Is there any chance that we could have the Theory Development forum back?
oh yes, I'd like that!
It's still a work in progress, Kea. Independent research is the current test case. Speculative discussions can be interesting, but the PF staff has a vision of being a respected site with a reputation for quality discussions. 'Threads gone wild' is not a good fit with that model. It might be manageable if more qualified people were available and willing to babysit.
I would like it, but there's all those people that post their crackpot theories and get banned, then comlain, then get badgered. it gets old
Also take note that this "plea" to bring TD back came with no rational reason. We can't just have something just because.... And I think, ironically, this request is a reflection of the old TD - that people who end up there seem to think it is enough to make statements which require no rational justifications.
I think I have seen one theory here on PF that I consider true. It is Moonbear's theory of Sarcasticity. It states that if you are being sarcastic and do not use enough smilies then one may consider your post to not be sarcastic.
Here is the dilemma: The reason why you should not let a child watch R or X rated materials is because the child is still learning by copying. Adults use r and x to experience the unacceptable vicariously. The same is true about this site. If this site is intended as educational you have to be careful with speculative subjects. The children of the site might learn the wrong thing. At the same time you are denying the site and its readers the possibility of really contributing anything, good or bad. If the moderators themselves are still in the process of proving that they know the latest beliefs, the moderation becomes outright intollerant.
How about an uncensored site where the moderators guide and comment, like a good mature parent, without fearful and dictatorial censoring.
Remember, 10 years ago this site would have been preaching Centrifugal Force.
Today they are preaching Gravitons.
10 years from now they will not.
You are new here. That HAS been tried and tested. That was "TD". It took too much effort and resources with ZERO beneficial outcome. No one has been able to argue and present clear evidence that having such a medium has produced anything beneficial.
For the amount of effort and resources that it took, and with dubious beneficial consequences at best, we have decided to NOT support such forum area. There are plenty, plenty of other internet forums that would welcome such thing. No one is being denied the ability to air their dirty laundry. They just can't do it here.
P.S. I wish you get off this "graviton" obsession. No one is "preaching" it. There's a difference in studying something that is still unverified versus explaining something based on verified physics. You are confusing the two.
See, this is why TD ran into the muck so quickly and so often. That was an observation. Granted, the sample size is large, but I've never even elevated Sarcasticity to the level of hypothesis yet, let alone conducted the properly controlled experiments to determine if it holds up sufficiently to become a theory.
"Dirty Laundry", "Obsession", and "Confusing" are angry, judgemental words. You can not do good science when you are angry. However, I like your idea of studying something that is still unverified. That is science, not just parroting.
The problem with TD is that no matter how much the mentors, and other knowledgeable members, attempted to guide the discussion, the sort of crackpots posting there stubbornly refused to believe anything that disagreed with their ramblings, no matter how much evidence there was against them, or even if obvious and major flaws were found in their equations (if they even bothered to do the necessary math...more often they'd handwave the math away as unimportant when they were clearly presenting something that required the precision of math).
There is nothing fearful and dictatorial about the moderation here. There is also no reason to include uneducated theories from people who stubbornly refuse to approach the topic from a desire to learn and would prefer to spread their ignorance. The moderated Independent Research forum helps control this both from the side of the opening post, such that people who want to propose a new theory must do so with a certain degree of care and rigor as any scientist must do when proposing a theory, and because it will maintain order among the responses to that post by removing anything that also does not make a solid argument for or against support of the theory being proposed.
And how does this apply to a public forum? Since when is a conservation in a public forum identical to doing science?
I hate to destroy your illusion on this, but practicing scientists, by definition, are hired to do just that, which is studying something that cannot be explained, is entirely new, does not conform to our current understanding, etc. How else do you explain the ever increasing of our boundary of knowledge? Try getting a research fund to study something that has been verified. The reason why we spend such a long time in school and study all that has been discovered and verified is to be able to know when something truly new occurs!
You ignore the main problem with the old TD section: the people who post their ideas there are out to inform the rest of the world that they have the "truth" and how trivially wrong everything studied by scientists is, not to listen to guidance and comments.
Besides, PF does not censor speculation. It just requires that speculative material be submitted to the correct sub-forum (IR) and that it satisfy some rudimentary requirements needed for having a scientific discussion.
Actually, "fearful," "dictatorial," and "preaching" seem to arise from anger more so than Zz's choice of words. Anger and judgemental do not need to go hand in hand, yet it seems you've made that connection, perhaps based on your own subjective views.
Science is objective, not subjective. It's true that one's objectivity may be clouded by emotion, but that can happen for overzealousness and elation as much as from anger. It's hard to be "angry" at a theory, but it is easier to get overly excited about a theory to the point of being unable to see its obvious flaws. If you start taking things too personally rather than focusing on the evidence and data, then it's time to step back and identify your biases. We also saw far too much of that in TD. The person posting their pet "theory" would take every criticism of it personally rather than stepping back and considering those criticisms as helpful advice.
If it is unverified, then it is not a theory. There needs to be some evidence that the hypothesis makes sense, and if it contradicts current theories, then it's the burden of the person presenting a new interpretation to demonstrate how the existing evidence also fits within your theory, and how it is better than the prevailing theory. You can't just ignore contradictory evidence, which is again something a lot of posters in TD did.
If something is completely unverified AND there is no evidence against it, then it can be stated as an hypothesis. If something is stated as an hypothesis, then it MUST be accompanied by clearly testable predictions that would enable you to disprove your hypothesis. That's the role of the scientist, to play the skeptic, even for their own theories, and attempt to disprove it in as many ways as possible...and often, we are successful in that, breathe a sigh of disappointment, and have to return to the drawing board. It's not anger, or personal, or dictatorial to attempt to poke holes in someone's theory, that's our job as scientists and it should be welcomed that someone is willing to help you identify flaws in a theory before you invest too much time in it and waste a lot of effort and money working on it when someone else's experience can save you from something you've overlooked yourself.
I agree with you Moonbear. ZapperZ pisses me off. I participated in Steven Hawkings open forum for many years. I first published my IPP hypothesis there. That is how I got invited to Budapest. I would love a serious discussion on the subject of Gravity and electrical charge. I just seems I can not get passed indescriminant zapping.
So what if ZZ (or chroot) shows his annoyance/frustration? That doesn't make him wrong. As long as his analysis of the post is correct, his personal reaction is irrelevant. In fact, his personal reaction is generallly based on the correct identification of a crackpot. Crackpots may think his emotions are getting in the way of his judgement, but they really do have it backwards.
There was no indiscriminant zapping of your submission to the Independent Research Forum. There are guidelines that are posted at the top of that Forum that must be followed. Your submission was reviewed and compared with those guidelines, and found wanting. Greatly wanting, in fact.
If you meet the criteria that we have posted, then your thread will be accepted.
And you should always remember: Physics Forums does not owe you a place to discuss your ideas. If you want to set the rules, then you can start your own website.
Of course I piss you off. I've been pissing off quacks on the 'net since 1989! It's my 2nd nature. And you know why? Because I asked for concrete evidence!
You asked if what I did is a way of doing science. Well guess what? I AM doing science! I presented an evidence in which such mindless open forum on speculative ideas has NEVER produced anything worthwhile. I have been asking this for years. No one has managed to any valid evidence, not even you when I asked for it again. This leads me to conclude (based on such evidence) that all such talk are nothing more than HOT AIR that seemed to stoke a lot of egos, but produced ZILCH in terms of rearl physics.
Now THAT pisses people off, especially quacks. It is a SLAP of reality which says that all of the so-called "theories" that they thought they have so-brilliantly presented, will more likely than not, disappear into oblivion! And they have no evidence to the contrary. So what do they do? Other than complain that I piss them off, they will try to perpetuate their ideas to as many internet forums and discussion areas as much as possible. It is the ONLY means for such thing to actually get read (we can rule out physics journals). And it is also why, when they encounter a forum such as PF that DARES to actually set some standards, it pisses them off even more because here is a barrier to their ONLY means of espousing their stuff.
Putting in such amount of effort for hardly any worthwhile outcome is not just bad science, it is bad business, bad time management, international space station, etc.
Having debated my share of crackpots, I'm inclined to agree with ZZ on this; in fact, a large part of my own frustration with them is in the damage they've done themselves. Such a waste. The lack of humility, familiarity, and even understanding can be astounding. I think this new "Independent Research" forum is a really good idea because, really, TD was just a trash dump. Science done poorly is not just inefficient, it's counterproductive.
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