08 July, 2006


Numerology, Tarot, Reading sun signs
Why do we believe that they're science?
Testimonials, self-deception
Biased, wrong perception
I think science has been fed to the lions.

The above post says it all. I've also included links there, to Skeptic's dictionary. There are a lot of articles there, you'll find the links to the others from the ones above. Here is another link about the scientific method. These links are important, but easy to understand and read.

Why is pseudoscience important (ie. harmful) ? That's because it discourages critical thinking. It is important to be sceptical and not take everything at face value. It is important to consider the evidence, be aware of your biases before you take a stand on anything, and believe anything. And it is important to know what represents the truth, and how to find it out. Without Critical Thinking, we'd be very easy to manipulate. Unfortunately, astrology, numerology are believed inspite of the fact that they fail to satisfy scientific expperiments. Millions of Rupees are wasted every year on these things which fail to connect with reality. That is why understand pseudoscience is important.

Critical Thinking is an important tool
Without it, anyone, anything would rule
It's essential, to find
The truth, it's kind
Or we'd all be very easy to fool.

I'm not an expert.. the pages I've linked to have articles by people well-versed with science and pseudoscience. So, this post is just a "gateway" to other sources on the net (plus a reason to post a limerick ;-) ).

I do have my thoughts on Astrology, but that is a subject for a later post.


  1. Though the observations are true, we find people turning to pseudoscience due to their deep rooted traditional beliefs and when faced with despair or uncertainty . for e.g. many people turn to astrological advice on job prospects instead of acquiring requisite skills. Awareness is the key and continued efforts of the society can bring about change but as they say...old habits die hard.
    The limericks, as always ,are nice but i have to admit that serious thought expressed in a l'rick does take a sheen off its charm...

  2. The problem isn't just that old habits die hard, the problem is that wrong science seems to work, because of testimonials and biases. It seems to most that Astrology works, even though scientific tests have proved it wrong.

    Awareness is hugely needed. How do we reach more people than Bejan Daruwala and Sunita Menon and Tom Cruise, though?

    About serious limericks: point taken. :) I'll try to read serious poems, and if I want to post a serious poem, I'll try not make it a limerick.

  3. I rather like the mix of a serious topic interlarded with limericks.

    It's pretty much impossible to avoid bias though. It's an evolutionary advantage to be able to jump to conclusions quickly, so it's hard to root out.

  4. You are a very interesting person, AnoNick.

  5. Thanks, Maori. I try to be the best I can ;-). Not that I'm successful at that, but you are encouraging and motivating me . Thanks. :-)

    That post was inspired by the Bad Astronomer's article on Astrology.