What is Philosophy
What is Philosophy
of Science
What is Verification
and Falsification
about Science
Science according to
Scientific method
Paradigm and
paradigm shift
Karl Popper -
Logic and status
Consequences of Popper's theses
Alternative Science
Chalmers: What is this
thing called Science?
Epistemology -
induction deduction

Alternative science

Scientific results are well produced descriptions of observations.
There are groups in the society that want to expand the borders of science.



Christian groups

Some Christian groups argue that creation, described in the Bible, should be regarded as a scientific hypothesis. The concept appears to emanate from the opinion that hypotheses may be scientific, based on their content.

The discussion is called Creationism. A summary of the area can be found at The TalkOrigins Archive.

Supporters of Creationism have, in my opinion, great problems. It is not the content of the hypothesis, but reproducible verifications of the hypothesis, that determine the scientific level of the concept that the hypothesis deals with.



Alternative life style

Groups claiming an alternative life style, often alternative medicine, criticise the scientific community for being confined.

I agree: Science is confined, science is restricted. It should be. My opinion is that this is the best protection we have against intentional and unintentional errors in questions that are vital for our health.

There are certainly many verifiable observations that are not yet carried out. New ideas and ways of thinking will probably raise.

But these new views must be verified by reproducible observations before they can be held as scientific. Verification by observations is the only method we have that, at least partially, may sieve away the flood of erroneous statements that constantly are poured over us by various interest constellations.

Samuel Hahnemann,
creator of Homeopathy
(image from Wikipedia).

Example from alternative medicine: Magnet therapy

Magnets are often claimed to increase human health and decrease pain. A Google search on "magnets" and "health" gave 6 million hits, most of them selling magnets for increased health.

Does is exist verified observations that support use of magnets as health enhancers?

The year 2004 a well written article by Tim Harlow about magnet therapy was published in the serious journal British Medical Journal, BMJ. A conclusion in the article was:

"Our study has not entirely resolved the extent to which the effect of magnetic bracelets is specific or due to placebo".

In spite of this conclusion, the article is cited as support for effect of magnet therapy among sellers of magnet products.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence

The year 2006 an Editorial about magnet therapy in BMJ was published. The citation "Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence" summarizes why the scientific society often seems to be prejudiced against to new revolutionizing methods in medicine.

During 2006, the Swedish "LĂ€kartidningen" published a discussion between Sven Nilsson and David Bergquist/Erik Wahlberg concerning scientific arguments behind marketing of products for magnet therapy.

The same Sven Nilsson as above in 2008 published a report in Swedish about how restless legs was influenced by pulsating electromagnetic fields. The result was that treatment and non-treatment (placebo) had the same effect. In my opinion Sven Nilsson showed an impressive personal integrity when he published these results.


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