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Cognitive Processes and the Suppression of Sound Scientific Ideas

  1. Jan 29, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.amasci.com/supress1.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2005 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    Unh-huh. So anybody who criticises a crazy idea is a comical old fogey. Note that the criticisms of Darwinism came from a background of Christianity, and the WWI era criticisms of airplanes were perfectly correct. Airplanes didn't have any effect on the outcome of the war. What happened much later was not in the context of the criticism.

    Conversely, they laughed at remote viewing back then, and we're still laughing today.
     
  4. Jan 29, 2005 #3

    Moonbear

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    Such examples of criticism of ideas and inventions that later turned out to be correct or useful (after much revision and modification) to justify a newer crazy idea is simply an attempt at diversion.

    Several things come to mind as relevant.

    One would hardly waste their time carefully documenting and archiving the criticisms of ideas that really were crazy, or inventions that really were useless.

    The original ideas and/or inventions were highly flawed and/or incomplete. Critique of them, as they existed at the time, was valid. However...

    Critique of new ideas is essential for developing them. Had everyone who looked at the first plane simply cheered, said "bravo, job well done" and put it out of their minds, it wouldn't have been more than a toy. But, because people criticized it, pointed out flaws, and the inventors listened to those criticisms, improvements could be made.

    The entire basis of scientific method and hypothesis testing is the continual attempt to prove yourself wrong and invalidate your own ideas. It is only through honest attempts to invalidate the hypothesis that knock down those criticisms. Critics who point out possible flaws or alternate hypotheses are very useful toward achieving this objective if one listens to them. Those who refuse to hear criticism and only seek to prove an immature idea have little hope to develop that idea into a mature hypothesis or theory or useful invention.
     
  5. Jan 29, 2005 #4
    What's the objective of your post Ivan?

    Just as a contrast, there is also a hot debate going on about the the Suppression of Sound Old Scientific Ideas
     
  6. Jan 29, 2005 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    This is what I find so funny. Usually I dont have one but everyone assumes that I do. I seem to be about the only person who posts arguments from all sides. This tells me who is really objective here. :wink:
     
  7. Jan 29, 2005 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I guess what caught my eye was the title. I think some points made are valid and others not. I have personally seen this humor reaction to what turned out to be great ideas in the industrial arena, and even some in the science arena. consider that here may be a mystery around the anomaly commonly referred to as cold fusion. So maybe something interesting will come of this yet. Also, as an example, some years ago I heard Burt Rutan touted as a maniac and a madman, even a con man and showman, by aerospace engineers. One guy told me that anyone could have flown around the world on one tank of gas. I guess anyone could have won the X Prize as well.

    There is almost always someone to laugh at radical but brilliant new ideas. This is a fact. This does not imply that every silly idea is valid. Some ideas are laughable and always will be. However, it is fallacious to think that we always know the difference.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2005
  8. Jan 29, 2005 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    In fact, this is as good a time as any to set the record straight. I explore the fringe looking for interesting or promising new ventures or information. I have found many. For example, I was a hydrogen economy fan when it was still considered to be extreme fringe. Now its considered a favorite. Ball lightning and earthlights are also examples. Do you have any idea how many times I've seen the eyes roll when either of these subjects are mentioned? Whose eyes are rolling now? See the credible anomalies sticky above. These are credible subjects of science.

    I have learned by experience that many if not most good ideas start in the fringe. By definition [in many cases], they must. I dig and dig and post anything interesting that comes up. I used to debunk [or not] all of this stuff myself. It was a hobby. With all of the minds here at PF, and since this stuff is out there being read and believed anyway, I post things here to see how they hold up. Sometime I debunk claims, sometimes I let other people take care of that. Either way, many claims made are shot down for everyone to see. This is good, IMO. It gets the truth out there. Conversely, when something cannot be so easily dismissed, like the subject of UFO's, this also gets out. I am more interested in answers than being popular.

    Why the ET avatar? It is one of the most extreme possibilities that I have not been able to rule out. This does not mean that I think ET is flying UFOs. It means that I am willing to accept the possibility in light of the tens or hundreds of thousands of people who claim to know this as fact. Unfortunately, many debunkers seem incapable of understanding this distinction. Many others insist that they know that ET can't be here. Well, sorry folks, but I know that they can't know this, hence the avatar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2005
  9. Jan 29, 2005 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Okay, I guess I'm not done yet. :biggrin: It seems a common feature of human nature to require proof of a phenomenon before one is willing to consider the evidence for it. It is nearly impossible to discuss fringe topics without fending off accusations of crackpotism. Normally we have two camps for any topic: For or against. If it can't be proven true right now with a link that can't possibly be questioned [good luck], then we can't discuss it as potentially credible. How about, we don't don't know? Maybe? Could it be possible?

    Also, consider the Weather Wars thread in this forum. Frankly, I don't care if the guy believes in Santa Clause, what about his opinions on the weather? With the understanding the he seems to be hugely under-qualified to make such dramatic claims as he does, does he still see something interesting? I certainly don't know. How many meteorologist do we have here? How many opinions do we have here? Maybe if we ignore everything else that he says there is still a kernel of truth about something unique in the clouds in Idaho. It may have nothing to do with anything that he thinks it does but still be unusual and indicative of something new to learn. I assume that sooner or later we'll get some good information from a reliable source that speaks to his claims of unusual weather patterns. You can be sure that if and when I see it, I'll post it; no matter what the conclusions may be.

    Andre, I guess my objective was to post one view of fringe topics. Its seems that you also got mine. :biggrin:
     
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