Theory Development

  1. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,155
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    Is there a reason why we do not rename Theory Development section for what it really is - Quackeries (or Crackpots, or Cranks, etc)? The name, as it stands, is false advertisement. There are more "guesses" than theories, and there's barely anything "developing" other than making its way into oblivion.

    I would also suggest that TD be moved out of the main Physics section and into the PF Lounge section (I would rather it be removed, but that's not going to happen). It doesn't belong in General Physics - a lot of the stuff in there can't even be called physics. It certainly should not be listed above the legitimate postings of the General Physics section.

    Zz.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. arildno

    arildno 12,015
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    Well, you COULD say, that since it is under DEVELOPMENT, it certainly can't be called a theory to speak of..:wink:
    Alternatively, I wish TD a very good riddance.
     
  4. dextercioby

    dextercioby 12,314
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    You have spoken the truth,young man... :approve:

    Do we really care whether the name is inaccurate...?I mean,how many of your really read the posts from TD...?

    Daniel.
     
  5. arildno

    arildno 12,015
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    Actually, I find ZapperZ's objection to its placement (and also, IMO, its existence) very appropriate.
     
  6. wolram

    wolram 3,769
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    ZapperZ
    The public have many misconceptions about science, as i am a
    member of this group i am one of them,i have read many of the
    threads you have contributed to, you come across as a knowledgable
    no nonsense type, which i like, but how do you define a crackpot?
    some of them are intelligent well read people who just want attention,
    some may believe in there theories but can not get them past peer
    review, and then there are the religious crackpots who refuse to
    listen to logic.
    I support getting rid of miss guiding science or just wrong science
    but where do you draw the line?
     
  7. chroot

    chroot 10,426
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    wolram,

    The vast majority of cases of crackpottery on the web are black and white cases. For example, when someone starts a discussion with a dimensionally-incorrect equation (distance = time * mass!), or uses words without defining them ("the dimension of the shadow vortex resulting in gravity is inside the dimension of time"), it is obvious even at a cursory glance that it's crackpot work.

    In the very few cases where a viable yet non-mainstream theory has been presented here, we have banished neither the theory or the member. Our purpose is not to stifle all inquiry, only clearly non-scientific inquiry.

    Zapper's right, TD is a misnomer. We used to call it Theory Development in a sort of tongue-in-cheek, condescendingly-polite way. On the other hand, I don't really want to call it "Crackpot Crap" or similar, because it has been said before that our forum is already rather intimidating to those who are new to science, and I want to avoid furthering that image. We intend to warmly welcome people with all levels of experience, and asking questions, even quite silly ones, is a great way to learn.

    - Warren
     
  8. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,155
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    Honestly, unlike some grey area of knowledge, in 95% of the time, such distinction is OBVIOUS, at least to anyone who has had any training in physics. I can spot a quack 10 miles away... at the age of 8!

    Here's what you can use as a measuring stick: Check if that person has produced any peer-reviewed paper, especially in the area that he/she is trying to sell. If no, then this person has no business in espousing any personal theory. PERIOD. This is an automatic quackery.

    However, if you care to use a more "gentile" scale, then you are welcome to go to either of these two sites:

    http://insti.physics.sunysb.edu/~siegel/quack.html
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

    Have fun!

    Zz.
     
  9. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,155
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    Then can we at least shove it down the display chain a bit so that it isn't THAT obvious, especially when it is listed above the General Physics section? I think having it listed in the PF lounge is a fair compromise, don't you think?

    Zz.
     
  10. wolram

    wolram 3,769
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    Chroot, zapper z, i think you are talking along the right lines, please
    do away with all the crap that miss guides all the non profesionals,
    but please leave the improbale but possible.
     
  11. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    Chroot has pretty much explained why we have it and how we try to maintain a diplomatic balance with it. For the meantime I did see something we could change to highlight it less, I took down the link on the homepage pointing to it under the sub-forum links for the physics forum.
     
  12. Indeed, i think we should leave things as they are, since it's just fine like this. Moving TD to the PF-Lounge is a bit useless to me because it won't change nothing about the 'content' and that is the only thing that really 'matters'. Indeed most of the TD-content is just a clear manifestation of lack of physical knowledge but who is gonna care whether subforum it is in, really ??? If you don't like it, then don't visit it...'Point final'

    regards
    marlon
     
  13. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
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    There are actually cranks out there that will find it insulting to post what they believe is genuine science in a non-science section of the forum. I wouldn't be surprised to find crackpottery dying some by moving TD to a less "serious" place.
     
  14. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    Of course the feedback forum would then become a very popular place as they all ran over here to complain (or had their complaints in other forums moved here). They get a bit miffed when you pull back the curtain and reveal them for the crackpots they are. :rolleyes:
     
  15. arildno

    arildno 12,015
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    PF has, compared to most openly accessible science-interested sites I have seen, just about the lowest activity of pot-cracking.
    This is the result of good mentorship at PF.

    While TD remains an irritant, I found chroot's post particularly relevant here:
    Suppose a young guy comes along who has some questions or ideas about science:
    If he sees that unconventional posts are summarily deleted with no one even answering them, would we scare off a person who might be genuinely science interested, but still has not developed sufficient knowledge/understanding to sift the bad from the good?

    If, however, TD remains open for view, with mostly closed threads as it is today, that young person has the opportunity to COMPARE the quality of posts in TD with the quality of posts elsewhere on PF.
    He may come to understand WHY those threads have been closed.
     
  16. Chronos

    Chronos 10,051
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    I doubt any mentor would summarily dismiss a genuinely interesting post on regular forums. Besides, some of us enjoy torturing prisoners before executing them.
     
  17. Anyway most members don't have sufficient privileges to post a thread in the 'Theory and Development forum'.
     
  18. dextercioby

    dextercioby 12,314
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    It would be quite interesting (read "abnormal"),if one of the staff members were to open a thread in TD (just because he/she can),wouldn't u say...?

    Daniel.
     
  19. dextercioby

    dextercioby 12,314
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    I don't have a clue what you're talking about...Could u provide the mortals with a link to the non peer-reviewed article...?:bugeye:

    Daniel.
     
  20. arildno

    arildno 12,015
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    Nope, I don't have that.
     
  21. dextercioby

    dextercioby 12,314
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    Then u diserve at least a warning.:tongue:

    Daniel.

    EDIT:Lucky i didn't quote you... :tongue2: We'll see... :uhh: :tongue2:
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2005
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