Because I see a lot of pseudoscience purveyed on this site, I adapted a document about pseudoscience characteristics posted by a doctor on twitter. I doubt that it is comprehensive, and am willing to further adapt if someone has some good suggestions.
Some Characteristics of Pseudoscience
1.Is UNFALSIFIABLE (can’t be proven wrong); makes vague or unfalsifiable claims.
2.Relies heavily on ANECDOTES, personal experiences, testimonials, “professional” opinions, and bench (test tube or animal) studies. IGNORES “LEVELS OF EVIDENCE,” and GRADE given by professional consensus.
Levels of evidence: cebm.ox.ac.uk/resources/lev...
3.CHERRY PICKS confirming evidence while ignoring/minimizing disconfirming (especially higher level) evidence.
4.Uses TECHNOBABBLE: Words that sound scientific but don’t make sense.
5.Lacks PLAUSIBLE MECHANISM: No way to explain it based on existing knowledge, or deficient evidence for proposed mechanism
6.Is UNCHANGING: doesn’t self-correct or progress
7.Makes EXTRAORDINARY/EXAGGERATED CLAIMS with insufficient clinical evidence
8.Professes CERTAINTY; talks of “proof” with great confidence. Ignores statistical confidence intervals and power.
9.Commits LOGICAL FALLACIES: Arguments contain errors in reasoning.
10.Lacks PEER REVIEW: Goes directly to the public (e.g. YOUTUBE videos, blogs, direct-to-patient presentations only), avoiding scientific scrutiny.
11.Claims there is a CONSPIRACY (e.g., Big Pharma/FDA conspiracy) to suppress their ideas.
12.OVERSIMPLIFIES biochemistry (e.g. alkaline water, reducing sugar intake, antioxidants or anti-inflammatories will slow cancer)
13.Ignores INTERACTIONS with other substances, bioavailability, biochemical feedback effects, microbiome, substance purity or adulteration
14.Claims “causation” when only “ASSOCIATION” has been demonstrated.
15.LACK OF DISCUSSION of potential biases, missing confounding variables, effects that may have changed over time and/or with improved technology.
16. INAPPROPRIATE ENDPOINT OR SUBSET CONCLUSIONS given pre-announced endpoint and subsets, power to detect it within sample size and timeframe, poor choice of surrogate endpoint or subsets, "p hacking."
17. Failure to disclose CONFLICTS OF INTEREST or sponsors.
PS I added this article to provide some extra links, address questions/comments I saw here, and to make it easier to search for (the search engine on HU sucks).