It’s a longstanding debate in the philosophy of science: Is “demarcation” possible? Can we really draw firm lines between science and pseudoscience?
Massimo Pigliucci thinks so. In his new book Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk, Pigliucci attempts to rescue the notion that there are claims we can rule out, and claims we can rule in—a real means of determining what’s science and what isn’t.
Along the way, Pigliucci touches on howlers like creationism and astrology, and borderland areas of research like SETI—and weighs whether science can ever hope to test claims about the supernatural.
Massimo Pigliucci is chair of the philosophy department at CUNY-Lehman College. He was formerly a professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook. He’s a prolific blogger and commentator on issues concerning science and skepticism and a prominent battler of creationists and other nonsense peddlers. You can find him online at rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com.