From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Arbitration Committee Decisions on Pseudoscience

The Arbitration Committee has issued several principles which may be helpful to editors of this and other articles when dealing with subjects and categories related to "pseudoscience".

Four groups
Please read before starting

First of all, welcome to Wikipedia's Pseudoscience article. This article represents the work of many contributors and much negotiation to find consensus for an accurate and complete representation of the topic.

Newcomers to Wikipedia and this article may find that it's easy to commit a faux pas. That's OK — everybody does it! You'll find a list of a few common ones you might try to avoid here.

A common objection made often by new arrivals is that the article presents the fields it lists as "pseudoscience" in an unsympathetic light or violates Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy (WP:NPOV). The sections of the WP:NPOV that apply directly to this article are:

The contributors to the article continually strive to adhere to these to the letter. Also, splitting the article into sub-articles is governed by the Content forking guidelines.

These policies have guided the shape and content of the article, and new arrivals are strongly encouraged to become familiar with them prior to raising objections on this page or adding content to the article. Other important policies guiding the article's content are No Original Research (WP:NOR) and Cite Your Sources (WP:CITE).

Tempers can and have flared here. All contributors are asked to please respect Wikipedia's policy No Personal Attacks (WP:NPA) and to abide by consensus (WP:CON).

Notes to editors:
  1. This article uses scientific terminology, and as such, the use of the word 'theory' to refer to anything outside of a recognised scientific theory is ambiguous. Please use words such as 'concept', 'notion', 'idea', 'assertion'; see Wikipedia:Words to avoid#Theory.
  2. Please use edit summaries.

Problematic explanation of falsifiability[edit]

I noticed a recent change in the Falsifiability section that brought my attention to the following sentence that has been there for quite a long time (there was skirmishing over this in July 2007):

For example, a statement such as "God created the universe" may be true or false, but no tests can be devised that could prove it either way; it simply lies outside the reach of science.

[The example statement was more recently changed to the current "God exists".] This example strikes me as a really poor one for scientific falsifiability, since it drags in various religious debates for no good reason. I find it hard to believe that a reliable source would have used this as an introductory example. As best I can see, this sentence isn't supported by the ref that follows it (Popper's Conjectures and Refutations).

In view of the maturity of this particular bit of the article, I hesitate to simply excise the sentence, but that's what I would like to propose, seeking consensus or if nobody objects. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 03:33, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

I know that the FSM exists, nevertheless I wholeheartedly agree. Even he is not sure that he created the universe! RobP (talk) 04:10, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
This issue is not entirely moot; some efforts have gone into replacing the above-mentioned sentence with another attempted explanation, but also without support from sources. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 18:26, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Popper held that stuff such as metaphysics, ethics, philosophy, purely religious creeds is inherently unfalsifiable. So that has to be rendered, too. Since to most people God stands for religion, it is a germane example. But of course, he did not state that religion is pseudoscience. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:38, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have removed the unsourced sentence. We probably need a better example, but this issue could simply be left un-elaborated here and outsourced to Falsifiability page. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 23:08, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

Gender Studies[edit]

What about Gender Studies?-- (talk) 09:32, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Gender studies You are welcome. -Roxy the dog. bark 09:37, 7 August 2017 (UTC)


This is not the only topic where I've noticed the tendency to cite the content of one author in longer and greater detail than the content of other authors. For example, an author named Popper has about three paragraphs describing a view on this topic while others have less content cited. I am not as familiar with this topic as I am with others so I am in no position to question the influence of one author over another. Is this undue weight? How would I know? Barbara (WVS)   19:50, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

Popper is a major thinker in this area, yes. -Roxy the dog. bark 19:53, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
I agree, an author can be very notable while also considered a reliable source, so articles don't necessarily need to try to keep a balance between authors. If that author contradicts the mainstream view, that is another matter, of course. —PaleoNeonate – 01:58, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

Social Science as Pseudoscience[edit]

Why is the view held nearly universally among researchers in the natural sciences that social science is a form of pseudoscience (cf. the famous Feynman interview on social science as a pseudoscience) not addressed in this article? (talk) 18:38, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

Misuse of the term "science" for something that is not scientific[edit]

How would e.g. "Catering Science" or "Hospitality Science" be categorized? There are universities offering B.Sc degrees in these fields (though one may question the legitimacy of such universities). Is it a form of pseudoscience or does it fall under some other classification of fake science? "Catering Science" may be something completely valid and useful in the context of training for the hospitality industry, but that being said it is not science because it does not involve the scientific method. This seems like a case of latching onto and mis-using the definition of science in order to make something that is not science seem more valid or impressive. This is also appears to be a growing trend in academia. How should it be handled in Wikipedia? An additional form of pseudoscience, or something else? Rotiro (talk) 22:13, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

The leading paragraphs in Bachelor of Science are informative. Moriori (talk) 19:02, 17 November 2017 (UTC)