Pathological science

“Many researchers, even hobbyists and enthusiasts, want for some one result in particular to be true. They’re always on the lookout for data that support their desired conclusion. This is not, by itself, pathological;”

actually experimenter bias is a bias

“but for some who take it to an extreme, it can become that way.”

Money, fame and tenure are on the line, what incentive?

Publish or perish threat?

Your life ruined? Family ashamed? Reputation at stake? What subconscious motive?

Many famous cases of pathological science began as legitimate science, and often the researcher would become distracted by tiny results that suggested an effect when in fact there was none. Belief supplanted objectivity, and the science became pathological science.”

While it shouldn’t be used to deter experimentation, it’s the grand reply to the phrase “established science”, an appeal to authority that doesn’t exist.


Smells like social psychology.

Islamophobia, patriarchy (as poltergeist), systemic racism (well, if it’s the system – the evolved system – it can’t be the people in the system), creationism (not that evolution is perfect), global warming by ignore cooling data over decades etc.

Anything heavily political would be pathological science e.g.

And attitude surveys aren’t science. Seriously. You see an attitude survey, you swerve.

There’s also the problem of finding one thing but claiming another e.g. woman A makes less money than man B, but failing to control for enough other factors and still have a significant gap (above chance) to claim sexism. However, there are sexist pay gaps. Why don’t they study this? Why don’t they follow the proper method? They also apply to men in female-dominant fields too! It’s political because they’d rather lie and do bad science (hurting poor women, ironically) than let men seem like the victims for five minutes!

Pseudoscience is used by self-proclaimed “skeptics” to poison the well against the competition. Team Red will say Team Blue’s work in the same field is “pseudoscience” to boost their chances of getting the finite research grants they compete over. It’s all about the money.

So you’ll find the most successful liars comprise most “celebrity scientists”, the hallmark of scientism (personality cults develop), and when their work is eventually exposed (some Freud, Kinsey not yet, Zimbardo recently) then the world is shocked because echoes don’t pass through Ivory Tower walls. The field knew. It always knew. It hid it.

There’s no such thing as pseudoscience in the sense of a forbidden topic. Distasteful yes, but so what? Do politicians dictate freedom of thought now? No, but they sign grant checks and that’s basically the same thing.

Past a certain level, isn’t commonality of a certain unPC disposition just normal?