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Pseudoscience is a purported methodology, or belief, or practice that is claimed to be scientific or made to appear scientific, but does not adhere to the scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lacks scientific status. The term comes from the Greek root pseudo- (false or pretending) and "science" (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge"). An early recorded use was in 1843 by French physiologist François Magendie, who is considered a pioneer in experimental physiology.

As it is taught in certain introductory science classes, pseudoscience is any subject that appears superficially to be scientific or whose proponents state is scientific but nevertheless contravenes the testability requirement, or substantially deviates from other fundamental aspects of the scientific method. Professor Paul DeHart Hurd argued that a large part of gaining scientific literacy is "being able to distinguish science from pseudo-science such as astrology, quackery, the occult, and superstition". Introductory classes in science often take careful pains to delineate the objections scientists and skeptics have to practices that make direct claims contradicted by the corresponding scientific discipline.

Characteristics of pseudoscience