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General complaint about threads that get deleted

  1. Oct 6, 2009 #1
    This thread will probably get deleted, but I will give it a shot: I created a thread yesterday about scientific consensus not always being equivalent to scientific truth. Out of the blue, A mentor just told me that it was a train wreck and that I was incorrect about the challenger shuttle disaster, which she was correct about. I don't think my thread should have been deleted because of that one error I made; To my credit, Challenger shuttle disaster was still susceptible to the "groupthink" mentality, one of the main premises of my topic , because engineers should have better conveyed the flaws in the construction of the Challengers to the committee who would make the decision of launching the challenger into space. Many of the posters liked the topic and I think I've posted other links where I showed reputable scientists disagree with a theory even though it has been subjected many experiments and proven correct ; There were a number of reputable german scientists who opposed einstein's theory of special relativity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Physik)

    I want to make a request to all PF -mentors: IF you suspect one of the PF users have created a thread about a topic not back by evidence or their are no links to back their main premises, or they just created a thread where they made one tiny error, please don't just say how crappy their thread is or that they created a crackpot thread; I think it is counterproductive to the thread starter not to give their constructive criticism of why they have deleted a thread;
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2009 #2


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    That article begins …
    "Reputable" is a strange word for you to use, to describe scientists who based their opposition to Einstein on his race or religion. :frown:
  4. Oct 7, 2009 #3

    Well, I said reputable because some of the nazi scientists, as stated in the link I posted, have won noble prizes in physics , but they still contended that einstein's theory of relativity was wrong. Another reputable scientist who is wrong about blacks being genetically inferior to whites, but revolutions the field of biology was james watson , who discovered the structure of DNA.
  5. Oct 7, 2009 #4
  6. Oct 7, 2009 #5


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    Though I didn't contribute, I saw the thread in question and "train wreck" sounds about right to me. I saw the following problems:

    -Your position displays a lack of understanding of scientists and how science works (the argument ad populum fallacy is pretty rare among scientists as illustrated by your wrong/obscure examples).
    -Your position displays a lack of understanding of human nature and the motivations of scientists who cling to existing theories (more often than not, this is just healthy skepticism).
    -Your position displays a lack of understanding of how the two above issues fit together - particularly since clinging to existing theories is generally helpful to the scientific process and it is pretty rare that it goes too far (it ensures new theories have a solid basis before they are accepted).
    -You posted factually wrong, misleading and irrelevant information to back up your position.

    When the OP of a thread is that bad, there is often no way to correct it and end up with a useful thread. Better to just cut our losses and close the thread.

    Regarding explanations/notification, I personally do sometimes give people a pm to explain in depth what is wrong with the thread. But in this case, so many people pointed out the problems in the thread it really wouldn't have been necessary.
  7. Oct 7, 2009 #6
  8. Oct 7, 2009 #7


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    I concur. Thread started with misinformation and went into a unrecoverable nosedive and catastrophic failure.
  9. Oct 7, 2009 #8
    I do understand science. . Scientists make observations, create a hypothesis based on those observations, tests their hypothesis through various experiments, and formulate a theory based on on the number of experiments they tested with their given hypothesis. 9 times out of 10 , scientists are not susceptible to human error, but it would be foolish to say that scientists are not susceptible to folly or test a scientific theory at all for they are human just like everyone else and can be affected by corruption and politics just like the Nazi physicists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Physik) Please read : The trouble with physics by Lee Smolin. This thread was based on some of the observations he has made about theparticle physics community which he talks about at length in his book and please read Science in a free society by Paul Feyerband, a philosopher of science. Why is it so easy to say that sociologists and economists can formulate a theory in their field based purely on ideological and political reasons, but we cannot say that physicists or any other physical scientists can formulate a theory not motivated by expanding the knowledge of their fields, but for political and other non-scientific reasons.

    Scientists should not cling to theories that does not explain new phenomena that may have recently been discovered very well. A good theory should be falsifiable and we should expect theories to be extended

    The only information I posted that was factually wrong was the information about the challenger disaster , which I already acknowledged and any laymen can get the people who were in charge of the deciding when to launch the challenger shuttle in space easily mixed up with the scientists and engineers. I said all involved in the shuttle disaster were susceptible to a group think mentality.(http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/09/w...k-is-30-years-old-and-still-going-strong.html),(http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com...demns-conformity-among-his-peers/?ref=science). I did not post any other information that was factually wrong. My information about the nazi-scientists and the scientists who make up the ipcc were not all climate scientists was not incorrect and I believe I posted links to back up my claims. My opinion of bill maher was just an opinion about his motivations behind heavily promoting one scientific viewpoint based on the way he mocks those who don't promote the scientific viewpoint on global warming he supports on global warming.

    I am not saying that the scientific method can be wrong at times, I am saying scientists can suspend the scientific method and replace it with something not scientific at all and end up with totally wrong results; It doesn't always happen, but it happens. Look at the case with string theory; Not saying string theory will be wrong , but it isn't a theory because it is not back by or supported by any sort of experimental data.

    Hope that clears up any confusion. I wasn't implying that their are times when the scientific method is incorrect, only that times when scientists have it all wrong just like the nazi scientists, some of whom won nobel prizes in physics yet believe that einstein theory of relativity was incorrect.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  10. Oct 7, 2009 #9


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    You're out of your element here. Theoretical physics is a subtle business, and string theorists are not idiots, so please don't assume you understand the nuances of what they do and the justification for doing it. Only if you understand all the established physics (quantum field theory and general relativity) will you be able to understand the motivation for string theory. This motivation is extremely strong, and the difficulty of testing the ideas directly does not invalidate it.
  11. Oct 7, 2009 #10


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    Noblegas, I cannot possibly spend the time to explain to you everything that you are doing wrong. It's not like you have an equation wrong and I can point out the error to you. These are your "beliefs" and I do not try to persude members to change their beliefs on a one on one basis. You received plenty of good feedback about what might be areas that you should reconsider, and from people far more qualified to explain reasons than I could. I can't spoon feed you, nor should I.

    I suggest that you think about things and try to better formulate your posts. A lot of what you said is correct to some extent, it was the way you presented them. Instead of making broad generalizations, cite specfics and be ready to defend them with well researched data backing up your statement. When you make broad statements, it's very easy for people to make "specific" counter-arguments that you may not be prepared to defend. I just do not have the time to teach you how to debate right now.

    This is becomming a re-hash of the deleted thread.
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