Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Oh, I'm finally getting the crackpot thing

  1. Mar 14, 2017 #1
    I admit that I have made the crackpot mistake (well, I was in middle school, in my defense). I've never quite understood why you guys get so annoyed. Now I do.

    I was scrolling across Instagram and I found this physics account, and I thought "oh, yay, physics!" Well, you can see for yourself: http://instagram.com/physicsoftheuniverse

    I then politely told him that his information about the Higgs boson (and it turns out a lot of what he posts) was incorrect. The Higgs field does not interact with hadrons and quarks (a misconception I have fallen for, I admit). I was then given a speech about how there are no definite right or wrong answers in theoretical physics, and how the account posts all views/opinions (there's a nice theory about the Higgs boson somewhere in there). I then (politely) said that physics does have facts, and rarely opinions (or at least the "opinions" are backed up by experimental and/or mathematical evidence). I also directed him here to learn more but I don't think he's planning on doing that based on his response.

    What confuses me, though is that he says he has a degree in physics. But it doesn't seem to me that someone with a physics degree would say what he said. Tell me if you think I'm wrong, but it seems a little odd to me.

    So, long story short, I understand your issues about crackpots (although if they're willing to learn I still don't see the big deal).

    I also thought you guys would enjoy looking at the material on that account.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    It looks like he's channelling physics posters from other folks. Some are pretty good and some are speculative. You'd have to research each one to know whats what.
  4. Mar 14, 2017 #3
    Yep. I don't say it was all bad, or even most. But there is some untrue information there, and he posts them as "opinions".

    There were actually a few I really liked on there.
  5. Mar 15, 2017 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    If they're "willing to learn", they're not crackpots -- just temporarily in error.

    If there's too much misinformation in there, I suspect your link might get deleted soon.

    Btw, you might enjoy John Baez's crackpot index if you haven't already seen it. (It's a guide for ranking various levels of crackpottery.)

    I especially like John's last entry:
    This seems applicable to much of string theory, SUSY, Multiverse, etc. :confused:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted