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Science Or Pseudoscience Essay

1522 words - 6 pages

Often, therapies that are pseudoscience will appear to be scientifically based when in fact they are not. In their article, “Science and Pseudoscience in Communication Disorder: Criteria and Applications,” Fin, Bothe and Bramlett (2005) assert there are 10 criteria that can assist in determining if a therapy is scientifically based or if it is pseudoscience (p. 172).
Their first criterion deals with the testability of the therapy or treatment. Valid scientific treatments have the ability to be thoroughly examined. If a therapy or treatment cannot be tested, it is not credible. Many pseudoscience therapies claim to have proven and verifiable results. However, the claims are not founded on experiment based evidence (Fin, Bothe and Bramlett, 2005, p. 173). In their second criterion, Fin, Bothe and Bramlett (2005) address the adaptability of a treatment method when conflicting evidence is presented (p. 173) . This criteria, much like the first criteria, deals with the evaluation of the therapy. In true scientific treatment, the goal is to provide valid therapies. Thus, any scientific evidence that differs from the original research is thoughtfully analyzed and, changes or corrections are made when necessary (Fin, Bothe and Bramlett, 2005, p. 173). The third criterion deals with verifiable evidence. It is important for treatments to be assessed in a way that allows for the possibility of failure and, when contradictory evidence is discovered, it cannot be ignored. Pseudoscientific treatments ignore contradictory evidence and base their claims solely on confirming evidence. (Fin, Bothe and Bramlett, 2005, p. 173). Criterion four offers insight on narrative based evidence. The positive claims associated with pseudoscience are regularly based on personal stories or testimonies. While case studies can be valuable for scientific research, they should not be the only proof provided for treatment (Fin, Bothe and Bramlett, 2005, p. 173-174). Fin, Bothe and Bramlett (2005) state in their fifth claim that the evidence provided should support the claims of the treatment. For example, if a treatment claims to cure or eliminate a disorder, there should be immense amounts of evidence to support that research. Often, pseudoscience treatments claim incredible results and have little evidence supporting them (p.175). A treatment’s validity is further recognized when it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Before an article can be published in a peer-reviewed journal, it must be rigorously analyzed by a series of professionals (Fin, Bothe and Bramlett, 2005, p. 175). In their sixth criterion, Fin, Bothe and Bramlett (2005) stress the importance of inspection and examination of a treatments by scientists other than the researcher. Pseudoscientific treatments are rarely found in peer-review journals, thus their treatment claims are rarely studied in depth (Fin, Bothe and Bramlett, 2005, p. 175- 176).
Criterion seven addresses the...

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