Cargo cult science

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Cargo cult science is a name invented by physicist Richard Feynman to name an apparent "scientific activity" that many scientists are engaged in that only looks like scientific activity because of use of language proper for that particular branch of science but not containing any substance beyond a superficial similarity to science.

The name came from natives of New Guinea and other Pacific islands who build in their jungles something that looks like control towers in hope that gods seeing them will send them cargo planes with all those goods that other people enjoy receiving from gods, as those natives imagine the towers are reasons for gods sending cargo planes to the earth.

The belief system began in World War II when American shipments of war goods to forward bases in the Pacific showered the material products of civilization on isolated islanders who had never before seen or heard of such great wealth and technology. When the Allies left, and no more cargo came, "cargo cults" developed to bring more "cargo".

One example of a cargo cult science is the Big Bang hypothesis.

See also

Cargo cult


External link

Encyclopedia Britannica online | cargo cults