Important gleanings I took from this relatively short and cursory foray into the topic, are as follows:
1. BELIEF FIELDS and RESEARCH FIELDS:
From Mario Bunge: rather than dividing cognitive domains into sciences and non-sciences, we might divide them into "belief fields" and "research fields."
Belief fields include "religions, political ideologies, pseudosciences and pseudotechnologies, as well as any mystical system that believes that enlightenment can be gained through revealed truth rather than painstaking examination."
"The primary attribute of belief fields is that, for their devotees, evidence is personal and subjective. I.e., they advocate using emotional criteria to distinguish truth from falsehood. Belief fields hold private feelings and hunches to be reasonable grounds for certainty—or, as New Age writers put it, “You create your own reality.”"
Research fields "can include disciplines not typically thought of as scientific, as long as their practitioners are committed to gathering objective data to support their positions."
"evidence in research fields is interpersonal. That is, it can be compared by disputants, according to open and objective criteria. It is sometimes said that objectivity is merely inter-subjectivity. I.e., an “objective” consensus is reached by comparing various individuals’ perceptions with each other and against agreed-upon external standards."
2. THE ROCK BOTTOM SCIENCE "BASICS"
Contravene any of these and you are skating on thin ice too close to open water.
1. The inverse square law
2. Laws of Thermodynamics (e.g. the Law of Entropy)
3. Laws of Conservation of Energy, Momentum, etc.
4. Injunctions against reverse causality ("Time's Arrow")
5. One or more of C.D. Broad's "Basic Limiting Principles"
6. Data of modern Neuroscience, psychology, and psychophysiology
"Many pseudosciences claim extraordinary precision, power, or yields, well beyond those achievable by conventional scientists (and often by means of secret proprietary processes, formulas, or equipment)." Chiropractic springs to mind. PT often isn't very far behind however.. and many PTs seem to admire the marketing employed by chiropractors as if it were something to be aspired to instead of either ignored or pointing a finger at.
My favorite is number 6., ignoring the nervous system, a serious error my profession and the PT people in it make all the time, trying to pretend it isn't there, that it doesn't "sense", trying to work around it in order to make life simple for themselves, working from "models" (such as a joint biomechanical model) that refuses to take the nervous system into account at all - even the physical 72 kilometers of it weaving throughout the "body" referred to in "the literature" as "nerves"(!). This is so rampant that there are even PT university profs using the biomechanical model as their teaching platform who have the audacity to declare that pain doesn't exist and isn't our business as PTs. Ahem, I beg to differ, strenuously.
Broad's "Basic Limiting Principles" are listed here.