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For other uses, see Not even wrong (disambiguation).

The phrase not even wrong describes any argument that purports to be scientific but fails at some fundamental level, usually in that it contains a terminal logical fallacy or it cannot be falsified by experiment (i.e. tested with the possibility of being rejected), or cannot be used to make predictions about the natural world.

The phrase is generally attributed to theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colorful objections to incorrect or sloppy thinking.[1] Rudolf Peierls documents an instance in which "a friend showed Pauli the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli's views. Pauli remarked sadly, 'It is not even wrong'." [2] This is also often quoted as "It is not only not right, it is not even wrong," or "Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!" in Pauli's native German. Peierls remarks that quite a few apocryphal stories of this kind have been circulated and mentions that he listed only the ones personally vouched by him. He also quotes another example when Pauli replied to Lev Landau, "What you said was so confused that one could not tell whether it was nonsense or not."[2]

The phrase is often used to describe pseudoscience or bad science, and is considered derogatory.[3]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Shermer M (2006). "Wronger Than Wrong". Scientific American. 
  2. ^ a b Peierls, R. (1960). "Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, 1900-1958". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 5: 186. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1960.0014. 
  3. ^ Oliver Burkeman (September 19, 2005). "Not even wrong". The Guardian. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong — Please support Wikipedia.
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3 news items

 
News24
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 02:45:00 -0700

The Internet is a lot like democracy. It embodies free speech and everyone can have access, and within reason, express their own view - within the rules. I dont want to take issue with what the *rules* are - but we all know there ARE rules and these ...

Fast Company

Fast Company
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 03:06:23 -0700

Another father begins to see his son's autism differently after reading Not Even Wrong by Paul Collins. Ishmael has received stories about depression, cancer, and nuanced versions of joy. Many callers actually address their stories directly to the ...
 
NBCSports.com
Sun, 06 Jul 2014 12:33:54 -0700

Cardinals southpaw Jaime Garcia has made just 16 starts since the beginning of the 2013 campaign and is scheduled to have season-ending surgery on his shoulder this week for thoracic outlet syndrome. Those facts alone would be ample reason for John ...
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