A miscategorization of a pseudoscience

I listen to a lot of Podcasts, so I go through several websites in order to find podcasts that are worth my time.

Podcast Pickle is one of the sites that I've used. But I have a quibble with them. So I sent them an email.

They never answered, or even acknowledged my email. So I'll post it here. Maybe someone else can get a response?

Question on Science Categories


Under the category of "Science News" on the Podcast Pickle site (Home > All Podcasts > Science > Science News (64)) I find both "Intelligent Design" and "Creationism" podcast shows listed. These include "Reasons to Believe Creation Update" and "Intelligent Design The Future" podcasts.

I understand with so many people creating podcasts and vidcasts about science that it is sometimes difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, but I would have thought these two to be no-brainers. The overwhelming consensus among scientists world-wide is that evolution is an accepted theory and that neither Intelligent Design nor Creationism meet the most basic requirements to be a testable scientific theory.

I realize that you would need to appease those people who strongly believe that their particular brand of pseudoscience is real - and perhaps you would have to placate those who are so far on the fringe that it would be difficult to tell if their particular podcast is about science or not - such as Stephen Wolfram's book "A New Kind of Science".

I recommend that you create a new category wherein you can drop subjects that would be difficult to distinguish between science and pseudoscience. Leave it in the "Science" main category, but create a sub-category called "Edgy science" or "Fringe science" or some other name.

Although "Intelligent Design" proponents call their beliefs science, they are not. Placing them in a mainstream science category cheapens the classification and leads me to believe that I can soon expect to see "Homeopathic science news" and "Bigfoot news" in the same area. I hope that Podcast Pickle will reconsider this classification.


Farris Thorne said...

Mark, the thing about podcasts is that the classifications are determined not by the syndicator (i.e. Pickle, iTunes, or similar) or any other potential authority, but rather by the producers of the podcasts themselves. And there's really no screening or oversight of those self-appointed classifications... anybody producing a podcast can classify it any way they submit, even if the classification is erroneous.

For a real objection, the best bet would be to go into iTunes itself and "Share a concern" about those shows individually. That may, possibly, perhaps, activate a bit of oversight from Apple itself, and potentially result in a reclassification.

But then again, Apple tends to take only those "concerns" about potential obscenity seriously. Liability, you know... they wouldn't want to be guilty of distributing "obscene" materials to minors, after all.

So, the best rule here may be, as usual, caveat emptor. ft

Anonymous said...

How can a non-scientist claim that something is science? I'd like to call that genre non-science (especially since it sounds like nonsense if you say it fast enough)!