TOK: Pseudoscience

It is unsurprising when we hear that experts in Art can’t always agree what ‘is’ and ‘is not’ Art.
We might say that the distinction between what ‘is’, and what ‘is not’ art, is not always clear.
Similar to the question of what is art, the distinction between science and pseudoscience is also not clear.

Analyse this claim.

It is true that the line between what is and what is not art is a very debated topic. There are people who say everything is art depending on how you look at it but these claims can be easily debunked, how is a piece of hair art, what are the defining characteristics that make it so? Pseudoscience and science on the other hand have certain rules have been established to distinguish them  but it is important to acknowledge that the rules aren’t perfect and don’t necessarily apply to every single case.

We discovered in class that one thing that can distinguish science from pseudoscience is the ability of a claim to be disproven. Pseudoscience relies on the general nature of claims in order to be seen as true, for example in astrology they might say “taurus’ will have a good day today” and say you are a taurus but don’t have a good day, that doesn’t automatically disprove the claim because you can’t account for all taurus’, you also can’t necessarily define “good day”. So this “scientific claim” can’t be completely disproven, because it is too general and many other implications could

Science on the hand is characterised as claims that can be disproven, while they may not be disproven they can. A scientist may come up with a theory based on evidence that shows a clear correlation, but turns out they missed out some information that then completely disproves the theory, their theory was never 100% correct nor proved anything, but the empirical evidence was enough to support their claim, making it science. For example the sandwich model in biology where a scientist thought the cell membrane was made up of 2 proteins sandwiching phospholipids, while he had evidence to prove it it was later disproven as a result of an advancement of technology. Although this is the case, it is important to note that while a theory may not be 100% correct, it doesn’t have to be disregarded and untrustworthy, as the article states, a good amount of evidence should be enough to support a theory and while there may be exceptions, that doesn’t mean the theory is immediately to be proven false.

In conclusion I feel as though while science and pseudoscience may not have perfect rules to distinguish them, they are easier to separate than the line between what is and what isn’t art.

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