June 4th, 2004

child pic

Criteria for pathological science

Irving Langmuir:

( http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Pathological_science )


  • The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.

  • The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.

  • There are claims of great accuracy.

  • Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested.

  • Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment.

  • The ratio of supporters to critics rises and then falls gradually to oblivion.