The Tactics of Pseudoscientists and Cranks: From Misuse of Language to “Just Asking Questions”

Pseudoscientists are a dime-a-dozen, which is ironic because most of them are fixated on trying to take your last dime.

In November of 1908, the scientific journal Nature defined a “crank” as “a man who cannot be turned.” This is fitting as both pseudoscientists and cranks are unwavering in their fringe beliefs even when met with insurmountable evidence that they are wrong.

Reading legitimate articles about science can reveal just how little pseudoscience peddlers, and their audiences, know about actual science and its terminology. Nonetheless, this does not stop them from pontificating on concepts that they have little knowledge of or from misleading anyone who’s gullible enough to mistake them for a competent authority figure.

It’s important to note that there’s a big difference between being an “authority on science” and “speaking authoritatively on science,” the latter of which anyone can do to varying degrees of believability, however, only qualified, educated and experienced experts are capable of being authorities on science. This is the inherent difference between a scientist and a pseudoscientist: one has scientific know-how and the other just knows how to blow hot air.

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