Pseudoscience is a “claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific… but lacks supporting evidence or cannot be reliably tested.”“Roughly one in three American adults believes in telepathy, ghosts, and extrasensory perception,” a trio of scientists wrote in a 2012 issue of the Astronomy Education Review. “Roughly one in five believes in witches, astrology, clairvoyance, and communication with the dead. Three quarters hold at least one of these beliefs, and a third has four distinct pseudoscientific beliefs.”Non Scientific Beliefs Among Undergrad Students Download Non Scientific Beliefs Among Undergrad StudentsThe solution, they write, is to teach students — or, really, all Internet users — to read like fact checkers. That means not just reading “vertically,” on a single page or source, but looking for other sources — as well as not taking “About” pages as evidence of neutrality, and not assuming Google ranks results by reliability.(https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/23/503129818/study-finds-students-have-dismaying-inability-to-tell-fake-news-from-real)It has never been more important to be able to assess the validity of evidence. You are going to identify a pseudoscientific claim promulgated online. You will document the claim, identify the elements that make it false, and discuss the ways in which it differs from actual science. Look for the following hallmarks of pseudoscience:The use of psychobabble – words that sound scientific and professional but are used incorrectly, or in a misleading manner.A substantial reliance on anecdotal evidence.Extraordinary claims in the absence of extraordinary evidence.Claims which cannot be proven false.Claims that counter established scientific fact.Absence of adequate peer review.Claims that are repeated despite being refuted.Can’t identify the hallmarks? Anything written by the FoodBabe, Natural News or Mercola is almost guaranteed to be pseudoscience. Anything that mentions homeopathy or alternative medicine as a cure is DEFINITELY pseudoscience.Students will submit an essay that includes the pseudoscientific site (and at least 2 claims), a fact based site that presents current evidence based thinking on the same claims, and a discussion of the reason one site is legitimate and the other is not.General Requirements:At least 500 words in length (not including cover sheet and references).APA format and citation.Technical Requirements:For this assignment, you must write a 4-paragraph essay that does the following:Identify site 1 and describe why it is an example of pseudoscience.Briefly describe 2 claims made on the site that exemplify pseudoscience.Identify site 2 and describe why it is an example of evidence based science.PreviousNext
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