Not even wrong
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. 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'." This is also often quoted as "That 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."
- Cargo cult science
- Karl Popper
- Logical positivism
- Peter Woit, physicist whose blog is entitled Not Even Wrong
- The Relativity of Wrong
- Wronger than wrong
- Shermer M (2006). "Wronger Than Wrong". Scientific American.
- Jung, C. G.; Pauli, Wolfgang; Meier, C. A.; Zabriskie, Beverley; Roscoe, David (2014-07-01). Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958. Princeton University Press. p. xxxiii. ISBN 9780691161471.
- Peierls, R. (1960). "Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, 1900-1958". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 5: 186. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1960.0014.
- Oliver Burkeman (September 19, 2005). "Not even wrong". The Guardian.
- Quotations related to Wolfgang Pauli at Wikiquote