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Why all the nutcases?

  1. Nov 10, 2003 #1
    Why is it about physics forums always bring out such nutjobs? Are chemistry forums full of people who think they can prove that the formula for water is H30?

    I mean, I know evolutionary biology forums are full of creationist bull****, but at least those morons have religion as an excuse for their delusions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2003 #2


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    You'd be surprised. Cold fusion? Hydrogen "fuel?"

    Physics may have more, but thats only because its far less complete than chemistry. Heck, physics could be considered a continuation of chemistry.
  4. Nov 10, 2003 #3

    Tom Mattson

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    I don't know how physics message boards compare to those of other sciences, but I think that nutjobs are attracted to message boards in general because they can't get their stuff publised in peer-reviewed journals. Take any crackpot in this or any other forum and inquire as to his list of publications in such journals. They typically have none, and when they do the publications are usually in journals that are less than reputable ("Physics Essays" comes to mind).

    But I'd be surprised if you even got an answer to the question. More typically you get a diatribe about how "The Establishment" is conspiring to protect itself by surpressing the crackpot's revolutionary theory, and that's why he isn't published.

    It would be funny if it weren't so very sad.
  5. Nov 10, 2003 #4
    To bad we can't suppress the nutjobs before they show. Heck - we could have stopped the Wright brothers dead in thier tracks. Those goofballs actually thought they could fly. Whats this world coming too anyway?

    We must absolutely stop these nutcases before they actually do something.
  6. Nov 10, 2003 #5


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    I think it is Einstein's fault.

    Most people (including prospective physics students) has heard a description of how a patent-office clerk, out of the academic world, "followed his nose" (as he himself put it once) and revolutionized physics in many ways.

    This, together with popularizations that try to motivate people into learning science (disregarding complexity and rigor in the way), allow some to think that it is only a matter of having the right idea, even if they have no clue about the subject.
  7. Nov 11, 2003 #6
    It is the inventive spirit. People have invented things no one thought possible beforehand. Theory can be considered a form of invention in the thought domain. Just come up with something you think hasn't been thought before (or taken seriously before), and you are inventing something.

    If the theorist can't build a device that clearly demonstrates the fruitfulness of those ideas, distinguished from already established ideas, then the theorist feels compelled to argue the matter. Nut cases argue those ideas endlessly.
  8. Nov 11, 2003 #7


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    Re: Re: Why all the nutcases?

    I tend to think Einstein is more of a product of it than the source. But I guess a superstar can be a real motivator for others.

    It is true though that great inventions/discoveries often come from relative nobodys. Look what those two guys at the bicycle shop did for example.
  9. Nov 11, 2003 #8

    Tom Mattson

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    Are you serious?

    It's not as though the Wright brothers just slapped an airplane together and started flying around in it. They practically invented the "systems approach" to engineering, testing components in simulations before ever leaving the ground. When it came time to make the first flight, enough testing had been done to leave little doubt that the plane would take off.

    Furthermore, the physics of flight was well understood before the Wright brothers. It was the ignoramoses who did not understand physics who thought the Wright brothers were nutjobs.

    You don't know what you are talking about. The "nutcases" referred to here are those theorists who ignore falsifying experimental evidence, or that their theories are not well-defined, or that they are not falsifiable.
  10. Nov 11, 2003 #9
    FACT - There are nutcases.
    FACT - It's thier problem.
    FACT - Only a nutcase would have a problem with this, unless of course you think you have the nuts for the nutjob.
    FACT - This thread is a nutjob of nuts for nutcases.

    Yer solution
    SOLUTION - Lets beat these nutcases into submission...spread them over a slab of bread with jelly on top, and then have them for lunch.

    My response
    Yer a case for the nuts.

    My solution
    Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don't!
  11. Nov 11, 2003 #10

    Tom Mattson

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    You haven't moderated too many message boards, I take it.

    The nutcase becomes the problem of the staff of a message board when his unchecked contributions lessen the scientific integrity of the site. That's why we have a seperate Forum for Theory Development (safely away from the real science boards), that's why we (the staff) intervene and try to guide errant threads back on track, and that's why we eventually ban nutcases who are so incorrigible as to be an unneccessary drain on the staff's time.

    You're posting in it too, skippy.

    Once agian: You don't know what you're talking about.

    I have over 1000 posts here. Read some of them. You'll see that I first try to guide people in the right direction, and only after that beat them into submission.

    How many nuts would a nutcracker crack if a nutcracker could crack nuts?

    edit: fixed quote bracket
  12. Nov 11, 2003 #11
    What is the dividing line between a scientist and a crank? (For instance, how many of us would label ourselves as a crank but most others on PhysicsForums as objective thinkers?)

    Notice in this thread how much of the labeling (e. g., "krank" meaning "sick" in German) for inept posters refers to mental illness. We don't call these people "n*gg*rs," "b*tch*s" or "f*gg*ts," but feel impunity when degrading a brain disease. How about calling the pseudointellectuals "cancered"?
  13. Nov 11, 2003 #12

    Tom Mattson

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    That's a hard call to make, which is why we give so much lattitude here in the TD Forum. It is easy to identify someone's work as crackpottery, but it takes a bit longer to identify the man himself as a crackpot. That can only be assessed by the extent to which he defies reason and exeperimental evidence to hold to his views.

    I think that most people did not know that.

    We don't call them "n*gg*rs," "b*tch*s," "f*gg*ts," or "cancered" because we know that crackpottery is not a function of skin pigment, sex, sexual preference, or uncontrolled cell growth.

    It is a function of wrong thinking.
  14. Nov 12, 2003 #13
    I don't know how physics message boards compare to those of other sciences, but I think that nutjobs are attracted to message boards in general because they can't get their stuff publised in peer-reviewed journals.

    As a fully paid up nutcase, may I put a different view.
    I publish my ideas on a webpage and come to Theory Developement Forum in the hope that I will get some constructive criticism that will enable me to bring my ideas up to a state where they just might be considered for publication.
    This has had some measure of success and I have considerably improved my work and the improvements are ongoing. Some have suggested I should go for publication now, but I know I am not yet ready and need to make more progress if I am going to be taken seriously.

    Why is Einstein held up as an example of a good scientist, he tells you that the transmission of light is an act of unexplainable magic, where is the science in that.
    Fermi told us that electromagnetism cannot be explained only predicted, and in his opinion the cause of electromagnetism is beyond explanation and will always remain so. Is that acceptable science?
    Braithewaite proved by demonstration (at Cambridge University in the 1960's) that Einstein's concept of gravity is wrong and he was swepted aside, but today many people are quietly, almost secretly taking up where Braithewaite left off. They do not like to admit it but that is what their work amounts to.
    There is much left to be discovered and I hope my views on vacuum might one day come to count for something, if not I have had the joy of trying. Yes, I am a nutcase; and proud of it.

    It is better to try and fail, than not to try at all
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2003
  15. Nov 12, 2003 #14

    Tom Mattson

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    This is a compound question, so I'll answer the three parts seperately.

    "Why is Einstein held up as an example of a good scientist?"

    Because Einstein came up with good scientific theories. I take the criteria for "good" to be that they are:

    1. Logically valid.
    2. Confirmable.
    3. Confirmed.
    4. Falsifiable.

    "Why does Einstein tell us that the transmission of light is an act of unexplainable magic?"

    He did not tell us that. His theory is fully consistent with the Maxwell theory, which says that the transmission of light is due to mutually induced oscillating EM fields. This leads us to your Fermi comment, but first the last part of your question.

    "Where is the science in telling us that the transmission of light is an act of unexplainable magic?"

    It is not science.

    Of course it is acceptable science. The universe is not known a priori, and this precludes full explanations of anything.

    I don't know exactly what Fermi said, but I do know that EM is reducible to electric charges in motion. An explanation of EM phenomena would have to include an explanation of the origin of electric charge, and this we do not have. Even if we did have it, it would only introduce a new concept to be explained.

    References please?
  16. Nov 12, 2003 #15


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    Ya know, when I first got here (before I became a mod) I was expecting/hoping TD would be a place for VIABLE new theories. String theory, fate of the universe, probability of life type stuff. When I realized it was a dumpster for crackpots, I was vaguely disappointed. It is entertaining though.

    Its quite simple really. By definition, a crackpot is someone who is far off the mainstream. So apply this test to your ideas: would a large majority (75% or so) of scientists consider my ideas to be scientifically viable? If the answer is consistantly no, then you may be a crackpot.

    Now this isn't to say that crackpots aren't sometimes right and the "establishment" wrong. Quite frankly, I can't think of such a case, but I'm sure it happens. If you hope to be in that category though, you'd better make damn sure your ideas are on flawless scientific ground, as ideas counter to the mainstream are ruthlessly (and rightly so) scrutinized for errors.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2003
  17. Nov 13, 2003 #16

    Einstein states that light travels at a constant speed regardless of the relative velocities of the emitter and receiver. This he claims is a real action; to describe this claim as ‘logically valid’ requires a different dictionary to mine. I would suggest that it is an ‘apparent action’. Moreover to claim that it is confirmable is only valid if the parameters under discussion are restricted to the electromagnetic spectrum.

    This is the nutcases’ forum and I am permitted herein to stray beyond normal parameters. On my web page there is a graph showing the relationship between fundamental particles including the graviton. At present a number of universities are engaged in the search for gravity waves, neither particle nor wave has yet been discovered so I ask you to assume that both exist. Given that assumption I make the point that the graviton is the only non-magnetic particle and therefore it is logical to assume that gravity waves are not part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but that there is a separate gravity spectrum.
    Given that the speed of light varies according to field density then the speed of light in the less dense gravity field or spectrum should be greater than the speed of light in an electromagnetic field. This is partially supported by the (inconclusive experimental finding) that the maximum speed of bosons in a strong force field is in the region of 94 miles per second, compared with ‘C’ in an electromagnetic field and I am suggesting (purely for the point of this debate) that it is ‘C squared’ in a gravity field. Keep in mind that these are maximum not constant speeds.
    Note that my proposal does not require any alteration to the mathematics of Maxwell and Einstein, but it improves matters by giving us an explanation for the observed behavior of light in that we are restricted to observations on the electromagnetic spectrum where the maximum speed is 'C' and anything faster than 'C' is still recorded as 'C' by our electromagnetic machinery.
    Note also that I am not alone in this sort of thinking, Bohm stated that his ‘unknown force’ was probably capable of speeds in excess of ‘C’. I am in good company even if well below the abilities of likeminded thinkers such as Bohm.
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  18. Nov 13, 2003 #17


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    It is not just that "he said so" and everybody followed. What actually happens is that

    1. Classical electromagnetic theory conflicts with newtonian mechanics
    2. There is no reason to believe a priori that simultaneity is an absolute concept
    3. Experiment has shown that the speed of light is always the same, regardless of the speed of the source

    When embracing 3 and working out its consequences, the conflict in 1 disappears and we get a much better understanding of 2.

    To further back this, its many consequences are daily confirmed in a lot of different settings, also, more indirect confirmations come from the accuracy of GR and QFT, both "built over" SR.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2003
  19. Nov 13, 2003 #18
    3. Experiment has shown that the speed of light is always the same, regardless of the speed of the source

    Not so, the fact that experiments always result in the same speed regardless of the speed of the source cannot not be used as proof that the speed is constant as long as there is an alternative possibility, that is that the reading represents the fastest measurable speed. The question as to which of these two alternatives is correct has never been put to the test.
    My arguement is that the second possibility is more logical and offers a better understanding of the transmission of light than does the first. It has the distinct advantage of being the non-magical solution.
    This possibility blends in with my proposed particle strucure which is the only proposal to date to link the data found by experiment, together in one structure (i.e. mass, density and radii).
    If Bohm's 'unknown force' is replaced with the vacuum force then there are some common aspects to the descriptions.
    If Braithewaite's experiments are explained using my proposed particle structure then we have the first explanation of Braithewaite's experiments in that the observed effects can be explained as the interaction of centripetal forces and gravitons resulting in the creation of artificial gravity fields.
    In short without altering the mathematics of Maxwell and Einstein but simply insisting on the proper examination of all possible interpretations, it is possible to come up with an explanation of observed particle behavior that is more comprehensive than the current interpretation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2003
  20. Nov 13, 2003 #19

    Braithewaite proved by demonstration
    refernces please

    For Braithwaite read Laithwaite (my memory let me down). There are a number of sites which I shall now investigate. Just search on Physics Laithwaite
    See also the experiments by Hideo Hayasaka and colleagues at the Faculty of Engineering, Tohoku University togwether with Matsu****a a Japanese multinational company. The unexplained gravity effects they discovered are explainable as the interaction of centrifugal forces and gravitons.

    Hilariously control has rejected a four letter word from the company name please reinsert short word for excretia!
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  21. Nov 13, 2003 #20


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    All speed measurements are a quotient between a distance and a time interval. These, in turn, are obtained from two events, triggered by some physical effect.

    Whatever this physical effect is, it still has the property of having the same speed in all reference frames, and it can be used as the basis for a definition of simultaneity, giving you relativity all over again.

    The only way out would be for you to propose that our experimental devices somehow trigger faster or slower to trick us into thinking that the speed was the same, even when the second event was still not there, or had already happened... I don't see how this would be a better alternative.
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