Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

This paper examines the threat to science from organized pseudoscience. It is easy to show that the general public's understanding of science is very poor. Therefore, determined people can advocate ‘alternatives’ to science which appear plausible to non-scientists. With skilful marketing, large sections of the public can be convinced that these alternatives should be taught in schools and universities, and that they merit funding for further research. The examples of creation science and intelligent design are considered. In both cases, the aim of these pseudo-sciences is to fundamentally alter the nature of science. Backed by large resources and vast numbers of supporters, it is suggested that movements like this can endanger science teaching and, eventually, the conduct of science itself. It is suggested that every scientist should be aware of the claims of these pseudo-sciences, and be in a position to offer basic refutations. In addition, it is necessary that specialists in the analysis and refutation of the pseudo-scientific claims should be available to offer further support.

Armstrong, K. 2004. Resisting Modernity. The Backlash against Secularism. Harvard International Review. 25, 4: 40-45
Barr, J. 1982. Religious Fundamentalism. Current Affairs Bulletin 59, 1: 24-30.
Behe, M. J. 1996 Darwin's Black Box. The Biochemical Challenge of Evolution. Free Press, New York.
Bridgstock, M. 2000. The Scientific Community. Pp. 15-39 in Bridgstock, M., Burch, D.F., Forge, J. C., Laurent J., and Lowe, I. Science, Technology and Society: an introduction. Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
Bridgstock, M. 1986. What is the Creation Science Foundation Ltd? Pp. 79-84 in Bridgstock M. and Smith K. (eds) Creationism: An Australian Perspective.
Bridgstock M. and Smith K. 1986. (eds) Creationism: An Australian Perspective. Australian Skeptics, Melbourne.
Bridgstock, M. and Smith, K. 1986. Introduction. Pp 5-8 in Bridgstock M and Smith K. (eds) Creationism: An Australian Perspective.
Forrest, B. and Gross, P. 2004 Creationism's Trojan horse: the wedge of intelligent design. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.
Futuyma, D. J. 1983 Science on Trial. Pantheon, New York.
Graham, L. R. 1993 Science in Russia and the Soviet Union. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Gratzer, W. 2000 The Undergrowth of Science: Delusion, Self-deception and Human Frailty. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Jones, J. 2006. We find that ID is not science: excerpts from the Dover federal court ruling on intelligent design. Skeptical Inquirer 30.2: 14-15.
Kitcher, P. 1982 Abusing Science. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
Kitcher, P. 2001. Born-Again Creationism. Pp. 257-287 in Pennock, Robert T. (ed) Intelligent Design Creationism and its critics. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
Knight, J. 1985. Creation science, evolution science, and education: anything goes? Australian Journal of Education. 29, 2: 115-132.
Lebo, L. 2008 The Devil In Dover. The New Press, New York.
Lewin, R. 1987. Creationism case argued before Supreme Court. Science 235: 22-3.
Lyons, Gene 1984 Repealing the Enlightenment. Pp. 343-364 in Montagu, M. F. Ashley (ed) Science and Creationism. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
National Science Foundation 2009 Social Dimensions. Public Attitudes and Understanding. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=9&SubID=34 (Accessed February 23)
Numbers, R. L. 2006 The Creationists. Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass. and London.
Oreskes, N. and Conway, E. M. 2010 Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured The Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Bloomsbury Press, New York.
Overton, W. R. 1984. Decision of the court. Pp. 365-397 in Montague, M. F. A. (ed) Science and Creationism. Oxford University Press, Oxford: 365-397.
Parliament of Australia. 2009 The Australian Constitution. http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/general/constitution/index.htm (Accessed Feb 22).
PollingReport 2009 Religion. http://www.pollingreport.com/religion.htm (Accessed February 22).
Taylor, P. 1995. Personal Communication. Griffith University.
Whitcomb, J. C. and Morris, H. M. 1982[1961] The Genesis Flood. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, NJ. 26th printing.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

Contents

Figures & Tables

References

Armstrong, K. 2004. Resisting Modernity. The Backlash against Secularism. Harvard International Review. 25, 4: 40-45
Barr, J. 1982. Religious Fundamentalism. Current Affairs Bulletin 59, 1: 24-30.
Behe, M. J. 1996 Darwin's Black Box. The Biochemical Challenge of Evolution. Free Press, New York.
Bridgstock, M. 2000. The Scientific Community. Pp. 15-39 in Bridgstock, M., Burch, D.F., Forge, J. C., Laurent J., and Lowe, I. Science, Technology and Society: an introduction. Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
Bridgstock, M. 1986. What is the Creation Science Foundation Ltd? Pp. 79-84 in Bridgstock M. and Smith K. (eds) Creationism: An Australian Perspective.
Bridgstock M. and Smith K. 1986. (eds) Creationism: An Australian Perspective. Australian Skeptics, Melbourne.
Bridgstock, M. and Smith, K. 1986. Introduction. Pp 5-8 in Bridgstock M and Smith K. (eds) Creationism: An Australian Perspective.
Forrest, B. and Gross, P. 2004 Creationism's Trojan horse: the wedge of intelligent design. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.
Futuyma, D. J. 1983 Science on Trial. Pantheon, New York.
Graham, L. R. 1993 Science in Russia and the Soviet Union. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Gratzer, W. 2000 The Undergrowth of Science: Delusion, Self-deception and Human Frailty. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Jones, J. 2006. We find that ID is not science: excerpts from the Dover federal court ruling on intelligent design. Skeptical Inquirer 30.2: 14-15.
Kitcher, P. 1982 Abusing Science. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
Kitcher, P. 2001. Born-Again Creationism. Pp. 257-287 in Pennock, Robert T. (ed) Intelligent Design Creationism and its critics. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
Knight, J. 1985. Creation science, evolution science, and education: anything goes? Australian Journal of Education. 29, 2: 115-132.
Lebo, L. 2008 The Devil In Dover. The New Press, New York.
Lewin, R. 1987. Creationism case argued before Supreme Court. Science 235: 22-3.
Lyons, Gene 1984 Repealing the Enlightenment. Pp. 343-364 in Montagu, M. F. Ashley (ed) Science and Creationism. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
National Science Foundation 2009 Social Dimensions. Public Attitudes and Understanding. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=9&SubID=34 (Accessed February 23)
Numbers, R. L. 2006 The Creationists. Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass. and London.
Oreskes, N. and Conway, E. M. 2010 Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured The Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Bloomsbury Press, New York.
Overton, W. R. 1984. Decision of the court. Pp. 365-397 in Montague, M. F. A. (ed) Science and Creationism. Oxford University Press, Oxford: 365-397.
Parliament of Australia. 2009 The Australian Constitution. http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/general/constitution/index.htm (Accessed Feb 22).
PollingReport 2009 Religion. http://www.pollingreport.com/religion.htm (Accessed February 22).
Taylor, P. 1995. Personal Communication. Griffith University.
Whitcomb, J. C. and Morris, H. M. 1982[1961] The Genesis Flood. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, NJ. 26th printing.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal