First of All, What is Science?
Simply put, “science” (Latin: “Scientia” = knowing) can mean any systematic inquiry designed to maximize useful knowedge, experience or insight and minimize error, illusion or self-deception. It can be supported by stringent methods and rules, or be as simple as trying something to find out whether it works or not, rather than blindly taking someone else’s word for it.
The scientific method is not the only valid approach to knowledge, but for many purposes it’s the best one we’ve got. Why? Because it seeks to provide a culturally neutral, universally accessible method of inquiry into the nature of reality — one that provides a level playing field, common concepts and a shared language.
Though its particulars may vary from one discipline to another, the scientific method tends to follow this general pattern:
Empirical science, in which phenomena are observed, described and classified.
Theoretical science, in which explanatory hypotheses are developed and then verified or falsified by means of controlled experiments (lab research) or further observations (field research).
Publication and peer review, in which theories, and the methods used to develop them, undergo critique and refinement.
Appled science, in which theoretical knowledge is applied to practical affairs. Examples would include medicine and engineering.
Effective science hinges on a dynamic balance of faith and doubt. It is a continually unfolding process of discovery that was never intended to arrive at absolute, final truth. Moreover, it is practiced by imperfect human beings who, despite their best intentions, may bring their personal beliefs, illusions, fears and agendas to bear on the process. That is why science excels when it is performed with integrity, humility and a respect for the nature of things. It fails when it becomes rigid, narrowminded, arrogantly skeptical, or bound by limiting assumptions, unconscious motives, or servitude to entrenched social, institutional, political and economic interests.
What is Pseudoscience?
Pseudoscience is any belief or practice mistakenly regarded as scientific. It may also include the unwitting or intentional dismissal of bona-fide science on nonscientific grounds. For example, thoughtless or ideologically motivated “skeptics” often associate pseudoscience with certain subject matter, such as parapsychology, ufology, afterlife research, alternative medicine or free energy. But an object of study canot be “pseudoscience” — only the methods used to study it can be so judged, and then only after careful consideration and due process. In other words, to dismisss entire fields of inquiry as “pseudoscience” is itself an example of pseudoscience.
What is New Science?
The term “New Science” was coined in the 1980s. It denotes legitimate scientific research into fields traditionally deemed off-limits to mainstream science due to archaic beliefs, political and economic pressures, peer-fear, and irrational or obsessive skepticism.
The pursuits of New Science fall loosely into two categories: ANOMALISTICS and NOETICS.
ANOMALISTICS examines anomalies — things that, according to current theories and beliefs, can’t or shouldn’t happen, but which happen anyway. (“Discovery begins with the awareness of anomaly” – Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
NOETICS: (Greek: “noesis” = awareness, perception) is the study of consciousness as an irreducible foundation of reality that may interact with matter and energy but is not necessarily dependent on them.