Just an interlude about something that keeps bugging me.
When one is interested and intrigued by reports of occurrences that seem to fall outside the realm of what is considered right and true by the current scientific paradigm, one tends to, as “argument” from the perpetuators of the current dogma, often hear the word pseudoscience.
Let’s explore the meanings contained within this word now, shall we?
Pseudo, from the Greek ψευδής , meaning lying, false.
Literally, false or lying science. Something that pretends to be science but isn’t.
When having the word pseudoscience thrown in our faces we are to be filled with shame of having strayed from the Dogma of science into, if not madness, then at the very least complete ignorance.
This is one of the most powerful words I know. The mere utterance of it has the same effect as someone yelling “fire” in a crowded room. Everyone flees for their lives, or in this case, their credibility.
The word itself has such a profound power. It can ruin a person’s life. It is leprosy in word-form. It’s a stigma to be associated with this word, one that you can never recover from.
The word has the same power as the word “witch” did in Salem, Ma 1692-93. The accusation alone is enough to convict.
The scientific world is a harsh one. You’re only as good as your latest publication and credibility is not only what determines your position in that society, it also indicates how likely you are to receive funding for your continued work. Your credibility goes out the window and you are an outcast, a pariah, and you’ll possibly get a job teaching six-graders, if you’re lucky.
No wonder then no one will touch certain things. Like cryptozoology.
I do get the problem here. No one want’s to have the finger pointed at them.
But, using the word so carelessly must STOP!
100- 120 years ago the scientific community was rocked by the discovery of the electron, the x-ray, nuclear radiation and other phenomena that had previously been considered hocus pocus. The current scientific method of the time proved insufficient to explain these new discoveries, and eventually a new kind of science evolved, the quantum theory.
The idea that the earth was round was once scoffed at, for about 1000 years or so.
The mountain gorilla was just a folkloric myth 110 years ago.
It does happen that these people who dare take mental detours way outside the box discover things of actual value. And it doesn’t happen as rarely as some think.
I’m not arguing that everything is real, that there are no hoaxes, no frauds, no one trying to make a name for themselves by making up false evidence. There are. I know. But condemning everything remotely connected to the falsaries and hoaxers is an expression of anger. It’s a punishment. And it’s not scientific.
Labeling something pseudoscience without scientifically investigating it is cowardly, since you know it will make something look ridiculous. You’ll win, but it will be a hollow victory, and the science you claim to love will ultimately lose.