Pathological Science


Works in theory! Practice? That's something else
Was looking up a product I hadn't heard of before (from the '60s) and ran into the term "pathological science", so I looked it up, from wikipedia:

Pathological science is an area of research where "people are tricked into false results ... by subjective effects, wishful thinking or threshold interactions."... Langmuir said a pathological science is an area of research that simply will not "go away" — long after it was given up on as "false" by the majority of scientists in the field. He called pathological science "the science of things that aren't so."

Which would have been okay, but then I spotted:
Bart Simon lists it among practices pretending to be science: "categories ... such as ... pseudoscience, amateur science, deviant or fraudulent science, bad science, junk science, and popular science ... pathological science, cargo-cult science, and voodoo science."[6] Examples of pathological science include Martian canals, N-rays, polywater, and cold fusion. The theories and conclusions behind all of these examples are currently rejected or disregarded by the majority of scientists.
Cold Fusion caught my eye, because its a real thing, there were always elements in the data that couldn't be explained away. Wikipedia even says it real enough:
Interest in cold fusion was renewed after a review of promising findings from NASA and Google were published in a 2019 issue of Nature.[12] This revival of interest was largely driven by a small community of researchers who continue to investigate it,[6][13][14] often under the alternative designations low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) or condensed matter nuclear science (CMNS).

So the conclusion: always good to keep an open mind about crazy ideas... just don't invest in them!

SpaceZed: Now booking canal tours!




Works in theory! Practice? That's something else
I wonder if there is a label for science that everyone blindly accepts even though there's no real evidence? Like stomach ulcers being blamed on diet and stress for so long.

Update: Sure is, from wikipedia:
In science, a theory is superseded when a scientific consensus once widely accepted it, but current science considers it inadequate, incomplete, or debunked (i.e., wrong). Such labels do not cover protoscientific or fringe science theories that have never had broad support within the scientific community. Furthermore, superseded or obsolete theories exclude theories that were never widely accepted by the scientific community. Some theories that were only supported under specific political authorities, such as Lysenkoism, may also be described as obsolete or superseded.
Glad they had the caveats listed so I wouldn't accidentally misuse it.
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The Gastly Ghost
Hey I found another penny!
Did I miss out?
Drat I was late on arriving for the "Journey to the Center of the Earth" last time.