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Personal theories are not welcome?

  1. Mar 15, 2006 #1
    Yes I'm a newb to this forum but already I'm a little lost on the ideas here. In a thread I was subscribed to the last note was from an admin...


    Thats a bit of a shocker considering everything we know was a personal theory at one point. Especially considering that the question the thread was concerning was a 'personal theory' of someone elses. Is there a rule here I'm missing?

    again, newbe here. If this needs moved somewhere thats fine
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2006 #2
    This place is run like the medieval catholic church in certain respects. They do have a special forum for presenting your personal theories, but there are a lot of rules. Maybe they should have another forum considered less serious where anyone can post their crackpot theories as they say.
     
  4. Mar 15, 2006 #3

    chroot

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    You were shown our guidelines during the registration process, and you clicked a checkbox agreeing to those guidelines before you were permitted to post.

    Since you obviously did not actually read the guidelines, I will quote the relevant passage here:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5374

    - Warren
     
  5. Mar 15, 2006 #4

    chroot

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    For most of the life of this forum, we had such a forum -- it was called "Theory Development." This sub-forum was removed from the site about two years ago after a vote by the staff.

    It was a dumping ground for looneys, conspiracy theorists, and other dregs of society. It required inordinate amounts of moderator attention, added little value to the site, and actually served only to deter educated people from posting here. Most of the people who participated in discussions there never posted anywhere else on the site. TD posters were, effectively, a sub-culture within PF, and contributed nothing to the more reputable parts of the site.

    The site has grown tremendously in both activity and quality since we made the decision to remove the Theory Development forum and eliminate crackpot science completely from the site.

    If you want to talk about crackpot theories, there are hundreds of other places on the web. Consider sciforums.com or the sci.physics Usenet newsgroup.

    There's no reason for us to provide yet another haven for crackpots -- our goals are at odds with the very idea.

    - Warren
     
  6. Mar 16, 2006 #5
    This is really a 'with all due respect' kind of reply but jeez what's the point of a forum, if this is the case why not an open-source text book (wikipedia-ish)? Thats all that will come of it.

    I totally agree with the
    but closing a thread because someone offered a reply to a question that asked "what do you all think about such n such theory..".



    I'm sure I'll get a like it or leave it type of reply but don't worry, I won't be here long (or very often) if this is how the admins really are running the forum.

    No hard feelings, to each his own. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Mar 16, 2006 #6
    This post has been warned by Tom Mattson. If you level accusations of dishonesty against other members, there will be consequences.

    Chroot is not being totally honest, there is no site that has the quality of the now extinct Theory Developement forum, its PF replacement presentation rules are to strict (not its quality rules) and the others lack quality.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2006
  8. Mar 16, 2006 #7

    ZapperZ

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    If the reply is based on speculation and unfounded guess work, what has that accomplished? I might as well make something up and the result would still be the same.

    Without knowing PF's history, and that it had tried being "open", I don't think you have enough data points to make any kind of meaningful conclusion. Sure, we all have opinions, but some opinions are back by more facts than others. There's nothing that you are asking here that hasn't been addressed repeatedly already. Just look at the old threads in this Feedback forum.

    Zz.
     
  9. Mar 16, 2006 #8

    arildno

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    Lots of professionals have a personal interest in helping out struggling students, but their own career choices may limit the time and opportunities for such "coaching"/teaching sessions.

    Those professionals will, however, have no interest in being a lone swallow in a flock of crackpots, and thus, will not bother to spend time at a non-moderated forum.

    PF, however, can hope to attract such resourceful individuals as long as it upholds the present day policy.
     
  10. Mar 16, 2006 #9
    These "rules" for posting a personal theory are very necessary to weed out any crackpot theories. With the independent research forum, PF tries to simulate (to some extent) the publication process in real scientific journals. In stead of whining about this you could also learn from this. If you plan a scientific career, this will allow you to have a clearer image of how "real science" is done. Nobody prevents you from posting your own personal theories as long as they meet certain requirements.

    Now, if someone is really convinced about the validity and usefullness of ones research or new theory, it should not be too difficult to meet these requirements without changing the actual content of your theory.I mean, if you really "want" something, you will to anything to get it, right ? That's what's life is all about, no ? If this is not possible, well, than i can assure you that you will not get far with your new ideas and you should NOT be posting them to the general public. You don't wanna make yourself look stupid right ?


    What possible good can come from that ?

    ps : note that the above question is a RAETHORICAL question, so there is no point in starting a discussion out of it.

    regards
    marlon
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2006
  11. Mar 16, 2006 #10

    arildno

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    Rhetorical, I think..
     
  12. Mar 16, 2006 #11
    ok, i stand corrected :)

    marlon
     
  13. Mar 16, 2006 #12

    Astronuc

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    This is the key point. It is rather annoying and often infuriating for someone to speculate or make dubious claims which contradict established principles, hypotheses, theories, etc . . . and then also claim that established experts and professionals simply do not get it or understand the physics.

    Personal theories, and even disagreements/contradictions are fine, IF they are supported by evidence and well-thought out reasoning or sound logic.

    One simply needs to start on a firm basis, state the conjectures of one's theory or idea, and accept it when an expert indicates an inconsistency or incorrect assumption or understanding.

    That is not an unreasonable expectation!
     
  14. Mar 16, 2006 #13
    I agree. There was another forum I concurently belonged to and I had over 1000 posts before I finally gave up with it and decided to stick with PF.
    Why did I give up? Though a science forum, it evolved into a "pseudo-science" forum that attracted some of the most bizarre crackpots I have experienced. Even worse, it became a feeding ground for cult, conspiracy theorists and other people actively recruiting innocents through mind-numbing, twisted scientific "logic"

    With PF I do not have to suffer through incessent ramblings.

    Granted, I enjoy responsible, creative, "out-of-the-box" speculation as well as the next person, but to go on-and-on about a speculative subject without the establishment and continuance of substantive foundation is like obsessively dwelling in a fantasy world and forcing it on others.

    Currently, PF does not allow that type of discourse, and if it ever does I will leave PF as well as I left the former. To be perfectly clear, PF does not exclude speculation, rather demands that the thread maintains scientific credibilty instead of turning into a free-for-all circus of clowns.
     
  15. Mar 16, 2006 #14

    Nereid

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    Besides, why does anyone think that the back of anyone's old envelope (except your own, of course) is rivetting reading?

    It takes a mere ~1-10 hours of OOMing (doing order of magnitude calculations) or reality checking to reveal to obvious flaws in speculative thinking (in at least 99.9% of cases); if your speculation emerges unblemished from this, elementary step, then it's time to start devoting serious time to it (and that will lead, after a month or ten, to a draft, ready for the IR forum).

    To repeat the advice of others in this thread, go read some threads in the Theory Development archive - now consider whether your speculative ideas would come across as any more worth anyone's while to read than what's in TD. If you're still not convinced, then imagine that you have one shot every 2,000 threads to catch the eye of any interested PF reader .... if you believe in the value of this idea, can you honestly say you'd assiduously read every post in all 1,999 other threads?
     
  16. Mar 17, 2006 #15
    Lots of professionals have a personal interest in helping out struggling students, but their own career choices may limit the time and opportunities for such "coaching"/teaching sessions.

    Those professionals will, however, have no interest in being a lone swallow in a flock of crackpots, and thus, will not bother to spend time at a non-moderated forum.


    This has not been my experience. Replies to my submissions included two from active physics professors, one from a leading award winning physics student, and three or four from physics teachers. Added to these must be several who did not identify themselves but clearly new their subject (these of course, were amongst scores of negative comments). This quality of reply has not been found on any other forum .
    Yet without exception PF admininstrators included me amongst the crackpots. The reason seems to be that while some experts see a grain of hope in an idea and are prepared to offer encouragement; PF administrators are 'book experts' who lack any ability to acknowledge the limitations of current theory, or support any idea that might reduce those limitations.
    Theory developement should be about ideas that can be developed not just variations on current theorems. I am still making some progress with the aid of a local retired physicist, an expert on light; who worked for Kodak , but sadly not so up to date on particles in general. But how I miss the cut and thrust of the old PF theory developement.
     
  17. Mar 17, 2006 #16

    Tom Mattson

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    Wrong. Most of the PF staff either has already earned, or is in the process of earning, a doctoral degree. That means that most of the PF staff is part of the effort to expand the frontiers of physics/astronomy/mathematics/engineering/(insert technical discipline here).
     
  18. Mar 17, 2006 #17
    Let me remind everyone that doubts the "theory-submit-guidelines that you can send in your theories to excellent and proffesional papers called "Nature" or "Science". They will make sure that your theories are treated as they deserves. Insert evil laughter here
     
  19. Mar 17, 2006 #18

    DaveC426913

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    What I never understand about this topic is why people presume to have an opinion on what should and should not be supported.

    The forum guidelines are not passing a judgement, they are merely defining a boundary - something every forum must do.

    This forum does not support discussion of TV shows and movie reviews, or rap music, or astrology, yet no one makes accusations of narrow-mindedness.

    This forum does not support discussion of personal or undeveloped theories, yet people make accusations of narrow-mindedness.

    Every forum MUST draw a line around what it supports and what is outside its purvue. This forum is simply about established science. It's not a judgment, it's simply a boundary.
     
  20. Mar 17, 2006 #19

    Tom Mattson

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    Right on, Dave. Another thing I never understood about the people who make these complaints is this all-or-nothing attitude. As in: Either I get to post my theories here or I'll leave the website after making a parting shot in the Feedback Forum. My response is always the same: Why not use PF for what we do allow, and use other message boards to post your speculations? We stick to mainstream science here (except in the IR Forum), and we're very good at it! A person can learn a lot here. But people would rather just leave and trash us elsewhere on the internet. It makes no more sense than storming out of a Chinese restaurant because they won't serve you a pizza. I don't get it.
     
  21. Mar 17, 2006 #20

    DaveC426913

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    Well, now that you mention it...

    I have often wondered if that poor reaction is due to the policy and procedure of how an offending post is initially dealt with. This is usually the user's first practical experience with the board's policies, and I imagine it feels surprisingly brusque. I suspect that the user's experience is that of being confronted by a cop, when what they were expecting to be greeted by was a mentor.
     
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