While skeptical criticism of superstition dates back to ancient times (e.g., the writings of Lucian), the term "pseudoscience" appears to have been used first in 1843 by Magendie, who referred to phrenology as "a pseudo-science of the present day" 
1872: Victorian polymath Francis Galton, in "A Statistical Inquiry into the Efficacy of Prayer," observes that clergymen (who presumably pray more) do not live significantly longer than men from other professions.
1920's: The Scientific American offers a cash-prize for successful demonstration of mediumship; illusionist Harry Houdini contributes his expertise in order to expose trickery.
1968: Charged with evaluating U.S. Air Force Project Blue Book, the (Edward) Condon Report concludes--amidst committee in-fighting and mutual accusations of bad science--that UFO's are not worth studying.
1969: Founding of two major ufology-promoting organizations: CUFOS (the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies) and MUFON (Mutual UFO Network).
1972: Stage magician James Randi "debunks" self-styled telekenetic Uri Geller, leading to mutual lawsuits.
1983: San Francisco General Medical Center physician Randolf Byrd organizes a blind study of intercessory prayer, the first of many such studies. He finds the prayed-for group to be 11% more likely to recover, a statistically-significant figure given his sample size.
2006: Twenty Idaho State University faculty members sign a petition protesting their university's support for "fringe science". Their target is Bigfoot researcher, biologist D. Jeffrey Meldrum.
- ↑ Phrenology
- Magendie, F (1843) An Elementary Treatise on Human Physiology. 5th Ed. Tr. John Revere. New York, Harper, p 150
- ↑ The proceedings were published as Scientists Confront Velikovsky (Norton, 1977), ed. by Donald Goldsmith.