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Criterion Of Meaning, Scientific Method, Current Debates, Bibliography

Pseudoscience is a term applied to a field of inquiry by critics claiming that it is a pretended or spurious science because it does not meet established standards. The term pseudoscience is reserved for fields that claim to be a science, that make claims about the world and give explanations of natural processes. Statements of personal values or beliefs are neither scientific nor pseudoscientific, nor are works of art or literature. Religion is not a pseudoscience because it does not make scientific claims, but a faith-based alternative to Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory would be. Freudian psychology is an example of a theory considered pseudoscientific by some and defended as legitimate by others. Since the term pseudoscience is general, it is used to dismiss an entire field, rather than a specific study or the work of a particular individual. Alternative medicine might be dismissed, for example, when there are no double-blind controlled studies to support the claims of various treatments.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Propagation to Quantum electrodynamics (QED)