Richard Feynman y las pseudociencias

Richard Feynman, el padre de la Electrodinámica Cuántica, premio Nobel de Física en 1965, y para mi una de las mentes más preclaras del siglo XX, nos cuenta aquí sus impresiones sobre las pseudociencias. Ni que decir tiene que subscribo cada una de sus palabras de la primera a la última.

Because of the success of science, there is, I think, a kind of pseudoscience.

Social science is an example of a science which is not a science; they don’t do [things] scientifically, they follow the forms—or you gather data, you do so-and-so and so forth but they don’t get any laws, they haven’t found out anything.

They haven’t got anywhere yet—maybe someday they will, but it’s not very well developed, but what happens is on an even more mundane level.

We get experts on everything that sound like they’re sort of scientific experts.

They’re not scientific, they sit at a typewriter and they make up something like, oh, food grown with, er, fertilizer that’s organic is better for you than food grown with fertilizer that’s inorganic—may be true, may not be true, but it hasn’t been demonstrated one way or the other. But they’ll sit there on the typewriter and make up all this stuff as if it’s science and then become an expert on foods, organic foods and so on.

There’s all kinds of myths and pseudoscience all over the place.

I may be quite wrong, maybe they do know all these things, but I don’t think I’m wrong.

You see, I have the advantage of having found out how hard it is to get to really know something, how careful you have to be about checking the experiments, how easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself.

I know what it means to know something, and therefore I see how they get their information and I can’t believe that they know it, they haven’t done the work necessary, haven’t done the checks necessary, haven’t done the care necessary.

I have a great suspicion that they don’t know, that this stuff is

and they’re intimidating people.
I think so.
I don’t know the world very well but that’s what I think.

Carl Feynman and Michelle Feynman – The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

(Via Malaga Bay: Richard Feynman on Pseudoscience and Uncertainty)


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