How Scientology Qualifies as a Pseudoscience

At a time where ideas can be widely distributed among the population through any of the mass media, its more important than ever to be able to tell the difference between reliable and worthy information sources from the superstitious and poorly supported.

While science is subject to revision, improvement, self-correction, and has proven its effectiveness in helping us understand the world we live in, pseudoscience ignores the fact that their claims are most of times contradicted by established scientific knowledge and that usually fall apart when faced with actual empirical evidence (Beyerstein, 1995).

Scientology is presented as a science by its founder, Ronald Hubbard, in his book Dianetics The Modern Science of Mental Health. Nevertheless, at the same time it claims that its knowledge emerges from certain fundamental truths, such as that Man is an immortal, spiritual being and his experience extends well beyond a single lifetime (Church of Scientology, Religion and Philosophy). According to Castis set of criteria for distinguishing between science and pseudoscience, Scientific progress can be made only if a hypothesis is at least potentially open to dismissal. This statement alone shows that the bases of scientology are not in any way scientific and should make us suspicious of any of the further claims derived from the arbitrarily established axioms of this pseudoscience. It is also important to bear in mind that this belief system assumes the existence of a spiritual world, a hypothesis that can not be subject to the scientific method since its not falsifiable or testable in any way.

The danger of scientology is that it provides poor answers that are easily accepted as truth by people who are genuinely looking for knowledge but fail to understand the difference between legitimate and dishonest information.


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