Sunday, April 5, 2009

Language of Pseudoscience

All sciences have rules about naming, including pseudoscience. The biologists have their latin, astronomers use gods or characters of fantasy, and the particle physicists have their cutsie quarks that go up and down, etc. Pseudoscience has its pseudoscientific and some cool anti-science judo.

A top notch pseudoscientist must learn this language. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, even a pseudoscientist  to memorize special terms. Just because you are a pseudoscientist doesn't mean a free pass. 

You need to be smart be a great pseudoscientist. You can't just be blind to reality, you need to defend your ideas.  The good news is that bad science wins over good science if you use the right language.

This isn't just about terms you use for pseudoscience concepts, but also anti-science Judo. Pseudoscientists must study their own fields and fight off the the real scientists. There is only so much money out their. You need to be able to sell and defend your ideas and even make real science look worse than pseudoscience.

Fighting the traditional scientist isn't too hard. The language - i.e. the code words - shows how simple this is. The secret is that as a pseudoscientist, you don't need to prove anything. No logic, no scentific method, just a rapier wit and stubbornness to see reality.

I'm not going to go through all the terms. Just the good ones. There are more, but I don't want anyone to strain anything with too much memorization. 

Scientific Materialism

The great pseudoscientists label the opposition with scientific materialism. The real scientists are usually paid by universities and scientific institutions. They must be rich beyond the dreams of avarice or at least be pushing theories with dreams of million dollar homes dancing in their heads. Some people confuse 'avarice' with a person. Avarice is just a word for a greedy money grubbing capitalist. By capitalist, we mean steal from the good people and especially from the wallets of pseudoscientists.

Use this scientific materialism to question the believability of research. Even the question that  money is tickling the palms of legitimate scientists can put a hole in otherwise perfect research. This is a great method because everyone needs a paycheck. This works especially well against scientists making near minimum wage in universities. They find it so absurd that they don't even argue against the implication.

Even when the scientists are the equivalent of slave labor that just love their jobs, the folk that fund their research become high value targets. Why is their money? Unless you are a church, then the only answer is greed. Any higher goals of the scientific method, knowledge for the sake of knowledge, trying to make a better world, or searches for the secrets of the universe are all null and void. Spend a penny and you are tainted by the green patina of greed.

Intelligent Design

This is now an old term for creationism. Don't use it. The scientists already know where you live and here your children go to school. Sadly the clockmaker analogy was a big mistake because the human design is flawed. Too many creationists are also ugly.  

Irreducible Complexity

If you don't have a complete answer, then their is no answer except aliens, gods, or demons. That's right, aliens. You don't need to be religious to use a term created by the bible thumpers. This can save millions in pointless research because you can stop and publish your results when things get hard to understand. Just voice your opinion and write a book.

Cartesian Dualism

This is sort of body and soul or spirit. We are vessels driven by souls. This is a great term to deflect  nature verses nature or to explain any behavior you can't explain. Quite simply people are either controlled by a god or by an evil spirit. As these entities are spirits, and you are part spirit, you can be hijacked. 

Darwinism and Darwinists

Either of these is a belittling attack on evolution. It is simpler to say a man is wrong rather than attack the theories of evolution and biology. You can take any scientist and use their name as a discipline to bring down their ides. It is good sport. Dig up dirt on your critics!

This is even better when you do this with the guys that are long dead. They can't argue! Better yet, you can argue against their original ideas. This is golden because even though their could be a hundred years of advances in the science, you can poke holes in the untested musings of their scientific patron saint. 

Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is a fun term to use. This is also Judo-like because it stops people from stopping you. Your freedom includes questioning the veracity and heritage of opponents or linking your ideas with religion and opinions, not matter how crazy.

Invoking academic freedom is like saying that questioning pseudoscience is un-American. Free speech is the inalienable right to be heard, even if you wan to spout nonsense. This works both ways, so be careful and carry a bigger American flag. 

Common Sense

Common sense is a very useful term, an old hallmark of pseudoscience. This is a Judo word as it will throw your opponent. 

Any wild idea can be transformed into common sense. If you are the only nut job that believes in something, it is common sense, at least to you. This works great to belittle the real scientists as it is plain common sense that they are barking up the wrong tree.

Quantum Physics

Quantum physics is my favorite term in pseudoscience. Once had a physics professor in university that said that because of quantum physics, you could pass through walls, suddenly appear a foot to the left, or transform a mad badger into mayonnaise. This is all based on the premiss that quantum particles are squirmy.  You can't show where the bits of quantum fluff are, you have to use probability to guess. Q.E.D guessing is pseudoscience! 

When you use probability, you can jigger the numbers into the improbable. Even though an electron can be anywhere in its orbit, it could be in the next county participating in a canasta tournament too. Teleportation, invisibility, ghosts, telepathy, politics, and God can be bandied about by rubber-banding quantum physics to any theory or belief.

If you are religious, this is lots of fun. Who could be controlling these bits of quantum foam in your latte? Same goes for New Age thinking. Who's to say we can't manipulate probabilities? Better yet, why not get aliens or Atlantans with secret science?

Your Terms?

What is your favorite pseudoscientific term? I want to know. Remember I am writing the Boy's Book of Pseudoscience. No money, but I can get your name in the footnotes! Write to me directly if you have to, or use the comments below.