The Unscientific Method Explained
I’ve had my share of arguments with people who cling to beliefs that have no decent evidence to support them, or even a huge amount of evidence against them. Eventually, after one of these exchanges, it dawned on me that we were approaching the question from different directions. I was using the scientific method, they were employing the unscientific method.
For reference, as a point of comparison, here’s a flowchart to show roughly how the scientific method works:
And in contrast, here’s the unscientific method that I identified, and which seems to be common to believers in all kinds of woo, pseudoscience and other forms of bunk:
The obvious difference is that unlike the scientific method, which is an unending process of observation and refinement, the unscientific method is only interested in investigating until an acceptable answer is reached, at which point it terminates. Despite a resemblance to the scientific method at first glance, it’s just a desperate attempt to cast around for some sort of support for existing beliefs.
Keep an eye out for it, because it’s surprisingly common.