Dec 10, 2011
Recommended Reading: Marks of pseudoscience, fraud and bullshit
It also should help some with making up one's mind on the question what moved dr. Judy In Whom We TrustTM. To repeat myself from October 4 - "It quite a MEss!" - last, where you find some discussion of these three questions, and also on October 8, October 14 and later:
I shall not attempt an answer today, but instead I only supply some relevant links and quotes, that may help interested persons to make up their own minds.
In fact, I shall keep it brief and short, and only offer links and two lists of criterions. If you are interested - and you should be if you have ME and any pretentions to capacities of rational thought of your own, and indeed also if you lay claim to the latter and are happy enough not to suffer from the former - you can follow the links and do some Recommended Reading, which indeed also is the title of a series in Nederlog I mentioned almost a month ago, after quoting Bertrand Russell's Liberal Decalogue. (*)
The original is in the link that's in the title of this section, and is a brief and clear essay by a professor of physics, dr. Robert L. Park, that dates to 2003.
It is clear and short, and if you don't read anything else I recommend today, you should at least read this - and I quote just the "Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science", and not dr. Park's explanations why they are such signs:
It is quoted from Quackwatch, which I like, except that I do not share the normal medical opinions on the medical colleagues who are psychiatrists or indeed clinical psychologists: Also best regarded as quackery and a form of secular religion and pseudoscience rather than real science,
The original is again in the link that's in the title of this section, and is a brief and clear post by Russell Turpin in 1993, with two other useful posts I don't quote or summarize, that all come from the site of a professor emeritus in astronomy, William Jefferys. Again I quote just the titles of brief sections. If you want to know more read the original, that's again brief and clear and linked in the title:
Of course, the last section concerns cant words that serve to recognize cant. Here much could be added, and what should be added certainly, when "paradigms" are listed is the name of Thomas Kuhn, a failed physicist turned philosopher of science: If he is appealed to, a pompous fraud is used as a An Authority.
I mention him here: Three philosophical interviews: Kuhn, Searle, Gardner, mostly because I'd read his book in 1971 and already then identified it as pretentious bullshit, and was pleased to find and link a five part series by a one-time student of his, who stopped studying philosophy after Kuhn threw an ashtray at him:
Distinguishing Science from Pseudoscience
I haven't read all of it, because I have read very much philosophy of science and methodology, but if you want a reasoned exposition, with explanations and references, this seems quite useful, and the references are good. Indeed, if you are interested at all, I can recommend the books by Gardner, Kurtz, Randi, Paulos, Hansel, R.D. Rosen, and Evans in the references given by Beyerstein.
My guess is that this text, and the books I recommended, are of interest mostly to those who are especially interested in psychology. A similar qualification applies to my last link and reference:
I abbreviated the
title, and did not read the book, that is by Edward Dolnick. My link is
to a long review of it by the editor of The Skeptic's Dictionary Robert T.
Carroll, who is Ph.D. in philosophy.
Again, this will be most useful or interesting to those who are interested in psychology or psychiatry. For more on the topic, with interesting links and references, see my
This should be sufficient, but then most people, including most academics, are not especially intelligent. Besides, there are lots of situations in which even the best intellects are thrown off course, and possibly - I am diplomatic here, but also just - such situations comprise being ill with a serious disease that is misdiagnosed by most medical experts, for various reasons, varying from ignorance, laziness and lack of intelligence to financial or personal interest in misdiagnoses.
Then again, the above items, and especially the first two, since they are brief, clear and not especially about medical matters, should provide the most intelligent with some of the clearest and most usual marks of pseudo-science, quackery, fraud and bullshit, from the presence of which one at least may guess fairly there is a good chance that supposed scientific prose with these marks is not really scientific, but fraudulent or incompetent if honest.
As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):
Short descriptions of the above:
1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
7. A space-
and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.
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