Create an "Alternative theories" subforum?

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by James R, Sep 26, 2011.


Should sciforums have an Alternative Theories subforum?

Poll closed Oct 3, 2011.
  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Abstain/don't care

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

    A few years ago, a proposal was floated regarding the possible creation of an
    "Alternative theories" subforum.

    I envisage that such a forum would be a place mainly for non-mainstream theories of Physics, because those are the most common ones we tend to get here, but it could also include non-mainstream theories in other areas of science (and perhaps from other fields, too).

    I am interested in your opinions on the following questions:

    • Do you think an Alternative Theories forum is a good idea?
    • What should the forum be called (if not "Alternative theories")?
    • Where should it be placed in the forum heirarchy (e.g. as a subforum of Physics, as a subforum of Pseudoscience, on its own under some other heading, etc.)?
    • Got any other good ideas relating to this?

    This thread will be open for the next week for comments and votes.
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  3. Gustav Banned Banned

    ph has a "beyond the standard model" as a sub in physics which seem to be their "Alternative Theories" still tho, one can possibly have theories in other disciplines that counter the prevailing dogma so i'd slap that puppy 3 nests down

    /sciforums/science/Alternative Theories

    also, implement "ufology" in subcultures. it is an easy and logical complement to parapsych. pseudo was the de facto ufology forum and now it is cluttered with your trash. you owe us!!
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  5. wlminex Banned Banned

    Do you think an Alternative Theories forum is a good idea?
    Specify subforums (e.g., cosmology, steady-state, Big-Bang, etc.) and participant rules

    What should the forum be called (if not "Alternative theories")?
    Alternative "Hypotheses" might be better, theories are testable.
    Specify subforum topics

    Where should it be placed in the forum heirarchy (e.g. as a subforum of Physics, as a subforum of Pseudoscience, on its own under some other heading, etc.)?

    Got any other good ideas relating to this?
    Serious alternative hypotheses, minimize ad nauseum re-posts of the same narratives, based on participants' votes
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
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  7. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member


    Pseudoscience works fine. Why change it unless the forum administrators want to start applying new restrictions on us deluded pea brains. That I could understand, lol.
  8. Gustav Banned Banned


    perhaps a forum for "alternative opening posts?"
  9. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    No forum will work on Sciforums except the few standard physics and science forums, and those will only work if people stick to 1973 Encyclopaedia Britannica accepted theories.

    NO forum in Sciforums will allow for Suppositions, Brainstorming, or left-wing quantum mechanics. There are thousands of people who believe that Consciousness causes wave collapse, yet none of them could ever be represented on Sciforums or they would get driven out by moderators and members with pitchforks. I probably risk ridicule for even acknowledging they exist.

    No actual intelligent discussion could take place even on a supposition if it was in the pseudoscience forum, etc. Too many people trolling, and it is as "patrolled" as the religion forums.

    Lets say for example; that a Nobel Prize winning physicist came on here and said this.
    Now I am not saying a Nobel prize winning physicist would ever say such a thing, but if he came here and did hoping to hear a theory or suggestions, the best suggestion he would walk away with is....(Enter some profanities here).

    First off; if he was foolish enough to post it in physics, the all knowing gods of physics would move the thread to pseudoscience or even the cesspool. Sciforums has no lack of authorities.

    So if you want to talk about established science and complete your homework, then this is the place. If you want to find smart minds willing to explore "what if" scenarios, or any suppositions, you are better off somewhere else.

    I suggest that people who start threads should be able to control the content, and delete the hate spammers who should not even be reading stuff they are so dead set against. Otherwise; Sciforums can continue to exist as it is. I think the popular conversation today was "what makes the fart sound". Wouldn't want to miss out on that...
  10. The Esotericist Getting the message to Garcia Valued Senior Member

    I nicely worded summary of why I spend less time here every year.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  11. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    interesting reiteration . I been working on my profanity . It is hard for carpenter . We are raised on profanity . It is all part of our speech patternization . I want to be a f**king builder when I grow up ! Sorry . Where else might that be ? The somewhere else you are talking about.

    I like the way things are , yet I am a creature of habit so I would . Change is not always a bad thing as long as you don't loose your existing base . You could have a complete turn over but then our input right now might not mean much . You might need the input of the new turn over people and build on why they joined the site
  12. Gustav Banned Banned

    kwhilborn, quantum_wave

    why the "no" votes?
  13. Believe Happy medium Valued Senior Member

    It would be a good idea except the same thing would happen as happens in the pseudoscience forum now. Any idea posted there that does not agree with the scientific consensus is brow beaten into submission.
  14. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

    Just call it "The Fringe" or "Fringe Science". Put it under Science or Physics (though there are likely fringe theories in almost every area). There are some legitimate fringe theories and some a bit closer to the edge.

    It may or may not work, depending on the rules it is set up under. If it were clearly set up as a brainstorming area it might work.

    Then again the way things seem to go around here if you put any rule in place to limit ridicule most of those who might actually offer some constructive discussion would probably stay clear. It seems things posted in Pseudoscience are held to a higher standard of proof than pseudoscience implies.

    On the other hand having a heading that does not automatically imply "crack pot" might help.
  15. Varda The Bug Lady Valued Senior Member

    You don't get it.

    If you want to separate the "serious science" from the alternative theories, you end up with one uptight forum where stuff gets deleted at the discretion of a mod not finding it scientific enough, and another one full of nutjobs.

    Loosen the rigidity of moderation in the science forums and let the ideas flourish.
  16. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    I think an "alternative theories" forum might work best if all threads were automatically relocated to the cesspool. This would save moderators a lot of time, and the usual trolls won't notice the threads as much.
  17. Emil Valued Senior Member

    In my opinion a discussion has a role if it is contradictory.
    Paraphrasing a friend:
    "I believe in SR"
    "Hey, me also".
    "Um, nice talking to you".
    "Yep, you too. Have fun, see ya". :shrug:

    I think the purpose SciForums is not to recap the existing theories.
    Is for new theories, criticism of existing theories or criticism some aspects of existing theories, within reasonable limits.
    What are these reasonable limits? Here comes the skill of the moderators.
    I am convinced that it is not easy to be moderator on SciForums.

    So I vote no.
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Hmm... so far a few reasonable suggestions, along with quite a few very negative reactions from some of the people who I thought might support this idea.

    BTW, [thread=33168]this[/thread] is what happened when I suggested this back in 2004. This idea has been floated at least twice apart from this time, but I can't find the other time. Back in '04 the rules about member proposals being implemented were very strict, which is why this didn't go ahead back then. This time, a simple majority vote will suffice. However, we'll still need to work out exactly what to create and where to put it, provided we get a majority for the basic idea.

    One idea might be to reorganise by splitting Pseudoscience into a new Fringe area and creating a few subforums of that.

    Can you explain how would the voting would work?

    Your suggest to allow only "serious" alternative hypotheses might be a good one too, but what kinds of rules would we need to put in place to do that?

    I haven't suggested any new restrictions. In fact, I'd envisage fewer restrictions. But I get it: you think it's a bad idea. Ok.

    So you voted no, I guess.

    Strange. I thought you'd support such an idea, rather than being so incredibly negative.

    That's a perfectly legitimate view in the Physics community. There's nothing pseudoscience about that (on its own).

    Why do you come here?

    Would you prefer a forum where no real scientists are allowed to post?

    I like the name ideas. A bit less stuffy than "Alternative theories".

    Maybe so.

    Maybe we should just rename "Pseudoscience" as "The Fringe" or something.

    No posts are deleted here for being not scientific enough. Really wacky nonsense tends to get moved to Pseudoscience, or in extreme cases the Cesspool.

    Anyway, I get it. You think it's a bad idea. Ok.
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    One idea (and this is just an idea and not set in stone) might be to require anybody posting an "alternative theory" to satisfy a few basic criteria before their theory is discussed. For example:

    1. Give a brief outline of the theory.
    2. Post any relevant derivations/mathematics (if any).
    3. Explain how the "new" theory differs from the standard science in its predictions/explanations.
    4. Explain why the "new" theory is superior to the standard science one.
    5. Explain any flaws in the standard science one.
    6. Outline any experimental evidence or tests that do/might enable us to distinguish between the new theory and the standard one.
  20. Gustav Banned Banned

    now build it and they will come

    success can be measured by participation rather than the idiotic commentary that is on display here

    subcultures would be more appropiate unless you want to tell me what is illogical about a postulation on aliens and their gizmos
  21. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I concur.
  22. Gustav Banned Banned

    concur with what? you actually understand what you are quoting?
  23. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    I haven't seen a single user on this forum posting an alternative theory in physics and coming anywhere close to meeting these criteria. Mostly we just get gobs of opinionated gibberish and personal attacks when the gibberish gets criticized. None of the people posting these alternative theories have shown any demonstrable understanding of the conventional scientific wisdom they seek to overturn (there are of course countless members such as Reiku who've tried to fake it), hence criteria 3--6 will not be satisfied by these folks. Could be different in biology or chemistry, I dunno because I don't follow those areas as much.

    All that said, I don't mind the idea of an alternative theories section, if the posters there are strictly held to the stated criteria and disciplined for trolling if they fall substantially short. A decent understanding of conventional theories is a must before one decides to share their own kooky whatever it is in such a forum, otherwise they're just making a load of useless white noise to drown out the interesting stuff.
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