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Complaint A disservice to science

  1. Jun 28, 2013 #1
    I wish to state for the record that I believe we do a disservice to science by extinguishing the flame of curiosity in those young in here who wish to explore more philosophical questions in Nature.

    I repeat, the smallest of perturbations can produce the most dramatic effect, and the Riemann Hypothesis remains unproven.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2013 #2

    Evo

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    We encourage all members to learn correct science and ask good questions. We encourage curiosity of valid science. What we don't allow is meaningless speculation, misinformation and crackpottery. Many people (obviously) can't tell the difference.
     
  4. Jun 28, 2013 #3
    Good questions huh? And philosophical questions, rational ones approached reasonably, are they good?
     
  5. Jun 28, 2013 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    I wish to state for the record that I believe my local vegetarian restaurant does a disservice to the community by not serving hamburgers.
     
  6. Jun 28, 2013 #5

    WannabeNewton

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    Oh they're great all right, great when you're in the shower and need something to pass the time. Someone people like to sing, some people like to ponder over empirically meaningless philosophical questions so to each his own. But on a serious physics forum? Nah
     
  7. Jun 28, 2013 #6

    Evo

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    Since science became a valid field, it replaced "philosphical' questions with valid scientific questions. If you want to be "philosophical", there are many philosophy forums on the internet. We are a mainstream science forum.
     
  8. Jun 28, 2013 #7

    Borek

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    Quite the contrary - we would do the a disservice allowing discussions called "philosophical", but being completely unscientific in their nature.
     
  9. Jun 28, 2013 #8
    Philosophical discussion is at the mentor's discretion because we lack a professional philosopher on staff.
     
  10. Jun 28, 2013 #9

    Evo

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    A professional philosopher may have zero scientific credentials, thus would not be eligible to moderate scientific discussions. That's the problem.
     
  11. Jun 28, 2013 #10

    WannabeNewton

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    How many young people actually come to this site for philosophical quandaries? Honestly? A good number of them come here because of school/university homework problems.
     
  12. Jun 28, 2013 #11
    What a hail of arrows reminiscent of that scene in Braveheart.

    They speculate quite a bit in Cosmology don't they? I think so. But we understand, a lot we don't know about the Universe and it's origins and we sympathize with them. It's a beautifully interesting thought nevertheless.

    Aren't many of the scientific discoveries preceded by a curious mind probing the workings of Nature beyond what is currently known, and sometimes that probing begins with philosophical questions?
     
  13. Jun 28, 2013 #12

    Evo

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    Just because you can call questions "philosophical", doesn't mean anything specific. If someones prefers qualitative and subjective standards rather than quantitative and objective ones, they can go to a philosophy forum. Calling a discussion "philosophical", when it pertains to hard science, is just an invitation for nonsense which we have worked hard to keep out of this forum. Let's just stick to "scientific questions" and keep the 2 am epiphanies, idle speculation and nonsense out. This is not against philosophy per se, it's about keeping discussions here factual.
     
  14. Jun 28, 2013 #13
    Do we have any facts matter at the smallest level is composed of vibrating strings? Are discussions about String Theory allowed in here?

    What about the Beyond forum? They're trying to go beyond the BB right? What (hard-empirical) facts do we have about origins?

    No, I don't wanna' go no where else. I like PF and try not to cause trouble.
     
  15. Jun 28, 2013 #14

    Evo

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    The BTSM forum has more leeway due to the subjects, but they are not idle speculation, misinformation or crackpottery (which, unfortunately, is what we get here when the word "philosophy" is used). If you ever looked at the discussions in our old philosophy forum, you know what a mess that was, people that had no clue about the science were carrying on lengthy inaccurate discussions, ignoring anyone that tried to correct them.

    So basically, what we do is try to keep the signal to noise ratio as high as we can and promote worthwhile discussions. I think our members and staff do a fairly good job of it.
     
  16. Jun 28, 2013 #15
    Absolutely! Unfortunately, they're gonna have to do that probing somewhere else, as I discovered the hard way several times earlier on. If you want to put your philosophical musings to the test against the PF community, you first need to dis-assemble your grandiosity into bite size chunks that fit into the empirical mathematical-physics processor that is allowed at PF. Then you can take the processed data and try to reassemble it into some sort of realistic model. The sort of fringe science that I find is allowed here, such as strings and various cosmological models are allowed because they are cutting edge, they are not challenging any otherwise well-established orthodoxy like perpetual motion stuff does. I think PF sees themselves as a forum to discuss mainstream science as the world's academic institutions create them, and understandably are reluctant to entertain fringe science that is outside that realm. That is the job of the academics at the universities and the communities they work with, not PF. Anyway, that has just been my personal observation. For instance, I think that you could introduce what would ordinarily be considered to be a crackpot thread somewhere in the forum and it would remain if you could find a reference to it in some reputable mainstream journal. If you can't, its probably gonna get deleted.
     
  17. Jun 28, 2013 #16

    russ_watters

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    No.

    More to the point, new discoveries are never done by neophytes, on the internet. That's why we don't allow development of [unpublished] new science here at all, philosophical or otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  18. Jun 28, 2013 #17

    Curious3141

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    That metaphor is going to fly right over the heads of those it is intended for.
     
  19. Jun 28, 2013 #18

    lisab

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    Exactly.

    Jackmell I understand your point. But I'll tell you what I (and lots of others) have said many times: before a person can think outside of the box, he has to learn how to think very clearly in the box. The problem with allowing discussions that lean towards philosophy is they attract people who know nothing about the box at all.

    Problem is, it takes a long, long, long time to learn how to think in the box.
     
  20. Jun 28, 2013 #19
    Forgive my curiosity, but could you explain why thinking in the box is necessary for thinking outside of it? I am pretty sure Game Theory was developed in a completely different box :) Albeit, those who can think in side of boxes do have a more "adept" or fluency in which "words" aren't made up. you know what I mean?
     
  21. Jun 28, 2013 #20
    Because that way you know what and where the box is, and you know whether you're inside or out of it. If you start outside the box without ever being inside, you may be so far out you that you forgot that there ever was a box :smile:
     
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