Create new "Alternative theories" forum in Science section?

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by James R, Feb 14, 2004.

?

Should a new "Alternative theories" forum be created?

Poll closed Mar 7, 2004.
  1. Yes, and I would post there regularly if it existed.

    6.4%
  2. Yes, but I would probably not post there often.

    53.2%
  3. No, the existing forums are sufficient.

    38.3%
  4. No. I have a better idea (see below).

    2.1%
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  1. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Well no, you don't have the choice until after you've read the crackpot thread.
     
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  3. lethe Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,009
    but i do not. i have the choice not to read all the crap that is posted in the religion forum, but if i want to read the math/physics forum, then i have to see, everytime i log on, UniKEF analysis at the top of the list.

    at this point, my choice is clear: view crackpot threads, or stop using sciforums.

    the point of this discussion is that there could be a third alternative: view sciforums, without viewing crackpot threads. that is the point under discussion, whether such a forum would be worthwhile.
     
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  5. 1100f Banned Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    807
    No I do not have the choice, since at least 50% of the legitimate threads turn into crackpots discussion.

    If I see a thread title about unikef analysis, I have the choice not to read it. However, if I see a thread on the standard model, I believe it should deal with the standard model. not with ether. If I see a thread about EM waves, it should be on EM waves and not on ether.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,782
    lethe:

    A couple of points:
    1. You are not forced to read the UniKEF thread, even if it is at the top of the list.
    2. The UniKEF thread is at the top of the list because people keep posting to it. Users of the Physics forum seem to maintain an ongoing interest in the content.

    1100f:

    That can be a problem. Unfortunately, it is a very difficult one to solve, particularly as the forum software lacks a function which allows the moving of individual posts from thread to thread. Even if such a function was available, it would be a full-time job for a moderator to police every single post and cull all the ones which are "crackpot" contributions to science threads. Then there would be the inevitable arguments as to what constitutes a crackpot post etc. etc.

    I agree. Can you suggest a solution to this problem?
     
  8. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,946
    2. The UniKEF thread is at the top of the list because people keep posting to it. Users of the Physics forum seem to maintain an ongoing interest in the content.
    Well, if you think that's the case... I'll stop posting to it.

    However, when he stops getting attention in one isolated thread he'll start spewing everywhere else. You'll notice he hasn't been active in spreading his ideas through the others threads like he usually is. I'm willing to bet that will start again once his stage has no audience.
     
  9. errandir Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    686
    How about "Trash Bin?" Are you afraid of offending people?




    This should certainly be up to the moderators (if they are up to it). Whose forum is this anyway? Is there some legal issue? Are the moderators getting paid or something, and must therefore adhere to some inadvertant policy. What bad could possibly come of eliminating bad threads? Prune the hedges if you want them to be healthy, I say.
     
  10. 1100f Banned Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    807
    Unfortunately, I don't have a solution to this problem, however a partial one would be to have an alternative theory forum, this is the reason why I voted yes for the creation of this new forum
     
  11. Rappaccini Redoubtable Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    How about...

    "Interpretive Physics"
    or
    "Unconventional Physics"
    or
    "Conjectural Physics"
    or
    "Alternative Physics"
    or
    "Independent Thought"?



    I guess there are other, less flattering options like...

    "Make-believe Physics"
    or
    "Bizarro Physics
    or
    "Good-Grief-Man Physics".
     
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,782
    Rappaccini:

    I wouldn't want to see it restricted to physics. If somebody has an alternate biology theory, it might go there.

    (Hmm... I wonder where the Creationists belong? Mostly, they seem to pop up in "Religion", though Creationism is also clearly "Pseudoscience". I wonder whether it even qualifies as an "Alternative theory", since it isn't really a theory in any scientific sense of the word.)
     
  13. MacM Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,104
    James R.,

    This is where the "Development Forum" would pay off. Unconventional or unproven concepts can be posted there and those that don't want to participate simply don't go to that forum.
     
  14. MacM Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,104
    James R.,

    ANS:

    1 - Personally I don't find it difficult to not click on a thread they don't like.

    2 - It is only his opinion that it is crap.

    3 - If there was a development forum UniKEF would be there and he would not have to see it.

    4 - Concepts, such as UniKEF which have testable attributes, are not pseudoscience until shown mathematically or by test to be in error. But nor are they accepted science.

    5 - I do find it amusing that those complaining about UniKEF and say they do not want to jparticipate in a "Development" forum also regularily go to pseudoscience and participate.


    It is unfortunate that he or anyone seem to feel they can declare something crackpot when they have not even picked up a calculator in an effort to falisify or verify a claim. This is not just old MacM making a claim but the claim is supported by a highly recognized physicist. Let me suggest they address the issue of the thread before commenting about a crackpot thread.

    ANS: We agree here, with the exception of his claim to know what is crackpot and what is not without actually thinking about the presentation. However, the intermediate step between science and crackpot rating does allow for the presentation of new ideas, which can be avoided in the conventional or accepted physics section without relagating anything new to being crackpot before it has even been seriously considered.

    Speaking for myself and UniKEF, I would be more than content to post only in such a forum until it is falsified or verified. If falsified it can be placed in pseudoscience or deleted. If it passes muster it could remain in the development area or become elevated to a more general discussion underscience with the understanding that it has at least some merit.
     
  15. MacM Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,104
    1100f,

    ANS: We are in complete agreement. With the new forum available all alternative concepts should be kept off the standard board.
     
  16. MacM Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,104
    James R.,

    Unfortunately just as with most of his posts, he presumes to know to much. I have already made it clear that I would refrain from posting UniKEF views as long as the "Analysis" thread was open and being pursued. He should not expect that he could come on there and make a bunch of false allegations or claims and that I would not respond.
     
  17. MacM Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,104
    errandir,

    ANS: Nobody is offended by positive criticisim or being shown where there is an error or flaw in their concept. What is offensive is the tendancy of some to think it is all over and there is nothing new to discover. Such that anything not coming from standard text books is therefore crackpot.
     
  18. MacM Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,104
    James R.,

    ANS: I would hate to see Creationists end up there but actually if they presented some claim which is testable then I suppose they would qualify. Once they (or UniKEF) were falsified (assuming it was) then they could be deleted from the "Development" forum.
     
  19. lethe Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,009
    your attitude regarding this matter seems refreshingly reasonable, and in tune with my own.

    why should people who don't want to participate in the development of new theories have to wade through a multitude of such threads, if they are only interested in discussing standard textbook theories?

    this sums up my position in a nutshell.
     
  20. lethe Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,009

    true. it is not so hard. i would just prefer if things were more clearly separated.

    exactly.

    precisely. there should be a clear distinction between pseudoscience, and alternative science.

    OK, you have me there. i have not read anything about UniKEF, and so perhaps i have judged it unfairly.

    to be blunt, i operate under the (perhaps overly arrogant) assumption that anyone who is not well versed in the intricacies of modern physics cannot possibly develop a valid theory.

    on the other hand, i could be wrong, since i have spent zero time determining whether these alternative theories have any validity.



    that is fair.


    OK, fine. it was a loaded choice of words. we may agree that it is alternative science, but it is only a matter of my (possibly ill-informed) opinion that it is crackpot science. i apologize.
    ]
     
  21. MacM Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,104
    Lethe,

    ANS: Great. We are in full agreement. I even agree that SHOULD my claim be disproven then it would have been jproperly dubbed crackpot.
    ]
     
  22. MacM Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,104
    James R.,,

    Before leaving this discussion I just wanted to share these two examples from UniKEF; which sponsors an "Other Theories" forum and where such subjects are openly discussed without the crackpot labeling but with honest objection to those things we find inconsistant with acceptable science.

    *********************************************************

    #1 - From: cynique_1 Sent: 1/31/2004 11:54 PM
    Thank you for allowing me to join. I have been visiting your site for a while and appreciate that people can discuss without arrogant censure. I appreciate your essays on skepticism.


    #2 - From: Kirk_Gaulden Sent: 2/22/2004 10:00 PM
    Thanks for the send off june or july tapten is gonna look at my stuff to prepare it for seas and funding I hope. I got my start here as many more will. gods speed Mac.

    ********************************************************

    #2 has reached a point with his ideas that he is getting some interest and may actually get some funding for research of the idea.

    It is a shame that SF has not had a simular forum and attitude toward those that are attempting to aadvance things, if they can or not is another matter.
     
  23. Rappaccini Redoubtable Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    I think you've all changed my mind.

    With the necessary moderation, an "alternate" forum would be a good idea...

    ... as long as it has a proper name... hmmm
     
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