Pseudoscience Quotes

Quotes tagged as "pseudoscience" (showing 1-30 of 65)
Tim Minchin
“You know what they call alternative medicine that's been proved to work? - Medicine.”
Tim Minchin

Liu Cixin
“Take those frauds who practice pseudoscience - do you know who they're most afraid of?"

"Scientists, of course."

"No. Many of the best scientists can be fooled by pseudoscience and sometimes devote their lives to it. But pseudoscience is afraid of one particular type of people who are very hard to fool: stage magicians. In fact, many pseudoscience hoaxes were exposed by stage magicians.”
Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem

Ludwig von Mises
“Praxeology is a theoretical and systematic, not a historical, science. Its scope is human action as such, irrespective of all environmental, accidental, and individual circumstances of the concrete acts. Its cognition is purely formal and general without reference to the material content and the particular features of the actual case. It aims at knowledge valid for all instances in which the conditions exactly correspond to those implied in its assumptions and inferences. Its statements and propositions are not derived from experience. They are, like those of logic and mathematics, a priori. They are not subject to verification or falsification on the ground of experience and facts.”
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Wilhelm Reich
“The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

“Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33
TAT: No. I don't know anymore than you know they're not. But, I'm talking about boundaries and privacy here. As a therapist working with survivors, I have been harassed by people who claim to be affiliated with the false memory movement. Parents and other family members have called or written me insisting on talking with me about my patients' cases, despite my clearly indicating I can't because of professional confidentiality. I have had other parents and family members investigate me -- look into my professional background -- hoping to find something to discredit me to the patients I was seeing at the time because they disputed their memories. This isn't the kind of sober, scientific discourse you all claim you want.”
David L. Calof

Noam Chomsky
“One of the difficulties in raising public concern over the very severe threats of global warming is that 40 percent of the US population does not see why it is a problem, since Christ is returning in a few decades. About the same percentage believe that the world was created a few thousand years ago. If science conflicts with the Bible, so much the worse for science. It would be hard to find an analogue in other societies.”
Noam Chomsky

Criss Jami
“Like all great things which then become fashions, science, as now the universal stamp of approval, probably receives more abuse than any other field of study. Glaze the word itself over whatever vague ideology one may presume ratified, no matter the degree of pseudo-science or lack of scholarly credibility packaged within, and the many will consume it like gravy on a feast. My thought for the time is that as the promise of true science increases, so shall rise its many more superficial counterparts as provided by the agenda-bound trendies and hyper-ambitious laypersons to boot.”
Criss Jami, Healology

“Treating Abuse Today (Tat), 3(4), pp. 26-33
Freyd: You were also looking for some operational criteria for false memory syndrome: what a clinician could look for or test for, and so on. I spoke with several of our scientific advisory board members and I have some information for you that isn't really in writing at this point but I think it's a direction you want us to go in. So if I can read some of these notes . . .

TAT: Please do.

Freyd: One would look for false memory syndrome:

1. If a patient reports having been sexually abused by a parent, relative or someone in very early childhood, but then claims that she or he had complete amnesia about it for a decade or more;

2. If the patient attributes his or her current reason for being in therapy to delayed-memories. And this is where one would want to look for evidence suggesting that the abuse did not occur as demonstrated by a list of things, including firm, confident denials by the alleged perpetrators;

3. If there is denial by the entire family;

4. In the absence of evidence of familial disturbances or psychiatric illnesses. For example, if there's no evidence that the perpetrator had alcohol dependency or bipolar disorder or tendencies to pedophilia;

5. If some of the accusations are preposterous or impossible or they contain impossible or implausible elements such as a person being made pregnant prior to menarche, being forced to engage in sex with animals, or participating in the ritual killing of animals, and;

6. In the absence of evidence of distress surrounding the putative abuse. That is, despite alleged abuse going from age two to 27 or from three to 16, the child displayed normal social and academic functioning and that there was no evidence of any kind of psychopathology.

Are these the kind of things you were asking for?

TAT: Yeah, it's a little bit more specific. I take issue with several, but at least it gives us more of a sense of what you all mean when you say "false memory syndrome."

Freyd: Right. Well, you know I think that things are moving in that direction since that seems to be what people are requesting. Nobody's denying that people are abused and there's no one denying that someone who was abused a decade ago or two decades ago probably would not have talked about it to anybody. I think I mentioned to you that somebody who works in this office had that very experience of having been abused when she was a young teenager-not extremely abused, but made very uncomfortable by an uncle who was older-and she dealt with it for about three days at the time and then it got pushed to the back of her mind and she completely forgot about it until she was in therapy.

TAT: There you go. That's how dissociation works!

Freyd: That's how it worked. And after this came up and she had discussed and dealt with it in therapy, she could again put it to one side and go on with her life. Certainly confronting her uncle and doing all these other things was not a part of what she had to do. Interestingly, though, at the same time, she has a daughter who went into therapy and came up with memories of having been abused by her parents. This daughter ran away and is cutoff from the family-hasn't spoken to anyone for three years. And there has never been any meeting between the therapist and the whole family to try to find out what was involved.

TAT: If we take the first example -- that of her own abuse -- and follow the criteria you gave, we would have a very strong disbelief in the truth of what she told.”
David L. Calof

“Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33
The national discussion regarding the veridical truth of memories of childhood abuse will have a beneficial effect. Therapists will be reminded that dire consequences can ensue from poor practice, careless technique, and unchecked countertransference and parallel process. Hopefully, it will also stimulate legitimate research into the nature of traumatic memory. Unfortunately, the polemic often has been hysterical, scapegoating, accusatory, speculative, rumor driven, biased and antiempirical. Since many members of the FMSF, Inc. Scientific Advisory Board are frequent professional witnesses for the defense in cases of alleged sexual abuse, we questioned whether the organization was acting more as an advocate for a previously determined position or whether it was truly taking a scientific approach to determining the veridical truth of recollections of child abuse.”
David L. Calof

Carl Sagan
“It may be that there are kernels of truth in a few of these doctrines, but their widespread acceptance
betokens a lack of intellectual rigor, an absence of skepticism, a need to replace experiments by desires.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

“Treating Abuse Today (Tat), 3(4), pp. 26-33
Freyd: I see what you're saying but people in psychology don't have a uniform agreement on this issue of the depth of -- I guess the term that was used at the conference was -- "robust repression."

TAT: Well, Pamela, there's a whole lot of evidence that people dissociate traumatic things. What's interesting to me is how the concept of "dissociation" is side-stepped in favor of "repression." I don't think it's as much about repression as it is about traumatic amnesia and dissociation. That has been documented in a variety of trauma survivors. Army psychiatrists in the Second World War, for instance, documented that following battles, many soldiers had amnesia for the battles. Often, the memories wouldn't break through until much later when they were in psychotherapy.

Freyd: But I think I mentioned Dr. Loren Pankratz. He is a psychologist who was studying veterans for post-traumatic stress in a Veterans Administration Hospital in Portland. They found some people who were admitted to Veteran's hospitals for postrraumatic stress in Vietnam who didn't serve in Vietnam. They found at least one patient who was being treated who wasn't even a veteran. Without external validation, we just can't know --

TAT: -- Well, we have external validation in some of our cases.

Freyd: In this field you're going to find people who have all levels of belief, understanding, experience with the area of repression. As I said before it's not an area in which there's any kind of uniform agreement in the field. The full notion of repression has a meaning within a psychoanalytic framework and it's got a meaning to people in everyday use and everyday language. What there is evidence for is that any kind of memory is reconstructed and reinterpreted. It has not been shown to be anything else. Memories are reconstructed and reinterpreted from fragments. Some memories are true and some memories are confabulated and some are downright false.

TAT: It is certainly possible for in offender to dissociate a memory. It's possible that some of the people who call you could have done or witnessed some of the things they've been accused of -- maybe in an alcoholic black-out or in a dissociative state -- and truly not remember. I think that's very possible.

Freyd: I would say that virtually anything is possible. But when the stories include murdering babies and breeding babies and some of the rather bizarre things that come up, it's mighty puzzling.

TAT: I've treated adults with dissociative disorders who were both victimized and victimizers. I've seen previously repressed memories of my clients' earlier sexual offenses coming back to them in therapy. You guys seem to be saying, be skeptical if the person claims to have forgotten previously, especially if it is about something horrible. Should we be equally skeptical if someone says "I'm remembering that I perpetrated and I didn't remember before. It's been repressed for years and now it's surfacing because of therapy." I ask you, should we have the same degree of skepticism for this type of delayed-memory that you have for the other kind?

Freyd: Does that happen?

TAT: Oh, yes. A lot.”
David L. Calof

Willard Van Orman Quine
“And so come the cults, claiming to meet the needs that science has thus far failed to meet--and offering the prospective inductee a place on the ground floor. Some cults may be harmless enough, but whenever false doctrine is propagated there is some cost. Many such doctrines are dressed up as science in their own right. For even though established science may be distrusted, "science" is still a thumps-up word for most people. So we find many of these theories borrowing liberally from genuine science, and many more using terms that sound, to the uninitiated, like the stuff of which true science is made. Now many of the bogus doctrines are actually unintelligible; their seeming content simply vanishes when closely scrutinized. But given the incomprehensibility of so much genuine science for so many of us, that very unintelligibility can be mistaken as a sign of authenticity. Alas, it can even inspire reverence.”
Willard Van Orman Quine, The Web of Belief

“You cannot write an accurate history of The Holocaust without accounting for the Harvard students and professors that help make the science an acceptable world-wide movement.”
A.E. Samaan

Raël
“All that happens in the human brain is but the result of electro-chemical reactions. Be it of love, hate, of pleasure, of suffering, of imagination, or all other states of mind, sentiment or sickness; the process depends in every case on the chemical reactions produced in the interior of the brain, and the resulting electrical impulses or messages, be they visual, auditory, based on memory, or an interpretation of new events based on elements that one has in the memory.”
Raël, Intelligent Design: Message from the Designers

Jasim Uddin
“আমাদের দেশের লোকেরা যেমন ভুত, প্রেত, ওঝা পীর ও ফকিরে বিশ্বাস করে তেমনি হোমিওপ্যাথিক ঔষধে বিশ্বাস করে। এ দেশের লোক সব সময়ই কিছু বিশ্বাস করিবার জন্য প্রস্তুত হইয়া থাকে। যাহারা হোমিওপ্যাথিকে বিশ্বাস করে তাহারা বন্ধু সমাবেশে এই ঔষধের কার্যকারিতা সম্বন্ধে এমন সব রোমাঞ্চকর কাহিনী বানাইয়া বলে যে শ্রোতাদের মধ্যে কেউ যদি তাহা অবিশ্বাস করিতে চায়, তাহার পক্ষে সেখানে তিষ্ঠান দায় হইয়া পড়ে। সে গল্প যাহারা শোনে তাহারা আবার তাহাতে আরও কিছু রঙ চড়াইয়া অপরের কাছে বলে।”
Jasim Uddin

Richard  Adams
“Sheep used to have wings. One flew into the sky and all the others followed. They took their wings off while feeding in the warm sun but the wind blew away their wings so they couldn't fly anymore. They had to return to earth by drifting to where the sky curves down and touches the land, and then walk round the long way.. i like that..”
Richard Adams, The Plague Dogs

“A falsifiable theory is one that makes a specific prediction about what results are supposed to occur under a set of experimental conditions, so that the theory might be falsified by performing the experiment and comparing predicted to actual results. A theory or explanation that cannot be falsified falls outside the domain of science. For example, Freudian psychoanalysis, which does not make specific experimental predictions, is able to revise its theory to match any observations, in order to avoid rejecting the theory altogether. By this reckoning, Freudianism is a pseudoscience, a theory that purports to be scientific but is in fact immune to falsification. In contrast, for example, Einstein’s theory of relativity made predictions (like the bending of starlight around the sun) that were novel and specific, and provided opportunities to disprove the theory by direct experimental observation.
[The folly of scientism]”
Austin L. Hughes

Cathy O'Neil
“Will those insights be tested, or simply used to justify the status quo and reinforce prejudices? When I consider the sloppy and self-serving ways that companies use data, I'm often reminded of phrenology, a pseudoscience that was briefly the rage in the nineteenth century. Phrenologists would run their fingers over the patient's skull, probing for bumps and indentations. Each one, they thought, was linked to personality traits that existed in twenty-seven regions of the brain. Usually the conclusion of the phrenologist jibed with the observations he made. If the patient was morbidly anxious or suffering from alcoholism, the skull probe would usually find bumps and dips that correlated with that observation - which, in turn, bolstered faith in the science of phrenology. Phrenology was a model that relied on pseudoscientific nonsense to make authoritative pronouncements, and for decades it went untested. Big Data can fall into the same trap. Models like the ones that red-lighted Kyle Behm and black-balled foreign medical students and St. George's can lock people out, even when the "science" inside them is little more than a bundle of untested assumptions.”
Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Cathy O'Neil
“Will those insights be tested,or simply used to justify the status quo and reinforce prejudices? When I consider the sloppy and self-serving ways that companies use data, I'm often reminded of phrenology, a pseudoscience that was briefly the rage in the nineteenth century. Phrenologists would run their fingers over the patient's skull, probing for bumps and indentations. Each one, they thought, was linked to personality traits that existed in twenty-seven regions of the brain. Usually the conclusion of the phrenologist jibed with the observations he made. If the patient was morbidly anxious or suffering from alcoholism, the skull probe would usually find bumps and dips that correlated with that observation - which, in turn, bolstered faith in the science of phrenology. Phrenology was a model that relied on pseudoscientific nonsense to make authoritative pronouncements, and for decades it went untested. Big Data can fall into the same trap. Models like the ones that red-lighted Kyle Behm and black-balled foreign medical students and St. George's can lock people out, even when the "science" inside them is little more than a bundle of untested assumptions.”
Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Jonathan Maberry
“It's cloaked in cultural mumbo jumbo, but I assure you that it is very hard science.”
Jonathan Maberry, Dead of Night

Abhijit Naskar
“Changing the spelling of one's name to ensure success, performing rituals for good luck, wearing colored gem stones for success in business – all these fall into the same category of psychological reinforcement. Hence, emerged the blood-sucking professions of astrology, palmistry, vastushastra, numerology etc. The very existence of these fraudulent professions is predicated on the fear and anxiety of vulnerable masses. Thus, a person’s superstitious beliefs become the tool of exploitation in the hands of ruthless fraudsters.”
Abhijit Naskar

Abhijit Naskar
“It is all about the trade of ignorance. And India is such a bronze-age nation that is filled with these trades (astrology, palm reading, vastushashtra and others).”
Abhijit Naskar, Prescription: Treating India's Soul

“In the last 25 years, criticism of most theories advanced by Darwin and the neo-Darwinians has increased considerably, and so did their defense. Darwinism has become an ideology, while the most significant theories of Darwin were proven unsupportable. The critics advanced other theories instead of 'natural selection' and the survival of the fittest'. 'Saltatory ontogeny' and 'epigenesis' are such new theories proposed to explain how variations in ontogeny and novelties in evolution are created. They are reviewed again in the present essay that also tries to explain how Darwinians, artificially kept dominant in academia and in granting agencies, are preventing their acceptance. Epigenesis, the mechanism of ontogenies, creates in every generation alternative variations in a saltatory way that enable the organisms to survive in the changing environments as either altricial or precocial forms. The constant production of two such forms and their survival in different environments makes it possible, over a sequence of generations, to introduce changes and establish novelties--the true phenomena of evolution. The saltatory units of evolution remain far-from-stable structures capable of self-organization and self-maintenance (autopoiesis).
[Evolution by epigenesis: farewell to Darwinism, neo- and otherwise.]”
Eugene K. Balon

Giharu Si Perempuan Gunung
“The freedom is really free only happened in this life: after life is pseudo freedom”
Giharu Si Perempuan Gunung

Richard Dawkins
“Hijacking by pseudoscience and bad science fiction is a threat to our legitimate sense of wonder.”
Richard Dawkins, Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist

“In order to establish the narrative that innocent men have been the victims of an epidemic of false allegations, “moral panic” advocates have misrepresented child protection interventions and legal cases in significant ways (R. Cheit, 2014; Kitzinger, 2004; Michael Salter, 2016). This has included championing the cause of convicted sex offenders despite overwhelming evidence of guilt (R. Cheit, 2014; R. E. Cheit, 2001; Olio & Cornell, 1998).”
Michael Salter, Routledge Handbook of Critical Criminology

Debbie Nathan blames the early symptoms on pernicious anemia yet explains their supposed remission by
“Debbie Nathan blames the early symptoms on pernicious anemia yet explains their supposed remission by Shirley’s being out of contact with Dr. Wilbur for those 9 years. But Dr. Wilbur never diagnosed a dissociative disorder in 1945. Nathan does not seem to recognize the implausibility of Dr. Wilbur creating via suggestion a complex dissociative disorder in five sessions, particularly when the doctor herself did not diagnose it. Nathan attributes Shirley’s postintegration improvement in functioning to being out of contact with Dr. Wilbur rather than to the therapy. But the pernicious anemia continued to be undiagnosed and untreated during that time period, so any symptoms due to it should have continued rather than showing an improvement that coincided with psychotherapy with Dr. Wilbur. Debbie Nathan’s thesis is self-contradictory.”
Colin A. Ross

“Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33
Freyd: The term "multiple personality" itself assumes that there is "single personality" and there is evidence that no one ever displays a single personality.

TAT: The issue here is the extent of dissociation and amnesia and the extent to which these fragmentary aspects of personality can take executive control and control function. Sure, you and I have different parts to our mind, there's no doubt about that, but I don't lose time to mine they can't come out in the middle of a lecture and start acting 7 years old. I'm very much in the camp that says that we all are multi-minds, but the difference between you and me and a multiple is pretty tangible.

Freyd: Those are clearly interesting questions, but that area and the clinical aspects of dissociation and multiple personalities is beyond anything the Foundation is actively...

TAT: That's a real problem. Let me tell you why that's a problem. Many of the people that have been alleged to have "false memory syndrome" have diagnosed dissociative disorders. It seems to me the fact that you don't talk about dissociative disorders is a little dishonest, since many people whose lives have been impacted by this movement are MPD or have a dissociative disorder. To say, "Well, we ONLY know about repression but not about dissociation or multiple personalities" seems irresponsible.

Freyd: Be that as it may, some of the scientific issues with memory are clear. So if we can just stick with some things for a moment; one is that memories are reconstructed and reinterpreted no matter how long ago or recent.

TAT: You weigh the recollected testimony of an alleged perpetrator more than the alleged victim's. You're saying, basically, if the parents deny it, that's another notch for disbelief.

Freyd: If it's denied, certainly one would want to check things. It would have to be one of many factors that are weighed -- and that's the problem with these issues -- they are not black and white, they're very complicated issues.”
David L. Calof

“In the case of child abuse, the ‘false memory’ narrative provided a façade of scientific justification for the appealing belief that child abuse was not as serious as victimized children and adults would suggest.”
Michael Salter

“No amount of therapy, dream analysis, word association, experiment or brain-scanning can recover a person’s ‘true motives’, not because they are difficult to find, but because there is nothing to find. It is not hard to plumb our mental depths because they are so deep and so murky, but because there are no mental depths to plumb.”
Nick Chater, The Mind is Flat: The Illusion of Mental Depth and The Improvised Mind

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