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Please enlighten me on the guidelines

  1. Jan 25, 2005 #1
    Can someone please enlighten me on the guidelines here?:

    What I want to know is, does PF allow an “intellectually sound” personal challenge to mainstream science? I cannot tell for sure from the guidelines above. If yes: since “Users may not create threads in the Theory Development subforum”, does this mean that the challenge should be posted in the forum or subforum for the relevant type of physics?, and how does the posting of an intellectually sound personal challenge differ from an advertisement of a personal theory, which is not tolerated?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2005 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    Yes. In fact, we systematically encourage it in some instances. After all, our Quantum Physics and Special and General Relativity Forums are "intellectually sound" challenges to the mainstream Classical Physics Forum. And the Strings, Branes, and LQG Forum is an "intellectually sound" challenge to all the other mainstream Forums.

    Yes. If it has merit, it will be allowed to remain in the main Forums.

    Advertisments refer to those posts that only contain a link to someone's personal website. If someone wants to present a scientific theory here, then it has to be more than a hit-and-run job. It should foster discussion, and so something substantial should be presented. Of course, the ban on overspeculation applies whether or not the post is more than just an advertisement.

    Does that clear things up?

    (By the way, I'm Tom2 from sciforums--Hello!)
     
  4. Jan 25, 2005 #3
    Thanks for the quick response, Tom2 from sciforums!

    I understand except for the last answer. What if the personal challenge runs, say, 20 pages/screens long? It seems it would be more efficient to post a link to personal web page, along with a sincere request for discussion. Must it be pasted into the post?
     
  5. Jan 25, 2005 #4

    Tom Mattson

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    I suppose that would be OK. An abstract would be nice though.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2005 #5
    I would definitely include a robust abstract in the post. Thanks.
     
  7. Feb 14, 2005 #6
    I'd like some clarification on this topic, please.

    I just noticed this sticky thread in the Special/General Relativity forum:

    This seems clear that, if a personal challenge argues Relativity’s validity, the Special/General Relativity forum is not the place to post it (nor is any other forum on Physics Forums available for that, it seems).

    Can you please confirm or deny? Thanks.
     
  8. Feb 14, 2005 #7

    loseyourname

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    It isn't the appropriate forum to do that in. I would say Theory Development is, but since you cannot post new threads in that forum, you might want to try posting in Philosophy of Science and Mathematics.
     
  9. Feb 14, 2005 #8

    Tom Mattson

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    That is the general rule. But we do have a couple of people here who regularly post who do not believe relativity. They are wisp, Aether, and Yogi, in case you are interested in seeing their posts.

    One thing you can be absolutely certain of is that we will not tolerate anything that resembles the "work" of Prosoothus or MacM at sciforums.

    Please don't do that. It makes us less than happy when people try to do an end run around our ban on new topics in Theory Development by posting elsewhere, knowing that we will move it. You may have noticed that 3 threads by John Barchak were moved form Phil of Sci to TD. John is a crackpot, and will not be here much longer if he doesn't stop. His is not an example to follow.
     
  10. Feb 14, 2005 #9
    Understood. Thanks again Tom.
     
  11. Feb 15, 2005 #10

    Chronos

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    I can't speak for anyone else, but I do know what annoys me - disputing well founded theories without doing a credible amount of research [and reading archived threads here would not be a bad idea]. If you wish to challenge mainstream views, you should at least address the major objections and offer reasonable alternatives. Refences to published papers from reputable sources [eg, arxiv] supporting your position are encouraged. And I would rather you did not give links to your personal website in your posts. Put it in your profile. I otherwise consider that leeching.
     
  12. Feb 15, 2005 #11

    loseyourname

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    So if someone wants to engage in pure speculation (that is, 'develop a theory'), is it best to just do it on another site altogether? If that's the case, why even have a theory development forum? Why not just delete the threads or close them?
     
  13. Feb 15, 2005 #12

    ZapperZ

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    I would argue that citing papers from arxiv should not be construed as citing "reputable sources". It is, after all, not peer-reviewed. This is not to say that there aren't any reputable sources there (it is after all where most people deposit their papers upon submission to a peer-reviewed journal - even *I* have a few of my papers uploaded there). However, you do get periodic "quackeries" getting through... and... more importantly, if a paper is THAT good, then it should also have appeared in a peer-reviewed journal. If that paper's ultimate resting place is just on the arxiv, then unless it was the text of a speech or anything that weren't meant for peer-reviewed journals, I would view it with some suspicion.

    Zz.
     
  14. Feb 15, 2005 #13

    Tom Mattson

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    Pure speculation does not equal development of a theory. Real theory development in physics is guided by experimental evidence. These days it also involved some fairly complicated mathematics.

    As to pure speculation: Yes.

    We do, however, host a very small number of non-mainstream theories that are deemed to be serious attempts at science. Garth is the prime example, and his posts are allowed in the regular science sections.

    "Theory Development Forum" is just a polite way of saying "Looney Bin". It's always been that way. It gives us a convenient means by which we can un-clutter the real science sections, and that is its only real purpose.
     
  15. Feb 15, 2005 #14

    Phobos

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    Another example....turbo-1. And note that both have PF "science advisor" ribbons.
     
  16. Feb 15, 2005 #15

    Phobos

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    As one might expect, the Relativity forum gets a lot of attention on this issue, thus the additional policy posting.

    Overall, if someone has a non-mainstream view they wish to present, they should post it in the forum they think is appropriate and the mentors will decide whether (1) it has enough merit to be discussed in that forum (2) it has enough merit to be discussed in the theory development forum (not always a "looney bin"!) or (3) it is not appropriate for discussion at PF. The guidelines described above will give some idea about how the mentors will make their decision.
     
  17. Feb 15, 2005 #16

    dextercioby

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    Good thing you've changed the name from "experts" to "advisors"...After all,an advice can be wrong... :tongue2: :wink:

    Daniel.
     
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