02-24-12, 09:20 PM #221
Well, I’m beginning to have a change of heart towards Margaret Wertheim. Maybe she’s right. Maybe it is more important to ask why they do it. I agree, we do appreciate the access to information and the new “do it yourself” culture. At the end of the video, she asked if it is unacceptable to have a DIY theory of physics, but it doesn’t matter, and it's only likely to increase.
Some of you may think that pseudoscience doesn’t interfere with genuine scientific discourse, and so it’s essentially harmless, while others believe that pseudoscience is harmful at all levels. It does contribute to scientific illiteracy and the public’s gullibility. Do scientists have an obligation to help the public make a distinction between the two?
Who knows, maybe someone will come up with some filtering solutions. Hmm…pseudoscience filtering software, not a bad idea.
Last edited by Trooper; 02-24-12 at 09:26 PM.
02-24-12, 09:50 PM #222
In short, there has not been an observation of the speed of light being constant in all frames, has there?
The same can be said about the speed of light always being measured to be the same in all inertial frames. It has been measured in every way we have figured out to do so, it has been observed by our best instruments to occur everywhere we have looked throughout the Universe, our GPS systems could not work if what we think is true(Invariance)was not true(millions of times per hour, in millions of specific cases). And you cannot provide one single instance where that is not true. Isn't it reasonable to accept it as a fact unless and until other facts come to light?
02-24-12, 11:06 PM #223
Even worse, Rpenner's motivation, for espousing this absurdity, is to discredit an author because that author details some hide-boundedness and politicking in the professional physics community. It really should be obvious, to anyone, that neither physics nor any other science, is conducted by blemishless heroes of the golden age. All sciences are conducted by human beings, warts and all, so it's piss bleeding obvious that all sciences will include hide-boundedness, politicking and generally shameful shit.
Think about it, you're supporting a guy in the promotion of a logical absurdity in order to attempt a fallacy of poisoning the well so that scientists can be falsely portrayed. Are you really engaging in a respectable project?
02-24-12, 11:32 PM #224
All scientists know that all science is provisional. Science is our best current explanation of the way the world works. Nobody ever said it is infallible.
The main fact to consider with distance and time is the definition of the meter. A plain and simple fact that can't be proven wrong, by definition. No experiment can prove that definition wrong, by definition!
If Einstein believes that to be true and bases his entire theory on that concept, and later that postulate is shown to be false, his theory is garbage!
BTW, Using SR to try and prove that postulate correct is absurd circular logic. In order to defend that postulate you can not use SR.
Is the light starting to come in on you yet?
What grounds does the priesthood have to stand on in order to defend that second postulate?
Has there ever been a theory that physics once held to be true, and then later that theory was shown to be incorrect? Has the wonderful world of physics ever believed a fact to be true, only to find out later that that fact wasn't really a fact after all?
There are many examples of theories that have been refined over time and improved. Most scientific theories have a particular domain of applicability, beyond which a more detailed or different theory is more appropriate or 'correct'.
For example, to a good approximation, the Earth is flat. However, we find that on large enough scales the spherical-Earth theory is a better description of the Earth's surface than the flat-Earth theory.
Another example: to a good approximation, Newton's laws of motion are correct. However, we find that at high speeds and at very small or very large distances, Einstein's relativity is a better description of motion.
02-25-12, 12:44 AM #225
07-19-12, 09:42 PM #226
Margaret Wertheim. I’ve read the book and I’ve given it some more thought. She liked Jim Carter because he was a nice person and she could empathize with him. (Been there, done that.) Perhaps, this is what led her to write a book of crank apologetics.
She said that they are a reaction to the fact that the mainstream physics theories have gotten so difficult to understand, highly mathematical, and so highly technical that physicists are now saying this is how we describe the ultimate nature of realty. These theories have become inaccessible to almost everybody, even most trained physicist.
She’s right, they are inaccessible to the public but this has nothing to do with the crank phenomenon. We all feel that science communication is important but she raises the question of what role an amateur can play in relationship to science. It’s a good question but it doesn’t excuse the harmful effects of pseudoscience.
Dave Hone said that there are two extreme attitudes. The ivory tower “we must get on with our work, and why try to explain the intricacies of our work to the mortals who can barely tie their shoe-laces” and the “what is the point of what are we doing, if the only people who understand are our collaborators?” It is hard to make highly technical stuff simplistic for anyone, other than the well educated, or very interested.
But that’s just it. There are major differences between the very interested and the cranks. The very interested are not self-proclaimed geniuses. They do not compare themselves to Einstein, create alternative theories, or attempt to overturn modern physics. If they don’t understand something, they simply try harder.
Cranks are not inventing their own explanations because things have gotten too complicated. It’s more than that. It’s monomania, grandiosity, impostor syndrome, kookology, etc.
Above all, the very interested can admit when they are wrong…
Last edited by Trooper; 07-19-12 at 11:15 PM.
07-20-12, 12:54 PM #227
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