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

PF and creative thought

  1. Jun 2, 2010 #1

    EnumaElish

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    For the most part the PF does a good job of sorting the fist-thumping, crazy-with-an-agenda "theory" from the high-school-kid, crazy-sounding-question sort of "theory," but sometimes I wonder whether the GD forum should assume a grater "risk" of letting the odd crazeball theory in, rather than locking out the innocent "crazy" thought.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2010 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    We used to have a sub forum called "Theory Development" that became so overrun with crackpots we had to close it down.
     
  4. Jun 2, 2010 #3

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The sole reason for existence of the Theory Development forum was a garbage can. Posts which now would be deleted with an infraction would simply be moved to TD. Early on many of us would attempt to point out the errors in the "theories". It became clear that it was a relentless Herculean task. No one EVER said, "Oh I see, guess I was wrong". It was then as now, the crackery the pot the more convinced they are that they alone have the in site.

    It was a happy day for the staff when we abandoned TD for the initial efforts at the modern policy of simply deleting.

    Enuma, there are many sites on the internet which love such discussions as you speak of. If you have such a topic, I encourage you to post it somewhere else. If it were a matter of a quick admisson of error there would be no problem. Unfortunatly it doesn't work that way. We have decided that this site is for people who want to learn. Those who already know everything do not fit in here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  5. Jun 2, 2010 #4

    dlgoff

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :bow:
     
  6. Jun 9, 2010 #5

    EnumaElish

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I had in mind "something like" the locked GD thread in which the OP inquired about the possibility of "negative dimensions" as a theoretical concept: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=407054

    As it turns out, the mathematician Mandelbrot had posited such a mathematical object:
    (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benoît_Mandelbrot)

    and published it: http://www.math.yale.edu/~bbm3/web_pdfs/123negativeFractalDimensions.pdf

    But since the thread has been locked, I have no way of posting this information in relation to the OP.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  7. Jun 9, 2010 #6

    Redbelly98

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    While there is a concept of negative dimensions in mathematics, the OP in the referred thread actually said "The theory I came up is...". It was not a discussion about the accepted notion of negative dimensions.
     
  8. Jun 10, 2010 #7

    EnumaElish

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Maybe there should be a sticky that says:

    If you have a personal theory/method XYZ, look it up on the web to see if anyone has thought it before. If they haven't, you may post it as a question, such as "is XYZ an accepted notion in science?"
     
  9. Jun 11, 2010 #8

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I think this is hopeless. Once a month or so, we get a post by a newcomer who has a "new theory of gravity". The theory they are describing is more than three centuries old.
     
  10. Jun 13, 2010 #9

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    We still have the Independent Research forum, which is heavily moderated. The guidelines there seem like a lot, but they really only boil down to checking that someone has actually read and cited an halfway decent amount of background literature to show they are coming up with their theory/research topic based on some grounding in the peer-reviewed literature, can write a logically organized discussion about it, and don't ignore the most recent century or two of literature. In other words, the guidelines are there to make sure the theories weren't just pulled out of their butt and actually have some merit for discussion, whether they are a little far-fetched or not.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: PF and creative thought
  1. Thought Experiments? (Replies: 1)

  2. PF as an example (Replies: 10)

  3. PF Contributor (Replies: 2)

  4. PF Mail (Replies: 2)

  5. PF app (Replies: 7)

Loading...