I would challenge this. You can be pretty confident that these pseudoscientific ideas are not scientific, which is to say, not grounded in the scientific method, which requires a certain methodology and process.
But that doesn’t mean these ideas are “wrong” because what does that mean? An idea is what it is, and as you said about science, it can’t prove anything but can attempt to disprove it through multiple experiments. But science is always having to correct itself with regard to their methods and experiments. There’s always something unaccounted for that ends up changing everything.
You can say LoA can’t withstand the scientific method, and I would wholeheartedly agree, because there are far too many variables (like a person’s entire life experiences beginning in the womb) that would need to be controlled and tested against.
It would be a ridiculously expensive experiment, that could be oh so easily compromised. But people have run similar sorts of experiments. The whole blue eye/brown eye Jane Elliott experiment, for example. So, I’d argue that if evidence is critical to putting any stock in LoA, there is evidence out there, social experiments have been done. Not enough, I don’t think for anyone to say definitively, LoA works as precisely as the laws of physics. But there is enough evidence to create an entire branch of psychology- as cognitive behavioral therapy — is basically a form of LoA, and it has helped so many to completely change and heal their lives. So you can’t just say, these ideas are “wrong.”
I think the better description would be to say, they are as helpful or unhelpful as an individual allows them to be — and since the person, the thinker, is the variable that determines whether LoA works or doesn’t work, there can never be the sort of definite scientific evidence to prove or disprove it, because people are far to complex to be studied in that way. Psychology does attempt to do that, however. And Psychology is not “wrong” it’s just a different field of study than physics.
I studied neither. I studied law. And with law there are so many rules around evidence, that are pointless. Most eyewitness testimony is incorrect, and this has been proven scientifically many times over. And yet it is the most highly relied upon form of evidence in the American system of jurisprudence, to this day. The Justice system hates DNA testing for example, that according to science can offer definitive around who is present at a crime scene. DNA has been used to free accused individuals, who probably were not guilty of crimes they have been convicted of via eyewitness testimony, because the DNA on the objects of the crime belongs to someone else. But, yet and still, that system plays fast and loose with the science, despite the fact that the science considers itself beyond question, evidence wise.
Which is to say, these systems of study be it law, physics, psychology they largely serve themselves and the people who learn the rules of them seek to manipulate these systems to achieve a certain result.
Rarely in any of these systems do we ever arrive at fundamental, unquestionable truths.
I think reality, and everything else, is far more malleable we believe it to be.