Civil war has broken out in the field of consciousness research. More than 100 consciousness researchers have signed a letter accusing one of the most popular scientific theories of consciousness – the integrated information theory – of being pseudoscience.

Immediately, several other figures in the field responded by critiquing the letter as poorly reasoned and disproportionate.

Both sides are motivated by a concern for the long-term health and respectability of consciousness science. One side (including the letter signatories) is worrying that the association of consciousness science with what they perceive to be a pseudoscientific theory will undermine the credibility of the field.

The other side is pressing that what they perceive as unsupported charges of pseudoscience will ultimately result in the whole science of consciousness being perceived as pseudoscience.