General question about debunking

to debunk a theory means

  • to try to validate it

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • to try to invalidate it

    Votes: 8 88.9%

  • Total voters
    9
  • #1
phoenixthoth
1,605
2
if a theory is bunk, does that mean it's true or false?

if bunk=true then to debunk is to disprove or argue that it is false.

if bunk=false then to debunk is to prove or argue that it is true.

or this this one of those oddities of english where bunk=debunk (kinda like regardless=irregardless)?

what sense does debunk mean in this forum?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
enigma
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,757
17
If something is bunk, that means it's garbage.

To debunk something means 'exposing the garbage'
 
  • #3
russ_watters
Mentor
21,858
8,824
So you're a Seinfeld fan then, phoenix? English doesn't necessarily make sense. Another example: flammable=inflammable.
 
  • #4
zoobyshoe
6,551
1,286
Originally posted by phoenixthoth
if a theory is bunk, does that mean it's true or false?
Bunk means nonsence. If a theory is bunk, it means it is nonsence.
if bunk=true then to debunk is to disprove or argue that it is false.
Bunk = true? Bunk!
if bunk=false then to debunk is to prove or argue that it is true.
The prefix "de-" means, in general, "to do the opposite of" (deactivate, for example) or "to remove" (debug, for example). Therefore, to debunk something means, literally, to remove the nonsence from it, much as Mentat suggested.

The Webster's characterizes the common usage of debunk as: "to expose the sham or falseness of"
or this this one of those oddities of english where bunk=debunk (kinda like regardless=irregardless)?
I hope you can see that this is not at all the case with "debunk". "Debunk" is a verb. "Bunk" as a verb, only refers to occupying a bunk or place to sleep, or to provide a bunk or place to sleep. You can't "bunk" something in the sence of rendering it nonsensical.
what sense does debunk mean in this forum?
I have always assumed people were using it as the webster's defines it: "to expose the sham or falseness of". People have discussed the word "Skeptic" alot, but as far as I know no one has brought up the word "debunk" for discussion before this.
 
Last edited:
  • #5
phoenixthoth
1,605
2
yeah i liked seinfeld a bit more when i saw one of the discussions i had with someone appear on it regarding bunk/debunk.
 
  • #6
Jonathan
365
0
I do not like the wording of this poll, I find it confusing and want a recall.

LOL, I crack myself up.
 
  • #7
Bystander
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
5,390
1,470
Or, along the lines z-shoe mentions, "debunk: remove 'bunk'." In most cases, this leaves very little of the original "bunk" theory; and, if a theory no longer even exists, that probably falls into the category of "false."
 

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