Technobabble – a pseudoscience give away

By Michael Edmonds 06/04/2013 5


One of the tricks that purveyors of pseudoscience use to sound “sciency” is to use technobabble (meaningless technical sounding terminology).

(start the first video 55 seconds in)

Indeed, the amount of technobabble used in pseudoscience readily outperforms the champions of fictional technobabble:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdLHEtwdh9E

But then again, I’m comparing fiction with fiction aren’t I?

To quote the second video “It all sounds so real when you don’t think about it.”

 


5 Responses to “Technobabble – a pseudoscience give away”

  • An afterthought – in science we use terminology to be more precise and clear; pseudoscience uses scientific terminology to “muddy the waters”, so to speak.

  • As Ben Goldacre points out (I think in “Bad Science”), those footbaths would give the same results if you had a Barbie doll dipping her toes in one 🙂

  • For gods sake don’t show them this page in Wiki:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_(chemistry)

    If they found out that there are more than Free Radicals we will be subjected to even more gobble-de-gook. See what I did there? I created 3 radicals.

    Heh. Whenever I hear the term radical I always think of Tim Shadbolt and his book “Bullshit and Jellybeans” along with his TV ad quote: “Pretty radical eh?”

  • […] Proponents of homeopathy have also failed to propose a plausible mechanism for how it might “work”. Early claims that water (a simple molecule made up of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom) might somehow “remember” the active substance which has been diluted out of existence make no sense. More recently some homeopaths have bandied around terms such as “resonance” and “quantum entanglement”, without any real understanding of what they are really talking about (a common sign of pseudoscience). […]