Pseudosciences are belief systems which, although they claim to be scientific, do not, in fact, follow the scientific method and are not falsifiable. They are designed to have the appearance of being scientific, but lack the substance of science.
Frequent signs of pseudoscience include:
- Vague and/or exaggerated claims and ambiguous language.
- Lack of interest in having these claims tested, or reproduced by third parties.
- Claims that for various reasons the scientific method cannot be used.
- There is no real research into, or progression of, the idea. Resistance or hostility to change. The idea may "progress" or change in unscientific ways.
- Misuse of scientific terms - equivocation and technobabble.
- Proponents of the idea are unable or unwilling to identify what would falsify the idea.
- Associated with the above, proponents are only concerned with data which confirms their hypothesis and ignore data which could disprove it.
- Reversing the burden of proof by claiming their idea has never been (totally) disproved.
- Claiming that a conspiracy of scientists, government officials or other evil forces exists which is hiding the truth about the believer's discoveries. There can be other invented complaints about scientific objectivity.
- Inability to obtain publication in recognized peer-reviewed publication. Peer reviewed publications may be accused of conspiracy.
- Science based on a political or religious doctrine and has a religious or political goal instead of the advancement of knowledge.
- Invocation of authority rather than evidence.
- Failure to be able to make verifiable predictions.
Pseudoscience criteria goes into more detail about the numerous criteria that various authors have proposed.