There are a lot of misconceptions about pseudoscience. What is it, how do you identify it, and why is it important to distinguish from real science?
Quite literally the definition of pseudoscience is any belief or practice that has mistakenly been regarded as being based as factual or scientific, without any actual evidence or study with the use of real scientific method. Pseudosciences include creation science, astrology, the study of chakras, tarot cards, palm readings, and all other practices characterized to claim to do the impossible or unnatural.
The first example I’ll give would be Numerology. Numerology is also called pseudomathematics as well as a pseudoscience because it claims to be studying the numbers that are involved in historic events to come up with its conclusions about the divine and such. Numerologists claim there is a special relationship between numbers and coinciding events. The danger in believing such a pseudoscience is in the conclusions that are drawn, claiming to know when the universe will end or predict when a natural catastrophe will strike could potentially negatively effect a person’s life.
The reason pseudoscience is hard to get a grasp on is because it can appear in many places undetected to a non-scientist. From the more obvisous paranormal “sciences” to even some forms of social science such as some psychology practices, pseudoscientific claims have haunted the science community for centuries.
Even less detected, consumer products such as beauty or food products make claims that aren’t scientifically sound. Practices like this include what’s called “angel dusting” or putting in small amounts of a supplement or ingredient to claim that it is active in the product when there really isn’t enough to make any difference. Being a conscious buyer in a consumer market is vital when hearing these claims being made by a lot of corporate brands as well as the more “natural” companies trying to make a sale.