Can a true scientist ever be a mumpsimus?


1. A true scientist uses all presumptively valid data available to him to build his models.

2. In controversies, a pseudoscientist chooses sides, filters out the presumptively valid data of his opponents, and fails to test the validity of data that contradict the predictions of his model.

3. A mumpsimus clings to points of view that are contradicted by presumptively valid data.

Thus by definition, a true practicing scientist cannot ever be a mumpsimus and by definition, a pseudoscientist is a mumpsimus, a member of the huge flock that includes religious folks and political extremists.

An example of presumptively valid data that some pseudoscientists filter out and never test the validity of:

1. Weston Price’s observations of the lifestyles (especially rich in his accounts of dietary information and oral health information) of isolated indigenous peoples.

2. Why these data are presumptively valid – first, there is no reason to doubt the observations (they make scientific sense) and the photographs were made and published long before Photoshop.

3. Second, Price’s observations on the diet and the good general health of the isolated Polynesians were confirmed and extended (by including measurements of saturated fat in their diet and their routinely high total serum cholesterol) by a scientist who visited the islands about 50 years after Weston Price.


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