Presentation on theme: "Science, Technology, and Pseudoscience Issues in Science and Technology."— Presentation transcript:
Science, Technology, and Pseudoscience Issues in Science and Technology
Agenda Definition of Man Science, Technology, and Magic –Break James Randi and the Secrets of the Psychics –Break Science vs. Pseudoscience
Man is... Symbol creating and using animal Inventor of the Negative Separated from nature by devices of his own making. Kenneth Burke, The Definition of Man
What is Science? Knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method and concerned with the physical world and its phenomena. Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary
The Scientific Method 1.Observe some aspect of the universe. 2.Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed. 3.Use the hypothesis to make predictions. 4.Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results. 5.Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between hypothesis and experiment and/or observation.
Science is a Paradigm A philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind Merriam-Webster.com
Science can be Wrong Results are influenced by the subjectivity of the researchers –Phrenology –N-Rays
Reliability and Validity Reliability is the extent to which an experiment, test, or any measuring procedure yields the same result on repeated trials Validity refers to the degree to which a study accurately reflects or assesses the specific concept that the researcher is attempting to measure Writing@CSU: Writing Guide
James Randi Continuation of work started by Houdini Leading voice in Skeptic Community McCarthy Foundation Grant Paranormal Challenge - $1 million James Randi Educational FoundationJames Randi Educational Foundation
What is Pseudoscience? “Pseudo” = artificial Attempts to gain legitimacy by imitating scientific methods Start with answer –Find data to support –Ignore conflicting evidence
Example Ivory soap - "99.44/100% Pure: It Floats“ Mixture is unidentified – what’s “pure”? What does “floating” have to due with purity? –Air bubbles mixed in – therefore impure –A boat floats, is it “pure”?
Criteria for Determining Pseudoscience Is anecdotal evidence cited? –Individual stories, testimonies –Testimonial statements not FTC regulated Does the claim fit with existing knowledge? What kind of reasoning has been used? –Post hoc, ergo propter hoc –“After this, therefore because of this” Baloney Detection Collection
Criteria for Determining Pseudoscience Is it possible to test the claim? –Elimination of plausible influences Are sources cited? –Unbiased –Credible If sampled, how was the sample obtained? Baloney Detection Collection
Criteria for Determining Pseudoscience Is “conspiracy theory” used to support claims? –Doctors –The government –Big corporations Baloney Detection Collection
Criteria Anecdotal evidence? Fit with existing knowledge? Reasoning? Possible to test? Sources cited? How was the sample obtained? Conspiracy theory?