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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > January February 2018 > Are Racist Beliefs Pseudoscientific, and What Do We Do about Them?

Are Racist Beliefs Pseudoscientific, and What Do We Do about Them?

One of the defining characteristics of a pseudoscience is nonfalsifiability. Although racist beliefs can certainly be made nonfalsifiable, most are simply wrong. Nor do they, usually, involve esoteric and mystical mechanisms. No one (as far as I know) argues something like “Blacks are inferior because they lack the karmic vibratory structure of the quantum consciousness that Aryans have.” Thus, it is more accurate to think of racism as junk science—if it’s science at all (most racists don’t even bother with the junk science theories of the Nazis).

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