Woo – RationalWiki – because this word came up in a conversation I had earlier in the week, and now I am obsessed with it.

Woo generally contains most of the following characteristics:

A simple idea that purports to be the one answer to many problems (often including diseases)

A “scientific-sounding” reason for how it works, but little to no actual science behind it; for example, quote mines of studies that if bent enough could be described in such a way to support it, outright misapplication of studies, or words that sound scientific but make no sense in the context they are used in

It involves the supernatural and paranormal (not necessarily)

A claim of persecution, usually perpetrated by the government or the pharmaceutical, medical, or scientific community (see Galileo gambit)

An invocation of a scientific authority

Prefers to use abundant testimonials over actual scientific research

A claim that scientists are blind to the discovery, despite attempts to alert them

A hypothesis that remains virtually unchanged for years or decades, which is sometimes presented as a strength.

A disdain for objective, randomized experimental controls, especially double-blind testing (which are kind of what makes epidemiology actually, y’know, work)

And, usually, an offer to share the knowledge for a price.

via Woo – RationalWiki.

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