Should we stop using the term “pseudoscience”?

Footnotes to Plato

Pseudoscience cartoonThe term “pseudoscience” is obviously pejorative. Nobody wishes whatever he does to be labeled with that appellative. Recently, Katie Burke has written an essay for American Scientist arguing that we should drop it altogether. It isn’t the first time someone makes this suggestion, and I’m betting it won’t be the last one. Here is why Burke and others are wrong.

Pseudoscience refers to “any body of knowledge that purports to be scientific or to be supported by science but which fails to comply with the scientific method,” though since there is no such thing as the scientific method, I would rather modify the above to read “with currently accepted scientific standards.”

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