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How I learned to love pseudoscience

  • Published on Jun 1, 2023 veröffentlicht
  • Check out Brian Keating's channel: / @drbriankeating and have a look at his new book, Think Like a Nobel Prize Winner: urlgeni.us/amzn/TLANPW
    As a scientist, I spend a lot of time fighting pseudoscience. But I have come to think that pseudoscience is actually good for science, because it helps us to improve our methods. In this video I explain how pseudoscience led to the development of single-blind trials, double-blind trials, and random controls.
    The text I read at 3 mins 37 seconds is from Claude-Anne Lopez article:
    Franklin and Mesmer: an encounter.
    Yale J Biol Med. 1993 Jul-Aug; 66(4): 325-331.
    Info about Michael Gordin's book which I mention at the end is here:
    Many thanks to Jordi Busqué for helping with this video jordibusque.com/
    You can support us on Patreon: www.patreon.com/Sabine
    0:00 Intro
    0:24 Pseudoscience as a Byproduct of Science
    2:12 From Mesmerism to Single Blind Trials
    5:13 From Homeopathy to Double Blind Trials
    8:04 Skeptical Societies
    9:23 From Telepathy to Random Controls
    10:30 The Fight Isn't Over
    12:00 Sponsor Message
    #science #pseudoscience
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 3 625

  • SawDat
    SawDat Year ago +486

    “There are many hypotheses in science that are wrong. That's perfectly alright; it's the aperture to finding out what's right. Science is a self-correcting process. To be accepted, new ideas must survive the most rigorous standards of evidence and scrutiny.”
    Carl Sagan

    • Rich G
      Rich G Year ago +30

      That's an idealistic view of science. Scientists are human and have their own problems and the process of publication with peer review is far from self correcting. Noam Chomsky has said that all creatures have scope and limit and this applies to humans. Maybe there are limits to what humans can understand about the universe.

    • THeMin1000
      THeMin1000 Year ago +7

      @Rich G only as long as they remain human. While we are advancing we are also evolving. That's gotta have an effect.

    • The Power Lover
      The Power Lover Year ago +15

      Actually, all are wrong, the key, is that they are less wronger than previous hypothesis and non scientific hypothesis... Or that's the idea.

    • Edward Nelson
      Edward Nelson Year ago +7

      Too bad Sagan was wrong. And in fact he promoted, profitably, an early version of "global warming" called "nuclear winter".

  • Naum Rusomarov
    Naum Rusomarov Year ago +465

    The most important pseudoscience nowadays isn't just "pseudoscience", it's corporate financed pseudoscience with a purpose. It's usually to either avoid corporate consequences or to keep making more and more money.

    •  Berni V
      Berni V Year ago +46

      Yes. Big corporations are not just hindering the advancement of science with their financial greed they are becoming an increasing threat to our survival with their financial greed.

    • Lubricus the slippery
      Lubricus the slippery Year ago +29

      In Sweden the forestry corporations have a strong grip around the "science" about forestry. They have a strong lobby organization that promots clearcuting and how have an more intesive regime of clearcuting the forest will save the climate and everything else. There is examples where scientific papers have ben strongly critisized for having wrong result not bad methods. And it's an hard pressure to get science that tells the "swedish forest model" is superb and best in the world in all thinkable ways.
      So that is an example for your claim.
      There is also more subtle prolbems where trails with medicines and similar examples only get published and noticed when geting possitive results and if many enough experiments is done the result is that most published results can be wrong.

  • Erin O'Shea
    Erin O'Shea 8 months ago +20

    Just found this channel, loving everything about this! Sabine is a dose of sanity on multiple levels 🎉🎉🎉

  • Al Heeley
    Al Heeley Year ago +23

    “Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.”
    ― Werner Heisenberg

    • david djian
      david djian Month ago +1

      "Tight tight it s tight ! "
      Tuco Salamanca

    • Dexter Morgan
      Dexter Morgan Month ago +1

      ​@david djianblue ,yellow ,Pink, i dont care . just keep bringing me that!!

    • William Crowley
      William Crowley Month ago

      Miss the stuff he made 😢

    • Dexter Morgan
      Dexter Morgan Month ago

      @William Crowley meth?

  • effyleven
    effyleven Year ago +91

    "Did you hear about the man who forgot to take his homeopathic medicine?"
    "No. What happened?"
    "He died of an overdose!"

    • Duane
      Duane 5 months ago +4

      Ha! Love it!

    • Allan Fifield
      Allan Fifield 3 months ago +3


    • Ron Carlin
      Ron Carlin 3 months ago +5

      An overdose of distilled water is called drowning.

  • Dglas Raeat
    Dglas Raeat 9 months ago +9

    Carl Sagan was what was called a wet skeptic, which meant that he saw every expression of pseudoscience as an opportunity to teach why a pseudoscience was false. This most vigorously expressed in his article of Velikovsky's views , written of in Sagan's Book, "Broca's Brain," in which he deals carefully and methodically with Velikovsky's silliness in mathematical detail.

  • thersten
    thersten Year ago +102

    Sabine is on another level. It's truly a blessing to have her share her views here on this platform.

  • Tasurincci
    Tasurincci Year ago +26

    I am totally mesmerized by the way you explain complex topics and your clever use of editing. great work!

  • gidalya silstaf
    gidalya silstaf Year ago +4

    Dear Sabine, You are both an excellent physicist and teacher, so I request that you give us a one of your excellent lectures explaining why imaginary numbers and their derivatives ( like imaginary mass ) are, helpful to physicists in understanding reality. I, as a typical non-physicist, have no understanding of how numbers, which are based on the non-existent square root of negative one, can be any useful in understanding reality.

  • Andy Johnson
    Andy Johnson Year ago +8

    As a lover of etymology, and a lover of the scientific method, this made my day.

  • T D.
    T D. 3 months ago +1

    Its really interesting to see this view on pseudo science, as in history where I study, I dont see many 'pseudoscience' leading to good historical methods BUT I would agree with the part "the fight isnt over" that it really helps to sharpen the tools of historians, to also work on cases maybe not really relevant for the scientif community, but for lots of people and learn how to communicated more educational

  • Patrick Egan
    Patrick Egan Year ago +9

    Can remember a psych professor saying he took a daily multivitamin because a placebo effect is still an effect! With all of the caveats around it that you'd imagine of course

  • Allen Jenkins
    Allen Jenkins Year ago +357

    At the time that he was promoting them, Mesmer's theories would have sounded much more plausible than those of that crazy Frenchman claiming that microscopic creatures caused disease.

    • David Warford
      David Warford Year ago +38

      Yeah I mean it literally sounds insane, the only way it would have made sense is if he got the idea from looking at parasites and just saying "Maybe they be very small parasites?"

    • supertubemind
      supertubemind Year ago +20

      @David Warford I get your point, but you do it no justice by labelling microbes parasites. Not all microbes are "parasites"... many microbes are actually very useful and our body and survival depends on them.

    • Jared F
      Jared F Year ago +8

      Much of today’s science would be impossible to prove back then too, they just didn’t have the tools available.

    • Revi M Fadli
      Revi M Fadli Year ago +13

      @supertubemind and those useful ones wouldn't be the same as the disease-bringing ones, would they?

    • Victoria P
      Victoria P Year ago +3

      Same happened with heliocentric and galileo, there were a lot of things that didn't fit with his theory and he didn't have a way to explain them at the time.

  • Virtual Reality Channel

    And pseudoscience can capture the imagination which may lead to learning actual science. For instance when I heard we may be holograms I learned a ton about actual physics through science communicators. My science teacher in highschool was so, so very boring. He was so bad it effected my development as a person. Today I respect science and math.

    • ayo
      ayo Year ago

      The government should hire a couple high paid talented science communicators, kinda like Kurzgesagt team, and commission them to make efficient, entertaining and intuitive video learning material, and replace 90 mins a week with science video watching class as a passive learning section.

  • Jesse Thompson
    Jesse Thompson Year ago +1

    Thanks for the insight. Don't forget that not everyone has your background. Your perspective enables a lot of people to find/identify historical and modern sources of information that they can be inspired by.

  • Ed Reusser
    Ed Reusser Year ago +2

    I love your work. Thank you so very much. I am 69 years old and retired, but your kind of stimulating and informational discussions keep me young.

  • Thomas Grellner
    Thomas Grellner Year ago

    Dear Sabine, once again, I need to state, you're doing a brillant job sharing your insights! So much appreciated!

  • Geoffrey Plitt
    Geoffrey Plitt Year ago +2

    Absolutely loved this history of psuedoscience (and the scientific method), so much I didn't know. Sabine is amazing. Share this far and wide, guys!

  • Jay Brodell
    Jay Brodell Year ago +84

    Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (1962) is obligatory reading for those interested in this topic. One also should note that many scientists are unwilling to give up what they learned in grad school. Among these are the Clovis-firsters in anthropology and the geologists who reject catastrophes. I am old enough to have been ridiculed by a smug grad student because I suggested that the coastlines of Africa and South America looked like they fit together. That was in 1961!

    • tarmaque
      tarmaque Year ago +20

      I would rephrase that as "most people are unwilling to give up what they are taught." People tend to believe their earliest education more strongly than later evidence that contradicts it, and often get combative about it. As a species we like to be comfortable in our knowledge, and dislike it when that knowledge is challenged.

    • The One a.k.a the Invincible Incarnation of Power!
      The One a.k.a the Invincible Incarnation of Power! Year ago +3

      Any paper without relevance includes 'PARADIGM SHIFT' though.

    • Bill R
      Bill R Year ago +3

      Yes, that book was required in university - psychology course. Back in the mid 70s. I still have it.

    • andrew cobb
      andrew cobb Year ago +2

      Same observation, same year! My schoolteacher was derisive.. though the guy who suggested plate tectonics had a rough old time.

    • RandomBlackCat
      RandomBlackCat Year ago

      I could be your grandson, that's crazy.

  • Keith Owen
    Keith Owen Year ago +1

    I love your style of communicating science to regular people.

  • Mr Kipling's Exceedingly Shop Bought Cakes

    Once again, a super presentation that makes even fairly complex and per se uninteresting topics just so engaging!

  • M Radisa Pratama
    M Radisa Pratama Year ago +1

    This whole video shows how open you are to the others' interpretation that you gladly assert your experiments and definitions to challenge them and you seem like a person when if something's wrong doesn't justify the end of something as there are a lot more to observe.

  • bpartwthog 3
    bpartwthog 3 Year ago +2

    Sabine, I must say I do enjoy your talks...even though my knowledge extends to watching grass grow...however I've always been interested in the subject, space flight etc. The more I've listened the more it seems to be sinking in !! Your manner and delivery is great!!! I intend to follow your channel!!! You also have a good voice for singing . I believe you would be a very interesting person to converse with!!

  • Marty Modus
    Marty Modus Year ago +305

    Sabine: My favorite science teacher I never had as a student, although, she's probably 5-10 years younger than me, so it would have been weird back then, so I'm glad I've chosen to be a lifelong student.

    • J3GJ
      J3GJ Year ago +29

      Age is irrelevant. I know toddlers more competent than most the US population.

    • Anmol Mehrotra
      Anmol Mehrotra Year ago +5

      @J3GJ XD

    • C Thompson
      C Thompson Year ago +8

      Same. Although I think I've driven Sabine a bit batty on her blog with the questions some other commenters and I were asking of her. I think we're the reason she said a few videos ago that some things are 'just math things'. :-9

    • Marty Modus
      Marty Modus Year ago +5

      @C Thompson Every class needs *that* kid! Good work out of you. :-D

    • C Thompson
      C Thompson Year ago +3

      @Marty Modus I dunno... It wasn't much fun having Sabine apparently annoyed with us but at least we got her attention. 😆

  • chrisose
    chrisose Year ago +1

    One of the major issues since the onset of the internet is that pseudoscience and quackery is far easier to disseminate than ever before thus fighting it has become a far more daunting task.

  • Mary Hadda
    Mary Hadda Year ago +21

    Pseudoscience has one huge benefit that science does not have: It can be very lucrative for people who know nothing, or even less than nothing.

    • Arrow
      Arrow 9 months ago +3

      Not all sciences are really scientific - like anthropology , ethnology etc - each is a science amenable to political , and economic manipulation to fit certain narratives.

    • Candido Bertetti
      Candido Bertetti 8 months ago +3


  • Albert Straub
    Albert Straub 5 months ago +3

    Sabine is fabulous! Thank you for making me feel like there is hope in the madness.

  • Wenke Adam
    Wenke Adam Year ago +1

    Thanks for sharing! I hadn't really thought about the positive aspects of "pseudoscience". I agree with your views.

  • Jim Benge
    Jim Benge Year ago +22

    I have just started reading a new book (Rutherford & Fry's, 'Complete Guide to Absolutely Everyhing'.) which suggests in the introduction that science is the art of being wrong as a starting point to being less wrong. It seems to ring a chord with what you are saying in this video. 👍 Love the hat. 😍

  • DaBlondDude
    DaBlondDude Year ago +1

    It's an interesting perspective with some valid points though I'd add that one thing missing in lower grades would be teaching critical analysis to younger students; with today's access to the internet and the reach of media/news that could also make a huge difference.

  • Adam Eve
    Adam Eve 4 months ago +1

    Your moral support and sense-making network is great - Hossenfelder, Keating, Weinstein - I feel sanity pouring back into popular science. Humanity needs you guys ; )

  • Anoetic OddZero
    Anoetic OddZero Year ago

    I do enjoy learning of such myself. I like that people question, but some really do have biases and logical fallacies that are a habit more than desire to learn it seems. Physiologically humans are interesting how they join groups and would say wrong answers if many people do so in a group often...some don't though many follow the crowd no matter what. It is not easy being a scientist that is actually proscience without biases

  • Doug York
    Doug York 4 days ago

    Love watching you and learning new ideas about the world.
    Sometime I pause your videos that I might process the breadth of what you have said fully .

  • Thomas Bell
    Thomas Bell 11 months ago +2

    She is so good that when she pronounced the word con-se-CUTE-ively it made me question my own con-SEC-utively for a moment. And English is my first language.

    • Liv Rowland
      Liv Rowland 11 months ago +1

      I noticed that one, also that she pronounced charlatan with a ch rather than sh sound. Apart from that her English is great, just with a small accent. I think perfect English pronunciation must be very hard to learn due to our weird spellings and also having to know where the stress should fall, which is so variable.

    • DOR8421
      DOR8421 Month ago +1

      i used to chat with a malaysian guy and his broken english was efficient and infectious. i start talk like him. grammar for chump. talk like want.

  • Dennis Tucker
    Dennis Tucker Year ago +12

    Sabine...love your videos. You are a very good communicator. You seem to have a way of taking the grey areas of science and turning them in to a well balanced understanding. I'm a big fan of you and your channel.

  • Feynstein 100
    Feynstein 100 Year ago +1

    Pseudoscience aside, it's absolutely amazing to have a word named after you 🤩

  • Petitio Principii

    Kudos for pointing out that some "homeopathic" stuff can be a bit like a façade for things other than pure shaken water that nevertheless can allow to legally evade stricter FDA/analog regulation.

  • Michael o'hair
    Michael o'hair 3 months ago

    Love your talks, Sabine. Many years ago, just to the north of me in Missouri, was an "science" institute, The Institute of Lawsonomy. The director was Alfred William Lawson. His theory was that the universe worked on suction and pressure and the south pole was the earth's anus. A textbook of his had a photo of him standing on the cowcatcher of a speeding locomotive. With one arm he held on, the other stretched out with his palm facing into the wind. The caption was, "Alfred William Lawson studying atmospheric resistence to motion." This text, the title of which I've long forgotten was one of a large collection of quack works I once had. One of my books was, ":The Einstein Delusion," by the president of a leading eastern US university. A small booklet was titled "The Moon Has No Rotation." It's author said that his knowledge was certain because of the fact that he was born at the headwaters of the Yellow River.! And I had a very detailed article titled, "The Mathematics of the Golf Swing

  • Neo Mateo
    Neo Mateo Year ago +1

    Excellent as usual although you missed one aspect of scientific fraud whereby large sums of money interfere with the process which is then also surrounded by secrecy making it difficult for others to debunk.

  • Eduardo Alejandro del Corral Lira

    Love this, yes, Cantor was very poorly regarded in his day, yet his research gave us the vocabulary for multiple types of infinities in use today.
    This is one of the things that I find so fascinating about Martian canals and so on which were found not to exist. Still, what would they be like? Similarly old science fiction writing had Martian, Venusian and Jovians fighting for dominion over planet earth... I wonder, what conditions did they envision for our neighboring planets? What if they actually had turned out to be true?
    Now there are additional reasons for this. One simple simple reason, is how often pressure for publication can lead to interedt driven publication and replication. A simple historical example of this is Hilberts program.
    Besides even scientifically unsiund ideas can make for great mental playgrounds, create great art and lay the foundations for healthy logical arguments within its little sandbox that might find their place elsewhere later on. Also, by labeling an idea fringe, you allow people to explore it and develop it shielded from the rigor of scientific debate until it has enough standing to slowly piece itself together and shed those ties to invalid arguments, poor measurements, outdated data, etc that allowed generating that image in the mind of those driving such an idea.
    Its a happy place for mental adventuring. Hiking for one's lobes

  • Arcana
    Arcana Year ago +9

    This was really good for me, because I am one of those armchair science enthusiast who has a bromance with science but it's not my job.
    And frankly, pseudoscience makes my forehead veins dance. Truth be told we learn much from failure.
    We prove our ideas by trying to debunk them not prove them directly.
    So ya in a indirect way, that which is not falsifiable, can lead to narrowing down what does work given the rigors of the scientific method.
    TLDR this video helped me lighten up in a good way, thank you,
    Ultimately we would be lost without some degree of failure.

  • Filipe Carvalheiro
    Filipe Carvalheiro 8 months ago

    Thank you for a constructive (if not too generous) view on the role of a big part of the videos on this platform. Not being a scientist myself, I am faced with the following questions:
    1. I believe that the problem with pseudo-science is, that it is presented in a way that makes sense to those not trained in identifying fallacies. Your videos make sense to me. How can I be sure that they are not pseudo?
    2. I assume that we are not more intelligent than the generations before us. For them, proof within a specific framework would suffice. We use a different framework. As the framework has changed before, how can we be sure that it will not change again?
    P.s. - I am a musician and have watched your music videos as well. Those, I prefer not to comment though 😊

  • msmontana1961
    msmontana1961 8 months ago

    Traditional scientific method has always been at the very best, 20-20 hindsight. It’s good for seeing where you’ve been. It’s good for testing the truth of what you think you know, but it can’t tell you where you ought to go, unless where you ought to go is a continuation of where you were going in the past. Creativity, originality, inventiveness, intuition, imagination-“unstuckness,” in other words-are completely outside its domain.
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintence

  • Private Private
    Private Private 3 months ago

    Always keep your mind open!!! Im with you on pseudoscience , i useg to be against it too.
    As long as we could be living in a simulation "and I believe we are" then anything could be possible!!!

    • Schmetter Ling
      Schmetter Ling 3 months ago

      And there is the man with the dull simulation mind. ;-)

  • Kettuperuna
    Kettuperuna Year ago

    I love pseudoscience too! It holds novelty value like no other

  • Edward Anthony
    Edward Anthony 3 months ago

    I think your thesis is what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger? Slowly listening to all your videos, good stuff.

  • Douglas Miller
    Douglas Miller Year ago +47

    I read an interesting book called Lithium: A Doctor, A drug, and A Breakthrough. The development of what drug trials are now is really interesting. People thought Mogens Schou was full of it so he had to work hard to improve his data. It's the last part that helped him break away from the Lithium Water snakeoil of old.

    • Christina Law
      Christina Law Year ago +9

      But hyphothesis is not pseudoscience, its just how we propose stuff for experimentation. Pseudoscience is when you insist that your hyphothesis is valid without experimentation to prove it.

    • Cupr
      Cupr Year ago +1

      Makes me think about some recent things on god

    • Smile IfYouDontExist
      Smile IfYouDontExist Year ago +2

      Lsd Cures Materialism and all the associated ignorance and suffering

    • Douglas Miller
      Douglas Miller Year ago

      @Christina Law I know it's not, but he had to overcome negative perceptions of lithium because of the quackery around lithium springs and bottled lithium water; things had nothing to do with his own research. There was also another roadblock, right as he was gaining ground, when there were a bunch of lithium poisonings from a lithium salt
      being used as a seasoning substitute.

  • Rune Thorsen
    Rune Thorsen 3 months ago +2

    @Sabine Hossenfelder as a flat earther, you never fail to surprise me :) thank you for keeping it honest ;)

  • Janne Wolterbeek
    Janne Wolterbeek Year ago +3

    Surprisingly flawless Dutch! Often hard for foreigners. What a great video again, worth sharing.

  • Simon Sharp
    Simon Sharp 4 months ago

    It's sometimes a fine line between fighting pseudo science being a genuine pursuit versus being an excercise in paradigm and ideology gatekeeping.

  • T33K3SS3LCH3N
    T33K3SS3LCH3N Year ago +3

    I definitely improved my own understanding of things by engaging with pseudoscience-proponents. It forces you to revisit the basics and to properly formulate why the state of science offers the better explanation.
    That said, pseudoscience clearly causes far more harm than good and even has power to endanger democracies by estranging people from a shared reality. Democratic dialogue requires people to at least agree on the basic facts, which won't work with pseudo-scientists.

    • John Scaramis
      John Scaramis Year ago

      The old saying: every person has a purpose. Even if it's only serving as a bad example.
      On the other hand: we have way to much bad examples for my taste...

  • Pietro Pipparolo
    Pietro Pipparolo 5 months ago

    Thank you for your channel, you have the most informed and level headed descriptions of all the rest.

  • supertubemind
    supertubemind Year ago +1

    It's not the pseudoscience that you love, but, rightly so, the fight to challenge pseudoscience.

  • The Human Canary
    The Human Canary Year ago +97

    Dear Sabine, I'm in awe of your precise presentations, attention to detail and patience when explaining matters. You are a brightly shining star in the firmament of scientific knowledge, and long may you shine forth your wisdom.

    • Gordelpus
      Gordelpus Year ago

      @Black River
      Unfortunately, such heinous practices (plus many others) were still perpetrated even long after serious doubt and scientific contradiction was thrown over such pseudoscience. I suppose some Quackerites considered feeling superior superceded reality.

    • The Human Canary
      The Human Canary Year ago

      @Black River Not surprising...the ones I see seem to still be descending from the trees...

    • Phillip Robinson
      Phillip Robinson 9 months ago

      Hi H.C. If you ever need to earn a bit extra, you can always get a job with your local religious cult shouting "preach it, brother", and "amen". Cheers, P.R.

  • Bob
    Bob Year ago

    I did that! I guessed the random card!
    Once, my step-brother was playing with a deck of cards, and he thought it would be fun to test my psychic ability. He chose a single card from the center of the deck and held it up with its back to me. He said he'd give me one-million dollars if I could identify the card.
    I knew it was an impossible challenge, high odds but, hey, no real pressure. So, I asked myself, “what's the most unlikely card it could be?” Then, with as much confidence as I could muster, I said, “the five of diamonds.”
    I will never forget the look on his face. It was absolutely priceless, which is good because I'm never going to see that million dollars.

  • Max Kresch
    Max Kresch 4 months ago

    Sabine is amazing!!! Thank you for making your videos!!!

  • Richard Hunt
    Richard Hunt Year ago

    Interesting view on pseudoscience. Id love to see you talk about Penrose’s Cyclic Conformal Cosmology. It’s such a clever idea.

  • Christopher Hall Moorehouse

    Wow you are very open because you see that a lot of the science of today
    Could have been classified impossible less than a 100 years ago and been classified as science fiction. Please keep educating us.
    Wish you could have been my science teacher at school

  • Toby Clayton
    Toby Clayton Year ago

    Wonderful video! But I'm hoping that some form of multiverse theory ends up being one of the rare one's elevated from pseudoscience. Loved the hat :).

  • FM dj
    FM dj Year ago +4

    I don't know if it's the algorithm trapping me in my own bubble of interests but I do feel like there are indeed more and more very high quality scientific channels on Clip-Share, a big thank you to all of you!

    • Mr Cool
      Mr Cool Year ago

      Haha yes. Apparently theres a huge surge in interest in city planning, geo-guessing and chess as well?! Source: my Clip-Share feed :D. If you want to know what's really going on: logout and clear your cookies. Spoiler alert: it will be depressing...

    • FM dj
      FM dj Year ago

      @Mr Cool oh I know what's going on, and good guesses :) Interesting in what it's revealing about what in a particular interaction is relevant to the algorithm, apparently it is not time-based since my comment was 7 months ago.

  • J Mi
    J Mi 3 months ago

    A basic debunk of mesmerism is in his own description of it. The fluid flows into the hands and out the feet, the lack of it causing discomfort. By this description, the head would always be broken as the flow would never get to it.

  • musicalfringe
    musicalfringe Year ago

    Great that Brian sponsored this. Great video. I like his stuff too.

  • Lysander Dusseljee

    Thank you so much. This makes me feel better about humanity. Maybe we should make fake pseudoscience institutions which come up with progressively harder to debunk ideas. That way we'd no longer have to rely on real quackery.

  • Thorsten Jöhnk
    Thorsten Jöhnk Year ago +3

    Dear Sabine, you mention in the video (in reference to Popper) that falsification isn't the best method to do science. Maybe you could do a video about scientific methods and explain what is the "gold standard" used in science today (if it isn't falsification).

    • Benedict von Holtzendorff
      Benedict von Holtzendorff 2 months ago

      Had to scroll so far for this comment! Falsification not being the best approach was complete news to me.

  • kricke243
    kricke243 6 months ago +5

    If kings and queens took serious advice from astrologists in state matters, wouldn't that mean that the alignment of stars and planets in fact DID influence human affairs? 🤔

  • Enrique Moreno
    Enrique Moreno Year ago +16

    This is one of the best shows I saw this month on youtube. Many thanks for your great work, Sabine.

  • Joseph Anglada
    Joseph Anglada Year ago

    Psychology is also a science that is almost in the field of pseudoscience in many aspects because how hard it is to study human mind and behaviour.

  • Robert Sansone
    Robert Sansone 9 months ago

    Very excellent & thought provoking. Thank You again.

  • Alex Novickis
    Alex Novickis Year ago

    random ideas --> some level of filtering --> more filtering --> more tests --> more filtering --> knowledge
    I believe you are correct that pseudoscience is important. Its' the essential raw material in the distillation process to get to knowledge - it provides both the raw material and also allows for the process to develop allowing for more complex distillation.

  • Adrien Claude
    Adrien Claude Month ago

    Fortunately, there are - and will continue to be - little physicist saying « hey wait a minute… «
    Thank you Sabine

  • Nobody
    Nobody Year ago

    Sabine has a lovely thick accent. It is cute. And I love her channel. It's so good. I like pseudoscience because it helps me understand the world a bit better. It helps me putting things in perspective. It is a shame YT tries to censor pseudoscience. I'm going a bit political here. But Sabine is asking the 'right' questions.
    Anyway, as a dutch I can assure you that pronunciation was pretty good. It made me chuckle a bit, but it was really good. 8:31
    And yes, I remember Popper. Very very relevant 10:02 Especially today. I'm glad she mentioned him! We should all talk about Popper today!

  • Benjamin Frank
    Benjamin Frank Year ago +35

    Thank you for this nuanced video. Today two categories of people are harming science : people believe that everything from the establishment is right and everything else is pseudo-science and people believing that everything from the establishment is wrong and that truth is out there. Scientists must bring their nuanced methods to a greater audience.

    • Vladimir Olegovich
      Vladimir Olegovich Year ago +1

      Existence of science and scientists can be debunked just like telepathy - by testing knowledge and mathematical skills of 100 random people from the street. I think I can predict results.

    • David Spector
      David Spector Year ago +14

      @Vladimir Olegovich Huh? How does testing 100 random people have anything to do with proving that science or scientists exist? Makes no sense to me.

  • YTEdy
    YTEdy Year ago

    I'd read that Popper's objection was quantum mechanics and the coopenhagen interpretation. I hadn't heard that he objected to Freud. I'll have to check that out.

  • Joe Vignolo r4u
    Joe Vignolo r4u Year ago

    Hello Sabine. I have an interesting question for you to ponder. In your opinion what is the more difficult undertaking. Is it understanding quantum gravity, coming up with a valid unified field theory or giving a cat a bath. Thanks.

  • Rob Stuart
    Rob Stuart 16 days ago

    Your brave attempt to pronounce the Dutch noun kwakzalverij is highly commendable.

  • YourFurnace
    YourFurnace Year ago

    Speaking of pseudoscience it would be very useful and interesting to hear you (or one of your excellent colleagues like Dr.Keating) talk about the ideas-i won’t call them theories because they are just arguments-of Dr. Donald D. Hoffman of U Cal, Irvine. I haven’t read his new (2019) book, The Case Against Reality; I’ve just seen his Clip-Share video and read a short paper written for general audiences, but It seems as if he is saying we can’t know anything at all because we can’t really have any experience of what is real.

  • Hazbin Hotel
    Hazbin Hotel Year ago

    Oh Sabine....what I like about you most is how you are willing to call out undiscovered particles and unobservable parallel multiverses for what they are....pseudoscience...
    And it's funny too...because real science...is about to get a whole lot stranger....as we are already sorta seeing...
    You already know what I mean.

  • Germán Rodríguez Herrera

    Many thanks for all the research that goes in to this videos; and I mean thinks like going to the original documents, looking for the relevant parts, etc. You set a very high standard for diligence.

  • Jimmy Zhao
    Jimmy Zhao Year ago +1

    I gotta say, those drawings of Mesmer with rays coming out of his fingertips looked pretty cool.

  • Sonifer
    Sonifer Year ago

    Rupert Sheldrake is an interesting case. My History and Philosophy of Science course covered his work back in the eary 80s when he was a useful stirrer, coming up with crazy alternative explanantions for physical phenomena as a challenge to mainstram science to firm up their methods. Sadly he later came to start believing his own bullshit and has become a foundation for much of the predatory new-age nonsense we see today, so he has done vastly more harm than good, as these characters usually do.

  • Cagney Moreau
    Cagney Moreau Year ago

    Its crazy how mesmer and the people who used his methods weren't legal liable. Oh wait im thinking of someone else

  • Spud Bencer
    Spud Bencer 8 months ago +1

    The part about Mesmer is really mesmerizing.

  • Merc Fredis
    Merc Fredis Year ago

    Thanks for another great video Sabine ❤️

    • Merc Fredis
      Merc Fredis Year ago

      Sabine is a short, handsome lady. :-)

  • MC's Creations
    MC's Creations Year ago +4

    Excellent video, Sabine! Thanks a lot! 😊
    I participated in an event against homeopathy a few years back, I don't know its name in English... Either way, what I took wasn't homeopathy, but Bach's floral... 😬
    The result is that I almost got drunk! 😂
    Anyway, stay safe there with your family! 🖖😊

  • TheFirstManticore
    TheFirstManticore 2 months ago +1

    We need critical thinking more than ever now, since it is coming out that a lot of the most authoritative strategies for dealing with covid are mere quackery too. We MUST be able to question these things!

  • Aerrin Longheart
    Aerrin Longheart Year ago +20

    When I was young, I was taught pseudoscience in school. IT was all about this undetectable being that wrote a book and laid out rules everyone had to follow. If you loved/worshipped this undetectable being, you went to paradise after you died, otherwise you went to eternal torture. It was amazing how strongly this was pushed on me when I was young, and how much it was hammered into people by black robed men who insisted people pretend to be cannibals while simply eating small bread slices.

    • Sam Garcia
      Sam Garcia Year ago +6

      Well, you can only scientifically prove or disprove this when you die.
      Besides, you're defining God as an undetectable being, when that's not what God is. God is what makes being itself possible in the first place.

    • Aerrin Longheart
      Aerrin Longheart Year ago +10

      @Sam Garcia My apologies for arguing, but you can't scientifically disprove something. That isn't a power science has. This is why, "Prove god exists" is countered by believers as, "Prove god doesn't exist", because you can't prove something doesn't exist. Many people seem to accept if you can't prove god doesn't exist, then he must exist, and this is a horrifying logic error... but it's a common one, and it's why we have christianity, and other religions. "God is what makes being itself possible in the first place." has no logic attached to it. It may sound smart to some people, but it's really useless to say, think about, and/or accept.

    • Sam Garcia
      Sam Garcia Year ago +3

      @Aerrin Longheart Well, that is apart from my point, though. My point is, you will only know if there is something after death... after death.
      And even if I agree with the rest, the issue is, people get the definition of God wrong. God can show Himself to be "an old man in the sky", sure, but that's just an appearance He puts up, it's like if the law of gravity showed itself like a person. That's what God is more like.

    • Aerrin Longheart
      Aerrin Longheart Year ago +7

      @Sam Garcia If we may, let us go over the assumptions we have regarding your point, "My point is, you will only know if there is something after death... after death.".
      1. Do you agree that your thinking/learning is done with your brain? If you do not agree, do you have any evidence that you can think or learn without needing your brain? Please note that this is your thinking/learning, and not someone else's.
      2. Do you agree that your brain stops working when you die? If you do not agree, do you have any evidence that your brain continues to work after you are dead?
      3. If you agreed with statements 1. and 2., we have, "When you die, your brain stops working." and "When your brain isn't working, you can't think/learn.". Given these two statements, do you agree that you can't learn anything while you are dead?
      If there's any part of these that you disagree with, we can look into it, and perhaps eventually see where we disagree with the statement, "you will only know if there is something after death... after death.".

    • Michael Cherokee
      Michael Cherokee 7 months ago +1

      That has got to be the best comedic description of a church or religion that I have ever heard.

  • Loren Petrich
    Loren Petrich Year ago

    I was expecting some mention of Clever Hans, the mathematical horse of 1907 Berlin. His master, Wilhelm van Osten, showed him around and demonstrated his seeming skill in arithmetic. A psychologist, Oskar Pfungst, experimented with this horse, and discovered that the horse was only knowledgeable when hes questioner knew the answer to the question that he was asked. The horse was observing subconscious cues.
    Oskar Pfungst then went on to demonstrate that he could act like that horse, observing subconscious responses. The "Clever Hans effect" has been well-established ever since.
    Poker players often attempt to avert the Clever Hans effect by making a "poker face", an expressionless facial appearance.

  • PJ1 H21M
    PJ1 H21M Year ago

    The anterior fornix zone, have you wired it up yet? Will it take long to activate? Have you tried face resting? Sabine's homework: Use your electronic devices, get Mesmerated.

  • Capricious
    Capricious Year ago

    I have to agree that intuitive ideas can often be correct and those found wanting can provide excellent teaching moments, however for every person exposed to unproven and sometimes unprovable ideas that is cured and enlightened by the infection 10 go undetected, not treated and not cured.

  • jjeherrera
    jjeherrera Year ago +4

    Great video as usual! Maybe you could discuss the deviations form the scientific method some philosophers of science are proposing. I'm thinking for instance about the book "String theory and the scientific method" by Richard Dawid. I understand there have even been meetings on the subject.

  • Matt Shortridge
    Matt Shortridge 3 months ago

    Sabine, is there an example of some thing that was perceived as pseudoscience at the time which was later determined to be a true phenomenon?

  • Ben Nguyen
    Ben Nguyen Year ago

    I'm a big fan of how Brian Keating explains science.. along of course with Sabine and ZDoggMD. BTW, I assume Nassim Haramein's Resonance Science 7 module Unified Science Course is pseudoscience?

  • Terji Djurhuus
    Terji Djurhuus Year ago +1

    I was taken aback by the comment about Popper's falsification not being the go-to method anymore.
    I must have missed a class in scientific theory - can anyone (perhaps even Sabine) elaborate about the abovestanding (with sources or googlable terms, please :-)

    • Jeffrey wolynski
      Jeffrey wolynski Year ago

      When you make things impossible to falsify you can call people anti-science when they question you, and rake in the cash from silly lawmakers who can't see though the bull.

  • Thurman Zhou
    Thurman Zhou Year ago

    Wow! I didn't know they boiled snakes for snake oil. I thought it was petrol that was leaking naturally into the Snake River in Pennsylvania. It was kind of useful as it had petroleum jelly.

  • Joseph Anglada
    Joseph Anglada Year ago

    I love to study the pseudoscience that is ALMOST science.
    For example, the idea that the mind influences particles. It has some theoretical and empirical support but no conclusive evidence, yet that does not stop parapsychology. It is interesting to see how they consider statistical fluctuations and how they *may* find something useful.

  • Angad Singh
    Angad Singh Year ago +54

    Sabine and team you always expand my mind in subtle and thoughtful ways. Keep up the amazing work!

    • Lucas Siccardi
      Lucas Siccardi Year ago

      Would you please explain me how did this video subtly and thoughtfully "expand you mind"?

    • DarkShroom
      DarkShroom Year ago

      @Lucas Siccardi obvious troll is obvious

    • gyozakeynesian
      gyozakeynesian Year ago

      @Locas Siccardi Boy, wouldn't you like to know!

    • Lucas Siccardi
      Lucas Siccardi Year ago

      @DarkShroom I'm not a troll. I am just very critical. The praise expressed in this post seems absurd to me.

  • Zelduh
    Zelduh Year ago +1

    Pseudoscience can definitely be an important stepping stone to the truth; if ancient peoples didn't think the positions of the planets and stars affected their daily life and weren't so mesmerized by phenomenon like eclipses they wouldn't have been as incentivized to study them so closely and figure out what all those things really were and make advances in technology like telescopes to observe them better and math to predict their orbits

  • Jory Jones
    Jory Jones 4 months ago

    I also think it's interesting to consister holism in testability when discussing whether a hypotheses are even falsifiable.

  • Espadasilenciosa
    Espadasilenciosa 11 months ago

    I agree with you that pseudoscience has helped science to perfect its method, that sometimes there's a blurry line between pseudoscience and speculative science and being inquisitive or a bit skeptic about both (establish science too) can be healthy and lead to new scientific breakthroughs...
    ...but I'm also afraid many pseudosciences are thriving in the last decades. Homeopathy was debunked two centuries ago, but it's sold by pretty much all pharmacies in my country (Spain) and has a lot of supporters that also support other non-approved meds.
    ...and antivaxxers , despite the paper that originated all was fully debunked and all the evidence defending the vaccines, it remains strong.
    ...and the COVID-deniers...
    All those pseudoscientific stands has negative effects on society in form of human lives, and yet despite all our efforts of debunking them they remain strong with a pretty high number of acolytes. I think the modern information society with its open social networks and mass media controlled by lobbies are like fertilizer for conspiracies and pseudoscience, which requires less effort to understand and they're more thrilling than old boring science.
    Scientists, philosophers of science and authorities must develop something to counteract its expansion... taught children the proper scientific method, statistics, bias, logical fallacies, critic analysis of topics... outside the schools too.