The Scientific Method Vs. Pseudoscience in Archaeology

How to Distinguish the Two from Each Other

Real science demands inquiry, skepticism, and ability to prove theories using a hypothesis. Believing in pseudoscience can cause great harm to the mind. There is much logic used in the acquirement and interpretation of data. A theory is a systematic explanation that can reinterpret existing data so that new predictions can be made about new data. Using hypothesis becomes a matter of testing statements about something, which is linked to our broader understanding of the past. Archaeologists are interested in how people lived in the past through the study of gravesites featuring objects buried with the dead.

A theory requires the opportunity to be supported by a lot of data. A hypothesis needs to be able to be tested, which is why the procedure to do this must be documented. In order to test a hypothesis, the archaeologist must make observations and collect the proper data. Sharing your conclusive data must happen through publish-or-perish mentality in a journal, reports, conferences, displays, brochures, videos, lectures, and websites. Pseudoscience of course, promotes falsehoods, by not using the scientific method to prove claims such as ESP.

Alternative medicine does not show conclusive proof that works although if you hook a Reiki healer up to a biofeedback galvanic skin response monitor, you might register the heat in their hands rising. You cannot manifest whatever you want with the Law of Attraction anymore than the next person can change his thoughts, and change his reality. Classifying data means that you categorize it into type as we humans need to bring order to make sure we understand something properly. We do not like disorder, or chaos in our lives.

Classification of data is a way to bring order to nature when classifying new species for example. Science values what is directly experienced or labeled as fact that is experienced. If something is true to experience and is quantifiable, then you are able to observe it. Objectivity requires fact to prove their objective reality. Subjects like astronomy are worked on through observation while facts must be accessible at any time. With science, the word parsimony as part of a way of gathering data means that you rid hypothesis of surface ideas, looking into something deeper than that. Converging evidence likewise, must come from unified sources, which helps a scientist reach a conclusion

Archaeological data must be gathered and sorted through the scientific method. Archaeology must use data that was put together empirically. Conclusions in archaeology need to be uncovered by other people as similar to the conclusive evidence gathered by one archaeologist, which made the origin of the new theory. Scientists who excavate must find tangible evidence. Myth cannot always be proven as fact, for example, which is offered on when referring to the discovery of the Hittite people in Asia Minor in order to prove their biblical reference.

There was a treaty with Ramses II of Egypt and a people known as the Kheta, a non-aggression pact between the Kheta (Hittite). Hittite cities have been found on the Euphrates, Asia Minor, Syria, and the banks of the Nile river in Egypt as proof the biblical Hittite existed. Pseudoscience rebels against the rigors of real science when creationism and intelligent design are brought up by fundamentalist Christians because they do not know what else to refer to if they haven’t been trained in science. Faith healing is unreliable at best even if sometimes Reiki does work. Reiki is a well-respected form of energy medicine that is not overlooked by some Western medicine doctors. Pseudoscience need not replace real science as it lacks objectivity.

Works Cited

The Scientific Method

Feder, Kenneth L. Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology. Mayfield Publishing Company. 1999. (p. 1-14)

The Scientific Method


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