So I decided to start this thread as primer on Pseudoscience. I will be posting links and comments on the substance of those links, one little item at the time, leaving room for the arguments I am sure they will get thrown at them, against and for.
So, to get the ball in play, here is the first link, probably the most comprehensive and concise description of what Pseudoscience is: Distinguishing Science from Pseudoscience, by a professor at the University of Texas, Austin.
Let's take a peek at what our professor says as a starting statement:
Well, I'll keep adding to this. And bringing up what the professor has to say further into the subject, plus what other people got in mind about this. You guys can add your own views and bring up other sources at the same time...
The word “pseudo” means fake, and the surest way to spot a fake is to know as much as possible about the real thing, in this case science itself. When we speak of knowing science we do not mean simply knowing scientific facts (e.g., the distance from earth to sun; the age of the earth; the distinction between mammal and reptile, etc.) We mean that one must clearly understand the nature of science itself— the criteria of valid evidence, the design of meaningful experiments, the weighing of possibilities, the testing of hypotheses, the establishment of useful theories, the many aspects of the methods of science which make it possible to draw accurate, reliable, meaningful conclusions about the phenomena of the physical universe.
However, the media provide a continuous bombardment of sheer nonsense, misinformation, fantasy and confusion—all proclaimed to be “true facts.” Sifting sense from nonsense is an almost overwhelming job.
It is therefore useful to consider some of the earmarks of pseudoscience. The substitution of fantasy and nonsense for fact leaves behind many different clues and signs that almost anyone can readily detect. Below are listed some of the most common characteristics of pseudoscience. The presence of any one or more of these symptoms in any material in question marks it conclusively as pseudoscience. On the other hand, material displaying none of these flaws might still be pseudoscience— the pseudoscientists are inventing new ways to fool themselves nearly every day. What we have here is a set of sufficient, rather than necessary, conditions for pseudoscience.