The Role of Pseudoscience in Real Science

1511
views
The Role of Pseudoscience in Real Science

What is Pseudoscience?

Pseudoscience is generally what looks, feels and seems like science but has no actual scientific reason or practice involved in it. It may be a person’s conception of something that is hard to understand which takes the form of a vague idea about that thing. This idea may have enough reason accompanying it but it usually lacks empirical evidence.

Take the example of shooting stars; plenty of people still believe that they are real stars falling in the sky! Why? Because that is what it seems to the naked eye. If you don’t like science, you would never bother to know the truth behind it but thanks to human curiosity, we now know that shooting stars are actually comets.

Pseudoscience usually takes birth as an imaginary explanation of something that is not easily explainable through common sense. Then through the catalysts of ignorance and lack of enough real evidence, the idea inflates quickly in the non-scientific environment until someone actually bursts the bubble of mythology with a pin of the experiment of validation.

Here are some befitting examples.

Biological Explorations

Since the dawn of civilization, legends and pseudoscientific stories of otherworldly beasts, that feed on humans, are monstrous in size, live in an isolated corner of an exotic jungle and are secretly breeding to take on the world, have kept people dubious. Bigfoot, Giant Worms, Yeti, Fire-breathing Dragons and Godzilla, all have their equal share in these popular mythical stories while many of them have been made into Hollywood flicks as well.

Though, not pseudoscience itself, but the fear created by such pseudoscientific stories have made explorers to go on biological explorations, into those deep Amazonian corners and heights of Himalayas to find out the truth, all for once.

These explorations have prompted the discovery hundreds of new plant and animal species that would have never seen the light of scientific record otherwise. These explorations have greatly added to the biological, geological and genetic knowledge of such terrains while seeding several kinds of research in medicine and survival techniques of these newly found species.

Alien Life Search

Via Wikipedia

The pseudoscience of alien life is widespread and has grown a lot over the years. We don’t know if aliens really do exist among us or they really do exist at all, as no official claims have been made till now. There are famous rumors about the Area 51 incident but those too remain in the cloak of pseudoscience.

Nonetheless, the search for alien life has long begun and it was stemmed from such accusations. The SETI program is one such example which has kept a hawk-eye on alien signals reaching Earth. The wow signal which was recorded in 1977 by the Big Ear radio telescope is the only notable observation so far. To listen to it, click here.

Meta-materials

Via Wikipedia

The magical power of gaining complete invisibility is an all time favorite among fiction enthusiasts. The adaptation used in the movie – Hollow Man, the invisibility cloak used by Harry Potter in the Harry Potter series and the devil fruit power of invisibility exhibited by Absalom in the popular anime, One Piece, are all famous examples.

The need for the actualization of the concept was felt and now we have Meta-materials which supposedly change the properties of light rays approaching them in a way that the objects cloaked by them gain invisibility. The research has seen some significant developments but is still in its initial stages. Only sand-grain sized objects have been rendered invisible till now. This example has come straight out of pseudoscience into reality.

Noetic Sciences

Via Wikipedia

The belief in supernatural entities such as “God”, “soul” and “ghosts” is as old as the formation of Earth. There are many other beliefs that have formed around these things such as the people mentally visiting distant places and communicating through “vibes” or “vibrations” that mystically carry a part of our consciousness in thin air.

People often have claimed to predict the future and such assertions in many cases have turned out to be true. So, how do we explain such a thing? It is the courtesy of Edgar Mitchell, 6th man to walk on the Moon, that the Institute of Noetic Sciences was formed. It is established to research on the validity of these phenomena. According to his own experience during the Apollo 14 mission, Mitchell had felt a connection with the universe in a way that made him a believer of the supernatural. The Institute has rediscovered a lot of things that were mere myths until now.

This is how sometimes, the unavailability of knowledge actually ignites the hunt for the missing piece of the puzzle and vital inventions come to life.