Polywater," (MIT Press, 1981) in his discussion of Langumiur's criteria.
It seems to me like Creationism doesn't really belong in the See Also section, as it doesn't really seem to me as an example of pathological science, at least as described in the article, which says that pathological science occurs when a scientist is originally conforming to the scientific method. Creationism didn't start with the scientific method at all. --L3prador 00:58, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
- I have to agree with you. "Intelligent Design" is what Creationists call Creationism when they use the scientific method to try to debunk evolution. So, "Intelligent Design" belongs in "See Also", not Creationism. Intelligent Design is most definitely pathological science, as it thinks of itself a science, yet will never ever subject itself to the rigors to which it subjects competing theories. Dave420 15:35, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
- A quibble. While it appears to be absolutely true that some people who believe in Creationism push Intelligent Design, I think mainly for political reasons, I don't think Intelligent Design is in fact based on Creationism. (Which says something about the scientific ignorance of the Creationists, that they push ID without understanding that if ID was real, Creationism would be in the toilet.)
- To explain -- ID accepts the prevailing scientific perspective about the Earth being quite old. ID accepts geological processes. ID accepts the fossil evidence. It then disagrees with evolutionary theory and claims that the evolutionary processes were "designed". But Creationism claims the earth is young, geological process measurements are flawed, the processes are wrong, and that fossils are found the way they are either because "Satan did it" or that's just the order they were deposited "in the great flood."
- So -- one can argue that ID is pathological science, or not -- but only in the most base political sense can one try to claim that ID is Creationism "in disguise". It really isn't, regardless of what some backwoods knuckle-dragging Creationist-believing folks think. SunSw0rd (talk) 19:49, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Criticisms: the list of examples
The current list of examples of stuff that allegedly has been misclassified as pathological science is not, in its present form, worth retention in the article.
Two of the five are so obscure that one can't even find out what they are in Wikipedia. One other (freezing hot water) is scientifically trivial, not involving any alleged scientific breakthrough in the first place. None of the non-trivial four is something that has won out over the pig-headed opposition of the Establishment and thus serves a clear example of how useless the PS concept is. (Certainly, we all understand that the key to "pathological science" is not whether it turned out right or wrong, but how the claimed discovery was handled by its proponents; but something that has turned out to be right still makes a much more convincing example.)
The list as given in this article does not show evidence that any of the items has been called pathological; nor are there apparent grounds for calling them so.
The Wikipedia articles on two non-trivial items show criticisms, but no accusations of pathological science, or allegations that such accusations have been made. They also show no good reason, under Langmuir's rules, for applying the term.
Somebody who considers the list to be valid will want to make emendations. It ain't me, babe. --Dandrake 20:24, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)
- I'm with you. The list is rubish. Moreover Langmuir's belief in the cubical atom, apparently offered as irony, is an example of something that was NOT pathological -- when Bohr's theory showed a clearly better way to conceive the atom, everyone was happy to adbandon the earlier system. Lysenkoism isn't because no one believed it; if anyone supported it, it was to stay out of jail. J-phenomenon hits on google are primarily copies of this article. Halton Arp is a crank, not pathological. Mpemba effect, as you note, is a real event and the only debate is why it happens. None of these are pathological, nor ever been named as such. As examples of things that have been "inappropriately described as either pathological science or incorrect" the list contains either items that are not pathological (and were never described as such) or things that ARE incorrect. --Maury 02:46, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Some of the examples listed were pathological, but the article seems too abusive towards some of them. Unprofesional IMO. Also, why are there refrences to Jesus? Very few scientific theories have much to do with him, most are historical and don't apply. --Math-Man 05:23, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
- How about specifics? Removing NPOV labels pending specific enumeration or discussion here. Anyone can slap NPOV on something, but it should be backed up with specific points for each. How is Compare NPOV? There are pontential or problematic parts of this article, but discuss and fix don't just slap NPOV labels around, that's the lazy approach to contoversies :-) --Vsmith 15:14, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
One of the examples given was on Radar Mapping of Venus. There was no supporting description (not to mention evidence) of the pathology involved either in the Pathological Science article or in the referred Venus article. What is the purported pathology? Is it not likely that this relatively recent work is still open for interpretation? I don't know, but I think there is some unwarranted bad-mouthing going on. — Preceding unsigned comment added by PEBill (talk • contribs) 05:12, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Please reduce references to footnote format
In the section on cold fusion, I added a couple of references to papers. Some clever person who understands how to edit these pages reduced the first footnote to a number in parenthesis. That is a better format. Please do that to the second footnote as wall, and you might as well remove "See:"
It will be interesting to see whether my additions survive or whether the skeptics erase them. It will be a test of the Wikipedia philosophy. --Jed Rothwell
- That was me; and I also did those fixes you suggested. Flattery will gain you much... --maru 22:52, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
- (Oh and hey, it is easier to discuss this sort of thing if you register here. Makes things difficult for impersonators, plus there is a handy feature to 'watch' selected pages, that is, have them monitored for changes and a way to easily see the diffs. A lifesaver I tells ya. --maru 22:52, 9 May 2005 (UTC))
Cold fusion debate
I'm in no way qualified to comment on the technical merits of cold fusion experiments. I am, however, rather qualified to comment on the merits of Wikipedia articles, and the extended section on cold fusion in the middle just doesn't belong in this article. Judging from the comments below, it's clearly just something that evolved in place as a result of arguments between pro- and anti-cold fusion factions. It adds nothing of merit to the article, makes it longer unnecessarily, and is just ugly.
I've removed the whole shebang and just linked to the cold fusion article. We don't need a mini reproduction of that fine article here. If you dislike my changes, do be so kind as to discuss. George 20:38, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
- I have to agree with George here. Every time I looked at this page, the "cold fusion" section was getting longer and longer. Clearly, the fact "cold fusion has been accused of being pathological science" belongs on pathological science but just as clearly, the appropriate place to discuss the rightness or wrongness of the accusation is cold fusion, not here. -- Antaeus Feldspar 16:24, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
- I added the material on cold fusion. I do not mind a bit that George removed it, HOWEVER, as long as there is any mention of cold fusion, I think one or two sentences rebutting this point of view should be included. The article here said that cold fusion supporters deny it is pathological because they say it is new. That is not the reason. They deny it because it does not fit the criteria, except perhaps the last one. - Jed Rothwell
Aether and String Theories?
Aether theories: cranks and legitimate physicists never seem to give these up. Would they be considered pathological?
My big question is String Theory. Tons of brains, time, and money has been poored into String Theory with practically no results. If this fervor starts to die out more rapidly, will it become the next pathological science? Even if it does work, the field still seems very pathological to me right now.
- I would put aether theories far more over into the pseudoscience field. I haven't seen recent data, but I'd wager that the proportion of PhD physicists who hold to an aether theory is utterly tiny. It's mostly just cranks
- String theory is a much harder one. I agree that it may turn out to be a pathological science, if, as many people argue, it makes no predictions and is ultimately abandoned for something else. Unfortunately, it's probably only possible to (reliably) diagnose pathological science retrospectively. Given that, at this point, string theory is well within the mainstream of physics, I don't see posting it here.
- Alternative idea: We could add a section on current controversies into which we shovel cold fusion, string theory, and whatever else we can think of
- George 18:42, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
- The jury is still out on string theory. If it is shown to be correct then it isn't pathological. If it is shown to be wrong and dies, then it isn't pathological. Only if it is shown to be wrong and doesn't die is it pathological.
Do N-rays fit the definition?
The definition of "pathological science" in the article says ideas that would simply not "go away", long after they were given up on as wrong by the majority of scientists in the field. From what I read, the idea of N-rays did essentially quickly go away after Wood's 1904 paper in Nature, except for Blondot and a few believers. Bubba73 (talk), 00:11, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
- Well, N-rays were one of the original examples given, so it must fit (at least at the time). Bubba73 (talk), 01:14, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
How is this consistent?
The page says that N-rays are universally regarded as pathological science. Yet, the page also says that "Critics of the concept argue that it fails to offer criteria that distinguish lasting discoveries (and other scientific studies) from mere fads and fallacies and that it could be applied to many revolutionary discoveries of the past. Critics also urge others to abandon the phrase." These appear to be contradictory; if critics don't believe that pathological science is a well-defined concept, then it is impossible for N-rays to be universally regarded as pathological science. Ken Arromdee 20:04, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
- Because this paragraph is contradictory and contains weasel terms, I've removed it. Ken Arromdee 07:19, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
More bogus nonsense about cold fusion
Apparently, a skeptic stepped in here, erased what I wrote about cold fusion, and replaced it with bogus imaginary nonsense. He claimed that “that the effect is at or near the limit of detectability” and that cold fusion researchers blame the instruments when the effect is not seen. The experimental literature contradicts these assertions completely. Whoever wrote that simply made it up. I expect he will revert the text and substitute his imagination for facts. --JedRothwell 22:13, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
pseudoscience vs. pathological science
On an edit on Jan 17, 2006, Magnus Mopus makes the comment "theres no reason to have this as a distinct article (ie. merge to pseudoscience)". I think that the two are definitely distinct, so they should not be merged. In fact, I'm not entirely happy with the word pseudoscience being used in the definition of pathological science. Bubba73 (talk), 00:08, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
- I agree. Although much pseudoscience is pathological, the converse is not categorically true. Take polywater for example: the theory was the result of legitamte, funded, peer reviewed research. It wasn't pseudoscience, it was just the result of poor procedure; an accident. Pretty big difference. I think this article should definetly be kept.Shaggorama 11:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Support for polywater
- Not according to Franks, who has written the most authoritative description of the research. Several authors published papers about the subject, especially theory papers, and many groups reported attempts to replicate. As described in the article on polywater, some of the effects were seen by others. But only two groups reported that they had fully replicated and they were convinced the effect was anomalous (and not merely contamination). See: Franks, F., Polywater. Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press, 1981. --JedRothwell 02:35, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
"to 0.01 mm from a 2 mm source, a physical impossibility in the propagation of any kind of wave" this should be corrected to, ....a 2mm continous EM source or something like that. Slicky 06:07, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
The Lysenkoism Blurb
Well, if anyone wants to delete Lysenkoism that's fine, but as long as it's up there I thought it necessary to clarify the statement that "many scientists of the time were forced into publicly recanting politically unacceptable ideas such as evolution (those that refused were imprisoned or executed)." The term "evolution" is was a bit too vague. At least according to its Wiki, Lysenkoism included Lamarckian ideas and a repudiation of heredity and genetics (for the aforementioned political reasons) but it seemed rather contradictory to me that a state claiming to be even a little atheist would repudiate evolution entirely, as could have been construed from the old statement. Skido85 11:19, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Pathological science is not Pseudoscience
These are not the same thing, but I note that some people do indeed lump the terms together. I've amended the text to reflect both points of view, and provided citations.
I've also marked a number of areas where citations are require to support some of the modern "interpretions" of Pathological science. Without citations, such interpretations are personal views, and inadmissible. --Iantresman 14:29, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps the editors of this discussion might wish to look at the wiki articles antiscience and antireductionism with a view to perhaps considering any potential areas of overlap between them. Peter morrell 17:09, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
- Well personally I don't think much of that topic directly applies. The key issue on this topic is that there is science, but it's being taken too far. Things like cargo cult science, pseudoscience, etc. are different in that there is no science involved, only, as the Simpsons so finely put it, "scienticians". Your link has some bearing, but in this case it seems to be more of an active dislike, a philosophical issue more than anything to do with a particular scientific debate. All of this just illustrates the vagueness of the topic IMHO. Maury 14:21, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
Facilitation of introduction
I suggest the citations in the introduction are made more hidden, to facilitate for the reader to go through it. For example:
Pathological science is the process in science in which people are tricked into false results by subjective effects, wishful thinking or threshold interactions. It is present among practices pretending to be science, e.g. pseudoscience, amateur science... 
- Bart Simon
Anybody disagrees? Mikael Häggström 12:55, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
- As the main parts are direct quotes, it shouldn't be changed. I would love to reword it somewhat. --Wfaxon 16:07, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I removed the ref to http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~ken/Langmuir/langmuir.htm from the article. Polywater and cold fusion came after the author's death, for example. Vassyana 16:42, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
WikiProject class rating
This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 04:20, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Is cold fusion a pathological science according to 2004 DOE ?
Several recent edits show that there is an argument on whether 2004 DOE panel can be used to show that cold fusion is a pathological science. There are many arguments that it does not consider it so. Instead, it considers it as a scientific controversy, like they are many others:
- When asked about the evidence for power that cannot be attributed to an ordinary chemical or solid state source, the 2004 DoE panel was evenly split. This clearly shows that there is a scientific controversy on the subject, that the subject is not pathological, and that further research is warranted. Hence, the conclusion of the panel to continue research. A pathological science would not receive support for funding.
- When asked "is the evidence convincing beyond doubt?", the panel mostly responded negatively. Hence, they concluded against federally-funded projects. This shows that cold fusion cannot justify large research projects, not that it is a pathological science: this argument is thus irrelevant in the pathological science article.
Article mostly fringe
I dislike this article strongly and suspect that it is heavily loaded with editors' opinions, and thereby is bordering to WP:OR with clear break against WP:NPOV. Who is classifying any non-mainstream science or other research branch as pathological science? Any committee that can be cited? Polywater and cold fusion being "newer examples", is a pathological clash between WP:OR and not WP:NPOV. Classifying Lysenkoism as not pathological science, is odd in the extreme, and probably quite ahistorical, where interviews instead may (my speculation) make a story of pseudoscience using a totalitarian system to quench opposition and gain system acceptance. Before making such statements, the mayhap editor should consult some historian. Representing Continental drift as not pathological science is seemingly wise in hindsight, except probably false. A claim that continents roll around and collide because they're residing on unstable sand and rubble, is clearly a very unphysical statement, and most geologists must have claimed this is bad reasoning. Only when modified in the 1960ies and 70ies to be based on fluid mantle movements, and when the proofs added up to a critical mass, the continental drift was accepted, and the acceptance occurred fast, not step-by-step as the article alleges. The sections Newer examples and Scientific theories that are not pathological science are clear cases of fringe wikipedianism (not pathological, there are other articles being such). Said: Rursus (☻) 06:50, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
- It is not up to editors to decide what subjects may fall under the label "pathological science", no matter what the reasoning. Langmuir verifiably labeled some subjects, but unless there are sources labeling others, then that would be either original research WP:OR, possibly synthesis. I would add requests for citations. --John294 (talk) 09:26, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
- Exactly my opinion too. This article is about Langmuir's concept of "pathological science", (and possibly other's ditto if we can find outside sources indicating a continuity, but for that we need outside sources); I'll add some requests too, here and there. Said: Rursus (☻) 10:06, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
- My uglification is in a pretty advanced state. I think there might be some continuity after Langmuir's concept, then from the book Voodoo science, but I think we have to rethink what the sections "Newer examples" and "Scientific theories that are not pathological science" really should contain. I, as an amateur in most scientific areas, am not willing to shoot down enterprises that seem like bizarre to my eyes, just because the logic seems weird. Said: Rursus (☻) 16:37, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Cold Fusion not "Langmuir-Pathological"
Reading around a little, trying to find up and down, and ideas of how to improve the second half of the article, I realized that Cold Fusion doesn't fit the Langmuir description very well: they're not working on the border of detectability, their energy productions are very clear, and they're laborating with factors that increases or decreases the levels of energy production, so the signal is not invariant from input factors. Their trouble is simply repeatability and a lot of chaos and unexpected behaviors in their experiments. They have been characterized as pathological, but not by the Langmuir-Criteria. Said: Rursus (☻) 06:50, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
- I'm glad you say it. Many people have been slow to realize it. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:22, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it is up for debate whether cold fusion is, or is not pathological science. It's more important what is verifiable. A straw poll via Google Books finds that several have mentioned cold fusion as pathological science, though it would be useful to know (a) their reasons (b) their sources. Likewise Google scholar sources. --John294 (talk) 08:54, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
- Cold fusion was certainly seen as pathological science in the 1990's, but not anymore. All the books you pointed us to are from the 1990's. The ones after 2000's are not presenting it as such (e.g. "Undead science"). If you disagree, please point us to a specific book post-2000 that presents cold fusion as pathological science. On the other hand, many recent scientific papers published in respectable journal do show that it is a valid scientific controversy. The fact that half the 2004 DOE panel found the excess heat evidence convincing is an additional evidence. Please note also that a recent RfC decided against placing cold fusion in the Pathological science category. Pcarbonn (talk) 09:11, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
- I don't think there would be any problem mentioning that cold fusion was described as pathological science in the 1990s, if that is what the sources support. We can mention that cold fusion used to be described as such, again, only if the sources support it. It seems that the even "cosmology" has been described a pathological science. --John294 (talk) 13:58, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
- Then: Hyle 8-1 search for "What have Fleischmann and Pons been accused of that was ‘pathological’?". We may reformulate. However, I'm trying to get an overview, technicalities on exactly how much we are allowed to synthethise (irrespective of the WP:synthesis you mention below, we must make synthesis of nouns, verbs, adjectives etc in order to think, speak and edit), can wait for writing an actual text. Even weak texts are better than those that are in the article now. Maybe we should consider erasing the sections Newer examples and Scientific theories ... immediatelly? Said: Rursus (☻) 12:04, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
- No, no. My topic here, was what the article should contain. If it should contain "pathological science" per "Langmuir" or per some wider concept. If per "Langmuir", then it doesn't belong to here. This is my topic. The debate whether cold fusion is or isn't pathological science, should be outside wikipedia. However: the article should provide some coherent view of the concept "pathological science", then it must either adher to Langmuir or to some other definition. That's the conditions for NPOV:ing the article. Above, I just debunked (I think) that Langmuirs definition apply. As regards my opinion in cold fusion: I'm undecided, and therefore pretty neutral (I think). Said: Rursus (☻) 09:44, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
- We can only say that cold fusion's description as "pathological science" differs from Langmuir's criteria, if a source says so (otherwise it is "WP:synthesis"). I think it will be easier to find a source that in general says "pathological science" is used in a way that may differ from Langmuir's criteria, and may be used pejoratively. eg.  --John294 (talk) 15:45, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
- And I forgot to say: googling for the combination of "cold fusion" (or something other that is generally doubted) and "pathological science" may give some fine hits: if we behind a google hit find a site that makes a coherent analysis of "pathological science" and "cold fusion", then we have material for a replacement section in the article. But googling is just a survey preparation for finding potentially good material, it has no direct factual meaning for the content of wikipedia, it is just a surveying tool, that may or may not serve as a consensus maker in discussions. Said: Rursus (☻) 10:04, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Listing possible sources to use:
- pathological science the sceptics dictionary (I believe there are a few logic defects in this site, but it sounds pretty OK),
- Toward a general theory of pathological science -
good initiative!(usable, but doesn't elaborate on Langmuir – it develops rules for antipathological behaviors of serious scientists),
- Physicists Debunk Claim Of a New Kind of Fusion, the old claim "Cold fusion is pathological science" from 1989, not very substantial, but maybe usable for a list of allegations.
- Cultural Boundaries of Science by Thomas F. Gieryn, this page (184) mentions pathological science but doesn't elaborate very well,
(For fun - not very usable: 'Global Warming' as Pathological Science),
- ‘Pathological Science’ is not ... seems to be a thorough analysis building on Langmuir,
- Nature recension of the book "The Undergrowth of Science: Delusion, Self-Deception and Human Frailty" that elaborates on pathological science (in it's fullest sense, f.ex. doctors proponing lobotomy),
Here some extremist, declaring quarks being "pathological physics", a critic against the term "Pathological Physics", listing arguments for Big Bang being "pathological physics" - maybe same as previous.(Those two last were the same by some opponent against relativity theory),
Adapted from my RFAR evidence on Cold Fusion
I've added this paper as reference (credits for finding the paper go to User:Eubulides): Labinger JA, Weininger SJ (2005). "Controversy in chemistry: how do you prove a negative?—the cases of phlogiston and cold fusion". Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 44 (13). Here's an outline of the paper:
- Old CF experiments were the only ones examined in detail by skeptics. Newer experiments, usually published in more obscure venues, are plagued by the following conundrum: the proponents "reasonably argue" they've avoided the mistakes of the past, but a skeptic "comfortably concludes that the generally much smaller effects now claimed are the result of more subtle errors".
- No unifying theory explains CF, so each experiment has to be debunked individually. Disproving one experiment does not imply the others are equally flawed.
- In an updated paper (D. L. Rousseau, Am. Sci, 1992, 80, 54-63) on pathological science, CF is given as an example.
- The long-demanded control experiment using light (i.e. normal) water, published in 2003, did non show any excess heat being produced (unlike the heavy water experiments).
- The paper offers this summary of the controversy:
|“||So there matters stand: no cold fusion researcher has been able to dispel the stigma of “pathological science” by rigorously and reproducibly demonstrating effects sufficiently large to exclude the possibility of error (for example, by constructing a working power generator), nor does it seem possible to conclude unequivocally that all the apparently anomalous behavior can be attributed to error.||”|
- Comparing CF with phlogiston, the paper makes the following distinction:
|“||There are clear differences between our two cases: whereas the phlogiston controversy involved choosing the best theoretical framework to rationalize a set of experimental observations, with cold fusions there are essentially no theoretical frameworks among which to choose. Instead we have a set of observations that cannot be rationalized in terms of existing standard theory, and need to decide whether they (or some fraction thereof) are real anomalies that require new ideas, or mere mistakes. The majority of the scientific community has (explicitly or implicitly) opted for the second interpretation, just as the majority decided against phlogiston at the end of the 18th century. It is easy, but (as we have tried to show) much too simplistic, to invoke irrationality to explain this persistence of heterodoxy. Instead, these two cases illustrate that, once the human imagination has conceived an idea, it can sometimes be very difficult to prove its non-existence.||”|
I think it's reasonable to call cold fusion pathological science. That's the mainstream view. It could be wrong, but until that changes, Wikipedia should describe it. Pcap ping 03:20, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
- You mean Bart Simon Ph.D. (Sociology/Science Studies) University of California at San Diego (1998), MSc. (Sociology of Scientific Knowledge) University of Edinburgh (1990), B.A. (Cultural Studies) Trent University (1989). He wrote a book called "Undead science". --Enric Naval (talk) 16:44, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Why has this discipline had few publications.....Since 1822.....???
- The study of pathological science is under the discipline of Sociology of scientific knowledge. As a social science, it's going to have very few publications in hard science journals.
- It will appear on journal related to social stuff, science education, science in courts, etc. For example, in the Theory & Psychology journal  or the International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry , Daedalus (journal), Science & Education, etc. --Enric Naval (talk) 07:57, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Please vote - A consensus vote as to whether to consider the journal Homeopathy an RS for physics, science, or medical conclusions
I removed a section of the article because there doesn't seem to be any sources for the claims that these ideas: cubical atom, continental drift, and Lysenkoism, are particularly "NOT" pathological science. If someone wants to reinstate this section, may I ask that they please explain themselves at lest or, preferentially, include some sources.