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TheMarksofPseudoscienceByJohnOakes.pdf

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  1. Pseudoscience is information that attempts to present itself as science yet does not meet the rigorous standards of science.
  2. About half of all investigations identified as pseudoscience are supported by reproducible scientific methods.
  3. Models in science are potentially falsifiable
  4. Science is based on data and facts. Science is not based on feelings. Science does not appeal to higher authority, faith, or magic.
  5. Pseudo is a word of Latin origin and means doubtful or uncertain.
  6. In pseudoscience failures are ignored, excused, hidden, lied about, discounted, explained away, rationalized, forgotten, and/or avoided at all costs.
  7. A Double-Blind study is one in which two groups of researchers investigate the same phenomenon at the same time using exactly the same methods but not communicating with one another until after their individual results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  8. Pseudoscience always achieves a reduction to absurdity if pursued far enough. Maybe dowsers can somehow sense the presence of water or minerals under a field, but almost all claim they can dowse equally well from a map!
  9. In the “Galileo Argument”, a pseudoscientist will refer back to Galileo and how he did not publish in peer-reviewed journals and thus, the pseudoscientist does not need to have articles accepted and published in peer-reviewed journals either.
  10. According to Charles Johnson, a former president of the International Flat Earth Research Society, the Earth does orbit the Sun but lunar eclipses are nothing more than optical illusions.
  11. Many flat-eathers note that passages from the Bible imply that the Earth is flat.
  12. According to Charles K. Johnson, the purpose of the Copernican model was to provide additional support to Catholic theology.
  13. Flat-earthers state that a few images from NASA showing curvature are fake but they are all in agreement as to why NASA fakes the images.
  14. Flat-Earthers do not believe objects accelerate downward due to gravity as proposed by Sir Isaac Newton. Rather, they believe the Earth is constantly being accelerated upward by dark energy.
  15. Aristarchus first proposed the Earth was round based upon observations he made with early telescopes around 500 BCE.
  16. Aristotle proposed the Earth to be a sphere based upon observations he made of constellations. Eratosthenes is given credit as being the first person to accurately measure the circumference of the Earth.
  17. From the perspective of an observer on shore, a ship sailing away gets smaller and smaller but also appears to sink below the horizon.
  18. According to pseudoscientists, chemtrails refer to a secret government program in which aircraft spray harmful chemicals in the air to weaken people’s health in an attempt to reduce world population.
  19. A confidence level of 95% means that surveys repeated will yield the same results 95% of the time.
  20. The Cochran Formula is a sample size calculation method designed to give a desired confidence level.
  21. Cloud seeding entails spraying small particles of substances, such as dry ice or silver iodide, onto clouds in order to increase acid precipitation to weaken human immunity and thus reduce global population.
  22. There have been numerous peer-reviewed studies of secret large-scale atmospheric-spraying programs (SLAP) in the scientific literature.
  23. On websites in support of SLAP theory, most data commonly falls into two categories: first-hand interviews with pilots and crews of SLAP aircraft and photographs of spraying taking place.
  24. SLAP proponents have argued that condensation trails should evaporate slowly, and therefore all contrails should always be of exactly the same length and persist for the same amount of time regardless of how much and/or how long aircraft have been spraying chemicals.
  25. GMOs involve genetic engineering techniques which allow scientists to speed  up the process of evolution and fine-tune it to create precise changes in the physical attributes of organisms to achieve certain benefits. The first time this happened was in 1973 when the first “GMO”—an  colibacterium carrying a gene from another species of bacterium that enabled it to become resistant to the antibiotic tetracycline—was created.
  26. A simple explanation as to how GMOs are created is as follows. In a first-generation sample, genes are cut from plants that have a desired trait, and then pasted into plants at arbitrary locations to create a desired beneficial effect. The process has yet to work successfully on animals.
  27. An EU report, published in 2010, stated that after over 25 years of research involving more than 500 independent research groups, GMOs where twice as risky than conventional plant breeding technologies.
  28. A study touted by Séralini et al. claimed that exposure to GM corn and the Roundup herbicide had the same effects on rats which scientists find very unusual.
  29. Vaccinations are an important part of preventative medicine.
  30. While vaccinations have greatly reduced the number of people suffering from smallpox around the world, eradication of the disease is still decades away.
  31. Highly contagious diseases require a vaccination rate of 96 to 99 percent in order to establish herd immunity.
  32. There is only one known instance where a negative report on the impact of a vaccine has led to an increase in vaccination rates–the 1974 report on the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine and the subsequent increase in vaccinations in the UK between 1974 and 1980.
  33. California Senate Bill 277 expanded greatly reasons to exempt one’s child from receiving recommended vaccinations.
  34. The MMR vaccine contains porcine gelatin as a stabilizer for effective storage—some religious groups oppose injecting porcine products into body.
  35. Getting vaccinated is a cost one should incur for their benefit and for the benefit of society at large.

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