How to be a critical but reasonable debater: Suggestions for critically addressing pseudoscientists and other similar groups


Discourse about pseudoscience usually accompanies dialogue about science. Despite attempts to separate the two domains, people still rely on pseudoscientific remedies. The ease with which beliefs become contagious, the popularity of certain products, and the verbiage of their sellers often leave us in the hands of so-called experts. Although the scientific method can help us to prove the ineffectiveness of certain remedies, we do not always have conclusive arguments to dispel doubts, and so we are left at the mercy of supposed technical knowledge or false scientific rigour. Faced with this, we must resort to critical thinking to respond to alleged experts and conduct ourselves reasonably.


critical thinking; argumentation; scientific method; scientific discourse vs. pseudoscientific discourse; authority

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