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Pathological science

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Not to be confused with the medical field of pathologyWikipedia's W.svg.

Pathological science is "the science of things that aren't so", a form of intellectual black hole where the holder of an idea cleaves to that idea despite mounting evidence to the contrary. They will conduct experiments using the pseudoscientific method, seeking to confirm rather than test their hypothesis.

Probably the most commonly cited example of pathological science is the cold fusion advocacy movement, a walled garden of researchers with their own journals which they peer review and circulate among themselves, their own conferences, and apparently their own physics. Other examples include n-rays, polywater and some forms of woo such as homeopathy (though this is usually closer to tooth fairy science or cargo cult science).

The term was coined by Irving LangmuirWikipedia's W.svg and is notably discussed by Robert L. ParkWikipedia's W.svg in his book Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Park, Robert (2000). Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860443-2.