Protoscience Vs. Pseudoscience
I suppose this could also go in irrational precepts
A Common Misconception: Pseudoscience Vs. Protoscience
I refer the
While most of this reads well, it seems out of date itself. Note the above definition of a "protoscience." I feel it is lacking. It says nothing about falsifiability. Isn't a protoscientific theory (and I think Memetics/Meme Theory is a good example of this) a potential science which has yet to establish its own falsifiability? I feel that's a pretty objective definition, but it begs the question of how we then define pseudoscience? Is astrology a science or a tradition belief system? Is there any practical distinction between the two?
What about cryptozoology? I consider that a pseudoscience, largely because the few scientific premises it derived itself from are largely already contained in zoology. There's always the possibility of discovering a new species or an old species that was thought to be extinct. The discovery and recognition of a new species (and I'm not even going to get into the inadequate notion of a "species," the Biological Species Concept has been falsified by sound evidence) is based on refutation as well as confirmation. A hypothesis must stand up to refutation. Cryptozoology uses anecdotal accounts to confirm, but it does not question the assumptions it is based on. I was explaining this to someone today, and used the example of Bigfoot, which was never initially stated as being bipedal or quadrupedal. The first "discoverer" of the tracks didn't even bother to mention this vital observation. He also claimed there were four toes with claws. So we are probably not talking about a hominoid here. My best guess is that the first report of "Bigfoot tracks" was from something more similar to a bear or a sloth. But the popular conception of a bipedal ape-man roaming the American woodlands was a successful meme, so successful that so many people believed it that "the Bigfoot track photos" found in supermarket tabloids show a far more humanoid foot structure?
This leads me to the ultimate question here: Is pseudoscience necessarily falsified, or can a protoscience become a pseudoscience if it does not progress and fails to provide its own falsifiability for too long?
“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”