Difference Between Science and Pseudoscience

Science Experiment test cover

Science is one of the most important aspects of our lives. It is the prime example of deciphering the capabilities of our minds and it gave us proper and logical explanations behind the events that occur on the daily basis. Scientific evidence is required for each and every theory to be considered true and be accepted. But this doesn’t stop people from coming up with their own theories and claiming them as true without any experimentation, these have been going on for years now and it even got its own name, Pseudoscience.

What is Pseudoscience?

Pseudoscience definition

A depiction of pseudoscientific thoughts.

Pseudoscience is the field in which statements, legitimacy, and practices are done that are claimed to be factual and backed by science, however, these are dismissed by actual science. More often than not these are contradictory and exaggerated. If that was not enough, huge communities of pseudoscience exist all over the world and they are heavily biased and in the age of the internet, it escalates some problems highly very quickly. The name itself is derived from the Greek word pseudo which translates to false and the term science is from the Latin word Scientia. Though these are openly used and spread around the world, there is a line that should not be crossed and let the real science work on certain aspects.

Difference between Pseudoscience and Science

  • The Evidence: The first and perhaps one of the most important one to know is how to identify either of these. Amidst the pandemic of 2020, it became evident that pseudoscience can’t be trusted so it is important to know the real science. For example, let’s say a team of researchers was conducting thorough experiments in the lab with the coronavirus, and finding its cure would be considered real science as evidence to the study is available and everything that is experimented was recorded. While in the case of pseudoscience, people will simply claim that certain medicine will work against the coronavirus based on their understanding without any factual data or experiment. These are the extreme cases and are easy to identify, however, in some cases, it is hard to differentiate but understand that documented experiments are essential in real science.

Coronavirus as seen under an electron microscope.

  • Complete 180: Our modern understanding of the world just didn’t randomly come into existence one day but countless hours of research and studies had been done in order to understand our reality. Additionally, as stated in the previous point, pieces of evidence are available to claim the truth. However, in the realm of pseudoscience, some theories go as far as changing the entire course of human history. It is true that archeologists are still finding new evidence of the lost worlds and this has led the pseudoscience community to make illogical claims. Some even suggest that human hybrids existed among our civilizations, and aliens used to visit the Earth regularly. One theory also claims that the evolution of humans was because of alien intervention. All of these theories could have made sense if even a single piece of evidence of these were found. Throughout these years, we have even found remains of dinosaurs that lived millions of years ago yet none of the remains of these mysterious creatures were found, makes you wonder how much reality is in it. Speaking of dinosaurs, some even say that meteor was deliberately thrown to Earth by extraterrestrial beings.
  • Healing: Curing human diseases have been and still is one of the main aspects of science, in ancient times when modern medicines were unavailable people followed practices that were tried and tested in those times. However, even in those days and unfortunately, even today many alternative therapies exist that claim to heal a person. In medical science, before giving the medicine or following a protocol extensive research is conducted, positive along with side-effects are noted and once it passes certain criteria only then it is eligible to be given to a patient. Meanwhile, in pseudoscience, baseless practices such as crystal healing and energy alignments are done and unsurprisingly, these don’t do anything and yet people still follow them. Before modern times, the concept of energy was prominent where it was thought that certain aspects which can’t be seen are responsible for the health of a person. Vaguely following these concepts, one of the most famous or infamous practices, crystal healing is carried out, in which a patient is sat in close proximity of charged crystals with positive energy or these are placed on a person and claims to fix the energy of the patient and heal them. Yet again no evidence of it actually curing a patient is available.
Crystal healing

An ongoing crystal session.

  • The Process vs Belief: Another important thing to know about these two is that one is a process while the other is the emphasis on the result. Science is not the result but the process in itself, for instance, when you are writing with a pen, in which the written text is the result but the process of flow of ink and all the forces acting upon it to make it work is science. Continuing with the same example, pseudoscience will claim that the written text will somehow appear out of thin air by simply believing in it, without knowing the process, or falsely making up an entirely different process. Additionally, a scientific process will be repeated multiple times even with variations to come to a final conclusion. This eliminates the guesswork or belief in the process. Pseudoscience strongly works on the principle of belief, one must believe in something that doesn’t exist for it to work and as you can imagine it doesn’t make any sense nor does it work.

Ultimately, the truth is that both exist and each community has its own right to stand by them as each individual is free to choose. However, when it comes to serious issues like the illness it is best to leave that to real science.

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