Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science

Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science


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Case studies, personal accounts, and analysis show how to recognize and combat pseudoscience in a post-truth world.

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 of cognitive bias; the costs of pseudoscience, with accounts of naturopathy and logical fallacies in the anti-vaccination movement; perceptions of scientific soundness; the mainstream presence of “integrative medicine,” hypnosis, and parapsychology; and the use of case studies and new media in science advocacy.

David Ball, Paul Joseph Barnett, Jeffrey Beall, Mark Benisz, Fernando Blanco, Ron Dumont, Stacy Ellenberg, Kevin M. Folta, Christopher French, Ashwin Gautam, Dennis M. Gorman, David H. Gorski, David K. Hecht, Britt Marie Hermes, Clyde F. Herreid, Jonathan Howard, Seth C. Kalichman, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Arnold Kozak, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Emilio Lobato, Steven Lynn, Adam Marcus, Helena Matute, Ivan Oransky, Chad Orzel, Dorit Reiss, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Kavin Senapathy, Dean Keith Simonton, Indre Viskontas, John O. Willis, Corrine Zimmerman

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262537049
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 03/12/2019
Series: The MIT Press
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 536
Sales rank: 195,092
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Allison B. Kaufman is Research Scientist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, where she is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology.

James C. Kaufman is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut's Neag School of Education.

Dean Keith Simonton, an expert on creativity and genius, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Origins of Genius, Creativity in Science, Genius 101, and other books.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Navigating a Post-Truth World: Ten Enduring Lessons from the Study of Pseudoscience Scott O. Lilienfeld xi

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction: Pseudoscience: What It Costs and Efforts to Fight It xxi

I The Basics of Pseudoscience 1

1 Pseudoscience and the Pursuit of Truth David K. Hecht 3

2 The Psychology of (Pseudo) Science: Cognitive, Social, and Cultural Factors Emilio J. C. Lobato Corinne Zimmerman 21

3 The Illusion of Causality: A Cognitive Bias Underlying Pseudoscience Fernando Blanco Helena Matute 45

4 Hard Science, Soft Science, and Pseudoscience: Implications of Research on the Hierarchy of the Sciences Dean Keith Simonton 77

II What Pseudoscience Costs Society 101

5 Food-o-science Pseudoscience: The Weapons and Tactics in the War on Crop Biotechnology Kevin M. Folta 103

6 An Inside Look at Naturopathic Medicine: A Whistleblower's Deconstruction of Its Core Principles Britt Marie Hermes 137

7 Risky Play and Growing Up: How to Understand the Overprotection of the Next Generation Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter David Ball 171

8 The Anti-Vaccine Movement: A Litany of Fallacy and Errors Jonathan Howard Dorit Rubinstein Reiss 195

III Scientific (or Pseudoscientific) Soundness 221

9 Understanding Pseudoscience Vulnerability through Epistemological Development, Critical Thinking, and Science Literacy Arnold Kozak 223

10 Scientific Failure as a Public Good: Illustrating the Process of Science and Its Contrast with Pseudoscience Chad Orzel 239

11 Evidence-Based Practice as a Driver of Pseudoscience in Prevention Research Dennis M. Gorman 263

12 Scientific Soundness and the Problem of Predatory Journals Jeffrey Beall 283

13 Pseudoscience, Coming to a Peer-Reviewed Journal Near You Adam Marcus Ivan Oransky 301

IV Pseudoscience in the Mainstream 307

14 "Integrative" Medicine: Integrating Quackery with Science-Based Medicine David H. Gorski 309

15 Hypnosis: Science, Pseudoscience, and Nonsense Steven Jay Lynn Ashwin Gautam Stacy Ellenberg Scott O. Lilienfeld 331

16 Abuses and Misuses of Intelligence Tests: Facts and Misconceptions Mark Benisz John O. Willis Ron Dumont 351

17 Reflections on Pseudoscience and Parapsychology: From Here to There and (Slightly) Back Again Christopher C. French 375

V Science Activism: How People Think about Pseudoscience 393

18 Using Case Studies to Combat a Pseudoscience Culture Clyde Freeman Herreid 395

19 "HIV Does Not Cause AIDS": A Journey into AIDS Denialism Seth C. Kalichman 419

20 Swaying Pseudoscience: The Inoculation Effect Kavin Senapathy 441

21 The Challenges of Changing Minds: How Confirmation Bias and Pattern Recognition Affect Our Search for Meaning Indre Viskontas 451

VI Conclusion 465

22 Truth Shall Prevail Paul Joseph Barnett James C. Kaufman 467

Contributor List 481

Index 483

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