For the alternative theorists:

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    In my Opinion>....
    Anyone with alternative theories they wish to discuss should follow a few simple procedures:

    [1] Don't present the theory as fact...don't present it as something that is "faite accompli" It most certainly isn't:

    [2] Gather all the experimental and Observational evidence to support your claims...

    [3] Whatever you have at the very least, must be able to explain and predict better then the incumbent model:

    [4] Your theory almost certainly is going to be challenged, and will need to run the gauntlet:

    [5] You will be told you are incorrect and your theory is wrong in most cases:

    [6] Throwing a tantrum will not win you any support:

    [7] You’re going to be asked tough questions. When someone asks you a question answer it.

    [8] When someone demonstrates a point you made is wrong, acknowledge that it is wrong and accept it:

    [9] Peer review may not be perfect, but it is absolutely necessary. The participants of any forum one sets out his alternative theory on, are your peers. Accept that:

    [10] If you think you have accomplished a theory over riding Evolution, SR, GR the BB QM or Newton, you most certainly have not: 100 years and more of past giants, and the 100's of books and papers since, means that you will not invalidate such overwhelmingly supported ideas in a few words or posts: Accept that from the word go:

    [11] In all likelyhood you are not Einstein, Newton, Hawking Bohr or Feynman: Don't pretend to be.

    [12] And finally always be prepared to modify your ideas/model/theories:



    From an interested lay person.
    Please feel free to add, subtract, correct any errors, make alterations or corrections.
     
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  3. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

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    C'mon, Paddoboy, that's no fun. I mean, doing it properly, like, scientifically? No way, Jose.
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    With relation to all 10 points and any alternative theories, the incumbent model, in most cases will always logically be the default position....eg:
    If someone does happen to come up with a theory that matches exactly what the incumbent theory does but no more, the incumbent theory naturally holds position.
     
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  7. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

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    paddoboy

    That's a pretty well thought out framework that those with serious disagreements with current theory might have reasonable discussions within.
    I would like to add another...

    Make damn sure that you understand current theory as it is presented by the "main stream" before you embark on your exploration of new frontiers. That is the starting point. Our recent troubles are caused by the fact that our would-be Hawkings don't even understand the first postulate(Relativity) and flat out deny the second postulate(constant, invariant c)yet still claim to understand the theory based only on those two postulates. This is not rationality, it is delusion.

    Grumpy

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  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks Grumpy...You have pretty much read my mind....I was just about to add to it
     
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Since most seem to agree with the OP, the next step from where I'm sitting is, realizing that sometimes there are some genuine smart people that are able to come up with some viable alternative.
    So, how do we sort the true genuine alternative theorist from the troll, the average Joe Blow that is simply suffering delusions of grandeur, and the pseudoscientist...

    Pretty easily actually.....
    The genuine person will adhere to the points in the opening post.....and accept graciously that it isn't going to be easy to rewrite 100 years or more of science, physics and cosmology.

    The troll reveals himself quite easily, with repeated claims, no evidence, deriding the mainstream establishment, and exactly what we have with the two or three threads that cav755 is trolling in...best ignored [

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    at this point, I give myself an uppercut]

    Then we have the sufferers of delusions of grandeur, that pretend they have a grand theory of everything, claim Einstein SR and GR are not what the mainstream think, and put there ideas, not as an alternative theory, but as a 100% faite complei certainty.
    These are harder to deal with..they ignore valid arguments and evidence, claim peer review is unnecessary and tainted, go to extremes of untruths, statements out of context, and mis-quotes.
    They also seem to exhibit instabilities and will not rest until they have the last word.

    As you can see, quite a few of the qualities are common amongst the last three.
    But in essence perhaps it is best to let them continue the rants, as being adverse to peer review, they are really not going anywhere or achieving anything, other then annoyance of a small scientific community.

    OK, Have I missed anything?
    Any errors, alterations and/or corrections?
     
  10. river Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting

    How about

    Http://earthtech.org

    And the investigate further on this site

    Enjoy

    river
     
  11. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Great stuff, and there are other orginizations also...100 year star ship company, Tau Zero, Planetary resources, but what's your point?
    What has this to do with the scientific method and alternative theory protocol?
     
  12. river Valued Senior Member

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    And the ability to imagine beyond the general accepted parameters of the general accepted science

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  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    The JPL, and Glenn Glenn Labs are mainstream [NASA] companies.
    What are you on about...New research is the backbone of mainstream science, always has been...But when it looks like heading up a dead end, then we need to rethink.

    Now again, go back an read the OP. Note the bit about peer review and of course point 1.
    If you are in anyway comparing the research in the companies mentioned, to the alternative ratbags we are dealing with here now, then I would say you have an agenda, and are probably one of them.
     
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Moderator Note:

    I have removed several offtopic posts, along with the responses to them, and issued a warning.
     
  15. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, if you don't subscribe to the scientific process, it is impossible for you to distinguish someone doing honest alternative research from someone who is just trying to steal from you.
     
  16. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    "Anyone with" Mainstream "theories they wish to discuss should follow a few simple procedures:"

     
  17. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    There are a couple of dimensions to what you said. The first one is that the site designers had the good judgment to create an "Alternative Theories" forum to keep the polemic you are referring to separated from technical subject matter.

    The second piece of this is that the word "mainstream" has become mangled, in the lexicon of the anti-science fiends, to convey political impact, such as "fascist" or "authoritarian". That's not the literal meaning of the word, so to be clear it would be better for you to say "fascist" if that's what you mean.

    If you simply mean "majority view" then there isn't any point in advancing any caveats about theories we post, since the majority view is steeped in the meaning of the word "theory", the meaning of the theory at hand, and the meaning of "best evidence".

    The assumption is that all posters posting in the science threads will at least make an effort to rely on best evidence, which requires that they adopt mainstream theories, since that's where the best evidence lies, unless there is some supportable reason to reject the best evidence.

    Finally, the main problem with this question is that posters never actually have theories at all. Not in the scientific sense. They simply have wild ideas, usually either completely unfounded or entirely imaginary, which don't even qualify as alternative theories. But the site encourages them to keep thinking, by awarding them probationary status as "alternative theorists" -- which is entirely well intentioned. It's just chronically abused because of the high incidence of cranks.

    Clearly the best advice anyone can give is "Stop trolling. Get off your lard-padded duff and work a few high school math problems. Challenge yourself. Stop pretending the experts are naive tyrants. Why are you on this site if you hate science? Go away. Go bother the anti-science fiends at places like ICR."

    Not that that's the only way to say that, of course. You might prefer to word it a little differently.
     
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    For the Grandiose Champions of Everything Decent

    [1] It's good to have some actual knowledge of your chosen subject.

    [2] If you think that somebody is wrong, explain clearly and plausibly why you think so. Insults never suffice.

    [3] Recognize that Sciforums is a layperson's board and that your opponent isn't likely to be a professional scientist. (Just as you're not.)

    [4] Remember that science isn't religion and somebody's skepticism about some item of scientific doctrine isn't heresy. Being wrong isn't the same thing as being evil.

    [5] Don't fall to pieces emotionally if somebody fails to agree with everything you say.

    [6] Throwing a tantrum won't make your ideas more intelligent.

    [7] If you think that you know more than another person, that's an occasion for teaching, not just for expressions of your own supposed superiority.

    [8] If somebody points out logical, factual or philosophical difficulties with what you are saying, don't just refuse to pay attention because you're representing Science and can't possibly be wrong.

    [9] If you believe that you are intellectually superior to a skeptical "denier", remember that faith isn't the same thing as brilliance and that the skeptic might be thinking creatively while you're just reciting the catechism.

    [11] In all likelihood you are not Einstein, Newton, Hawking Bohr or Feynman. Don't pretend to be. Their brilliance doesn't fall like grace on everyone who believes in them.

    [12] Even the orthodox who imagine themselves to be on the side of the angels need to be prepared to improve their own thinking from time to time. Even if the thing that you believe happens to be correct, learning to respond thoughtfully to intelligent skepticism might help you understand it a whole lot better.
     
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Note from the Linguistics Moderator

    I always gnash my teeth when I see the word "theory" used this way. Unfortunately I can't rant about it since scientists themselves misuse the word.

    A theory (in science) is a hypothesis that has been proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. Plate tectonics, evolution, relativity: these are theories because there is no reasonable doubt about them; 99.999% of the doubts are from crackpots, religionists, politicians with an agenda, and precocious teenagers who have taken a few science classes and think they now know everything.

    What about that .001%? That's the one professional scientist who has a PhD in this particular science (physics, biology, etc.), has been working in it for 20 years and is regarded as a leader, and who has spent 5 years being bothered by what seems to be a teeny-weeny anomaly in the canonical theory. You won't see this guy on SciForums. He's doing his work the right way and has even already consulted with the scientist who presented the original theory if he's still alive, or if not, with the current leaders in the field. He's not going to shoot his mouth off before his hypothesis has been peer-reviewed and other scientists find it to be promising--because if he's wrong and spoke too soon, no one will ever respect him again.

    Don't even present it as a "theory." As I noted above, it is nothing more than a hypothesis at this point. As I also noted, the word is often used incorrectly, even by scientists, who are notoriously poor communicators, especially when talking to us laymen. These are the guys who blithely talk about "String Theory," which is nothing more than some really cool math and a lot of arm-waving.

    That's where a lot of wannabee scientists go off the rails: they fail to even try to explain why their hypothesis is better than the canonical theory. It makes so much sense to them that they don't feel the need to prove it to us.

    Actually, the beauty of the peer review process is that in order to review another scientist's work, you only have to be almost as good as he is; you don't actually have to be in his class. This means that for any scientist there are hundreds of other scientists who are qualified to review his work. Unless he's Einstein, he can probably find a dozen of them within driving distance.

    Although this is true (beyond a reasonable doubt

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    ), it's not an effective way to communicate with the people you're trying to reach. What they need to understand is that what they are, in effect, attempting to do, is to peer-review Darwin, or Einstein, or Newton, or whoever developed the canonical theory they're challenging. At this point they should take to heart what I said earlier: You are not qualified to peer-review someone else's work unless you truly are his peer. You must have a PhD in the same science, you must have specialized in the same field, and you must have spent the last ten years going over his work and finding little nits that don't sit well. Otherwise you simply don't understand the canonical theory deeply enough to be able to challenge it.

    If you are, you have an advanced degree, you've been working in the field for 20 years, and you've already bounced your ideas off of the modern leaders in the field, so your own errors have been corrected and you understand the issue even better now.

    It takes a long time to learn that much science, so for starters he's going to be at least 40 with a PhD.

    I think we have a total of about eight members here who have those qualifications. And isn't it interesting that these are the members who never claim to have found the flaw in relativity. Or heliocentricity.

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    Any dedicated science fiction fan can do that. What they generally cannot do is explain why they believe one of the parameters is wrong. Just because Captain Picard had a transporter and warp drive doesn't mean that these things can be developed in the universe on the other side of the TV screen.

    Actually, "mainstream" applies to art, politics and other culture where taste, fashion and popularity are at play. It does not apply to science. If someone utters or writes the phrase "mainstream science," it is safe to ignore anything else he says.

    Since SciForums is not an academy, and also since the people who own the website insist on making a profit (non-members are bombarded with advertisements), we can't run this place like an academy. A real academy would not even have a Department of Crackpottery and Pseudoscience.

    Again, the people you're talking to are exactly the people who don't realize that you're talking to them. They're positive that they are scientists.
     
  20. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    @ Yazata, Post #15

    Grok'd!
     
  21. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    @ Aqueous Id, Post #14

    AId, "fascist" is NOT what I meant - so I DID NOT SAY "fascist"!!!

    Maybe, just maybe Aqueous Id, you should "Practice what you Preach" and follow your own "best advice"!

    To wit :
    Have a nice day.
     
  22. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    All you have to say then is that "mainstream" means "the majority view" and you're off the hook. No need to get hysterical.
     
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Science is not a democracy. When a hypothesis has been tested in every conceivable way without being falsified, it is then submitted to the scientific community for peer review. Depending on how extraordinary it is (e.g., if it claims to falsify a canonical theory, rather than simply elaborating and expanding it as Einstein did to Newton's Laws of Motion), the peer committee could be very large. It might even be subject to a second level of review by people who insist on having a say--a virtual committee.

    The whole point is to ensure that the purported theory has the approval of the scientific community--at least the people who have been members long enough for their skill and judgment to be trusted. When it starts showing up in high school textbooks, the only people who object will be the anti-scientists in their churches.

    It's not a "majority view." If any respectable scientist has an objection, he will be heard.
     

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