What's the Real Difference Between 'Science' and 'Crackpottery'?

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I've seen the phrase used quite often, it's in the rules and the discussions, and I think I get the gist of it...but I'd like some clarity.

By simple deduction, anyone could reduce all we know to the term of 'crackpotery'. Take this for example:

The standard of "knowing everything" in the universe and of the universe, implies that one would know enough about the universe to manipulate everything about it, to change it, contort it, and break the very 'laws' to restrict it. It's like a motor, we know a motor runs a car. Obviously the universe is a great deal more complicated than a car motor...but bear with me. We know what the car does, but I for one don't know squat about cars. I have to take my car to someone who does know about cars to get it fixed or change any part of it. But that person who knows EVERYTHING there is to know about a car, they can not only fix it, they can change it, make a new one from scratch, manipulate it to their desires, and regardless of the fact that wheels must turn and it must burn fuel, those laws or irrelevant when it comes to a person who knows everything about cars building their own car. They're important later on, but in the moment, they aren't.

So the standard of 'knowing everything' is a great deal of information, and considering how much we know about the universe we can certainly deduce that in comparison, we know absolutely nothing. We know a lot, but in comparison, it's not even the tip of the iceburg. Just to throw a number in there (which isn't based on squat but gives a good image to see)...

Everything in the universe: 1
Everything we know about the universe: 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001%

Based off of that, what we know about the universe, we've only actually 'observed' as stands with the Scientific Method. Observation is the first step towards us being able to deduce fact from fiction. Comparing what we know and what we don't know, and the fact that what we know is only what we can observe, it would be reasonable to say that what we don't know is what we cannot yet observe.

I have found that all of our advancements in science are indeed NOT the discovery of some new particle or some new science, it's just thinking differently. Einstein literally flipped Newton on his head, if you've never noticed it, Newton said that the Speed of Light was relative and that Space and Time were Constant and even said that if you could run fast enough you could catch up with the other. Einstein simply reversed the pole and said that Light is Constant and space and time are relative. Both math's worked in a specific realm of science in a specific scientific experiment that confirmed through observation that both were correct, in their mode of thougth process. We now know that Einstein was right, but Einstein's work doesn't work with Quantum Physics, and vice verse. The two both started out as simply a change of thought, and from there of course a question was asked, and then some observations and tests and both can be viewed as scientific fact.

But again....it's all ONLY what we observe, and of that and understanding most of the universe and knowledge of it is what we can't observe because we have not opened our minds to the existence of these technologies.

Therefore we lable what we cannot observe as crackpottery, what has not been theoretically and scientifically tested over and over again and proven to work with what we have observed to be true, is simply coined as 'crackpottery' and/or 'psuedoscience', and is simply cast away without a second's notice or thought, and the author commented and blah blah blah.

The fact is, what we do know, being that we've observed it and know it to be true, cannot stand second place to what some nut thinks is 'true' just because he/she thinks it, but at the same time should we shun and shut out those with intuitive minds that may at this moment be considered 'crackpots' but later down the road be the most renown and spoken of scientist in the history of the world (hey look, there's Einstein)?

I'm not giving way to some of the insane crazy ideas some people have out there, but it does strike some curiosity to me as to why the scientific community serves to nearly worship what we see and shun to hell what we don't, in other words, worship what is barely true and shun to hell what actually is true (considering the great majority of the possible knowledge in the universe is unseen, what we do see, represents a fraction of the truth of what is really there).

Sorry I went all philosophy on you guys, but technically the term 'crackpotery' is a philisophical term that I would like to have discussed...what's it REALLY mean...and why?

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  • #3
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Bodykey you don't seem to understand what crackpottery is. It's not ignorance, it's promoting illogical ideas without evidence and/or contrary to existing evidence. Science is all about testing new theories and finding out what we don't know, many of us here are scientists so there's no need to try and teach us to suck eggs. When we say crackpot we mean someone who is advocating a demonstrably wrong (and often irrational) idea.
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  • #4
This should not be a complicated question:

Science is a method for finding new understandings of how the universe works. Anything that violates the method is by definition non-scientific. There are a number of alternatives, but to me the primary feature that distinguishes crackpottery is dishonesty or other types of deception (such as self deception). Meaning; claiming to be scientific, but not - and not by accident.
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