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Where to discuss fringe science?

  1. Jul 23, 2016 #1
    We know that throughout history established ideas, that the people in their time had great confidence in to be the final end all, often turned out to be incomplete or wrong.
    Ideas that challenged the status quo were often first met with great resistance and closed mindedness.

    This is understandable, because what would be the odds that mister X would have proven all of us wrong?
    Yet that is exactly what happened, while of course the many times it also did not turn out to be right.

    I recently tried to introduce a topic onto a sub forum but it got removed because:
    'To preserve the quality rating of Physics Forums, in some sub forums we require references to be from reputable sources such as credible scientific journals.'
    When I asked for a sub to post it in I didn't get an answer.

    So is there a sub forum where one can simply discuss ideas that are not yet established?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2016 #2


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    No, this isn't the forum for that. Certain topics such as this and philosophy have a long history of becoming threads full of crackpottery that accomplished nothing. Eventually, the forum decided to not allow these kinds of threads.

    Read this thread and you will have a better appreciation why this is so - PF Needs A Personal Theory Forum Like We Need A Computer Virus.
  4. Jul 23, 2016 #3
    History repeats it self I guess.
  5. Jul 23, 2016 #4

    Vanadium 50

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  6. Jul 23, 2016 #5


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    Sorry, but your understanding of the history and of this forum's (or any forum's) connection to it (to the scientific community) are both wrong. No internet forum anywhere is a good place for developing a new scientific idea. You should be doing real research and publishing your results in scientific journals (if worthy).
  7. Jul 23, 2016 #6


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    Something else to keep in mind is that compared to the rest of history, today the scientific community is actually quite accepting of challenges to the status quo.

    In the past, for example, people's opinions and willingness to accept new ideas depended largely on their station in life. Up until about a century ago, if you were born the son of a blacksmith, your career choices were limited to the following list: blacksmith. If you were born a daughter of a blacksmith it was even worse. Your career choices were limited to being someone's wife. Further, the scientific community was heavily influenced by institutional dogma from the powerful religions of the time. Ideas that ran contrary to established theories were interpreted as a challenge to the institution as a whole.

    Today if you want to challenge an established idea, your challenge is evaluated based on the merits of the challenge and the evidence that backs it up. The thing is, current theories are well grounded in experimental evidence. So challenges to existing theories warrant not just some evidence that they might be correct, but overwhelming evidence that they fit better than what we already have. And they need to be subject to the same systematic vetting that all other preceding ideas have been subject to. An internet forum is not a venue for systematic vetting.
  8. Jul 23, 2016 #7


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    And to add to what Choppy has said, fringe "scientists" should read Dan Koshland's wonderful article "Crazy But Correct" (D.E. Koshland, Jr., Nature v.432, p.447 (2004)).

    But then again, fringe scientists may not care to read actual science journals.

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