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. Zarkov Banned Banned

    Messages:
    657
    I am sure you guys are not aware of the history of science.

    All theories today started as "crackpot theories".... just get over it.

    If you know so much science then debunk them.... properly, not just throw a hissy fit because someone has the audacity to not agree with you.

    Your job then is to educate them or they educate you, or you both agree to disagree or just maybe a totally new approach can be made..

    Why are people so challenged when someone points out difficulties in any theory ?

    You can be sure tomorrows theories will be totally different to what you believe.

    That is the nature of scientific endeavour... if you wish to practice science then sure practice what works, but always be on the lookout for clarification, because it has been shown many many times that new concepts can come from a complete novice.

    But if you know better and your ego can not accept challenge then I suggest you are not practicing science.

    It seems to me from all the forums I have had discussions in, most science interested people are pseudoscientists because they are ego driven. People like this should go somewhere else and mastabate in the mirror.

    Science is alive it is not some dead meat written is a text book.... and what in the world makes YOU think you know the text book answer is correct FOREVER... grow up and accept that science is not static and you will have to learn it forever.

    Discussing the pros and cons of anything, pseudoscience, crackpot thoughts, established theory..... it all brings out the LIVING science.

    Kill this and you kill the very nature of thought.

    Science can be MAGIC if you let it and...
    group thought such as this forum, can really rock

    For the first time in history, mind to mind contact from all over the world from all disciplines WITH a massive library just at the finger tips..

    And all James R can do is..... Oh my god it's stupid pseudoscience....

    I call this attitude scientific fascism... yep it is alive and well, and has been destroying great scientist's lives for millenia and holding back progress

    You want that ? then I suggest you go somewhere else
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2004
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  3. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

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    All theories today started as "crackpot theories".... just get over it.
    Well... no. People have claimed this many times, and people have shot it down each time.

    If you know so much science then debunk them.... properly, not just throw a hissy fit because someone has the audacity to not agree with you.

    You can only point out flaws in a theory. If the poster decides to ignore them or doesn't understand them (and isn't willing to learn)... there is little you can do.

    And all James R can do is..... Oh my god it's stupid pseudoscience....

    Hehe... now THAT is funny. JamesR is much more patient and forgiving than just about anybody else on the forum. This poll seems to exist more because users want it then because JamesR wants it.
     
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  5. Zarkov Banned Banned

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    Hi Persol. maybe the adjective "crackpot" was too strong.... but I am sure to a layman such a description would be apt.

    The James R of your perception is not the same perception I have had to deal with.
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    In my observation, most "alternative theories" are posted by extremely young people who have not come close to completing their education. For the most part they are based on an incomplete understanding of uncontroversial principles or a failure to have caught up with current research. Since SciForums is part of their education and we are their de facto elders, what they need is to be shown where they went wrong. To elevate their clever but flawed reasoning to the level of a "theory" would give them the ego-inflating impression that they are on a par with Einstein. To ghettoize them in their own forum would deprive them of the corrective review they require to get back on the right track in their education. It is our duty to help these kids, not shove them aside and smirk.
     
  8. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

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    5,946
    It is our duty to help these kids, not shove them aside and smirk.
    Not all of them are kids, and not all are willing to learn. There are posters who have had things explained to them multiple times, and still claim ignorance. With some people crackpottery seems to be a religion of from which they can not be converted.
     
  9. Zarkov Banned Banned

    Messages:
    657
    It is our duty to help these kids, not shove them aside and smirk

    It is an imperitive that all sides of an argument are presented to our kids, not just a personal point of view.

    You want closed science, basically that is what Persol wants, James R wants... his version ( mmmh agrees with the established view.... so what!!!! )

    If you do not teach the new generation to think for themselves, CRITICALLY THINK, then might as well stop scientific investigation NOW.

    There have been so many times in history when some short sighted people thought it is all known, all they had to do was cross the t's and dot the i's.....

    LOL, how many times do I have to say this.... basically nothing is known.... it is all theory.... and any observations are only theory based... change the theory and even the observations change...

    Just get over it, and hone your arguments and always be open to new insight.

    Encourage critical thinking by supplying as many options as possible..

    The devil is in the detail of all options... the more options the closer to the bullseye you will get, but you may never hit the centre.

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    Last edited: Feb 29, 2004
  10. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

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    If you do not teach the new generation to think for themselves, CRITICALLY THINK, then might as well stop scientific investigation NOW.
    That's fine and good, but also teach them that hundreds of others also have done this 'critically thinking' and that they must at least understand these ideas for they try to blindly replace them.

    There have been so many times in history when some short sighted people thought it is all known, all they had to do was cross the t's and dot the i's.....

    Well no... I doubt most people on this board would say that. That doesn't mean that every new unsupported theory is worth listening to.

    the more options the closer to the bullseye you will get, but you may never hit the centre

    And the majority of these shots aren't even hitting the wall that the bullseye is mounted on. Rather then just shutting their eyes and shooting, learning how other people shoot is a good step.
     
  11. Zarkov Banned Banned

    Messages:
    657
    >> Rather then just shutting their eyes and shooting, learning how other people shoot is a good step.

    Yeaaa, I agree, but even hitting the wall is good for a beginner, so CONSTANTLY people must miss to learn to shoot straight.

    In your mind you have done the hard yards.... remember you are not an expert of experts, and constantly the bullseye is moved, (just when you think you have it all down pat).

    To be aware of limitations in a theory is most probably more important than knowing the theory itself.

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  12. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

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    To be aware of limitations in a theory is most probably more important than knowing the theory itself.
    Yeah, but that has nothing to do with why alternative theories should have their own forum. You need more then a simple 'i think this is how it works' to have a theory that is worth reading. The theories which are posted here are for the most part by people who don't understand what the current theory says, don't understand how science works, and don't seem too care about learning.
     
  13. Zarkov Banned Banned

    Messages:
    657
    >> You need more then a simple 'i think this is how it works' to have a theory that is worth reading.

    OK, define what is necessary for a theory to be worth reading.

    1. Math?
    2. Consistent with current experimental data?

    3. What happens if the words are different and yet 1 and 2 are fulfilled?

    Should there be open discussion or derision as is usual here ?

    What if a few points need clarification, does that sink the whole discussion?

    What if the theory flys in the face of current theories and yet performs better, is simpler, more logical, is more accurate and extends explanations into areas not explained by current theories?

    Just what has to be to get a decent, rational discussion?

    From what I can see, all people here and other in places are doing, is inflating their egos,,
    and when they are cornered, instead of learning via interchange, all I see is the fight or flight syndrome.

    Well in my world view, this behaviour is par for the course.... but it is a very poor show to present to people who are genuinely interested in discussing fields of science, within and without their field of expertise.... or just interested novices seeking an understanding of what science is about.

    I am afraid this forum has gone the way of all internet forums.... it is full of arrogant rude big heads... the incestuous few who rule the roost.


    There is never anything to learn from such people.
     
  14. Silverback Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    213
    I think the majority of people who would post in Alternative Theories would in fact be trying to elevate their pseudoscience a step. Without full-time, hard-ass moderation, the two forums would quickly become indistinguishable.

    Rename the current Pseudoscience forum "Alternative Theories and Pseudoscience". If someone posts something that a moderator would have moved from physics to AT, move it here.

    With as many posters as there are, the moderators already have their hands more than full. Why add another level of complexity (and argument) onto it?
     
  15. MacM Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,104
    James R.,

    I have been reading some of the responses regarding criteria and policy recommendations for classifying posts. Generally I agree with most but there was one which appeared more than once which I would like to qualify a bit before this thread closes.

    It was said that any post that rejects accepted science is psuedoscience. I believe that is to broad.

    1 - If I reject that light is invariant or that it requires added energy to accelerate mass at relavistic speeds, then yes it would be pseudoscience but,

    2 - If I reject Relativity regarding the conclusions of the findings of those things it might not be pseudoscience should I have a reasonable alternative explanation. Especially if it is testable but no actual evidence has been generated.

    So simple rejection of existing science is not a good basis since any new theory which ends up being validated would indeed reject prior existing science.
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,782
    Silverback:

    I think your idea of renaming "Pseudoscience" to "Alternative theories and pseudoscience" is worth considering as an alternative to an "Alternative theories" forum.


    MacM:

    I also agree with you that merely disagreeing with a majority scientific viewpoint does not automatically make somebody a pseudoscientist. The difference between science and pseudoscience has little to do with being pro- or anti-authority (and this is a mistake many pseudoscientists make). The difference has everything to do with method.


    Zarkov:

    You have your own forum in which you rule the roost, Zarkov. Perhaps you should retreat there, away from all the nasty arrogant people. Or maybe you should just give up on the internet completely. What do you think?
     
  17. Silverback Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    213
    [QUOTE='James R"]I think your idea of renaming "Pseudoscience" to "Alternative theories and pseudoscience" is worth considering [/QUOTE]
    Thanks, here is another thought to add to the reasoning behind it. A lot of people with personal theories that may have some merit, just no statistical data to back it up (math, experimentation results, etc) might be offended to have it simply moved to pseudoscience. With the expanded title (I know, it's not much) at least the arguement can be made that without sufficient backup data, it can't co-exist with mainstream science yet. Provide such data, the mods may reconsider the move at a later date.

    Until that happens, we can't tell if it is a valid Alternative Theory or just Pseudoscience, but you can feel free to continue to try to make your point.

    It's only a wee bit less harsh and yet a whole lot less work.
     
  18. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,946
    That's actually a really good idea silverback.
     
  19. Silverback Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Case in point.

    machiaventa and the "Myths and Precession" thread in Astronomy. I tried to pry out of him ANY supporting data, even a simple reason for his contentions, but he provides nothing. It's time for the mods to drag it out of the Science section, IMO.

    At face value it looks like pseudoscience and probably is, but I did try to give him an honest chance to explain what he was getting at. After a point, the mods should be in charge of making a decision on these kind of cases. How much burden should it be to chose between three forums? Two is easier. Valid data? Y/N. It does not require any "crackpotteryometer" to figure it out.

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    Edited to add: The reason I use that thread as an example is not because it holds any scientific merit to carry it above pseudoscience, but rather that some people will always post their ideas to a "higher" forum than the science behind it deserves, no matter how many forums we create.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2004
  20. Rappaccini Redoubtable Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Yeah... maybe that's the solution we're after.

    Seems to be the most thermodynamically efficient... err... least demanding of moderation.
     
  21. Maia Crimson Spirit Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    248
    How about a separate unmoderated Trashheap forum where one can post anything from rants to forum code tests, and where the moderators can just move threads they feel are completely irrelevant to their material, as a sort of trashcan for mods?

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  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    We already have one of those. It is called "Free thoughts".

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  23. Maia Crimson Spirit Registered Senior Member

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    Hahaha!

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    Seriously, though, a place that is 100% unmoderated and where random trash threads are transferred. The Free Thoughts section is moderated in rare cases, and it doesn't function as a thread-trashcan.
     
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