Talk:List of pseudosciences and pseudoscientific concepts/temp

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

These are the displaced concepts which can attributed and placed in each source's respective Wikipedia article as a record of their opinion on this matter. This is a work in process as suggested per Talk:List_of_pseudosciences_and_pseudoscientific_concepts#Purpose_of_retitling.

Astronomy and Space sciences[edit]

  • The Face on Mars (in Cydonia Mensae) is a rock formation on Mars asserted to be evidence of intelligent, native life on the planet.[1] High resolution images taken recently show it to appear less face-like. It features prominently in the pseudoscientific speculations of Richard C. Hoagland.

Earth and Earth sciences[edit]

  • The Bermuda Triangle is a region of the Atlantic Ocean that lies between Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and (in its most popular version) Florida. Frequent disappearances and ship and aircraft disasters in this area have led to the circulation of stories of unusual natural phenomona, paranormal encounters, and interactions with extraterrestrial.[2]

Paranormal and Ufology[edit]

  • Pseudoarchaeology is the investigation of the ancient past using alleged paranormal or otherwise means which have not been validated by mainstream science.[2]
  • Tutankhamun's curse was allegedly placed on the discoverers of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, causing widespread deaths and other disastrous events.[2]
  • Tunguska event is an anomalous meteor strike said to actually be the impact of a miniature black hole or a large body composed of antimatter, or Ball lightning.[2]


  • Attachment therapy is a set of potentially fatal[3] clinical interventions and parenting techniques aimed at controlling aggressive, disobedient, or unaffectionate children using "restraint and physical and psychological abuse to seek their desired results."[4] Probably the most common form is holding therapy in which the child is restrained by adults for the purpose of supposed cathartic release of suppressed rage and regression. Perhaps the most extreme, but much less common, is "rebirthing," in which the child is wrapped tightly in a blanket and then made to simulate emergence from a birth canal. This is done by encouraging the child to struggle and pushing and squeezing him/her to mimic contractions.[2] Despite its name it is not based on attachment theory or research.[5] In 2006 it was the subject of an almost entirely critical Taskforce Report commissioned by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC).[6]
  • Graphology is a purported psychological test based on a belief that personality traits unconsciously and consistently influence handwriting morphology - that certain types of people exhibit certain quirks of the pen. Analysis of handwriting attributes provides no better than chance correspondence with personality, and neuroscientist Barry Beyerstein likened the assigned correlations to sympathetic magic.[7][8][2][9] Graphology is only superficially related to forensic document examination, which also examines handwriting.
  • Phrenology is a defunct theory for determining personality traits by feeling bumps on the skull proposed by 18th century physiologist Franz Joseph Gall.[2] In an early recorded use of the term "pseudo-science", François Magendie referred to phrenology as "a pseudo-science of the present day".[10] The assumption that personality can be read from bumps in the skull has since been thoroughly discredited. However, Gall's assumption that character, thoughts, and emotions are located in the brain is considered an important historical advance toward neuropsychology (see also localization of brain function, Brodmann's areas, neuro-imaging, modularity of mind or faculty psychology).[11]
  • Primal therapy is sometimes presented as a science.[12] The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology (2001) states that: "The theoretical basis for the therapy is the supposition that prenatal experiences and birth trauma form people's primary impressions of life and that they subsequently influence the direction our lives take... Truth be known, primal therapy cannot be defended on scientifically established principles. This is not surprising considering its questionable theoretical rationale."[13]. Other sources have also questioned the scientific validity of primal therapy, some using the term "pseudoscience" (see Criticism of Primal Therapy).
  • Subliminal perception is visual or auditory information that is discerned below the threshold of conscious awareness and has an effect on human behavior. It went into disrepute in the late 1970s [14] but there has been renewed research interest recently.[15][16][2]

Health and Medicine[edit]

  • Anthroposophic medicine, or Anthroposophically extended medicine, is a school of complementary medicine[17] founded in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner in conjunction with Ita Wegman based on the spiritual philosophy ofanthroposophy. It is an individualized holistic and salutogenic approach to health, deemphasizing randomized controlled trials.[18][19] Medications are formulated to stimulate healing by matching "key dynamic forces" with symptoms,[20] and are prepared for external, oral, or parenteral introduction in various dilutions ranging from whole to homeopathic.[21] The use of vaccinations, antibiotics, and antipyretics is generally restricted or delayed.[22][23][24] SkepticRobert Carroll likens to sympathetic magic the principle that curative plants may be identified by distortions or abnormalities in their morphology or physiology.[25] Carroll and others state that the system is not based in science.[25][26][27]No thorough scientific analysis of the efficacy of anthroposophical medicine as a system independent of its philosophical underpinnings has been undertaken; no evidence-based conclusion of the overall efficacy of the system can be made at this time.[28]
  • Applied kinesiology is a means of medical diagnosis which proponents believe can identify health problems or nutritional deficiencies through practitioner assessment of external physical qualities such as muscle response, posture, or motion analysis. A variety of therapies are prescribed based on tested weakness or smoothness of muscle action and a conjectured viscerosomatic association between particular muscles and organs. The sole use of Applied Kinesiology to diagnose or treat any allergy[29] or illness[30][31] is not scientifically supported, and the International College of Applied Kinesiology requires concurrent use of standard diagnostic techniques.[32] Applied kinesiologists are often chiropractors, but may also be naturopaths, physicians, dentists, nutritionists, physical therapists, massage therapists, and nurses.[30]Applied Kinesiology should not be confused with kinesiology, the scientific study of human movement.
  • The Bates method for better eyesight is an educational method developed by ophthalmologist William Bates intended to improve vision "naturally" to the point at which it can allegedly eliminate the need for glasses by undoing a habitual strain to see.[33] In 1929 Bates was cited by the FTC for false or misleading advertising in connection with his book describing the method, Perfect Sight Without Glasses,[34] though the complaint was later dismissed.[35] Although some people claim to have improved their eyesight by following his principles, Bates' ideas about vision and accommodation have been rejected by mainstream ophthalmology and optometry.[36][37][38][39][40]
  • Biorhythms – a hypothesis holding that human physiology and behavior are governed by physical, emotional, and intellectual cycles lasting 23, 28, and 33 days, respectively; not to be confused with Chronobiology, the scientific study of biological rhythms. The system posits that, for instance, errors in judgment are more probable on days when an individual's intellectual cycle, as determined by days since birth, is near a minimum. No biophysical mechanism of action has been discovered, and the predictive power of biorhythms charts is no better than chance.[41][42][43][2] For the scientific study of biological cycles such as circadian rhythms, see chronobiology.
  • Brain Gym – a commercial training program that claims that any learning challenges can be overcome by finding the right movements, to subsequently create new pathways in the brain. They claim that the repetition of the 26 Brain Gym movements "activates the brain for optimal storage and retrieval of information",[44] and are designed to "integrate body and mind" in order to improve "concentration, memory, reading, writing, organizing, listening, physical coordination, and more."[45] Its theoretical foundation has been thoroughly discredited by the scientific community, who describe it aspseudoscience.[46][47][48][49] Peer reviewed scientific studies into Brain Gym have found no significant improvement in general academic skills. Its claimed results have been put down to the placebo effect and the benefits of breaks and exercise. Its founder, Paul Dennison, has admitted that many of Brain Gym's claims are not based good science, but on his "hunches".[50]
  • Crystal healing is the belief that crystals have healing properties. Once common among pre-scientific and indigenous peoples, it has recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity with the new age movement.[51][52][53]
  • Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) is a reported sensitivity to electric and magnetic fields or electromagnetic radiation of various frequencies at exposure levels well below established safety standards. Symptoms are inconsistent, but can include headache, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and similar non-specific indications.[54] Provocation studies find that the discomfort of sufferers is unrelated to hidden sources of radiation,[55][56] and "no scientific basis currently exists for a connection between EHS and exposure to [electromagnetic fields]."[57]
  • Faith healing is the act of curing disease by such means as prayer and laying on of hands. No material benefit in excess of that expected by placebo is observed.[2][58][59]
  • Hypnosis is a state of extreme relaxation and inner focus in which a person is unusually responsive to suggestions made by the hypnotist. The modern practice has its roots in the idea ofanimal magnetism, or mesmerism, originated by Franz Mesmer[60] and Though Mesmer's explanations were thoroughly discredited, hypnosis itself is today almost universally regarded as real.[16][2] It is clinically useful for e.g. pain management, but some claimed uses of hypnosis outside of hypnotherapy clearly fall within the area of pseudoscience. Such areas include the use of hypnotic regression beyond plausible limits, including past life regression.[61] Also see false memory syndrome.
  • Iridology is a means of medical diagnosis which proponents believe can identify and diagnose health problems through close examination of the markings and patterns of the iris. Practitioners divide the iris into 80-90 zones, each of which is connected to a particular body region or organ. This connection has not been scientifically validated, and disorder detection is neither selective nor specific.[62][63][64] Because iris texture is a phenotypical feature which develops during gestation and remains unchanged after birth (which makes the iris useful for Biometrics), Iridology is all but impossible.
  • Magnetic therapy is the practice of using magnetic fields to positively influence health. While there are legitimate medical uses for magnets and magnetic fields, the field strength used inmagnetic therapy is too low to effect any biological change, and the methods used have no scientific validity.[2][65][66]
  • Maharishi's Ayurveda. Traditional Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old alternative medical practice with roots in ancient India based on a mind-body set of beliefs.[67][68] Imbalance or stress in an individual’s consciousness is believed to be the reason of diseases.[67] Patients are classified by body types (threedoshas, which are considered to control mind-body harmony, determine an individual’s "body type"); and treatment is aimed at restoring balance to the mind-body system.[67][68] It has long been the main traditional system of health care in India,[68] and it has become institutionalized in India's colleges and schools.[69] Although it superficially adheres to modern institutions, the institutional practitioners are haunted by Ayurvedic vaidyas, who were trained outside the traditional medicine school.[69] As with other traditional knowledge, it was not recorded anywhere and most of it was lost, and the current practice is mostly based on the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the 1980s,[70] who mixed it with Transcendental Meditation. The most notable advocate of Ayurveda on America is Deepak Chopra, who claims that Maharishi's Ayurveda is based on quantum physics.[70]
  • Radionics is a means of medical diagnosis and therapy which proponents believe can diagnose and remedy health problems using various frequencies in aputative energy field coupled to the practitioner's electronic device. The first such "black box" devices were designed and promoted by Albert Abrams, and were definitively proven useless by an independent investigation commissioned byScientific American in 1924.[71] The internal circuitry of radionics devices is often obfuscated and irrelevant, leading proponents to conjecture dowsing and ESP as operating principles.[72][73]Similar devices continue to be marketed under various names, though none is approved by the USFood and Drug Administration; there is no scientific evidence for the efficacy or underlying premise of radionics devices.[74][75] The radionics of Albert Abrams and his intellectual descendants should not be confused with similarly named reputable and legitimate companies, products, or medical treatments such asradiotherapy or radiofrequency ablation.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine. Practices such as qigong and ideas such as chi are held as pseudoscience and "quackery", and acupuncture as pseudoscientific, byCSICOP.[76][77] According to the NIHconsensus statement on acupuncture, these traditional Chinese medical concepts "are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupuncture."[78][unreliable source?] The effectiveness of acupuncture remains controversial.[79] A 2007 review led by Professor of Complementary MedicineEdzard Ernst finds that research is active and growing and the "emerging clinical evidence seems to imply that acupuncture is effective for some but not all conditions."[79] The World Health Organization lists 28 conditions "for which acupuncture has been proved - through controlled trials - to be an effective treatment", and several dozen more for which evidence is suggestive.[80]
  • Vertebral subluxation. Metaphysical chiropractic theory of how the body's general health is linked to nervous system and misalignments of the spine.[81]

Religious and spiritual beliefs[edit]

Spiritual and religious practices and beliefs are normally not classified as pseudoscience.[82] The following have been related pseudoscience in some way, however:

  • Biblical scientific foreknowledge asserts that the Bible makes accurate statements about the world that science verifies thousands of years later.
  • Dianetics is L. Ron Hubbard's pseudoscience that purports to treat a hypotheticalreactive mind by means of an E-meter, a device which Hubbard was later legally forced to admit "does nothing".[83][84][85][86][87]
  • The Shroud of Turin is a length of linen cloth believed by some members of the Christian community to have been Jesus' death shroud.[2] Radiocarbon dating of the original material has shown that it dates from the 13th or 14th century,[88] though some claim that the material tested was not representative of the whole shroud.[89][90] Analyses of the paint and the herringbone twill weave of the cloth similarly point to a medieval origin.[91]


  • Hongcheng Magic Liquid is a pseudoscience incident in China where an inventor claimed that could turn water into a usable fuel by just adding a few drops of his "secret formula" liquid. The government and China and the Chinese Communist Party were alarmed by pseudoscience developments like this one and issued a joint proclamation condemning the recent decline of public education in science.[92]
  • Laundry balls are spherical or toroidal objects marketed as soap substitutes for washing machines.[2]
  • Scientific racism is the claim that scientific evidence shows the inferiority or superiority of certain races.[93][94]
    • Melanin Theory is a belief founded in the distortion of known physical properties of melanin, a natural polymer, that posits the inherent superiority of Black people and the essential inhumanity and an inferiority of Whites.[95][96]
  • Stock market prediction can involve prediction of stock prices using technical analysis techniques based purely on charts of past price behavior or patterns in various metrics.[2][97] These techniques are dubiously justified, and violate the efficient market hypothesis.[98]