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Pseudoscience – The Conspiracy Against Science - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science

Allison B. Kaufman and James C. Kaufman


In a post-truth, fake news world, we are particularly susceptible to the claims of pseudoscience. When emotions and opinions are more widely disseminated than scientific findings, and self-proclaimed experts get their expertise from Google, how can the average person distinguish real science from fake? This book examines pseudoscience from a variety of perspectives, through case studies, analysis, and personal accounts that show how to recognize pseudoscience, why it is so widely accepted, and how to advocate for real science. Contributors examine the basics of pseudoscience, including issues ... More

Keywords: history of science, American history, demarcation fallacy, scientific thinking, pseudoscience, belief revision, cultural identity, scientific literacy, heuristics, visual illusions, cognitive bias, casuality, hard and soft science, Comtean hierarchy, naturalism, parsimony, falsifiability, objectivity, naturopathy, alternative medicine, homeopathy, vaccines, cancer, quackery, peer review

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780262037426
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262037426.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Allison B. Kaufman, editor
University of Connecticut

James C. Kaufman, editor
University of Connecticut

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I The Basics of Pseudoscience

II What Pseudoscience Costs Society

7 Risky Play and Growing Up: How to Understand the Overprotection of the Next Generation

Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, and David Ball

8 The Anti-Vaccine Movement: A Litany of Fallacy and Errors

Jonathan Howard and Dorit Rubinstein Reiss

III Scientific (or Pseudoscientific) Soundness

IV Pseudoscience in the Mainstream

15 Hypnosis: Science, Pseudoscience, and Nonsense

Steven Jay Lynn, Ashwin Gautam, Stacy Ellenberg, and Scott O. Lilienfeld

16 Abuses and Misuses of Intelligence Tests: Facts and Misconceptions

Mark Benisz, John O. Willis, and Ron Dumont

V Science Activism: How People Think about Pseudoscience

VI Conclusion

22 Truth Shall Prevail

Paul Joseph Barnett and James C. Kaufman

End Matter