I think popular science is ruining science

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  • #51
ZapperZ
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Aether said:
Yes, but even before you would ever get to steps (i-iv) there would have to be some incubation period within your own mind during which you would try to gather together every conceivably relevant notion (to be sorted through in due time). Nevertheless, I'm only talking about science, not pop-science.

OK, but you seem to be only talking about the "back-end" of the scientific process where someone steps up to a microphone to tell everyone like it is. I'm thinking of the entire process from start to finish.
Did you just make a switch? You never stated this before. All you did was to make an assertion about someone in another physics of physics intruding into cosmology (see the first post that I responded to you). So where is the initial "incubation" here? That person is similar to me.

You can falsify this by showing me another physicist who made another contribution in another field of physics without going through point i-iv.

Zz.
 
  • #52
SpaceTiger
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Moonbear addressed the other parts of your post pretty well, let me just comment on the cosmological aspects (though debates about cosmology probably belong in the astro forum).

turbo-1 said:
Right now, conventional cosmology requires you to believe six impossible things before breakfast every day (thanks to L.C.).
This is complete nonsense. There is nothing in standard cosmology that runs against standard physical theory -- in fact, we think it's one of the very few working cosmological model that uses known physics. Most of the others have to modify GR.


If you think that one must become an expert in that arcane puzzle factory before questioning its validity, you are missing the point of epistemology entirely. When a theory becomes very complex, highly constrained, and requires lots of fine-tuning, that should be a sign that there are some problems.
Standard cosmology is not nearly as complex as you say. With the appropriate background in math and physics, LCDM is a very natural and straightforward extension. This is yet another reason why it's important to study the foundations of the theory before trying to denounce or challenge it. Until you've gotten your hands dirty, you just won't have any perspective.


When the problems stretch back for decades (like DM), that is a sign that flaws in the theory predate the discovery of the problem, and that the resolution of the problem requires re-examination of earlier assumptions.
There are groups of professional astronomers working on alternatives to dark matter theory (like MOND), but they just can't fit the data as well. Dark matter is not just a "fix" anymore, it's a well-developed theory with specific predictions. We've questioned our assumptions and questioned our theories, but so far, they've held strong. At the moment, I don't really see it as a problem.
 
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  • #53
Aether
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ZapperZ said:
Did you just make a switch?
I don't think so.

ZapperZ said:
You never stated this before. All you did was to make an assertion about someone in another physics of physics intruding into cosmology (see the first post that I responded to you). So where is the initial "incubation" here? That person is similar to me.
Here is the initial "incubation" period:
Aether said:
"...a new cosmological theory originates from someone "working" at a particle accelerator? They may not start out with much knowledge of conventional cosmology at all, but they have an equation that works within their lab and they want to extrapolate it to primordial nucleosynthesis, for example..."
ZapperZ said:
You can falsify this by showing me another physicist who made another contribution in another field of physics without going through point i-iv.
I didn't say that steps i-iv aren't important, only that an incubation period typically comes first.
 
  • #54
ZapperZ
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Aether said:
I don't think so.
Here is the initial "incubation" period:

"...a new cosmological theory originates from someone "working" at a particle accelerator? They may not start out with much knowledge of conventional cosmology at all, but they have an equation that works within their lab and they want to extrapolate it to primordial nucleosynthesis, for example..."

I didn't say that steps i-iv aren't important, only that an incubation period typically comes first.
I disagree. This is just speculation without proof that such a thing actually occurs. I can easily speculate that such a thing doesn't occur, and how are you going to prove that I'm wrong? I can prove my point by pointing out that I haven't seen such a case, and you haven't proven your point.

My point, which you have missed, is that for that "someone" who is working at a particle collider to make a "new cosmological theory" would have to know what is already established. If not, how else does one know it is new?

It has always been my assertion that if one is ignorant of the state of a field of study, one will never know what is "new" even if it comes up and bites one's rear end. Particle physicists are keenly aware of cosmology. The MINOS project is one such example. This clearly proves my point that anything "new" has to be accompanied by knowledge. You'll never know that what you do or discover can be meaningful to cosmology if you have no clue what cosmology is.

Zz.
 
  • #55
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Aether said:
This sounds biased toward incrementalism. What if a new cosmological theory originates from someone "working" at a particle accelerator? They may not start out with much knowledge of conventional cosmology at all, but they have an equation that works within their lab and they want to extrapolate it to primordial nucleosynthesis, for example.
People need to understand whatever it is they're trying to challenge. Measuring the cross section of a particle (for example) is not itself a direct challenge of standard cosmology until it is put within a proper context. If the particle physicist wanted to go and apply it to cosmology, they would have to learn a few things about primordial nucleosynthesis, crunch the numbers, and give us a new helium abundance (again, for example). If it turned out that this new number was inconsistent with measurements, then we might require fundamental modifications to cosmology. If the same experimenter wanted to do this, they would have to continue studying, developing a more complete picture of standard cosmology. Then maybe they could write a paper with a new theory of the origin of the universe.

All along the way, it is important that those things which are being changed are understood by the person changing them. If they fail to do so, it's likely they will, at best, make a lot of errors. At worst, their theory could be completely wrong.


If what you mean by "challenge the establishment" is a formal and public challenge, then I agree that it is better if one comes to an understanding of what they are talking about first. Otherwise, people have to be generally free to explore in the mean time.
I certainly never suggested that people within a certain sub-field are the only ones allowed to contribute to it.
 
  • #56
Aether
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ZapperZ said:
My point, which you have missed, is that for that "someone" who is working at a particle collider to make a "new cosmological theory" would have to know what is already established. If not, how else does one know it is new?
If someone who is "working" at a particle collider learns something new about particle collisions, then that person may wonder how this extrapolates to cosmology; assuming that this person is not completely ignorant of the world around them. Then that person may take this as motivation to study cosmology to resolve a specific question in their own mind. They have no need (starting out) to know everything that is already established, and may in fact benefit greatly from their initial ignorance of such knowledge.

ZapperZ said:
It has always been my assertion that if one is ignorant of the state of a field of study, one will never know what is "new" even if it comes up and bites one's rear end.
Take Penzias & Wilson for example, they discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) having not a clue (at first) what it was that they were looking at.

d265micr01124.jpe

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/dp65co.html

ZapperZ said:
Particle physicists are keenly aware of cosmology. The MINOS project is one such example. This clearly proves my point that anything "new" has to be accompanied by knowledge. You'll never know that what you do or discover can be meaningful to cosmology if you have no clue what cosmology is.
Tell that to Penzias & Wilson!
 
  • #57
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Aether said:
If someone who is "working" at a particle collider learns something new about particle collisions, then that person may wonder how this extrapolates to cosmology; assuming that this person is not completely ignorant of the world around them. Then that person may take this as motivation to study cosmology to resolve a specific question in their own mind. They have no need (starting out) to know everything that is already established, and may in fact benefit greatly from their initial ignorance of such knowledge.
Take Penzias & Wilson for example, they discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) having not a clue (at first) what it was that they were looking at.
d265micr01124.jpe

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/dp65co.html
Tell that to Penzias & Wilson!
But YOU are the one extrapolating, not them! They discovered CMB! Period. They did not go on to use them at that time to extrapolate the whole of the origin of our cosmology. Do you see the difference?

It took many years before the significance of the CMB, even after repeated measurement, is understood. Someone who discover something should report it as that, and NOT make this as some cosmological theory. You might as well argue that the persons who discovered the electrons are doing Cosmology! This is absurd!

Besides, look at all the argument on here being done by so many other people who are refusing to study the field they want to stick their noses in. How many of you are experimentalists? How many? I can't hear you!

This means that a lot of you are theorists, or think you are theorists. Now tell me how you are going to discover a "new anything" in cosmology without understanding cosmology. I am an experimentalist. I can discover something new if I'm lucky, and that may be relevant in another field, even if I don't understand that field. A valid observation is a valid observation, no matter where. But show me where some theorist who discovered something new in another field without putting any effort in that field.

Zz.
 
  • #58
Aether
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SpaceTiger said:
People need to understand whatever it is they're trying to challenge.
At some point they need to come to an understanding of this, but this doesn't necessaily have to be a starting point. Penzias & Wilson had data, and then figured out what to make of it.

SpaceTiger said:
Measuring the cross section of a particle (for example) is not itself a direct challenge of standard cosmology until it is put within a proper context. If the particle physicist wanted to go and apply it to cosmology, they would have to learn a few things about primordial nucleosynthesis, crunch the numbers, and give us a new helium abundance (again, for example). If it turned out that this new number was inconsistent with measurements, then we might require fundamental modifications to cosmology. If the same experimenter wanted to do this, they would have to continue studying, developing a more complete picture of standard cosmology. Then maybe they could write a paper with a new theory of the origin of the universe.
I agree.

SpaceTiger said:
All along the way, it is important that those things which are being changed are understood by the person changing them. If they fail to do so, it's likely they will, at best, make a lot of errors. At worst, their theory could be completely wrong.
Those "things which are being changed" need to be understood eventually, but all along the way? When will you be prepared to say "Now I am ready, and understand everything that I need to know"?
 
  • #59
Aether
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ZapperZ said:
But YOU are the one extrapolating, not them! They discovered CMB! Period. They did not go on to use them at that time to extrapolate the whole of the origin of our cosmology. Do you see the difference?
The point is that they came upon an important clue without having any uncommon advance knowledge of cosmology. If anyone else comes upon such a clue in the couse of their work, then why shouldn't they pursue it if they so desire?

ZapperZ said:
It took many years before the significance of the CMB, even after repeated measurement, is understood. Someone who discover something should report it as that, and NOT make this as some cosmological theory.
It is their choice how to pursue it. If they want to report it, that's fine. If they want to study it and try to make a theory out of it then that is fine too.

ZapperZ said:
Besides, look at all the argument on here being done by so many other people who are refusing to study the field they want to stick their noses in.
There is no excuse for that.

ZapperZ said:
How many of you are experimentalists? How many? I can't hear you!
I am an experimentalist.

ZapperZ said:
This means that a lot of you are theorists, or think you are theorists.
What is wrong with that?

ZapperZ said:
Now tell me how you are going to discover a "new anything" in cosmology without understanding cosmology.
Tell that to Penzias & Wilson! If you mean to limit this to "pure theorists" who are not guided by some more-or-less tangible motivation, then I agree.

ZapperZ said:
I am an experimentalist. I can discover something new if I'm lucky, and that may be relevant in another field, even if I don't understand that field. A valid observation is a valid observation, no matter where. But show me where some theorist who discovered something new in another field without putting any effort in that field.
A pure theorist, or wannabe theorist, probably does need to formally study a subject from the ground up. An experimentalist, or specialist in any field, may be motivated from something that they have learned to explore applications of their knowledge within any other field.
 
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  • #60
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Aether said:
The point is that they came upon an important clue without having any uncommon advance knowledge of cosmology. If anyone else comes upon such a clue in the couse of their work, then why shouldn't they pursue it if they so desire?
Oh great. Then you're saying everyone on the Nobel Prize list in Physics are cosmologist, because, y'know, all of those, even electron microscopes, have made discoveries that adds to our undertanding of cosmology.

Oh hey, then I'm doing cosmology too! Fancy that!

I am an experimentalist.
What is wrong with that?
Tell that to Penzias & Wilson!
A pure theorist, or wannabe theorist, probably does need to formally study a subject from the ground up. An experimentalist, or specialist in any field, may be motivated from something that they have learned to explore applications of their knowledge within any other field.
Experimentalists produces reproducible facts. Unless you are psychic, you have little idea of the significance of that fact in OTHER fields. Do you think Penzias and Wilson were formulating the origin of the universe? No! They discovered a non-terrestrial signal! Done! It took cosmologists and astrophysicists to put that discovery into perspective - to give it a MEANINGFUL place. We had to do several other mapping of the CMB to really gain enough data to actually gain useful knowledge of it.

You might as well say that everyone is working in everyone's field. So now let me referee your paper and we'll see how much you appreciate my expertise in your field.

Zz.
 
  • #61
Aether
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ZapperZ said:
Oh great. Then you're saying everyone on the Nobel Prize list in Physics are cosmologist, because, y'know, all of those, even electron microscopes, have made discoveries that adds to our undertanding of cosmology. Oh hey, then I'm doing cosmology too! Fancy that!
I didn't say that. if you had Penzias & Wilson's data in-hand before it was released, wouldn't you make an effort to search out the implications to the best of your ability prior to reporting the discovery?

ZapperZ said:
Experimentalists produces reproducible facts. Unless you are psychic, you have little idea of the significance of that fact in OTHER fields.
Sometimes when one is holding a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. :wink:

ZapperZ said:
Do you think Penzias and Wilson were formulating the origin of the universe? No! They discovered a non-terrestrial signal! Done! It took cosmologists and astrophysicists to put that discovery into perspective - to give it a MEANINGFUL place.
Perhaps.

ZapperZ said:
We had to do several other mapping of the CMB to really gain enough data to actually gain useful knowledge of it.
Wasn't the monopole temperature immediately useful?

ZapperZ said:
So now let me referee your paper and we'll see how much you appreciate my expertise in your field.
Now that you are a moderator of "Independent Research", this might really happen one day. :biggrin:
 
  • #62
ZapperZ
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Aether said:
I didn't say that. if you had Penzias & Wilson's data in-hand before it was released, wouldn't you make an effort to search out the implications to the best of your ability prior to reporting the discovery?
Not if I have no clue of what the data MEANS and if I have no idea what cosmology is. But I've already said this. Someone can take a data, a discovery, a technique, etc. and use it in an area in which he or she is an expert of. I know photoemission. The accelerator physics people here want me to use my expertise and apply it to photoinjectors. But before I can do that, I have to learn what is a photoinjector, how it works, what are the needs of accelerator physics community, what physics are they trying to study, etc.. etc. so that I can make MEANINGFUL contribution. Just photoemission alone is worthless to them! A set of data or even knowledge without being adopted into a proper context is useless! To be able to adopt it into useful form, now THAT requires the knowledge of a particular field.

Now that you are a moderator of "Independent Research", this might really happen one day. :biggrin:
Exactly. So if I give you a negative review, don't ever use the argument that I know nothing about your field. I, on the other hand, would never recommend you to review my papers.

Zz.
 
  • #63
Aether
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ZapperZ said:
A set of data or even knowledge without being adopted into a proper context is useless! To be able to adopt it into useful form, now THAT requires the knowledge of a particular field.
Such knowledge can be acquired, one doesn't necessarily need to have it all to begin with.

ZapperZ said:
Exactly. So if I give you a negative review, don't ever use the argument that I know nothing about your field.
Why not?

ZapperZ said:
I, on the other hand, would never recommend you to review my papers.
I haven't claimed to be a particle accelerator expert, so what are you implying?
 
  • #64
ZapperZ
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Aether said:
Such knowledge can be acquired, one doesn't necessarily need to have it all to begin with.
Then go acquire it and we'll talk.

I haven't claimed to be a particle accelerator expert, so what are you implying?
I implied nothing. You seem to think everyone that produced something that eventually gets used in a particular field, are people who should be considered to be experts in that field. Just because someone discovered the CMB somehow meant that they're doing astrophysics and cosmology and are already equipped to deal with that field. This is what I earlier said to be absurd. Just because I work with electron sources and how they behave in vacuum does not make me a cosmologist.

Bottom line: for someone to call him or herself to be a cosmologist and make MEANINGFUL contribution, he/she must acquire the knowledge of that field. If you disagree, say so and tell me why. If not, this conversation is over because I refuse to continue going around in circles.

Zz.
 
  • #65
Aether
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ZapperZ said:
I implied nothing.
OK.

ZapperZ said:
You seem to think everyone that produced something that eventually gets used in a particular field, are people who should be considered to be experts in that field. Just because someone discovered the CMB somehow meant that they're doing astrophysics and cosmology and are already equipped to deal with that field. This is what I earlier said to be absurd. Just because I work with electron sources and how they behave in vacuum does not make me a cosmologist.
Not at all. I'm saying that it isn't unusual for a line of inquiry to lead into unknown territory, and that people can cope with that situation by learning a subset of another field (as opposed to dropping everything to go run out and get another PhD).

ZapperZ said:
Bottom line: for someone to call him or herself to be a cosmologist and make MEANINGFUL contribution, he/she must acquire the knowledge of that field. If you disagree, say so and tell me why.
I disagree, but only because "he/she must acquire the knowledge of that field" is not properly limited so as to be a practical expectation. I would agree that "for someone to call him or herself to be a cosmologist and make MEANINGFUL contribution, he/she must acquire some knowledge of that field." How much "knowledge of that field" is sufficient depends on the circumstances. If a person isn't motivated by something tangible from another field that they already do know something about, and they are interested in making an incremental advance to the field, then yes this person probably needs to acquire a more thorough knowledge of the field.

ZapperZ said:
If not, this conversation is over because I refuse to continue going around in circles.
:confused:
 
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  • #66
SpaceTiger
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turbo-1 said:
some examples...
This is not the place to discuss the ins and outs of cosmology. None of the things you listed are impossible in modern physics. If you would like an explanation, please feel free to start a thread in the A&C forum. I will be happy to elaborate, as I'm sure will be the other resident experts.
 
  • #67
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Aether said:
At some point they need to come to an understanding of this, but this doesn't necessaily have to be a starting point. Penzias & Wilson had data, and then figured out what to make of it.
Penzias & Wilson were not responsible for the theoretical prediction or explanation of the microwave background, they just described the observations:

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/n...xt_wgt=YES&ttl_sco=YES&txt_sco=YES&version=1"

As they say in the abstract, the theoretical explanation was provided by:

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/n...pe=HTML&format=&high=424800249007954"

If I dig up some rare dinosaur bones while weeding my garden, does that make me a "dreamer"? Penzias & Wilson had no aspirations to change cosmology when they made their observations, so it would seem to be irrelevant to what turbo and I were talking about.
 
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  • #68
Aether
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SpaceTiger said:
Penzias & Wilson were not responsible for the theoretical prediction or explanation of the microwave background, they just described the observations: As they say in the abstract, the theoretical explanation was provided by: Dicke, Peebles, Roll, & Wilson 1965
OK, that is correct.

SpaceTiger said:
If I dig up some rare dinosaur bones while weeding my garden, does that make me a "dreamer"?
That depends on you, doesn't it?

SpaceTiger said:
Penzias & Wilson had no aspirations to change cosmology when they made their observations, so it would seem to be irrelevant to what turbo and I were talking about.
I said: "This sounds biased toward incrementalism. What if a new cosmological theory originates from someone "working" at a particle accelerator?"

Then we agreed on this:
Measuring the cross section of a particle (for example) is not itself a direct challenge of standard cosmology until it is put within a proper context. If the particle physicist wanted to go and apply it to cosmology, they would have to learn a few things about primordial nucleosynthesis, crunch the numbers, and give us a new helium abundance (again, for example). If it turned out that this new number was inconsistent with measurements, then we might require fundamental modifications to cosmology. If the same experimenter wanted to do this, they would have to continue studying, developing a more complete picture of standard cosmology. Then maybe they could write a paper with a new theory of the origin of the universe.
Penzias & Wilson are just an example of how someone can be led to a frontier of cosmology by questions arising within their own seemingly unrelated field. Had they not hooked-up with Dicke, Peebles, Roll, & Wilson, they might just as easily have gone to a research library and inquired into cosmology for themselves. A cursory literature search should have turned up Dicke, Beringer, Kyhl, and Vane, Phys. Rev., 70, 340, 1946. I don't have that paper, but (Dicke et al., 1965) seems to suggest that everything may have been laid out in there if Penzias & Wilson had simply bothered to look.
 
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  • #69
turbo
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SpaceTiger said:
This is not the place to discuss the ins and outs of cosmology. None of the things you listed are impossible in modern physics. If you would like an explanation, please feel free to start a thread in the A&C forum. I will be happy to elaborate, as I'm sure will be the other resident experts.
I pointed out above that this would be OT, and I have started a new thread.
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=105433
 
  • #70
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I think this is all a bunch of "white, dielectric material" and I wouldn't have known what that was without pop sci.
 
  • #71
Ivan Seeking
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SpaceTiger said:
PF is very fact-driven. Given the medium, I think it was inevitable that it would turn out this way. For an academic, being right is like the ultimate status symbol, so many posts turn into a banter about the details of a particular point. This is not so good if you're looking to be inspired, but it's an excellent place to go if you're looking for the hard facts. I suspect this type of competition is exactly what makes the scientific method so successful in the first place.

I think PF fills a niche that can be useful to professionals and amateurs alike, but it would be unfortunate if we actually discouraged many of the dreamier folks. I suppose that's why we have moderators like yourself to keep people in line. :biggrin:
Yes, I didn't like the way that sounded. There are practical considerations that make it so; that is, that we can't allow wild speculation and imagining, etc. If I could figure out a better way to manage the reality of internet science and keep things under control, I would certainly speak up, but I do fully support what PF has done. We have tightened things up a lot over the last few years, many valuable new members like you have joined, and I for one am proud of everyone has accomplished.
 
  • #72
Ivan Seeking
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Astronuc said:
I am more of a beer and frisbee with Mexcian food at the beach person, although a nice dinner followed by some nice single malt Scotch, say an 18 or 25 yr old Macallan and 10 or 15 yr Glenmorangie, would be excellent! :biggrin:
Perhaps some young folk may seem immersed in an analytic, sterile, deductive cynicism, but I don't think that is necessarily the case.
When I was in grade school, besides reading encyclopedias for fun, I read real science books devoted to topics in physics and mathematics. I seem to remember one equation on general relativity, which I probably read when I was 10-11, and rather than be initimidated by it, I was inspired to try to understand it, and that meant learning calculus. Unfortunately, no one around me could help, not my parents and not my high school teachers. I finally got to study calculus in grade 12, but I had wasted a lot of time by then. I also read texts on cosmology, astrophysics, particle physics, plasma physics, etc., but I had no guidance.
I also read biographies of physicists, many of whom were Nobel prize winners, and I was inspired by their curiosity and tenacity at tackling problems.
By the time I finished high school, I found pop sci literature rather irritating.
I did much the same thing. I started reading my dad's college physics books around age ten or so... I used to watch Star Trek, and I guess Lost in Space might be included, but I guess Cosmos might have been my first exposure to so called pop science as well. But I think we need to clarify what we mean by pop science. Do we mean books by Hawking...Sagan...Kaku...Gleick...Wolf? I find that the definition tends to float according to personal preferences. Or, do we mean anything that is not purely academic material. Or, do we mean anything that is based on personal opinion rather than experimental results? By some standards, one might argue that the philosophical prologues in my QM books are pop science.
 
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  • #73
SpaceTiger
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Aether said:
SpaceTiger said:
If I dig up some rare dinosaur bones while weeding my garden, does that make me a "dreamer"?
That depends on you, doesn't it?
Yep. Thus,

SpaceTiger said:
Penzias & Wilson had no aspirations to change cosmology when they made their observations, so it would seem to be irrelevant to what turbo and I were talking about.

Penzias & Wilson are just an example of how someone can be led to a frontier of cosmology by questions arising within their own seemingly unrelated field.
As best I can tell, nobody is or was disagreeing with this point. What exactly is your goal here?


Had they not hooked-up with Dicke, Peebles, Roll, & Wilson, they might just as easily have gone to a research library and inquired into cosmology for themselves. A cursory literature search should have turned up Dicke, Beringer, Kyhl, and Vane, Phys. Rev., 70, 340, 1946. I don't have that paper, but (Dicke et al., 1965) seems to suggest that everything may have been laid out in there if Penzias & Wilson had simply bothered to look.
That's right, they would have to have learned about the subject, exactly what I've been saying all along. The point of my posts was to discourage "scientific" debates based on philosophical prejudice and pure opinion. There are many folks who, believe it or not, feel the need to attack theories that, sometimes by their own admission, they don't understand. I don't see any relation between this and the accidental discovery of Penzias and Wilson.
 
  • #74
Aether
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SpaceTiger said:
As best I can tell, nobody is or was disagreeing with this point. What exactly is your goal here?...they would have to have learned about the subject, exactly what I've been saying all along.
You said:
SpaceTiger said:
If someone demonstrates that they do indeed have a thorough understanding of mainstream theory, then I will lend an ear. The nice thing about going through the traditional academic route is that one doesn't have to do much convincing. By getting a degree and a good job, they've already validated themselves....
And I said:
Aether said:
This sounds biased toward incrementalism. What if a new cosmological theory originates from someone "working" at a particle accelerator?
Since then we have agreed (I think) that a "thorough understanding of mainstream theory...a degree and a good job" aren't a prerequisite to making a meaningful contribution to a field, particularly if someone approaches the field with knowledge (or data) gained from some other field. The amount of understanding required depends on the circumstances.

The point of my posts was to discourage "scientific" debates based on philosophical prejudice and pure opinion. There are many folks who, believe it or not, feel the need to attack theories that, sometimes by their own admission, they don't understand.
OK. I am not encouraging ""scientific" debates based on philosophical prejudice and pure opinion" or the "many folks who, believe it or not, feel the need to attack theories that, sometimes by their own admission, they don't understand" in general; although adversarial debate isn't always bad.

I don't see any relation between this and the accidental discovery of Penzias and Wilson.
I pointed specifically to "someone "working" at a particle accelerator" as an example:
Aether said:
This sounds biased toward incrementalism. What if a new cosmological theory originates from someone "working" at a particle accelerator?
rather than to the " many folks who, believe it or not, feel the need to attack theories that, sometimes by their own admission, they don't understand". Penzias & Wilson are real-life examples to discuss instead of the anonymous "someone "working" at a particle accelerator".
 
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wow, I just don't have the energy or in inclination to do multiple quotes like all these posts. does that make my tiny comments look insignificant? Or is insignificance pretty much implied by my being the poster?
 

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