The Bottom Line

Glossary of Terms Used in Teaching About the Nature of Science
  • Fact: In science, an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed.
  • Inference: Description of (or conclusion about) an observation that has been made based on prior knowledge and past experiences. 
  • Law: A descriptive generalization about how some aspect of the natural world behaves under stated circumstances.
  • Hypothesis: A testable statement about the natural world that can be used to build more complex inferences and explanations.
  • Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.
Adapted from:
Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, 1998
A more complete description of these and related terms can be found here - one page of an excellent description of science.

One of the problems with our access to massive quantities of un-regulated information (to which anyone with any motive can contribute) is that we are constantly bombarded by marketing claims that offer products, services and ideas promoted as providing a solution for practically any problem or desire we might have (I collectively referred to them below as 'opportunities').

When we are offered the opportunity to purchase a solution to a problem or desire (health, financial, etc.), or accept an idea as true, how can we determine whether it is legitimate or a scam?  These strategies will help you identify and avoid the more blatant scams.  Complex, well-constructed scams and controversies that are driven more by ideology than facts, however, are more difficult to identify, understand and avoid.  These methods employ some of the processes of Critical Thinking summarized here (no Java).

Those who promote scams will always present you with a body of 'evidence' or information that is designed specifically to convince you that their product, service or idea is valid.  This 'evidence' is usually a clever mix of facts and fiction:

Those who successfully develop, promote and execute scams of any kind (from sham beggars, the newest diet fad, nutritional miracle foods, fortune telling, e-mail/Internet hoaxes, structured energized water, to elaborate ponzi schemes) are masters at hijacking our emotions and beliefs by presenting compelling stories and creative performances that effectively present false information as truth.  They know exactly how to deactivate our mental warning systems, present compelling evidence, deflect criticisms, engage our emotions, manipulate our strengths and weaknesses and otherwise deceive us into believing we absolutely must acquire their product or accept their idea as true.  Con artists take advantage of some of our most basic human traits, including:
--- positive attributes - trust, hope, empathy, compassion and a desire to succeed
--- survival instincts like fear and caution
--- negative characteristics - greed, laziness, a desire for power, etc. 
They are also wizards at camouflage and misdirection, so they blend in almost perfectly with legitimate business enterprises.  Fortunately, most scams can be spotted and avoided if you always pay attention to and question each new 'opportunity' that someone offers you.

If you are serious about understanding whether health or performance claims regarding specific water-related products are true and accurate (and not a scam) these guidelines will help you get started.  Most scams rely on the same techniques of deception, so these suggestions will also help you evaluate the thousands of other products, services and ideas falsely marketed as providing some benefit to you:

These guidelines are explained in greater detail in the Bottom Line Expanded (Guidelines for Identifying Fiction & Fraud) section of this page.
My What's The Harm page provides some background on the real dangers of products, services and ideas that are marketed by preying on people's fears, manipulating their emotions and providing false hopes based on pseudoscience and wishful thinking.

The Bottom Line Expanded - Guidelines for Identifying Fiction & Fraud

This section provides details to the guidelines outlined in The Bottom Line:

Keep It Simple Stupid --- Not!

There are times and places where it may be appropriate to provide short, simple answers.  My website is not one of them, and if you are serious about really understanding complex issues this is not the place for simplistic explanations. 

Visitors who are sincerely seeking reliable, truthful answers to their questions are not stupid, and you deserve complete and accurate answers, not just a superficial review.

I tend to go into extreme depths trying to explain the concepts on my website because I don't believe short and easy descriptions are a legitimate or useful way to explain complex subjects -- and drinking water related topics (whether they are treatment or health related) are complex.  In my experience the more important a decision or choice I need to make is, the more 'shades of gray' there are that need to be evaluated.  In fact, one of the primary indications I use as a warning that explanatory information is not to be trusted is when it is completely one-sided -- any contrary information is either not provided or summarily dismissed as false or irrelevant.

One common strategy used by promoters of scams and pseudoscientific beliefs is to provide quick and easy 'answers' and 'solutions' to explain extremely complex issues.  These simplistic 'answers' and 'solutions' are found on Internet searches, in marketing propaganda, from testimonials of acquaintances, and in the pronouncements of self-proclaimed experts.  As noted elsewhere, though, there is often no real, factual substance to these easily acquired 'answers/solutions', and they are subjective, biased and incomplete (only one perspective is presented), flawed, just plain wrong, and occasionally they are completely fraudulent - particularly when the groups or individuals that provide these 'answers/solutions' have a serious monetary or ideological agenda. 

In my experience this readily acquired, quick and easy (and scientifically inaccurate) information can't be countered with a quick and easy rebuttal that will convince someone who is seriously looking for real answers and solutions not to waste their time, energy and resources - particularly those who are not experts in the subject. 

For example, if you don't have the background and experience to understand chemistry and the way the digestive system and body manage pH, it is extremely difficult to determine which of these two alkaline water claim is accurate.  The claim by those who promote alkaline water that:
"Drinking alkaline water daily may help the body excrete toxins"
can't realistically be countered with my rebuttal that
"There is absolutely no reliable scientific evidence that alkaline water (pH above 7) will have any different, and better effect on toxin removal (or any other health issue) than drinking regular water (pH around 7)."

A typical visitor trying to sort out fact from fiction faces a significant challenge: which information source is a Trustworthy and Reliable Authority on the subject -- whether the subject is alkaline water or any other 'magical' product or service on the market. 

Should you  trust the product manufacturers, promoters and those who provide the glowing testimonials who are promising a cure for your health problems (which you may desperately need)? 
Or
Should you trust the skeptic who warns you to be cautious, invest the time and effort to do some serious research, and hopefully save your money (and perhaps your health) by avoiding the temptation to purchase a product or service (or buy into an idea) that fundamentally does not (and cannot) work as advertised?

Manufacturers and promoters of pseudoscientific products, services and ideas ('opportunities') have significant advantages over the skeptics who are trying to inform people and warn them about the potential pitfalls of buying into these deceptions.

It is extremely simple to make a claim of miraculous benefits and provide dozens of glowing testimonials for these 'opportunities'.  Providing simple refutations on my website will probably not demonstrate sufficient Authority to counter the claims of effectiveness made by the marketers and those who provide supporting testimonials.  It has been my experience, both talking with people personally and communicating with website visitors, that a very detailed case needs to be developed to unravel and expose the many layers of deception used in the pseudoscientific promotions.  After all, someone who is looking for information on these 'opportunities' probably has some persistent health (or other) problem that traditional treatments have not been able to fix -- they may be willing to try anything.

As a consequence, the content on my website is extensive, and my explanations of any specific subject tend to be quite long and detailed.  I try to provide as much information as possible as well as relevant references where visitors can go to verify that the material I provide is accurate and obtain additional information if required. 

Most pages on a specific topic will begin with The Bottom Line, a section that provides a brief outline of my conclusions about the topic under discussion.  If you believe my conclusions are accurate and valid, you do not need to read further.  However, if you would like to evaluate the reasoning and/or references behind my conclusions, they are provided in the detailed content on the rest of the page.

Wishing you success on your quest for accurate, relevant knowledge.

Why Scams Work

One of our most important and deeply engrained survival mechanisms is trust in others.  This instinct was built up over millennia of homo sapiens' development.  During most of our history, before we learned to farm (around 10,000 - 12,000 years ago) and create sufficient food supplies to enable hundreds and thousands of individuals to live closely together, people lived in small tribes of hunter-gatherers.  "Besides having different methods of food acquisition, hunter-gatherer peoples differed from modern agricultural societies in several cultural respects. Because of the limited distribution of wild resources, the number of peoples that could survive on a given area of land was limited by the land’s capability of producing a sustainable food supply. Therefore, hunter-gatherers typically lived in “band”-level social units, consisting of one to several families. These bands were typically egalitarian, shared resources and hunted and gathered cooperatively. These groups could split up or join with other bands in order to best exploit resources (Academic American Encyclopedia, 1997)."

The key concept in this early lifestyle was cooperative living - everyone's survival depended on sharing resources and accurately transferring survival skills and knowledge from one generation to the next by verbal story-telling and demonstrationsRelationships, trust and communication were the key to survival - you listened carefully to stories and watched demonstrations on how to survive (from the survivors), trusted that their wisdom was communicated accurately and hopefully were able to build a successful life on that knowledge - you could not read a book on how and when to find fruits or Google the best way to hunt a mastodon.  It is unlikely that wholesale fraud would have been a successful strategy during this period of human development - transferring deliberately inaccurate information to specific tribal members might have helped promote one's own status, but there would have been a limited number of potential 'marks'.  Wholesale deception of the community would have probably lead to the tribe's demise.

Once agricultural societies developed, however, many unrelated people could live in the same area - stable villages, towns and eventually cities arose.  Survival no longer depended on the coordinated efforts of a small group of people.  According to The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein, "With agriculture, a new category of being came into existence: the stranger.  Before then, humans lived in tribes of at most 500 people, comprising bands of about 15-20 people each.  It is not difficult to know 500 people by name and face, especially after a lifetime of frequent association, but beyond that the identifying structures of kith and kin become tenuous and some people necessarily fall into the category of "other".  ...Relationships in primitive societies are guided by kin structures that provide each person a place relative to each other person.  When society expands in scale to the point where two people are strangers, unable to place each other in their respective constellations of self, then there is a serious potential for conflict.  Some kind of impersonal governance is required in the absence of structures of known relationship.  After all, when someone is not "self" then he is a potential competitor whose interests might be at odds with ours. Practically speaking, if someone is a stranger there is no rational reason not to cheat them.  Since he is not linked to your own social network, the consequences need never come back to haunt you."

With the rise of agricultural societies division of labor and job specialization became possible.  It is easy to imagined that one of the first industries of the agricultural age consisted of con artists - individuals who learned how to manipulate people's innate belief and trust in story telling and performances that had evolved to ensure survival to their exclusive advantage.  These early con artists discovered that by crafting a convincing story and delivering a believable performance they could hijack someone's emotions and beliefs, gain their trust and convince them to believe wholeheartedly in whatever product or idea they were promoting. 

Story-telling and performances continue to be an important part of human culture today, and they remain a primary component of early childhood learning.  Even as adults, a well-told story or an engaging performance can lead to an extremely emotional experience.  For example, think of a well written and performed fictional story, play or movie you have experienced - how how emotionally powerful it was and how real it seemed.  If you have ever seen a well performed magic trick, you know how incredibly deceptive and effective at producing an illusion of reality a good magician can be. 

Magic tricks, fictional stories, plays and movies are intentionally deceptive and entertaining.  The authors of these illusions and literary devices make no claim that their creations are factual.  Con artists promote their scams as factual using many of the same devices and psychological tricks.  However they conceal their deceptive practices and employ all their presentation and performance talents to present their stories and illusions as true.  Their goal, of course, is to build trust and empathy, convince people that their remarkable 'opportunity'  is legitimate and sell their product, service or idea to those who have let down their defenses.  go to YouTube and watch some well-performed magic tricks.

As noted elsewhere, those who fall for scams are not necessarily unintelligent, ignorant or uneducated - they have simply not activated their Critical Thinking abilities and have enabled the con artist's skills to convince them that a fictitious story and ineffective product is legitimate.  Scams can be identified and avoided, but it takes effort --- and your opponents, the individuals or organizations presenting the extraordinary 'opportunities' are often extremely skilled at avoiding detection.

References: Fiction, Bias, Scams and Pseudoscience - Detection and Avoidance

Fiction, biases, scams and pseudoscience are different manifestations of the same fundamental characteristics, and they can be detected and avoided using many of the same processes.

If you are seriously interested in learning how to separate true, reliable facts from the tangled web of fiction that's available at the click of a mouse - or the swipe of a finger - the resources below will help.  If you do not have a strong background in the sciences it will be easy to become overwhelmed.  I probably shouldn't generalize, but it seems as though many people prefer information that's quickly available and neatly packaged in easily consumable and understandable bites. 

The problem with this expectation is that the more biased and less reliable the information is, the easier it is to package and distribute in neat, consumable, understandable (but deceptive) bites.  Science, on the other hand, is often messy and not easy to simplify.  Information provided by reliable sources who attempt to counter fiction and pseudoscience not only must present understandable valid facts, they must include specific details outlining why fraudulent claims are inaccurate - and it can take pages of details to explain the fictional claims - check out my alkaline and enhanced water pages for two examples. 

Complicating the problem is the fact that those who distribute fraudulent, fictitious information actively market their products, services or ideas.  They relentlessly promote their alkaline, structured, vortexed, energized water, their failsafe get-rich scheme, miracle cures, a fortune telling or séance session, etc., etc.  They are proactive, energetically engaging with people for the specific purpose of selling their 'opportunity', and they display their wares in the most compelling and convincing manner possible.

Those who wish to counter the scams, however, are generally more reactive - I am speaking for myself and from my observations.  We provide information to assist seekers who have questions about the legitimacy of various 'opportunities' find reliable answers.  However, we typically are not 'out there' going door to door with 'Believe in Science' tracts, handing out 'Science-is-Better' flyers in malls and holding anti-scam parties.

Consequently, those who are looking for reliable answers must initiate the process.  They must first recognize that an 'opportunity' they have been offered might not be legitimate.  Then they must take the initiative to seek out information that is available, hope they put in the right search terms, trust that Google has indexed trustworthy sites and finally open the sites with reliable information.  Then the content of the chosen site must be compelling enough to convince the seeker that their 'opportunity' is a scam - or in some instances is legitimate.

If you are not a science geek who is very familiar with how the processes of science work, it might be instructive to read content from the first few references below.  Then take a look at how scammers bypass and deflect the protection of scientific validation to perpetuate fraud.  Finally, come back around and examine the characteristics of pseudoscience.

References that describe the Characteristics of Science:

Understanding Science:  "To understand what science is, just look around you. What do you see? Perhaps, your hand on the mouse, a computer screen, papers, ballpoint pens, the family cat, the sun shining through the window …. Science is, in one sense, our knowledge of all that — all the stuff that is in the universe: from the tiniest subatomic particles in a single atom of the metal in your computer's circuits, to the nuclear reactions that formed the immense ball of gas that is our sun, to the complex chemical interactions and electrical fluctuations within your own body that allow you to read and understand these words. But just as importantly, science is also a reliable process by which we learn about all that stuff in the universe. However, science is different from many other ways of learning because of the way it is done. Science relies on testing ideas with evidence gathered from the natural world. This website will help you learn more about science as a process of learning about the natural world and access the parts of science that affect your life."  This is an very well presented description of what science is (and is not) and how it works to provide accurate and useful information to understand the universe we live in.  Developed by the University of California Museum of Paleontology

What is Science?  "Science is the concerted human effort to understand, or to understand better, the history of the natural world and how the natural world works, with observable physical evidence as the basis of that understanding1. It is done through observation of natural phenomena, and/or through experimentation that tries to simulate natural processes under controlled conditions."  This is an excellent series of articles on the basics of science by Bruce Railsback, Professor of Sedimentary Petrology & Geochemistry at the University of Georgia Franklin College of Geology.

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? - Joel Achenbach, National Geographic, March 2015
(also published in The Washington Post, February 2015, as Why science is so hard to believe)
"We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change—faces organized and often furious opposition.  Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts.  In a sense all this is not surprising.  ...Our lives are permeated by science and technology as never before.  For many of us this new world is wondrous, comfortable, and rich in rewards—but also more complicated and sometimes unnerving.  We now face risks we can’t easily analyze."

Probably the most famous set of guidelines for identifying false information that's presented as scientific fact is Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit described in his book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

A deception arises, sometimes innocently but collaboratively, sometimes with cynical premeditation. Usually the victim is caught up in a powerful emotion—wonder, fear, greed, grief. Credulous acceptance of baloney can cost you money; that’s what P. T. Barnum meant when he said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” But it can be much more dangerous than that, and when governments and societies lose the capacity for critical thinking, the results can be catastrophic—however sympathetic we may be to those who have bought the baloney.

In science we may start with experimental results, data, observations, measurements, “facts.” We invent, if we can, a rich array of possible explanations and systematically confront each explanation with the facts.

In the course of their training, scientists are equipped with a baloney detection kit. The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. If the new idea survives examination by the tools in our kit, we grant it warm, although tentative, acceptance.

If you’re so inclined, if you don’t want to buy baloney even when it’s reassuring to do so, there are precautions that can be taken; there’s a tried-and-true, consumer-tested method.

  1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”
  2. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
  3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.
  4. Spin more than one hypothesis. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among “multiple working hypotheses,” has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
  5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours. It’s only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge. Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don’t, others will.
  6. Quantify. If whatever it is you’re explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you’ll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses. What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. Of course there are truths to be sought in the many qualitative issues we are obliged to confront, but finding them is more challenging.
  7. If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise) — not just most of them.
  8. Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.
  9. Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable, unfalsifiable are not worth much. Consider the grand idea that our Universe and everything in it is just an elementary particle — an electron, say — in a much bigger Cosmos. But if we can never acquire information from outside our Universe, is not the idea incapable of disproof? You must be able to check assertions out. Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments and see if they get the same result.

How to Identify & Avoid Scams - Arm Yourself Against Exploitation

The SMELL Test - Won't Get Fooled Again:  "It's now up to us to construct our own truth filters in the face of a communication revolution that has created profound paradoxes:" polarized and contradictory news and views; anyone with access to the Internet can now be a "journalist", and there is no longer consistent, reliable oversight to ensure published information is accurate and reasonably unbiased.  When faced with information claiming to be factual, employ the SMELL Test.  First consider the Source, then their Motivation, next examine the Evidence - is that evidence Logical and is anything Left out.  This article was written to help the reader identify legitimate balanced news, avoid false reporting and recognize strong bias where you are only getting a carefully selected part of the truth.  The guidelines presented, however, translate to identifying information provided to support most scams, and is well worth reading.

Think Before Hitting "Share":  "When you are active on social media, whether personally or professionally, it is important to be able to distinguish content that can be trusted from rumor. Often a quick search will tell you if there is evidence to support the content being shared. Before you retweet or share something on social media, take a moment to assess the reliability of the info. One quick way to test information for reliability is to use the CRAAP Test. CRAAP is an acronym that stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose."  This article is also not specifically about recognizing product scams, but again the principles are transferrable. 

Avoid Scams:  "Scam artists use clever schemes to defraud millions of people around the globe each year. Being on guard online can help you maximize the benefits of the internet and minimize your chance of being defrauded. Learn how to recognize common scams and what you can do to avoid them."

The psychological tricks that scammers use:  "...certain behavioral patterns have been exploited by hustlers for centuries and that victims behave that way not because they're uncooperative or stupid but because the human psyche is made that way."

How Con Artists Work:  "You might think you can spot a con artist because he's someone you instinctively "don't trust." But the term con artist is short for confidence artist -- they gain your confidence just long enough to get their hands on your money. They can be very charming and persuasive."

How con artists trick your mind:  "Intelligence and experience offers no protection against scammers, says Modic. “If it did, then better educated people and older people would be less likely to fall for scams. And that is not supported by my research.  ...

7 Online Scams and How to Avoid Them:  Readers Digest

SCAMWatch - is a website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). SCAMwatch provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognize, avoid and report scams.  How to protect yourself.

The Red Flags of Quackery - 16 warning signs that will help you avoid many scams.

Drinking Water and Water Treatment Scams - "Everyone is susceptible to being scammed regardless of age, sex, race, religion, education or professional background. Those who lack a basic understanding of scientific principles are easier prey for scam artists, but many people are susceptible to scams simply because they want to believe in miracles."  A slide show based on this article.

Nutrition Misinformation: How to Identify Fraud and Misleading Claims - "With the growing body of knowledge supporting the connection between diet and overall health, many consumers are taking personal health and nutrition decisions into their own hands. Individuals are becoming more reliant on nutrition information from sources such as websites, television, radio, newspapers, advertisements, friends, and family, thereby creating opportunities for nutrition misinformation and health fraud. Health fraud is defined as misrepresentation of health claims, and can range from a self-proclaimed medical expert who has discovered a so-called “miracle cure,” to a food supplement or drug that is promoted with unsubstantiated health claims."

Snopes.com - Check out the validity of rumors you might encounter: "The snopes.com website was founded by Barbara and David Mikkelson, who live and work in the Los Angeles area. What they began in 1995 as an expression of their shared interest in researching urban legends has since grown into what is widely regarded by folklorists, journalists, and laypersons alike as one of the World Wide Web's essential resources."  Another Urban Legend resource.

Characteristics of Pseudoscience

How to Spot Pseudoscience - "I've created a 15-point checklist that I call "How to Spot Pseudoscience." When you hear any claim about a new product, a new discovery, or some paranormal ability, run it through these fifteen questions and you'll get a pretty clear idea of whether or not it has any merit.  ...With this checklist, anyone is well equipped to filter out the chaff from the wheat. Questions like these are what should be taught in schools, encouraging young people to begin looking at all the crazy misinformation in our world with critical analysis. The ability to tell fact from fiction is essential to our progress as a species as we search for the next great discoveries in medicine, space exploration, computing, power generation, and every other scientific field.  Brian Dunning

Distinguishing Science and Pseudoscience - "The word "pseudo" means fake. The surest way to spot a fake is to know as much as possible about the real thing—in this case, about science itself. Knowing science does not mean simply knowing scientific facts (such as the distance from earth to sun, the age of the earth, the distinction between mammal and reptile, etc.) It means understanding the nature of science—the criteria of evidence, the design of meaningful experiments, the weighing of possibilities, the testing of hypotheses, the establishment of theories, the many aspects of scientific methods that make it possible to draw reliable conclusions about the physical universe."  Rory Coker, Ph.D.

Hauntings, homeopathy, and the Hopkinsville Goblins: using pseudoscience to teach scientific thinking - "From Dr. Oz promoting homeopathy to Deepak Chopra extolling the virtues of quantum healing, students are bombarded with questionable claims that require careful examination. Although students have access to more information than ever before, many do not possess the skills to distinguish good information from bad. Exacerbating this problem is the prevalence of pseudoscientific information available in the popular media, online, and even the classroom."

How to Recognize Pseudoscience - "There are certain clues which tend to indicate the presence of pseudoscientific methodology. These are not hard and fast rules - just because a theory fits some of the criteria below does not mean it should be discounted. Remember that many genuine scientific discoveries began life as the subject of ridicule so be fair when you pass judgment."

10 Questions To Distinguish Real From Fake Science - "Pseudoscience is the shaky foundation of practices–often medically related–that lack a basis in evidence. It’s “fake” science dressed up, sometimes quite carefully, to look like the real thing. If you’re alive, you’ve encountered it, whether it was the guy at the mall trying to sell you Power Balance bracelets, the shampoo commercial promising you that “amino acids” will make your hair shiny, or the peddlers of “ natural remedies” or fad diet plans, who in a classic expansion of a basic tenet of advertising, make you think you have a problem so they can sell you something to solve it."

Where is the proof in pseudoscience?  "The word 'pseudoscience' is used to describe something that is portrayed as scientific but fails to meet scientific criteria. This misrepresentation occurs because actual science has creditability (which is to say it works), and pseudoscience attempts to ride on the back of this credibility without subjecting itself to the hard intellectual scrutiny that real science demands."

Teaching the Nature of Science using Pseudoscience - "What makes science different from other ways of knowing, including philosophy or religion? How do you distinguish between genuine science and pseudoscience? Many introductory science courses have a goal to teach these ideas. However, without practice students are unlikely to achieve these important goals. Hence, the following curriculum. It can be taught using perhaps 5-10% of the time available in one semester." Dr. Douglas Duncan, University of Colorado

    Copyright © 2005, Randy Johnson. All rights reserved.

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Updated April 2015