# Science and Pseudoscience - A Primer

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by James R, Mar 17, 2003.

1. ### geistkieselValued Senior Member

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James R, I wonder how Geistkiesel would fare on this forum had he raised the issue oif "string Theory" , "Nonlocal forces" and 'interference amplitude" to name but three. topics? I am not assuming I would be 86's but certainly the chargs of "kook" etc would be frequent. This is more a guess on reactions.

Basically your set of pseudo science rules seems somewhat restricting and do not offer that much to progress. To assign duities and obligations to a discourse that is subject to interpretation and rejection, a challenger has the onus to provide the proof.(If I am on track here.) In general you may be correct, but it would be choking to a procress to(too) so rigidly restrictive that filling out the forms becomes tyhe mowst simportatnt matter under discussion, that is the "procedure for arriving at the the truth". For isntance, on more than one occasion I have been charged to demonstrate proof of "gedanken" experiments fallibility when the contrary is widekly accepted. Other screams are directed at submitting mathematical proofs of the assertions when the mathematics would just get in the way. Or the most shrill comes from, those making general claims of "thousands of supporting experiments . . .".

I am going somewhere with this which is to say that many of those acting as I've described might qualigfy by a strict reading of your words to demand what they demand from an innocvent "kook"..

I recognize your post was directed at pseudopscience and pseudeo-scientists and not at those supporting a widely acceopted scientific point of view with a very minimum of scientific argument and inpute. It seems that "kook" is reserved for those assau8lting the ramparts of established dogma. What I cannot fathom is the intensity in which the many, most, established "prevailers" haven't the slightest interest in even exploring the matter of a challenge objectively and with true discourse and conscioous communication. The reaction is 'defend at the first whiff of some thing smelling different' with massive coordinaqted attacks. When some begin to circle the wagons with knee jerk sincerity me thinks the stability level of the topic as measured by the degreee of confidence in what is being defended is a clue to dogmatic weaknesses.

I didn't go to medical school because I didn't think I would have aenough payshunze..

Geistkiesel.​

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It is not reproducible and not testable (disprovable).​

5. ### zanketHumanValued Senior Member

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I'd add to this one, which is often abused on other forums. Even after the water-driven engine is demonstrated, opponents will not accept that the onus of proof is then on them to prove that what was demonstrated has a problem. The onus of proof is on the claimant only until they prove their claim, and then it switches to the opponent to refute the proof.

I'd remove this point just for the irony that one of the "exceptions" is relativity. There should be no problem suggested with thinking big, no matter how slim the odds of validity may seem in that case.

7. ### CANGASRegistered Senior Member

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"Is it testable?".

Within very recent history, a thread of my creation was moved into psuedoscience.

My thread upheld the concept of the conservation of momentum.

The conservation of momentum has been a sacred core concept of physics for 400 years.

My thread was in response to a thread which unequivocally implied that conservation of momentum was violated and destroyed.

As a matter of fact, during dialog in the thread(s), others plainly stated that they considered momentum to be often failed to be conserved, in context of both Newton physics and also Einstein physics, and that the violation of conservation of momentum was nothing to be concerned about.

One of the claimants of the oft violation of conservation was none other than the beloved thred administrater Pete.

In plainer language, for your benefit, Pete plainly posted the statement, recorded on my hard drive, that momentum is very often failed to be conserved and we need not worry about it.

In connection with these goings on, Pete gave me violations ( or whatever you call them ), and moved my thread to PSUEDOSCIENCE.

MY THREAD WAS MOVED BY pete TO PSUEDOSCIENCE BECAUSE I CLAIMED THAT MOMENTUM IS CONSERVED whereas PETE plainly stated that momentum is often not conserved and it is nothing to be concerned about.

Is this physics forum a reliable format in which seriously discuss important science ideas, or, have the inmates taken over the asylum?

8. ### URIIMURegistered Senior Member

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Ok, what is real, absolute truth James R ?

It is not by chance that science is populated by things called THEORIES

Yes nothing is known to be absolutely true, not even existence.

Is atomic theory true ?
Gravity ?
oh the list is endless.

What we do in science is CONSTRUCT the most plausible explanation/interpretation of observations (that may or may not be repeatable) and try to tie them into our MENTAL FANTASY framework so we gain an understanding and in some cases produce devices that aid us.

Now what makes science science is integration of these fantasy explanations into a total fantasy framework. But all of it may be totally false; the history of science will attest to that.

Pseudo-science IMO, has no testable "facts"; it is an extension of accepted theory into an arena of prediction based upon "future" understandings. However pseudo-science is and has shown to have a certain legitimacy in science as most sciFi concepts do get realised in fact at some time in history.
Pseudo-science actually stimulates discussion, innovation and is a device to open the mind to all possibilities. A closed mind in science is not only useless for scientific investigation, it is downright ANTI_SCIENCE.

"all science is indistinguishable from magic" and yet "all science is wrong"

Now if you wish people to stick to "text book" science then the future and even the present is totally lost.

Discussion is what makes science progressive and even relevant, and through discussion, not only does understanding grow, but hidden "facts" may be revealed to anyone interested.

It is the accumulation of ALL facts that support a theory, and hidden facts may well force a theory change.

So James R you wish to stifle debate, cut discussion to "what you know".

Sorry lad, this is so childish that it beggers belief... but lad you have the majority on side... and thus science dies on the Internet.

Look to all the science forums, rename them wiki !

Print it all out and keep it for all time.

Totally idiotic

So what is the use of a science forum that only can post photocopies of photocopies of photocopies....

If all this attitude has stemmed from you, mister "super-moderator" James R, then lad, you have much to answer for.

PATHETIC.

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10. ### VernRegistered Senior Member

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James R

I agree with your criteria. But, Pseudo or no, I love to see it.

Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2007
11. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Especially for Pete:

I wonder which of James criteria you think Andrew is violating in his thread about seven reasons for rejecting QM?
Certainly he is violating #5 but James begins that with "most" and first sentence ends by acknowledging that there are exceptions.

Please take the most serious violation only and if you can cite by post numbers where Andrew is violating the number (of Jame's) post you selected as "the worst," I may agree with you or not. I have still not read all Andrew has to say or even tried hard to understand some of what I have read. I did challenge one point he made which I believe was wrong in one of my posts (and offered a possible reason why some lines are mainly seen in emission not in absorption, if that is in fact as true as Andrew implied)

I tend to be very tolerant in accepting FOR DISCUSSION something you are quite convenced is "pseudo-science" I admit. I am just asking for more specific evidence that Andrew's thread is properly placed in the pseudo-science group.

12. ### PeteIt's not rocket surgeryModerator

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Hi Billy,
Number 7. I do not think that Andrew is being realistic in his assessment of his own understanding of quantum physics. I think that he has not adequately established that what he perceives as contradictions in quantum physics are actually problems.

I admit that I am not completely satisfied that the pseudoscience forum is the best place for the thread... but in its current form, I think that it is more suited to that forum than this one.

The ideas in the thread are worth discussing... but if they are in this forum, they must be discussed in a scientific way. I think that Andrew is willing to do that, but I think that the thread's initial setup makes it very difficult for him to do so in that context.

The individual ideas could be posted to individual threads. I personally would like to see the alleged contradictions discussed... it would give me a chance to learn something!

Or... perhaps a flag to indicate that the thread is about an "Against the mainstream" idea, like the "Alpha" flag. James brought up the idea of an "Against the Mainstream" forum a while ago, but it was turned down. I think the prevailing opinion was that the "Pseudoscience" forum was the proper place for that kind of discussion. But... maybe not.

Hmm...
I would be willing to have the thread brought back with a change of title. Something like "Against the mainstream: Pulsing electrons".

I'll open a new thread to discuss this more.

13. ### CANGASRegistered Senior Member

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My recent post was provided to you under the condition of my elevated level of excitement due to your (generically speaking) unfairly prejudicial treatment of my thread "Mass Doesen't Change With Speed Debunked".

I want you(all) to know in my plainly stated terms, what my opinion is regarding your physics forum. Therefore I am repeating my communication, as if one repetition would have any chance of being understood by you(all).

In my aforesaid thread I steadfastly supported the 400 year old concept of conservation of momentum.

Do you(all) consider the conservation of momentum to be Psuedoscience?

In the duration of the thread, Tom2 and Pete repeatedly stated that momentum is not conserved in physics in general, and is especially not conserved in Special Relativity, and the lack of conservation of momentum is nothing to be concerned about.

Do you(all) consider the FAILURE of conservation of momentum to be mainstream, Standard Model, non-crackpot physics?

According to your implied agreement with the statements of Tom2 and Pete, and your implied agreement with the actions of Pete, you(all) believe that CONSERVATION OF MOMENTUM IS PSUEDOSCIENCE.

And you(all) believe that FAILURE OF CONSERVATION OF MOMENTUM IS GOOD PHYSICS.

Oh, yes, I said that I would give my opinion of this physics forum.

Any physics forum that has upheld the failure of conservation of momentum, as you have recently done, is as worthless as a pile of used peanut butter.

14. ### PeteIt's not rocket surgeryModerator

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CANGAS, you appear to be under some misconception.

Tom2 never said that momentum is not conserved.
I never said that momentum is not conserved.

We all agree that momentum is conserved.

I don't know why you keep saying otherwise.

15. ### BenTheManDr. of Physics, Prof. of LoveValued Senior Member

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CANGAS---you seem to confuse momentum and four-momentum. The vector (with three components) momentum in classical mechanics may not be conserved at large center of mass energies. The (Lorentz Invariant) four-vector $p^{\mu}$ IS always conserved in collisions.

16. ### PeteIt's not rocket surgeryModerator

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Keep it on topic, people.

Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
17. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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I too think it would be wise to have separate thread on each "error" Andrew sees in Std. QM POV.

I encourage him to pick one "error" he thinks is most obviously an error and start showing why he feels that is an error.

The only one I commented on was a question of facts. He said something like that some spectral lines were only seen in emission. I explained that in cold gas etc. the population of the lower level or "absorbing state" could be very low and this might be true. For example, Helium was discovered due to the absorption lines in the solar spectrum. If I recall correctly the ionization potential of He is about 24ev. Thus, a transition from the lowest excited state to the ground state must produce a much more than energetic photon than can pass thur the atmosphere. (too lazy to look all this up, but quite sure it must be very harsh UV) Hence All of these He or "Franhoffer absorption lines" are of the type Andrew says does not exist.

This statement of his was such a glaring error, that I posted about it earlier. They are present because the surface of the sun is not a "cold gas" and the excited but lower states of the transition are populated. Andrew, IMHO, simply does not understand why absorption lines are indeed not seen as much as in emission. (Even from hot gas source. The photon to be absorbed must arrive while the lower state is populated. It may be occasionally populated but rapidly decays by the radiation or emission line, but rarely is boosted to even higher excited state prior to emitting a photon (by transition to a lower state).
--------------------------------------
Have you ever read my essay on How free will MAY be possible/ consistent with physics? If yes, is it, IYV, science or pseudo-science? It is certainly in strong conflict with the main stream of cognitive science. If no, and you have time to read six pages, here is a link to it:

http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=1294496&postcount=52

Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2007
18. ### URIIMURegistered Senior Member

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>>> Pseudoscientific claims are made to appear scientific, often for ulterior motives such as monetary gain, political or ideological purposes, or to gain personal fame for their proponent(s). >>> James R

As usual, ulterior motives are invoked as a reason why questions are asked.

Questions are asked by scientists because they love science, they want to turn all rocks, they wish to explore every possibility and also explore why proposed possibilities are unsound.

Obviously anyone who defines motives for question asking (or the proposing of alternatives) as an ulterior motive to gain fame or bring down the establishment is really not a scientist, but one very sick political/religious bunny.

Sorry I will never stoop to insane directives of dictators, my only god is reality.

IMO the moderators of this forum have no idea just what science really is.

Textbooks were yesterday, discussion is today.

If you wish to maintain a yesterday forum... backslappingly great, this is your place !

If you wish to explore today's science then I am afraid you will have to go somewhere else. This is not the place for that because the mods squash discussion.

omegafour.com

19. ### CANGASRegistered Senior Member

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Because I read your statements on my monitor and recorded them on my hard drive.

When you (all) deny that you (all) made the statements, you (all) prove yourselves to be either pathological liars or to be schizophrenic.

Or, according to my hard drive, both.

20. ### PeteIt's not rocket surgeryModerator

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And yet you don't simply produce the alleged statements... understandable, since they don't exist except in your imagination.

21. ### CANGASRegistered Senior Member

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My hard drive, and my remote archive drives, and the Sciforums pages recorded on them, are completely real.

Your absurd posts stating that momentum is not conserved, and it is nothing to worry about, are perfectly real.

Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2007
22. ### zanketHumanValued Senior Member

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I agree with this sentiment. No doubt some people do make claims for ulterior (nonscientific) motives, but to suggest it as a way of determining whether a claim is pseudoscience is likely for an ulterior motive of its own: to throw the babies out with the bath water. I think the "Science and Pseudoscience" list is skewed toward those who wish to censor anything they don't like. I think the list does not belong on sciforums in its current form. It gives the impression that sciforums is closed minded.

23. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Cangas, I strongly doubt that pete would ever state what you claim he did (Except by accident such as omitting "not" etc)

I can not inspect your hard drive, and it is entirely possible for you to place any text you like there. If you do not simply tell the post where Pete made these statements, what am I to conclude?

It is certainly possible for anyone to remove their own post and as monitor Pete can probably alter others, but any statement to effect that momentum is not conserved would prompt many others to comment on it trying to correct it. I certainly would have if I had read it. I do not recall any case of my correcting Pete, but have corrected James R several times, (Only once a serious error, others were only statements excessively general, without adequate qualification.) I am sure you know for personnel experience I am quick to correct any errors I see. I also have been in need of correction several times, once extremely seriously (I thought the E and M part of EM wave were 90 degrees out of phase - that one collapsing gave rise to the other - a very false idea.)

Even if the post no longer exist, tell where it was, what time it was, etc. and I will go there to see what was going on in that thread around that time.

Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2007