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Anomalistics

 

What is Anomalistics?


The term "anomalistics" refers to the study of scientific anomalies, alleged extraordinary events unexplained by currently accepted scientific theory. It deals only with empirical claims of the extraordinary and is not concerned with alleged metaphysical, theological or supernatural phenomena. Anomalistics recognizes that unexplained phenomena exist, but does not presume these are unexplainable. It seeks to discover old or to develop new appropriate scientific explanations.

As a scientific enterprise, anomalistics is normatively skeptical and demands inquiry prior to judgement, but skepticism means doubt rather than denial. While recognizing that a legitimate anomaly may constitute a crisis for conventional theories in science, anomalistics also sees them as an opportunity for progressive change in science. Thus, anomalies are viewed not as nuisances but as welcome discoveries that may lead to the expansion of our scientific understanding.

The second key feature of anomalistics is that it is interdisciplinary. A reported anomaly is not presumed to have its ultimate explanation in a particular branch of science. The eventual explanation for an anomaly may turn out to be something new but in an unexpected field. Anomalistics is also interdisciplinary in that it seeks an understanding of scientific adjudication across disciplines. This often involves not only the physical and social sciences, but also the philosophy of science

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Anomalistics


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