Re: P.S. Pathological Science

From: Jack Haas <>
Date: Sat Jun 18 2005 - 21:07:18 EDT

Right on Randy!

The following url brings the topic up to date:.

Jack Haas

Randy Isaac wrote:

> While cleaning out my office, I came across an article I had acquired
> in grad school that really impressed me. It was the unpublished
> transcript of Irving Langmuir's colloquium at the Knolls Research Lab
> on Dec. 18, 1953. He cites the following characteristics of
> pathological science:
> _Symptoms of Pathological Science:_
> 1. 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.
> 2. 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.
> 3. Claims of great accuracy.
> 4. Fantastic theories contrary to experience.
> 5. Criticisms are met by _ad hoc_ excuses thought up on the spur of
> the moment.
> 6. Ratio of supporters to critics rises up to somewhere near 50%
> and then falls gradually to oblivion.
> I was pleased to find that a few years ago the full transcript was put
> on the web. You can read the full text with some fascinating
> historical examples at
> <>
> No religious group has a monopoly on pathological science.
> Randy
Received on Sat Jun 18 21:10:14 2005

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