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Talk:List of pseudosciences/Archive1

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My word. Don't know where to start.--Bob_M (talk) 16:07, 24 May 2007 (CDT)


Can someone sort this out?

  • Lists of psuedosciences
  • Lists of pseudosciences

--CatWatcher 10:17, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

DONE Mad Min 10:33, 27 May 2007 (CDT)


There seems to be a mixture of pseudo-science and conspiracy theories here. I think they need to be separated. --Mad Min 10:33, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Common Descent[edit]

I have removed common descent from this list as it is not a pseudoscience. --Bob_M (talk) 12:38, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Could you provide me a link to the determination of the Board of Pseudoscience that backs up your assertions? HeartGold tx 12:42, 28 May 2007 (CDT)
I would suggest that you read the very good article on The incontrovertible evidence of common descent which graces this very web site. Perhaps if you have problems with its incontrovertibly you could make your objections there?--Bob_M (talk) 12:45, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

You have to back something up before you post it. You can't make an encyclopedia-sort-of-thing by posting random shit with the idea that it stays until someone disproves it: this is NOT conservapedia. MiddleMan

Umn, MiddleMan, then please explain [Recipe:Goat_vindaloo|this]. Random stuff seems welcome here. And common descent is a pseudoscience. HeartGold tx 22:05, 7 June 2007 (CDT)

That recipe is falsifiable and does not dispute the current scientific consensus. MiddleMan 09:32, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

Hi HG. I have mentioned before the article The incontrovertible evidence of common descent which seems to demonstrate that common descent is not pseudoscience. I note that you have left a note on the "incontrovertible .... "page stating that you will come back to it. Perhaps you should first answer the points make on that page so as to conclusively disprove common descent before adding common descent to the list of pseudosciences. You would, incidentally, gain the secondary benefit of winning a Nobel Prize. :-) --Bob_M (talk) 01:59, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

Pardon my ignorance, but is common descent even a science in the first place? I always took it to be a concept that was involved in evolutionary theory, but not a discrete science of its own. Sort of like saying addition is a form of mathematics, rather than part of the structure. --Kels 10:26, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

Good point. It's a mechanism or a theory used in evolutionary biology, not a science in itself. Diabhal 12:22, 8 June 2007 (CDT)


Should some of those practices properly be on the main list? I'm thinking of stuff like Spiritualism and Seances, for instance, that to the best of my knowledge are rarely presented as sciences at all in modern times. Much of the time these days, particularly since paganism, Wicca, etc. became more socially acceptable, that simply include them as part of their religious practice. --Kels 08:07, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

And pseudoarchaeology is not a pseudoscience! it is real!! It is what I do for a living. I am currenlty looking for the Crystal Skull that the Atlanteans left behind when they moved to Detroit. The Skull will allow me to recall Elvis from the 8th Dimension and then I will rule the world!!Prof0705 08:37, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
You may want to put that in a non sequiteur section. What's that got to do with the fact that most people who practice spiritualism don't pretend it's a science, therefore pseudoscience is a misnomer. You might as well add communion/transsubstantiation in there on that basis. I'm not saying it's scientific, but hardly anyone else is either. --Kels 10:19, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
Whoops..I did put this in the wrong section didn't I? You are right about some of the stuff on that list though. Some don't really seem like true pseudoscience.(oxymoron?)Prof0705 10:49, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
For what it's worth, I'm still looking for that damned Amulet of Yendor. --Kels 11:01, 29 May 2007 (CDT)


I'm not sure exactly what this one refers to, but there is a field called ethnopharmacology. We should be sure not to confuse these.Prof0705 10:52, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

Some elements of herbalism are, in fact, effective. But there are a lot that aren't. Part of the problem is companies making inflated claims to sell herbal "supplements". For instance, stuff like valerian root acutally are sedatives, and can be quite handy (cats like the stuff too, great before a long trip in a carrier). But many of the commercial herbal remedies are junk, at best. The field also suffers from some junk that's been carried as part of traditional healing methods as well. The trick is separating out the useful stuff from the crap. --Kels 10:59, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
ahh. ok. That kind of herbalism. I have a friend that works for GNC, and he laughs like hell when people come in to buy 300 dollars worth of junk herbs. I had to make sure though, a college friend of mine is currently working on her doctorate, concentrating on ethnobotany/ethnopharmacology, and if she got wind that I let it be labeled pseudoscience, I would mysteriously end up eating a handful of curare or nightcap or something.Prof0705 12:16, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
Or go pick your own, although this requires some level of education. I know a few fairly skilled herbalists, and all of them stay pretty up to date on this stuff. --Kels 12:55, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

When it comes to buying herbs for recreational or healing purposes, you have to be careful always buy them from a respected dealer, also check the bag(s) to see if they're not just selling you stems instead of leafs and if the dealer doesn't look to scary, ask him if you can try a sample, share some of the sample with him until he gives you a discount! MiddleMan

9/11 Conspiracies[edit]

Should 9/11 conspiracies be included here? MiddleMan 16:05, 4 June 2007 (CDT)

I'd say no, since they'e not really "science" related, except in a general engineering way. I'll start a page for a List of Conspiracy Theories. -- 16:44, 4 June 2007 (CDT)


User Valorus has deleted "Chiropractic" from the list of pseudosciences. I don't know enough about the subject to object - anybody else got an opinion? --Bob_M (talk) 11:43, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

Chiropractic is now considered mainstream medicine Valorus 11:48, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
I think it is worth keeping. It is considered mainstream treatment, not science in some countries. Most studies have shown that when they stick to working on minor back pain, there is some benefit, but may chiropractors overstep their limits into the realm of pseudoscience. Until they police themselves better, I say it stays. And yes, im an MD, but i dont lose any business to them...I have had them tell my patients not to get vaccines, not to take meds, etc.--PalMD-yada yada 11:54, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
So it goes back in or not? I see that Wikipedia includes it in its "List of articles related to quackery".--Bob_M (talk) 11:56, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
My vote is include it, and when we write the article, include that in some places it is mainstream.--PalMD-yada yada 12:01, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
I'm a bit puzzled, actually. You seem to be taking offense at a profession being poorly policed, rather than the science itself being invalid. A geologist might spout deny climate change, for instance, but that doesn't invalidate geology, it just means the practitioner has a big mouth. You haven't really given any particular reason to leave it in otherwise. --Kels 12:18, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
I have, in fact, had one experience with this technique. However this took place in Spanish which is not my first language, so communication may not have been 100%. Anyway she worked on my back for a while manipulating each vertebrae and commenting on each one individually. She seemed to believe that each one had a memory and it was necessary to teach each one the way to work. At first I thought she was speaking metaphorically, but when I asked her about it she was insistent that some of them were more stupid ("tonto" in her words)than others. She didn't make me any worse, but I didn't notice any great improvement either - smacked a bit of witchcraft to me. Ok, just an anecdote.--Bob_M (talk) 13:19, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
I don't have much experience with it either, to be honest. Mind you, there are concepts similar to "muscle memory" where you do "teach" muscles to accept certain sorts of movements as normal over time. I can't remember the actual terminology, but I don't know that we can discount it just because practitioners might use metaphor when describing it to a patient. --Kels 13:27, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
But where do we draw the line? The very potent effects of psychosomaticism and even the placebo effect are well documented. Will we include sciences/pseudosciences based off this? --ויִכִּ נתֶּרֶפּרֶתֵּר שְׁלֹום!
Kells - Whether or not you can teach muscles I don't know, but I'm a tad doubtful about bones. But as I said, it's only an anecdote and as you say I may not have understood. We need someone with real knowledge I guess. :-) Wikinterpreter - the effects to which your refer can be reproduced. I don't quite see your point?--Bob_M (talk) 13:40, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
Well, the fact is the entire pharmecutical industry relies on the relatively poorly understood placebo effect, and I don't think pharmacology is considered a pseudoscience. As to chiropractors (what do you call the profession, exactly?), the fact is that muscles are the motive force behind bones, so that's what you're actually training. In any case, I think we should decide based on whether the practice as a science is generally regarded as pseudoscience, rather than how the techniques are described, or whether we have personal doubts about the individual elements. --Kels 13:53, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

They can be reproduced - but they can be reproduced via so-called pseudosciences. I could make a treatment called magic-happy-healty-ine, and market it as a rainbow powered cure for, say, stomach cancer, which placebos have been demonstrated to be effective against. I suppose I'm talking at semi-crosspurposes: magic-happy-healty-ine would be pseudo-scientific, because its justification is utter rubbish, but not pseudo-medical, because it has an effect (although arguably is monstrous unethical). --ויִכִּ נתֶּרֶפּרֶתֵּר שְׁלֹום!
I wonder if there's a place here for a sort of meta discussion on what's a pseudoscience and what's a proto-science, where they do have observable effects but the mechanisms aren't well enough understood to qualify as a "real" science. --Kels 13:54, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
Well, we have a definition of Pseudoscience although perhaps it could be improved. Placebo effect is well known and works reasonably predictably. It is not pseudoscience though a pseudoscience may use it to give itself false validity.--Bob_M (talk) 14:45, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
Oooh, magic-happy-healty-ine! I love that stuff! You can really taste the rainbows. --jtltalk 14:46, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
Since all these posts are several years old, perhaps this has been resolved by now. But I just wanted to point out that chiropractic is one of those areas which contains both real benefits and woo. For some conditions it does have certain benefits, basically as a form of therapeutic massage. The fundamental /theory/ of chiropractic, however, is built on the notion that *all illness* is a result of "vertibral subluxations" -- and this is errant nonsense.
I think the topic is appropriately placed in the article.

Placebo effect[edit]

Most modern medical treatments, including medications, no longer rest on the placebo effect. Over the last 20-30 years, Evidence Based Medicine (pioneered at places like McMaster in the 51st state), have changed the way we view and use drugs. Medications and other treatments, to be widely accepted, are now subjected to (mostly) Randomized Controlled Trials(RCTs), which take into account things like the placebo effect, intention to treat (how people actually use the drug in the real world), etc. Huge strides have been made in the area of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other major killers. This is not to say that there are no shenanigans, however, things have changed quite a bit.

Certain treatments cannot be subjected to RCTs, such as Chiropractic, as the patient and doctor cannot be blinded to the treatment. Still, some decent studies have been done, most of which have shown that chiropractic has a similar effect on low back pain as other therapies. Ill dig up cites if you wish.--PalMD-yada yada 14:58, 8 June 2007 (CDT)Hurwitz EL, Morgenstern H, Harber P, et al. A randomized trial of medical care with and without physical therapy and chiropractic care with and without physical modalities for patients with low back pain: 6-month follow-up outcomes from the UCLA low back pain study. Spine 2002;27:2193-2204. Goldstein MS, Morgenstern H, Hurwitz EL, Yu F. The impact of treatment confidence on pain and related disability among patients with low-back pain: results from the University of California, Los Angeles, low-back pain study. Spine J 2002;2:391-9.

Huh. Well, I am a bit out of date, last time I went to a seminar about psych and drug issues was in the early '90s. --Kels 15:02, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
Well, of course you are is incredibly important. But the measurable effect of placebo is much smaller than that of most important modern treatments (but not all, of course). It's an endlessly fascinating topic, and there is a whole new field called "Psychoneuroimmunology" looking at the interaction of brain, mind, and the immune system.--PalMD-yada yada 15:05, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
They'll never be taken seriously unless they include 'quantum mechanics' in that list. --jtltalk 15:36, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
Actually, by "rests on" I meant more that testing on humans has to take into account the presence of placebo, so it's therefore an element of all human testing and of course use in the "wild". But I don't know what's changed with regard to them in the past few years, so I could still be off-base. --Kels 15:40, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
If I understand you correctly (please correct me if im wrong) you are saying that placebo effect has to be taken into account in most/all medical studies, even though most modern medicine no longer relies on the placebo effect for its efficacy. I completely agree, and placebo effect is taken into account in almost all modern studies. For one thing, the control group is usually (but not always) placebo. Also, when two treatments are compared without a placebo control, it can usually be correctly assumed that placebo effect had equal effect on both groups of subjects, therefore it nulls out. God, i love this interesting.DocSock 11:44, 13 June 2007 (CDT)
Yes, but as Richard Dawkins once asked. What do you use a a placebo when your doing a trial for Homeopathy. :-) --Bob_M (talk) 11:47, 13 June 2007 (CDT)
Problematic, ain't it? Of course there are other reasons not to use placebo, like comparing a new cancer therapy with an established effective one; using a placebo arm would be unethical. But it's at least theoretically possible, unlike voo-doo.DocSock 11:54, 13 June 2007 (CDT)
Yes, I can see that. Now I think about it I suppose it would be difficult to do a placebo for acupuncture as well. I mean, the patent would know if you've stuck a pin in him or not. On the other hand you could stick it in the "wrong" place I suppose. Should we have acupuncture on the list?--Bob_M (talk) 11:59, 13 June 2007 (CDT)
You are correct...certain therapies are inherently "unblindable" and therefore, studies involving them must undergo a bit of extra scrutiny. Not everything can be an RCT (Randomized Controlled Trial) but that is the Gold Standard. There have many debates about how to "blind" unblindable studies. For instance, there was a long debate in the medical literature about using "sham" surgeries as a control (single blinded), especially the ethics of it. Controls can be implemented through a "crossover" technique". Also, here is a study of acupuncture using placebo control (single blinded):J. David, S. Townsend, R. Sathanathan, S. Kriss and C. J. Doré. The effect of acupuncture on patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over study. Rheumatology 1999; 38: 864-869. DocSock 12:18, 13 June 2007 (CDT)


Hey, I've been using my enforced break from work to created some articles from the list of pseudosciences, esp. medical subset. Anyone want to start picking out others?DocSock 11:45, 13 June 2007 (CDT)

Maybe I'll look at them... I was thinking of trying to spend some time on conspiracy theory articles though... same end result, of course (more of my crappy writing!) - more articles for people to make even better. humanbe in 13:15, 13 June 2007 (CDT)
Hey, grab any area that interests you...i just want MORE, MORE, MORE. User:PalMD
Yes, one of the problems though is that we don't really have anybody with the opposite point of view so there's not much motivation. The Chiropractic article is a case in point. It only got written when somebody claimed it wasn't pseudoscience. Still, if I have time when I'm not preparing lessons, walking the dog, maintaining my English, drinking beer, maintaining my relationship with the wife I'll pick up some more. :-)--Bob_M (talk) 14:10, 13 June 2007 (CDT)

Perpetual Motion Machine[edit]

Just down the road from me, this has been developed. Claiming to take energy from the earth's magnetic field or some such nonsense. It was due to go on display but then this happened. Should perpetual motion and/or this specific example go anywhere in this article (and get it's own article too)? ДιЯɖі$ɧ ɥοםЄʟβЯƏакĐΩωΝ 12:04, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Yes. Note, your example uses external energy to keep going, thus failing the definition. humanbe in 13:19, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
All "successful" PPMs have had an unrecognized (to the inventor) external source of energy. --PalMD-Goatspeed! 13:35, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Yes, apologies, it's probably more correct to call it a "free energy" machine. It's still bollocks though.ДιЯɖі$ɧ ɥοםЄʟβЯƏакĐΩωΝ 15:53, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Well, how about "cheap" energy? Like, a hydroelectric dam? Build it right once and it makes "free" electricity "almost" forever... if you ignore the sun as the source of energy (!), it's PM! I tried to build a PM machine once, it kept falling down and wouldn't get back up. humanbe in 14:13, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

See:dean drive.Keepthe faith 14:26, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

De-tox diets[edit]

These are v lauded in the UK (tv celeb Carol Vorderperson has books on the subject although her degree was in civil engineering!). There's a prog on BBC as I write. Keepthe faith 13:17, 24 July 2007 (CDT)

The conclusion of the prog was: it's a waste of time. Keepthe faith 14:02, 24 July 2007 (CDT)


This article is snided with redlinks (10 in See Also!) which make it look rubbish. If whoever put them in doesn't intend to write articles to satisfy them then what the eff are they for? If no valid response in 24 hours I'll unlink 'em (counting down ...). Susan Jayne Garlicktalk 10:30, 29 August 2007 (CDT)

I didn't put them in, but I think that 1) they should all be articles and 2) someone will make them into articles eventually (it's on tmtoulouse's list). The whole article is so full of redlinks that should be articles that a few more doesn't really matter, IMHO. ThunderkatzHo! 13:35, 29 August 2007 (CDT)

Article naming[edit]

There is presently a discussion about the naming of challenge articles and the structure of pseudoscience articles in general taking place at Talk:Disproving Creationism. Anybody watching this page may wish to contribute.--Bob_M (talk) 05:30, 2 September 2007 (CDT)

Redlinks, again[edit]

Does the above ruling on redlinks stand? If not, I'd like to have a go at this page. Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 17:58, 13 September 2007 (MDT)

I've removed these two items as I doubt they'll become articles or will be covered by others. "List of minority-opinion scientific theories" and "Superseded scientific theory".--Bobbing for apples 11:17, 26 October 2007 (EDT)
Sorry, didn't realize there'd been a ruling on that. I was trying to help by getting rid of them since they are cluttering up the wanted page. But oh well. Researcher 20:54, 5 December 2007 (EST)

inter-species communication[edit]

Does talking to plants have a place here? (as, allegedly, practiced by Charles, Prince of Wales) SusanYou don't have to talk, but ... 12:52, 2 November 2007 (EDT)

Sure, why not? Although they do like the CO2, supposedly. I talk to my plants to avoid people thinking I am talking to myself. Btw, wouldn't be inter-family or inter-order communication? We apparently communicate with other mammalian species all the time. humanUser talk:Human 13:47, 2 November 2007 (EDT)

Mm, I did start out with inter-phylum but didn't know what I was realy talking about. Plants aren't the same species, so it's a matter of degree. I can only find anecdotal stuff on t'web - no-one making money or anything. SusanYou don't have to talk, but ... 13:59, 2 November 2007 (EDT)

I think at would at least be a fun article to write and have, anyway. That link you gave above is very cool. We should invite the author to join. Or ask their permission to steal copy it! As far as that order/phylum/family thing, the easy way to get the hierarchy right is to wikipedia any critter or plant, they always have an infobox on the right listing the Linnaean classification of the critter. Article could discuss other inter-species communications, too, ranging from teaching chimps ASL to people thinking their pets can read their minds ;) humanUser talk:Human 14:16, 2 November 2007 (EDT)

Hollow earth theory[edit]

On November 25, 1912 Marshall B. Gardner of Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, USA, submitted his discovery application to the United States Patent Office -- United States patent 1096102.


-- RemBeau 13:53, 11 October 2008 (EDT)

Your point being?--Bobbing up 15:08, 11 October 2008 (EDT)


Cryptozoology should be moved to partial pseudoscience. Cryptozoology is looking for previously undiscovered creatures. Many animals, such as the okapi and the coelacanth were cryptids before they were discovered. Sure, a lot of crackpots have taken it up, but it has often been a valid and useful scientific theory and be treated as such. A good cryptozoologist would analyze the myth, decide what is believable, try to find an already known explanation, and then try to search for it if it is not easily explained/completely and utterly crazy. --ConservapediaUndergroundResistor 18:43, 9 December 2008 (EST)


As long as the leading scientific/academic group who are experts on a topic (in this case, psychology and psychological disorders) are including the term (Multiple Personality Disorders) in their diagnostic manual, I have a hard time seeing it as a "pseudoscience". Personally, I think it should be removed. --Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"«I don't think in any language. I think in images. V.Nabokov» 11:19, 24 March 2009 (EDT)

Agreed. It's a real condition (albeit very rare) & our article on it acknowledges that its status as a real condition isn't disputed. I have no idea why it appears on this list. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:32, 24 March 2009 (EDT)
Removed. If there's a controversy about misdiagnosis or classification, it should be added into the multiple personality disorder article, not here. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:35, 24 March 2009 (EDT)

Ball Lightning[edit]

Hi there.

This topic needs to be removed from the list of "pseudosciences". It's a valid topic, and has been studied by serious scientists for decades. That it is ephemeral and difficult to study doesn't preclude the fact that it is a real phenomenon, and one which has been recreated in the laboratory:

— Unsigned, by: Dr H / talk / contribs

The article suggests that it's moving into the realm of protoscience. As far as legitimate studies of plasma and electromagnetism are concerned, it's a fairly accurate assessment. But ball lightning still crops up in paranormal and ufology circles as a pseudoscience concept. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 01:41, 9 March 2012 (UTC)