Encyclopedia > Pathological science

  Article Content

Pathological science

Pathological science is a term created by the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Irving Langmuir; this term designates a psychological process in which a scientist, orignally conforming to scientific method, unconsciously veers from that method, and begins a pathological process of wishful data interpretation. Criteria for pathological science are:

  • The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.
  • The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.
  • There are claims of great accuracy.
  • Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested.
  • Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment.
  • The ratio of supporters to critics rises and then falls gradually to oblivion.

Examples include N rays, polywater theory, Homeopathy

See also: Pseudoscience, Protoscience

External links and references



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Il Dottore

... - Wikipedia <<Up     Contents Il Dottore The Dottore is a commedia dell'arte stock character. He is an elderly man who only knows nonsense. ...