Protoscience

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The term protoscience has been used to describe a new area of scientific endeavor in the process of becoming established.

Protoscience is to be distinguished from pseudoscience by its adherence to the Scientific Method and standard practices of good science, most notably a willingness to be disproven by new evidence (if and when it appears), or supplanted by a more-predictive theory.

Most typically a protoscientific field is one where the hypothesis presented is in accordance with the known evidence at that time, and a body of associated predictions have been made, but the predictions have not yet been tested.

Examples of protosciences might be the theory of continental drift as originally proposed by Alfred Wegener (which eventually became an accepted scientific model when the mechanisms of plate tectonics became understood), or the various string theories of physics.


Such fields as acupuncture and lucid dreaming may perhaps be best categorized as protosciences, pending more evidence and theoretical underpinning.