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Suggestion Personal Theories

  1. Nov 14, 2011 #1
    "Personal Theories"

    I just made a post the other day that was in reference to a theory I'm working on. I didn't even state what the theory was, merely that I was actually working on one. In fact, the question I asked wasn't even about the theory, it was about the *research* involved in the theory, but not directly associated with the theory itself. My post was removed and I recieved a warning. Upon further investigation of the site's rules, I see that I was in violation and humbly take the warning as a corrective action to further inform me of the system put in place.

    This is no complaint, it is merely a suggestion or a question for clarification regarding this particular rule.

    The suggestion is this: Is there any way a new forum could be created in perhaps a more inspicuous location that could properly address personal theories?

    Now for the explanation:

    I'm giving this suggestion for the following reasons. As a fellow scientist, I understand and know that science is evolving, it changes. That's the entire point of science, that once we've found something to prove something else wrong, what was wrong has passed away and what is proven correct is now in state. I know that in my studies of the universe I need to have an imagination, and though I need to structure my thoughts on a series of known, tested, and true principles and laws and rules, without my imagination and without observations, questions, and thoughts, science itself would never progress.

    Therefore I ask that we not withhold the inspiration of man, nor the imagination that flows, but instead push it forward, accept it and lead it in the strict constraints of the scientific method.

    In layman's terms, allow a forum where personal theories can be properly posted and debated/questioned in a structured scientific manner to ensure that:

    1. Crap doesn't get posted on the site (just because someone has a theory doesn't mean they should just post a load of bull, but that also means that just because someone doesn't agree with or like a theory that the theory is crap)
    2. Theories are tested, questioned, thought out, and bombarded with the scientific method to see if its able to withstand a scientifically minded community's critiques.
    3. The progression of science is promoted.

    I understand that at a time in your site's life personal junk posts and little tid-bit theories were posted over and over again and just junked the site up, so the rule was made. I however am pretty confident in the age of your site, the size of your memberbase, and the foundational moderator and administrator order on the site, that your site is now ready and capable of allowing personal theories so long as they are kept professional and organized and at least follow the baselines of the scientific method. I think it'd be a very good thing for your site actually, and I think you're pretty much ready for it.

    Any votes? Yea? Nea?

    ~Phaz3r
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2011 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: "Personal Theories"

    Multiple times this site has had what you propose, earlier on in the year we closed a forum that was titled "https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=506643&highlight=independent+research"" where people could do just what you describe. The problem is that it became (as all other attempts at having forums of this nature did) full of crackpot ideas often thinly veiled as real science. Moderation of such a forum isn't possible to the standards of the rest of the site. Hence we have a simple rule; if you want to discuss a personal theory you have to have it published first. That isn't to say you couldn't ask related questions, for example if you truly wanted to plan an experiment it would be simple to ask "what would I need to test the role of X in phenomenon Y".

    Ultimately the purpose of this site is to discuss and teach established science, to do that we maintain very high standards over what can be posted. It is not possible to enforce these standards if we allow people to go to a forum and discuss any personal theory they have, we tried it and it doesn't work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  4. Nov 14, 2011 #3
    Re: "Personal Theories"

    Hmmmmmmm alright. I can see what you're speaking of. Being an administrator, owner, and moderator of several very large forums I can see how doing something like this would require too much hands on from the staff. I agree with your statement Ryan.
     
  5. Nov 14, 2011 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: "Personal Theories"

    Thank you for your understanding, usually we receive complaints insulting us for lack of imagination, adherence to dogma or any other number of false accusations. Most people couldn't even seem to understand that our posting criteria were less rigorous than the ones they would have to pass to get their theory published in any reputable journal. If you search the site for threads with "independent research" or "theory development" you can still find some examples of the types of problem post we would always get.

    At the end of the day developing a scientific theory in any discipline is something best done not on the internet. You have to compete with literally thousands of crackpots espousing there ideas on the universe. It would be far easier (but by no means easy) to simply use tools like PF to learn about the subject before going onto developing your theory and trying to get it published.
     
  6. Nov 14, 2011 #5
    Re: "Personal Theories"

    Unfortunately the mass majority of science enthusiasts don't understand anything about science or mathematics. I for one, know absolutely nothing about math. I just ordered a ton of books to teach myself from basic algebra to calculus, but, I'll be honest, I suck and the only reason i'm doing this is because I love science, but I can't keep up with the important things in science unless I know math. So, I've devoted myself to learning mathematics. It sucks, because I don't exactly have a feel for it, but, what needs to be done needs to be done.

    I can see entirely of how someone, like myself, could be annoying, frustrating, or cause clutter if I don't really even know what I'm talking about. But here's a suggestion then, and I think this one might actually work.

    Group chats. I know we have the ability to send private messages, but what if we could create individual groups and then discuss among them privately (like, let's say a max of 15 persons per group) within private chat (I'm thinking something like the way facebook does its messages). I know this would probably require a plugin in order to function properly, but I think that'd solve the problem.
     
  7. Nov 14, 2011 #6

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: "Personal Theories"

    We do have a chat service that is available on Sunday's, it does include a science chat.

    However there is nothing annoying or frustrating about people who are willing to learn and have a good attitude. If there is anything you wish to ask about or learn you are more than welcome to start a thread on it. The advantage that the forum has over chat is that more people can see and it will stay for future learners to read.
     
  8. Nov 14, 2011 #7

    Borek

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    Re: "Personal Theories"

    Note that chat is mostly a social event - and science chat room is for most of the time empty.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2011 #8
    Re: "Personal Theories"

    Well, then I'll toss this question out there. If I'm doing research on a personal theory, would it be alright if I asked a question about the research so long as I didn't discuss the theory itself? I mean, research is just a means of finding information, not necessarily discussing an idea and letting things go rambling or out of control?
     
  10. Nov 14, 2011 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: "Personal Theories"

    As long as you are asking questions with a willingness to learn and not posting misinformation on subjects you do not understand or trying to push your own ideas without evidence then I see no problem. My last piece of advice would be to forget about the theory for now, trying to learn with the thought in mind that you are going to create your own theory will taint your learning by introducing a filter to what you accept on the basis of how it conflicts with your theory rather than taking it on the evidence produced.
     
  11. Nov 14, 2011 #10
    Re: "Personal Theories"

    Hmmm..well....I can give that a shot. No harm in giving that a try at all. I mean, i would like to research in that field at the very least. The theory itself is extremely in depth and touches a wide variety of subjects, so, I would agree and think that it'd be a good idea to be an expert in each subject before I try to base any theory at all in any one of them. Sounds like a plan to me :)

    Unfortunately, some subjects deal greatly in psuedoscience, and others need information just to back them up. i really need to learn some math so I can actually put math behind some of these things, and I need to learn math so I can better communicate with the scientific world and read for myself what other scientists have said in the past, and present.
     
  12. Nov 14, 2011 #11

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: "Personal Theories"

    That's always best. Invariably you might find as you learn more that your original ideas have already been thought of and either shown to be correct or incorrect through experiments or shown to be flawed.
    If you know it's pseudoscience then you can avoid it. It's not real science for a reason! Good luck with your studies, remember it's quite important to get just a basic conceptual knowledge of things as well as try to learn advanced maths.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  13. Nov 14, 2011 #12

    micromass

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    Re: "Personal Theories"

    I think this forum is very permissive. If the poster shows a willingness to learn and is not just pushing his own theory, then I think a lot is permitted here.

    For example: one might say that you can go faster than light because if a train goes at 0.9c and you walk on the train with a speed of 0.2c, then you go 1.1c. If you don't listen to other people and just push this (wrong) idea, then it is not allowed. Saying that physicists are stupid and out of touch with the real world is not allowed.

    However, if you just propose this experiment and then just ask what is wrong with it, then I guess it would be allowed. If you are already acknowledge that it is not possible because it contradicts science and if you just ask for an explanation why your intuition is wrong, then I don't see why the topic should be locked.

    I think it all comes down to attitude. Don't assume to be smarter than all other people here and know that you can be wrong. If you are like that, then the forum is quite permissive towards things. But a lot of people do not have that attitude sadly :frown:
     
  14. Nov 14, 2011 #13

    dlgoff

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    Re: "Personal Theories"

    Thank you for this "down-to-earth explanation", IMO. I think you have "hit it on the head".
     
  15. Nov 14, 2011 #14

    tiny-tim

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    Hi Phaz3r! :smile:

    Unfortunately, if your theory is in physics, your problem is that a physics theory needs to have a mathematical foundation to be publishable (or even discussable).

    You can't (to take a well-known example) say "I have a theory that if we warped the space round a starship, it could go faster than light" unless you have the maths to back it up.

    No maths, no physics theory. :wink:

    So yes, do you need to master the maths first …

    whenever you get stuck on something, just raise it in the maths or physics homework forum (and come back as often as you like) :smile:
     
  16. Nov 15, 2011 #15

    Char. Limit

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    Re: "Personal Theories"

    Intelligent conversation in a thread about personal theories? I'm shocked.
     
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