Welcome to a special 'big round number' edition of "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.
One of the key things that separates science from woo is that science knows how it arrived at its conclusions: Everything we know can usually be traced back to experiments that can be repeated at just about any time. With woo, however, a process almost never emerges: The vast majority of it was just made up and presumed to be "Truth" with a capital T.
Those of you who regularly read my comments on various blogs may have noticed that I talk about people 'handwaving away epistemology' lately. Epistemology, in short, is the philosophy about knowledge: "How do we know what we know?" Scientists and skeptics can track down the origin of a theory, and cite experiments that verify it (or, at the very least, fail to falsify it, depending on how deep you want to get into the philosophy of science and semantics), and, if necessary, repeat the experiments.
Woo, however, seldom deals with this issue: They will troll skeptical forums and blogs by claiming that we're resisting 'the Truth' with science, which directly measures reality, and that their 'divine revelations' that don't have to undergo any rigor at all are true: They just ignore and evade any questions that deal with how they arrived at their conclusion. Instead of walking us through their twisted 'logic', they're more often content to jump ahead to presuming that they've proven the 'Truth' and claiming that we'll be miserable, or immoral, or whatever if we don't blindly accept their 'Truth.'
To put the whole thing into soundbite size: Woos answer all the difficult philosophical questions with 'because I, in my infallibility, said so.'