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Theory development

  1. Aug 23, 2004 #1

    mee

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    Why can't we post new threads in theory development anymore? Why does the general relativity sticky say we should if it is speculative? This new policy is horrible unless you simply cant afford the space. Your high standards are going to make this a place where average people, like me, can no longer discuss things. People in physics departments already have people to talk to! If they have a new theory they will publish it, not put it on this forum. You are killing it for normal people and trying to make it a private club for the well tutored. Please reconsider!
     
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  3. Aug 23, 2004 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    The Theory Development Forum had become overrun with crackpottery, and it needed to be put in check.

    Because the GR sticky hasn't been updated yet. :smile:

    Not so! The policy is designed specifically to make Physics Forums a better place for everyone, including people like you. You can discuss any scientific subject you like. We simply require that you do not post personal theories for which there is no evidence. And if one is not knowledgable enough in physics to develop a theory that accounts for what is known, then one should not be making assertions anyway--one should be asking questions. :smile:

    Not at all. Physics Forums strives to be a place where anyone can come and discuss real physics. If we were to allow things to continue as they had been, then that would be "killing it for normal people" and the well-tutored alike.

    Please do the same!
     
  4. Aug 23, 2004 #3

    mee

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    thank you. :) I guess I haven't given it enough time to feel so doomed. I haven't been reprimanded or cursed yet. :) Hopefully i will find a comfortable place with your new rules.
     
  5. Sep 10, 2004 #4
    We simply require that you do not post personal theories for which there is no evidence. And if one is not knowledgeable enough in physics to develop a theory that accounts for what is known,
    Not at all. Physics Forums strives to be a place where anyone can come and discuss real physics.

    At last a clear statement of policy, now we can have a debate.
    theories for which there is no evidence
    I have repeatedly given the references to statements from leading physicists pointing out that there is no connection between QT and reality (a limited selection are on my web page). The only qualification that supports QT is its fantastic ability to predict. What is needed to complete the picture is a
    Theory that accounts for what is known
    To this end I have given a reference listing what is not known.
    Years ago in a reply to one of my questions Tom wrote “you will have to produce some maths, no one is going to do it for you” Well I work away at improving my model and eventually had a model of sufficient simplicity that even I could do the maths. Now it is done, all I need is
    "a place where anyone can come and discuss real physics".
    Such as 'what is mass' and 'why do particles have their particular properties'
    At this point you change the rules, but, how about operating the very policy you advocate in the above statements?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2004
  6. Sep 10, 2004 #5

    Tom Mattson

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    "The only qualification..."???

    The ability to predict is the connection with reality! No one can do any better than that!

    I can myself give a reference listing what is not known. How does that make room for unsubstantiated theories? (Hint: it does not make room for unsubstantiated theories).

    Hey, if you can produce calculations from your theory that matches experimental results in a nontrivial way (that means not in an ad hoc way just to match the predictions of a single experiment, to the neglect of all the others), then I'm all ears.

    The rules were never changed. We have always been a serious science Forum. It's just that we are no longer willing to be as lenient as we were in the past concerning lack of rigor in homegrown theories. Now, we require that would-be theorists present only well-formed ideas that can be validated independently.
     
  7. Sep 10, 2004 #6
    The ability to predict is the connection with reality! No one can do any better than that!

    Sorry but you are wrong on both counts. It is the failure of prediction to be acceptable as proof of reality that is the reason for classifying QT as a ‘mathematical predictive philosophy’ and not as a ‘science’. I am not going to repeat the piece I submitted to ‘Why all the nutcases’ that should still be available.

    The missing link is defined in the following quote-

    "They (physicists) feel a complete explanation of the subatomic world will not have been attained until it is known why particles have the charge, masses and other particular properties they are observed to possess”.
    Richard Morris in "Achilles in the Quantum Universe”

    This is the problem that I have concentrated on, and to which I have proposed a solution. The solution shows that a vacuum field structure can unite force, mass, charge and explain mass/energy conservation. I am still waiting for a statement that explains why my proposal is not a fit subject for the Theory Development Forum. I do not claim to be right, but I do claim to have a proposal worthy of debate.

    As for matching predictions, my theory matches the mass numbers found by experiment as published by 'The Particle Data Group'.
    As for the unnecessary remark about 'home grown theories' please take that up with Newton, Einstein and Darwin whose 'home grown' theories are I believe, greatly admired.
     
  8. Sep 10, 2004 #7

    Tom Mattson

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    You have a serious misconception of what science is. According to your definition, there is no science, because any theory is going to fail to predict something. All theories rest on postulates which are themselves not provable.

    This has not one thing to do with whether QM should be considered a science. A theory is not disqualified as science, just for being incomplete.

    And even if your solution is correct, it will still fail to answer certain questions. This is inevitable.

    The explanation is at the top of the Theory Development Forum. We are no longer hosting overly speculative posts. There are about 11,000 members at this site, and only a handful of staff members. We can't keep up with every crackpot who thinks he's revolutionized physics.

    Is the theory posted on your website? Last time I looked at it (yesterday), I did not see any mathematics.

    Ha. You are emphasizing the expression "homegrown theories" when the emphasis really should be placed on the expression "lack of rigor".

    The theories of Newton, Einstein and Darwin don't suffer from that deficiency.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2004
  9. Sep 10, 2004 #8

    russ_watters

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    To expand a little, the purpose of this site is primarily to teach and discuss known physics ("real physics" as Tom put it). We'd rather put our effort into answering homework questions (for example) than trying to keep crackpots from confusing people who are asking honest questions.

    Learning starts from the bottom-up. Most (all) of the crackpots we get would benefit by setting aside their ideas and first learning what we do know before trying to push the envelope. That's what we try to encourage here.

    There may be other sites dedicated to entertaining highly speculative ideas in an unmoderated fashion, with no requirement of sticking to the scientific method, but this isn't one of them. That just plain isn't our purpose. We're sorry if you got the wrong idea, but if that's what you are looking for, this isn't the place to find it.
     
  10. Sep 10, 2004 #9
    I think russ watters has summed it up, this is just another question and answer site, forum titles such as 'Theory Development' are totally misleading, there is no intention to allow theory development or discussion on anything that is not accepted within the Standard Model.
    This is a pity given that every leading physicist is willing to concede that the Standard Model does not answer the fundamental questions of 'how and why'.
    However I shall abide by your decision and not trouble you further.
    elas
     
  11. Sep 10, 2004 #10

    chroot

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    What you don't realize is that the internet is absolutely full of sites where anyone can post anything without any moderation. If you feel our site is too "stuffy" for you, there are many alternatives.

    Also, as has been said many times, we do not intend to stifle all creative thought -- we intend to stifle creative thought that is not developed in a scientifically valid way, or that is in direct conflict with known experimental evidence.

    Rather than thinking of ourselves as "just another question and answer site," we think of ourselves as "not just another free-for-all."

    - Warren
     
  12. Sep 10, 2004 #11

    Tom Mattson

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    *balk*

    "Just" another question and answer site? You make it sound as though there are a million of them out there, and there aren't. Of course, you can find a million websites full of idiots who will be happy to give you an answer to your question, but you'd be hard pressed to find a million websites whose staff and members place as high a premium on providing correct answers as those at this website.

    In any case, Q&A is not our only function.

    It's not so much misleading as it is outdated. When PF first started, "Theory Development" was the place in which every crackpot under the sun had a home. For us, it was a tidy way to get them out of the real science threads, and they were allowed to roam free on that Forum with little moderation.

    As it happened, Theory Development became too big, too uncontrolled, and too unscientific for us to feel comfortable about having it the way it was. Most of what went on there is not of any scientific or academic value, and it is therefore not commensurate with the Administration's vision for PF. I, for one, would like to see more professionals come here and talk about their research, so that we can have real theory development. But what professional is going to waste his time posting to an unmoderated free-for-all, dominated by ignorants who haven't the foggiest idea of what they are talking about, and yet are convinced that they are the next Einstein?

    I see this move as clearing the way for bigger and better things at PF.

    To my knowledge, this sentiment has not been expressed by any staff member. If a genuine scientists wishes to discuss his research here, I cannot imagine any objections from the Mentors.

    We've had these discussions before, which is why I am amazed that you still do not understand that science is not in the "why" business. You keep citing the failure of current theories to give full explanations of phenomena, but you yourself are failing to recognize that no theory can do that. But your hard headed insistence to the contrary is why I'm convinced that you have no susbstantial understanding of either science or the philosophy thereof.

    Now there's the real pity, because there are plenty of people here who could help you out of your misunderstandings.

    Why not stick around and ask questions? It will do you a lot more good than trying to develop a half baked theory based on a misinterpretation of incomplete information.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2004
  13. Sep 10, 2004 #12
    I got warned for calling someone an idiot, IMO you should be warned for calling someone a crackpot... no?
     
  14. Sep 10, 2004 #13

    Tom Mattson

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    Got a case of sour grapes, eh?

    First of all, if someone persists in their errors despite the best efforts to correct their misunderstandings, then by definition that person is a crackpot. I don't see a problem with saying so, either.

    And second, it seemed clear enough to me when I wrote the post you quoted that I was talking about crackpots in general. I don't recall ever having called elas a crackpot in any thread.
     
  15. Sep 10, 2004 #14
    I dont recall ever saying that he was specifically called a crackpot, however you said that the forum was closed because of crackpots. You are clearly insulting someone, i am just too new to the forum to understand who was doing this. Either way, just because someone has different theories, they have no place on this forum? They cant discuss them in a forum named "theory development?" Is this forum dedicated to brainwashing people with "known physics, which by the way have no concrete proof to them either? :confused:

    Also, does it notify you every time someone posts because you guys seem to respond very fast. :confused:
     
  16. Sep 10, 2004 #15

    Tom Mattson

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    Yes. He asked for an explanation, and I gave him one.

    I am telling it like it is. Crackpots exist, just like liars, idiots and con men exist. And we have had some of all of those types at Physics Forums. It would be infantile to close our eyes and pretend they do not exist, and that they do not inhabit this Forum.

    And if they find it insulting, it's their problem. The truth hurts sometimes.

    You can inspect any of the newly locked threads in the TD Forum, if you are so inclined.

    The people do. Their unsubstantiated theories don't.

    I already explained that we are in a period of transition. We used to allow virtually unrestrained discussion of homegrown theories, now we don't. I'd like to think that Theory Development will come back for properly developing scientific theories.

    The word is "educating", not "brainwashing". And you are flat out wrong when you say there is no concrete proof to it.

    Most of us only get involved in a few threads at a time, and we tend to watch the ones we're interested in.
     
  17. Sep 10, 2004 #16

    Tom Mattson

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    Holy moly.

    I've just finished reviewing the post for which you were warned, and the subsequent discussion in the thread. All I have to say is this: You got off easy. I'd have given you at least one more for posting crackpot material (there's that word again!).

    You'd do well to tone down the attitude. Your math skills don't warrant it at all.
     
  18. Sep 10, 2004 #17
    Dont always need to know what you are talking about to argue it. I am planning on learning more about math in university in a few years.
     
  19. Sep 10, 2004 #18

    Tom Mattson

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    FYI, if you don't know what you're talking about, you'd be well advised not to label as "idiots" the people who do know what they're talking about. You'd also be well advised to end more of your sentences with "?" instead of "." and "!".

    That's a relief.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2004
  20. Sep 10, 2004 #19

    enigma

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    Says the man who is sitting in his house (designed so it doesn't collapse using physics and science) typing a message on a computer (made possible by physicists and scientists) being powered by electric current (discovered and harnessed by physicists and scientists).

    "no concrete proof", indeed!
     
  21. Sep 10, 2004 #20
    Read the topic. "Theory discussion." This is abstract physics we are talking about, and much of it doesnt have any concrete proof.
     
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